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Old 04-11-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
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Stereo getting no power.

I'm trying to install a new pioneer head unit to replace my old stock one in my 1997 TJ. Today I went out to replace it after splicing the wires for the wiring harness and doing all the prep work, and found out the stereo still would not work. I was hoping that the reason my old stock stereo did not work was because of the head unit itself, but I was not so lucky. I was hoping you guys could help me out with a few questions that would help me troubleshoot.

The first question I have is why the head unit is not getting any power. My Jeep has a host of electrical problems (like having to punch the steering wheel for the turn signals and wipers to work). I changed the fuse and still no help. Any ideas on why this is?

Secondly, on the wiring harness that I purchased from Wal-mart has three adapter things. One large gray one, one smaller gray one, and one small black one. Most of the wires seem to come out of the large gray one, but it does not connect anywhere. The smaller gray and black ones both have connectors, does anyone have any idea why this would be or if it's even a problem?

Lastly, the black wire that comes out of the plug that goes into the back of the stock head unit goes connects somewhere else than where all the other wires go. It seems to go through the firewall behind the top left corner of the passenger air bag. Does anyone know why this is/where it goes to/ and if I have to connect anything in the same spot from the after market head unit?

Thanks a ton!

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Old 04-11-2013, 03:46 PM   #2
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A mulitmeter takes out the guess work out to narrows down the issue. Worst case, run a new fused power and/or ground wires.

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Old 04-11-2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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The one you have sounds like a 97-02 adapter. Those had 2 plugs going from factory harness into the radio. 1 grey 1 black. sounds like you have the right one. 03-06 had one large plug going into the radio. Are the wires on the adapter marked for what they go to?

It sounds like you have a problem in the factory harness somewhere if both radios were not getting power but if the problem is in the adapter harness I may be able to help. I had a few issues wiring mine up so I can tell you what mistakes NOT to make, lol.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:31 PM   #4
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I actually found out that the black wire was supposed to connect to a ground spot, which I had not done. I heard that without the ground done right, it won't work. I'm going to try that tmrw and see how it goes.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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I have a good spot for that ground. This will take an extra 10 minutes to take the dash apart a little though.

pull the radio and look behind it for a silver ish braided flat looking wire. That is the factory ground strap.

1. you can bolt the ground wire straight to it. But it won't be the most solid connection.
or

2. follow that braided wire over behind the gauge cluster. this is where you have to take the dash apart a little but it's not hard. Somewhere behind the cluster it grounds out, i forget exactly where. Simply unbolt the ground wire at that end and bolt the radio ground in it's place. Much more solid connection. Only 1 point of failure (the bolt) as opposed to 2 points of failure connecting to the other end of the factory ground strap.

Most aftermarket radios I have seen have a ground wire long enough to reach it. If it doesn't I can come up with some other ideas.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:27 PM   #6
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You need to hook up the radio's ground wire directly to a good ground. If still no power check the fuse in both the new headunit and the one in the fusebox. If all are good, try jiggling the ignition key around. My ignition switch was a little sensitive to key position and would not let the radio, blinkers etc.. work.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:03 PM   #7
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You need to hook up the radio's ground wire directly to a good ground. If still no power check the fuse in both the new headunit and the one in the fusebox. If all are good, try jiggling the ignition key around. My ignition switch was a little sensitive to key position and would not let the radio, blinkers etc.. work.
I think that's whats wrong with mine to. I have to give my steering wheel a decent punch before the blinkers or windshield wipers will come on. I'm going to try the ground wire thing tmrw and see how it goes. I'm pretty sure I have the ground wire connected to something on the wiring adapter though. On the wiring harness the black is called the "chassis ground" does that mean I have to connect that to the ground too because it's not nearly as long as the one that comes off the head unit connector
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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not sure what that chassis ground is. The one you definitely need to ground should be a wire that has a terminal lug on the end of it. usually long, black color, and seperate from the other wires.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:57 PM   #9
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not sure what that chassis ground is. The one you definitely need to ground should be a wire that has a terminal lug on the end of it. usually long, black color, and seperate from the other wires.
No terminal lug, but it's a good three times longer than the other wires. the wire labeled as chassis ground comes off the wiring harness. I'm guessing it's not very important.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:03 AM   #10
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I'm confused then, most radios come with a lug on the ground wire. But it should be pretty long allowing you to actually reach a good ground point.

Either way, follow that factory ground strap over behind the gauges. remove it, and attach your ground there. That's where I put mine. Works great, and now there is one less wire hanging around behind your dash. I kept mine instead of trashing it, never know when you will need a wire for another project.

If you can list out all the wires by color and where they are supposed to go to. According to the instructions, or hopefully the wires are marked. Maybe we can work out what that other "chassis ground" goes to.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:40 AM   #11
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First, check the radio fuse then check for constant 12V and switched 12V at the harness with a voltmeter/multitester. My guess is you have constant 12V but no switched 12V with key on.There is a good chance your problem may be a bad ignition switch since your also are having intermitten issues with your wipers and turn signals. It sounds like the wipers/signals are losing 12V power and kicks on when you hit the steering wheel.(which is where your ignition switch located.) Radio/wipers/signals power comes from the switch. Next time wiggle the switch versus hitting the wheel to see if you get the same results.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:49 AM   #12
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be sure and plug in the antenna when checking for power. I put a stereo in a Dodge, and it wouldn't power on until the antenna was connected.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:15 AM   #13
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Don't use the ground wire one the adapter. Only use the ground wire (Chassis ground) from the radio itself. And don't forget to check that pesky ignition switch.

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