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Installing aftermarket DVD headrests

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by SteveW25561, March 6, 2011.

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    1. ford99_1979

      ford99_1979 Active Member

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      3rd Row DVD players

      Nice write up Steve. I have a Flex with factory DVD headrests and got a another set similar to yours for the second row seats. My oldest sits in the 3rd row.

      For anyone doing DVD headrests in the 2nd row seats for 3rd row viewing the post spacing is much smaller. I took the Flex in to get them installed and got a call shortly after saying they could not do it because the universal aftermarket DVD headrest posts were not "universal enough" . I promised my son these video players so un-deterred I took them apart. With a dremel and some clearancing I was able to get the posts to come in another 1/4" each side. With that done I now have 4 headrest DVD's.

      Impressions on the cheap zip covered DVD headrests.
      - fabric is a good match, except the Flex has constrasting stiching. Not noticeable
      - games suck, throw away the disk and controllers.
      - wireless headphones also suck , so go wired headphones or the sound can play from the speakers on the player itself. At least on the model I have.
      - wires included not long enough to run to each other, so extra patch cord required . Video output from one goes to other and vice versa.
      - movies don't start up where it was last at. So if you have young ones and you turn the car off you will have to show them how to skip forward to where they were on the movie.
      - overall for the price it was worth it.
       
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    3. gtnos

      gtnos New Member

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      well, dont waste your time trying the third row. the seats are NOT hollow like the front. no way to run the cables without heavily modding the seats. plus as already mentioned, you will have to fight the post width issue. so now i have two extra dvd players. good thing my 06 f150 screw is black leather too, its about to get the other two players. now im looking at other options for third row viewing. i have 4 kids 2, 2, 7 and 8 so 4 players is a must. especially with 2 two year olds that always disagree on what to watch.
       
    4. ford99_1979

      ford99_1979 Active Member

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      What do you mean don't waste your time with the 3rd row. I just wrote that it is possible with a little modification. It wasn't hard to do, at least on my model of DVD headrests. Now I didn't do the installation on these, not cause I couldn't. Just not worth my time @ $200 for professional install. you either want 4 DVD's or you don't.
       
    5. gtnos

      gtnos New Member

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      how did you run the wires down into the seats? i tried and the wires will go down a few inches and then stop. i even unclipped and pulled back the seatback bottom, reached all the way up it to the point were i could feel the guide holes for the headrests. but there seems to be no way to route the wires as the entire seatback is full of wood and foam. so without taking out the second row seats, dismantling them, and modding them by somehow cutting out channels so that you can run the wires all the way down, i dont see how this can be done? if im missing something please chime in, as i have the headrests ready to go.
       
    6. ford99_1979

      ford99_1979 Active Member

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      I didn't do the wiring, so I cant answer that first hand. I do know the wires are ran close the the inside of the vehicle on both passenger and driver side seats (I have 2nd row buckets, no center console) with a little extra slack where the back and seat meet for the powerfold feature.

      Also this was done on a 2011 Ford Flex and the Explorer 2nd row seats are probably different.
       
    7. gtnos

      gtnos New Member

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      well, fooled around with it some more earlier, and i can with a LOT of wiggling and some cussing get a clothes hanger down the holes and it is striking the bottom of the seatback.... at this point im thinking maybe a well placed small hole drilled in the very bottom of the wood seatback may do the trick. once the cover is cinched back down, the hole and wires will be hidden.... ive got to finish up some other honey-dos right now so ill try tomorrow with this idea. as far as the new posts width.... man its close. some "man handing" of the new posts will probably be the cure for that. if i can just get the wires through the seat, ill figure out how to get the headrest to go on straight. if i have to i have access to a tubing bender, ill just reshape them.


      EDIT: does anyone happen to have an exploded view or diagram of the 2nd row seats showing how they might come apart or how the inside is structured?

      because that would be awesome
      ......:salute:
       
    8. ford99_1979

      ford99_1979 Active Member

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      Example of 3rd row DVD

      [​IMG]
       
    9. gtnos

      gtnos New Member

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      well, i got it done! for anyone wanting 3rd row explorer dvd headrests, it is possible with some mild scrapes on your knuckles and a few choice words.

      i didnt take any pics, but basically, here is the process:

      1. remove stock headrests and flip 2nd row seats down.
      2. unfasten the material at the bottom of the seat, a flat blade screwdriver helps to get it uncinched, its a PITA at first, but once you get one end loose it comes apart like a zipper.

      3. once you pull back the material, you will see 2 black clips holding the outer sides of the seat back to the back inside plyboard of the seatback. unfasten them, and pull the material down. this will enable you to reach way up into the seat.

      4. get a clothes hanger, straighten it. also grab some strong string.

      5. start feeding the clothes hanger down through the headrest mounting holes at top of seat. you will encounter resistance. fight like h311 and jam that clothes hanger down harder, working it around, until it finds a soft spot and goes through all the foam material. keep pushing, working it, twisting it, and cussing until it comes out at the bottom. you can also reach up in the seat from the bottom and push the foam around to help the clothes hanger along.

      6. once you have the clothes hanger all the way through, tape some string on the end at the top of the seat, and pull the clothes hanger out through the bottom, fishing the string through the seat.

      7. repeat above 2 steps for the other headrest mounting hole, so that you now have 2 strings ran through the seat. now take your headrest, tie the strings onto the wires. fish the wires down with one hand, while pulling the string with the other. you may have to work it a little, as the connector will catch on the foam.

      8. once you get both wires through and you are ready to put the headrest on, take the headrest, push the two poles together as hard as you can, and slide it (with some force) down into the mounting holes. you WILL NOT need the little white adapters that come with the onfair dvd headrests, the poles themselves will hold the headrest nice and tight by themselves due to to tension that is created when you push them together and force them in the holes.

      9. Connect your wiring at the bottom. One nice thing about the 2nd row seats is that the right side connector for the video out, unlike on the 1st row, will be visible so that you can just connect and go.

      10. I ran all wiring towards the drivers side and connected it to the hotwire i ran from fuse #38 with the "Add-a-Circuit" that was referenced by Steve from the 2nd row installation instructions in this thread. I did however, out of laziness, simply pulled up the drivers side back door sill plate and drilled a 5/16" hole in the chassis and grounded the 3rd row headrests there, as opposed to running a wire all the way up to the grounding screw referenced in Steves instructions, which i used on the 2nd row headrests.

      I was able to hide every bit of wiring in the seatback of the 2nd row except for a small 4 inch section that goes between the 60/40 split in the 2nd row. Make sure when you start tieing down wires with zipties that you leave a little slack in that 4 inch section so that it will not be stressed when the seats are folded up and down. I taped the 4 inch section together with electrical tape, and it is hardly noticed between the two sections of seats.

      well i have all 4 of my headrests in, working, and so far i am very pleased. thanks to everyone who helped and Steves instructions were great!

      One side note to Ford: IMMEDIATELY FIRE whatever moron decided to put that interior fusebox underneath the dash to the left of the steering column. i have worked under car dashes most of my life and J---- C-----!! that is the hardest dang fuse box to get to that i have ever had the displeasure of working on. i thought i was going to have to call 911 through the MFT and have some firemen pull me out as i could barely get my fat a$$ out of the floorboard after crawling and contorting my body to reach that thing. Ford will be recieving my chiropractic bill.
       
    10. ford99_1979

      ford99_1979 Active Member

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      Congrats gtnos!

      Post pics.
       
    11. Checkit20

      Checkit20 New Member

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      Can you guys follow up on the Baton and Dream units? it's been a while since the last post and it would be cool to hear from you on how they are doing, etc.

      I like the Dream price and the 9" screen. Top loader, USB on the bottom. Generaltso likes the Batons and they do look good. Are they better headrests? As in, for the driver and passenger? I'm not sure how I'll react to the Dreams if they are several inches further back.
       
    12. generaltso

      generaltso Active Member

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      The Batons are still working out great for me. The kids love them. They switch between sharing DVDs and Satellite TV all the time, so having multiple inputs connected under the seat is a must for us.

      The Baton headrests are much better support for the driver and passenger than the Autotains that I tried. That was before the Dream model was released though, so I'm not sure how different that is. The Batons are still a little further back than I would like, but at least they're usable as a headrest. The Autotains were so far back, that they were not usable as a headrest at all for me.
       
    13. goofydisneydaddy

      goofydisneydaddy Member

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      I'm very happy with the dream units, but unless you make a modification, they will sit way too far back. This is because of the way the Explorer is designed, the headrest polls are very far back in the seats and angled away from the occupant's head.

      I posted above a picture of my first modification attempt. This weekend, I improved on my original design and the headrests now sit pretty much equal to where the factory headrests sit (used larger metal bracket and a few extra nuts to clamp the bracket from both sides). $300 for the units, and $10 in parts from home depot, and I am one happy camper. I simply can't fathom paying $1000 more, but that's just me.

      I also absolutely love the zipper covers, which I think practically completely hide players from would-be thieves, and also are a signal to our daughter whether or not she will get to watch a movie. She is only allowed use of the movies for car rides over 30 minutes -- if she gets in the car and the DVD is unzipped, she knows she gets to watch a movies. If its not, no matter how many times she cries "Mickey," it aint gonna happen. I realize this may apply less with older kids who can handle the units themselves.
       
    14. broken strut

      broken strut Active Member

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      I just bought 2 Ipad 4th Gens with headrest holders. That way the kids can watch movies. on a 10" screen in high def. When we're done. They take them with them. Very convienent and practical.
       
    15. kimikmy

      kimikmy New Member

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      clarion overhead dvd player-newbie here needing help

      The same problem with you. I am looking for a clarion overhead car dvd player for my focus. But I know nothing about it, my bro told me to buy one at online shop can be cheaper than stores. can you help me choosing a proper one from this web? I prefer cheap one..Needing your help!! clarion overhead car DVD player
       
    16. ieee_raider

      ieee_raider Active Member

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      Figured this was a good place to post this information. I installed the Pyle PL71PHB headrest pair (only $125 at Amazon)
      The look was great... and they tilted forward, BUT they were super thin and when tilted forward enough to be usable, the screen was no longer visibile.

      So after wifey griped a few times, I snagged a pair of OEM headrests on eBay. Took the monitors out of the Pyle pair and started hacking the OEM headrests.
      The problem here is behind the soft foam padding, there's some hard foam. I can mount into the hard foam, but without hacking it, the monitor is not flush with the headrest leather. I've tried and tried and can stretch/push the leather out to look flush, but no adhesive I've tried will hold, even with over 24 hours cure time.

      So, without some mods, the Pyle monitors won't really work well. And if you get the same idea I did, be prepared for some frustration.
       
    17. jeffas000073

      jeffas000073 Member

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      OK.....I have read this thread several times. I MUST have the adjustability of the headrest tilt like the OEM headrests. I drive too much not to be comfortable. I want the DVD player feature so my daughters don't go insane during long drives. They both already have IPads, but that doesn't allow them to watch a DVD. Which unit out there will give me what I need? Help a brother out!!!!
       
    18. ieee_raider

      ieee_raider Active Member

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    19. goofydisneydaddy

      goofydisneydaddy Member

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      Umm, get the OEM if that is your criteria. You do know you can put movies on iPads, right. I have the autotains, and while I am happy with them, I did a mod to move them forward and without that mod, they are nowhere near where the OEM's sit.
       
    20. kaelin

      kaelin Member

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      Unfortunately you will not find any dvd headrests that tilt enough to match the OEM. I had the autotains (Actually I still have them) that tilt but even tilted all the way forward, they sit way to far back.
      I ended up going with the headrestvideo.com models which cost a bit more than the autotains but look great. The stock look was more important to me. They even have the sienna inserts that the OEM DVDs don't have. They don't tilt and don't sit as far forward as the regular stock headrests will tilt but they are much better than the autotains and are good enough for me.
       
    21. AZmom

      AZmom Active Member

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      Entertainment feature

      My 2014 Limited did not come with the Entertainment package in the head rests. Now my husband is looking to add it, however I am not thrilled about after-market accessories. I realize that technology has come a long way, however the last after-market entertainment package added was to my Toyota Sequoia (2003) and the headrests looked terrible by 2008. The fabric was coming out of the edges and well it was horrible.

      Who has added these- what did you add and what are your opinions and photos
       
    22. Kpwweb

      Kpwweb Active Member

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      The Ford units are aftermarket as well. Ford doesn't make them.
       
    23. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      As per my PM, I have merged your thread with this existing one.

      Peter
       
    24. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      I have the Ford OEM Factory Invision DVD Headrest System ($2000) in my 14 Sport, its been transferred from my 11 Limited, to my 13 Limited, to my 14 Sport. Sometimes available on Ebay for $1500-$2000

      Works great, covered by OEM warranty and has had one headrest replaced for broken screen tab that holds screen locked and another for no audio. Two audio IR headsets, two IR remotes, two DVD players so each screen can show its own movie or watch the same as each other. Be clear nothing pushes video or audio up front to the MFT system everything is controlled at the headrest or by remote control.

      After researching other aftermarket systems & cost I put a set of Audiovox Advent headrest DVD systems ($1200) in my wife's 13 Acadia Denali and I must say that Advent system is superior to the Ford Invision Lt Series OEM style. Superior in fit and finish, screen quality, sound, features, and ability to accept various media formats.

      When I asked Invision Customer Support about the ability of their OEM headrests to accept newer technologies they simply said "NO". I asked them about the USB port on the headrests and the ability of the Invision system to update the monitors firmware to allow for playing movies off a USB drive and they said "NO"

      When I asked Audiovox they said they were looking at a possible firmware update.

      Lets be honest DVD media format is a dying form factor.

      Mpeg 4 movies can be stored on a USB drive and should be able to played on all these monitors.

      If I had known about Audiovox Advent system before I would not have taken the Ford OEM Invision LT Series system, I would have installed the Advent system.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zthfXkDCJF8

      If you already have iPads at home consider the iPad mounting system with charging and Bluetooth audio included & way cheaper.

      I got the Advent system at:

      http://autospatech.com/mobile-video/headrest-video.html

      The headrests they use are IDENTICAL OEM matches in fabric and color to the Ford non DVD factory headrests.

      To be clear you cannot control anything from these systems by using MFT.
       
      Last edited: March 1, 2014
    25. playboy5k

      playboy5k New Member

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      Sgt1411, How much did you pay for them?
       
    26. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      1 ADV-HR7012 Advent Custom Headrest $1,099.00

      1 Misc Video Game Add-On $50.00

      Out-of-state sale, exempt from sales tax $0.00%

      Total $1,149.00 delivered.
       

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