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Nifty City Apple Car Play System - Install & Review


davidv10
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Having seen a couple of Youtube videos on the Apple Car Play plug in systems, i decided to go for it myself. One bug bear i have with the 370z is how old the stock system looks, how the maps dont update well (i often use a new stretch of road not on the sat nav), and how bad and long winded the voice commands are. Although expensive (around £400 shipped), it looked like a very clever system that plugs into all your existing stereo and screen without needing to cut any wires and allows you to keep using your standard features such as steering wheel controls and reversing camera etc. It also allows you switch back and forward between the Car Play system and the Stock system at the touch of a button.

 

Now installed and working, i am extremely happy with it!

It makes the interior look so much more modern, it is much easier to use and i have completely up to date Google Maps.

 

This is what the main screen looks like:

9.jpg.9ab048e59beb68acbfcf43bc40a157f2.jpg

 

 

You can then expand each component by clicking on it:

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And this is how it looks when you are on a call (i was testing before all the interior panels went back on):

 

5a.jpg.db4b11aa1870e4683a3a579c8c705fd9.jpg

 

 

I have taken a video of me using the system, which shows it a lot better: 

 

 

 

My Review of the System

 

Overall i could not be happier with it and would recommend it to everyone!

 

Good Points

- Looks much more modern.

- Always up to date Maps.

- You dont need Spotify/Apple Music open on your phone to play in the car.

- You can use Siri which especially for making calls is a million times quicker.

- You can still use the majority of the steering wheel buttons (volume/next track etc.).

- Although for half a second it goes back to the stock system, the reversing camera still cuts in.

- Any new messages (for any messaging apps) pop up on the screen and when clicked will be read out to you. You can then reply using speech.

- The system is fully reversible if you need to remove it (for example selling the car).

 

Points Worth Noting - Not bad points but just some small limitations (as you would expect)

- The stock system will always come up on start-up. You have to manually press the back button to load the Car Play system.

- Based on the above, you have to wait (i would guess at) 10 seconds for the Car Play system to load up.

- Although the majority of the buttons (including steering wheel controls) work with the Car Play system, there are a few that dont and then cut the screen back to the stock system (phone call button/steering wheel voice control button). This isnt really a problem as once you know you just dont touch them.

- The system requires the stock USB (or 3.5mm jack) port. The system does then have two extra USB ports that you can use as replacements, however it does not have the stock port. I have ended up taking the stock port out of the cubby and just have it under the centre console section. I have then bought a USB port extender panel and have plugged it in to one of the USB ports on the Car Play system and installed it into the cubby as a replacement. You do not need to bother with this if you dont ever use the USB port anyway, but i wanted to go the extra mile just in case.

 

I have not written a full guide, but I have done a bit of one, which will hopefully answer the questions that i went to Nifty City about as i wasnt sure. Nifty City by the way have been incredibly helpful! They are on whatsapp and whenever I had a question they replied very quickly and sent videos to help explain when necessary.

 

Guide

 

This is how the box arrived, with all the components:

 

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Here is a layout of all the parts with a description to help with exactly what is needed and what goes where. The instructions are helpful, but not amazing and not 100% accurate as the page is for a range of models:

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1. This cable is only needed if you have a USB port in your cubby (as opposed to a 3.5mm jack). It is an adapter that goes from the 3.5mm jack in the main harness to your USB port in the cubby.

 

2. I did not use this cable at all. It is not needed for a normal set up, but i believe is there for adding external audio/video devices?

 

3. This is the Apple Car Play device. It plugs into one of the USB ports in the USB harness. It can be connected to wirelessly or you can plug your phone into the device (there is a usb port on the end) it you prefer using wired Car Play.

 

4. This is the harness for the screen. One cable goes into the screen and the other into the stock screen wiring.

 

5. This is the USB harness. One port is for the Apple Car Play device (Number 3) and the other two ports are the spares for plugging in devices (one of which i used an extender USB port plate and installed into the centre cubby - See below).

 

6. This is the main harness. This is where it differs from the instruction sheet slightly. There are two ports in the back of the stereo that are used (not three as the diagram says). You then plug in this harness in between the stereo and the stock wiring plugs. The last cable you need to plug in is the 3.5mm jack. This either plugs directly in to the cubby if you have a 3.5mm jack port, or with the adapter if you have a USB port in the cubby. The other cables/wires are not needed for a normal setup.

 

7. This is a set of velcro strips (im guessing to secure the main unit), however i did not use these and found a great place for the system box to sit (see below).

 

8. This is the main system unit and is there the various harnesses and plugs provided (Numbers 4,5 and 6) plug in to. 

 


Here is a picture testing mid way through the install:

 

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Here shows the stock USB cubby port (that i removed from the cubby to hide in the console) plugged in the Car Play system using the adapter. Number 1 is the stock USB port and Number 2 is where the 3.5mm jack from the main harness goes in to the extender. For the full install, i had this wiring fed below the stereo and under the gearstick plastics under the console so it cannot be seen.

 

4a.jpg.f5ecc600dc3ab9b621837ce90a1d19d4.jpg

 

 

This is one of the spare USB ports from the Car Play system that i have fed through into the centre console. Where i now have my USB port plate extender going in to the cubby where the stock USB port was.

 

8.jpg.1f4059a7ce1a5bd283bdd7e4c509f16e.jpg

 

 

Lastly, this is where i decided to fit the main system unit. It fits perfectly in the gap above the stereo and is completely hidden away. It is a bit of a squeeze with all the extra wiring behind the stereo, but it does fit.

 

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That was pretty much it for the install. It took about 2-3 hours i think which included time of me asking Nifty City questions for bits i hadnt plugged in properly/didnt know about.

I couldnt find much on this system for the 370z other than a Youtube video for one installed on a G37, which didnt really have any detail and review on the good and bad points, so i thought i would create this to hopefully give people loads of detail on it so they can decide whether to get it and some help when installing it.

As i said to begin with, i absolutely love this system and am so glad i went ahead and bought it! Its not cheap, but it is definitely worth the money!

 

Edited by davidv10
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On 02/01/2021 at 17:38, Andy_Muxlow said:

Nice job. Great work. I wonder if this would work for my 56plate 350z which has the satnav? :)


Thanks! I just checked and they dont have a 350z integration system unfortunately :thumbdown:

 

You could always email them and ask :shrug:

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  • 2 weeks later...
6 hours ago, Dannyg said:

Thanks for this David, Good wright up too, was on the fence about getting one of these, but think you may have just persuaded me to get one for my 70

 

 

 

Thanks mate. Thats good then, you will love it!

 

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  • 2 months later...
7 hours ago, Vindicta said:

Where did you get this USB extender from, i've just ordered the niftycity box but would rather an install like there where the usb port is still useable 


Yeh amazon and ebay have loads of extenders, however i specifically bought one with mounting clips at the side/back to easily mount and hold it where the stock usb port goes. Rather than a standard extender with no mounting option. So i got one of the below:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Single-Port-USB-3-0-Panel-Flush-Mount-Extension-Cable-with-Buckle-UK-/284120259945?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

 

558C3BA8-1B4A-4906-95E1-4922D236D46F.jpeg.64267178f62bf37a854a485f81b1376c.jpeg

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  • 1 year later...

Great write up, thankyou!  This is exactly what I've been waiting for! Finally bring my 370 up to date! 😀 

 

As mine is an early 2009 model with stock Nav but NOT touchscreen I would have to order the HD touchscreen as well I guess?  And to be completely wire free I would also need to order the "Unlock wireless android auto"  I don't want the faff of having to plug my phone in every time I get in the car.

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  • 2 months later...

I've been looking at this upgrade for a while, seems I should've taken the plunge sooner as the price has now gone up! £566 not including import tax of £102.20!!

 

A couple of questions:

 

1) Is this the only option like this on the market without going for the incredibly expensive route of brainiac/aftermarket custom install? (You know, because I stupidly have a V2 Nismo that has the integrated AC controls so that you can't just switch out the headunit! 🤦‍♂️) I've googled quite a bit but don't seem to find anything remotely like this from anywhere else!

 

2) Were you charged import tax?

 

3) Is there any connectivity outlets for dropping in aftermarket amplifiers to upgrade the speaker components?

 

Thanks!

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On 19/04/2022 at 17:21, Justthejedi said:

Great write up, thankyou!  This is exactly what I've been waiting for! Finally bring my 370 up to date! 😀 

 

As mine is an early 2009 model with stock Nav but NOT touchscreen I would have to order the HD touchscreen as well I guess?  And to be completely wire free I would also need to order the "Unlock wireless android auto"  I don't want the faff of having to plug my phone in every time I get in the car.


Sorry i missed this message. Not sure if it would cause other issues if you had to replace the screen with the touchscreen one 🤷‍♂️
 

I dont use the Android side, but i didnt need anything additional to run wireless CarPlay, so i dont imagine you would need anything additional for wireless Android Auto.

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6 hours ago, Buptaboy said:

I've been looking at this upgrade for a while, seems I should've taken the plunge sooner as the price has now gone up! £566 not including import tax of £102.20!!

 

A couple of questions:

 

1) Is this the only option like this on the market without going for the incredibly expensive route of brainiac/aftermarket custom install? (You know, because I stupidly have a V2 Nismo that has the integrated AC controls so that you can't just switch out the headunit! 🤦‍♂️) I've googled quite a bit but don't seem to find anything remotely like this from anywhere else!

 

2) Were you charged import tax?

 

3) Is there any connectivity outlets for dropping in aftermarket amplifiers to upgrade the speaker components?

 

Thanks!


Yeh its not cheap which is why i jumped on it when it was on sale. But still well worth it in my opinion.

 

1. This was the only full on solution that i found after scouring the internet. All the others were just dongle workarounds. Whereas this just works straight away and has full integration. And the fact its wireless CarPlay as well sold it for me.

 

2. Honestly i cant remember for definite now. But im pretty sure (like 90% sure) i didnt get charged import tax.

 

3. Because of the way it basically sits in between the wiring loom and the stereo unit, everything in the stereo unit is still used. Meaning that you would use the stock stereo unit connectivity outlets for aftermarket amps etc. Nothing like that would be plugged directly into the aftermarket unit.

 

I hope the above helps 👍

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/06/2022 at 01:01, davidv10 said:


Yeh its not cheap which is why i jumped on it when it was on sale. But still well worth it in my opinion.

 

1. This was the only full on solution that i found after scouring the internet. All the others were just dongle workarounds. Whereas this just works straight away and has full integration. And the fact its wireless CarPlay as well sold it for me.

 

2. Honestly i cant remember for definite now. But im pretty sure (like 90% sure) i didnt get charged import tax.

 

3. Because of the way it basically sits in between the wiring loom and the stereo unit, everything in the stereo unit is still used. Meaning that you would use the stock stereo unit connectivity outlets for aftermarket amps etc. Nothing like that would be plugged directly into the aftermarket unit.

 

I hope the above helps 👍

Thanks for your reply! I ordered it last week so hopefully it will be here in the next couple of weeks!

 

One last question, does it bypass/remove the existing USB in the arm rest? I only need to use it for charging and plan to put a false bottom with a wireless charger.

 

Thanks!

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