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Old 11-27-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
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JK Factory Radio: Has anyone replaced with aftermarket?

Sitting here looking for a place to set my Sprint EVO and watch "An American Werewolf in London" on the Fear Network. As I sat here fumbling with various places to set my Sprint EVO, the best location would be leaning against the Instrument Panel Cluster. However, I got to thinking how nice it would be to have a new radio capable of receiving internet, just like a cell phone can. That way, I can watch movies on Hulu and Fearnet.net, as well as jam through the local and world radio stations. Does anyone know, is there even such a thing yet?

Second, are our JK model radios "Double-din" sized? I know I have been eye-balling a Pioneer "Double-din" model for quite some time now. I think it is the NVIC-3, or Z-Something.

Has anyone replaced their stock unit with an aftermarket unit and, what did you select? Did you need any special adapters to convert the signal? I know I needed a special converter in my Corvette to use the Pioneer deck with the Bose amplifiers.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

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Old 11-27-2010, 07:16 PM   #2
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You want to watch videos while driving? Sounds like a wreck waiting to happen.

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Old 11-27-2010, 07:30 PM   #3
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I got a after market radio with a DVD player in it for my daughter to watch on trips installed and it fit perfectly. Not sure what adapters where used because the store installed it
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:37 PM   #4
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Clarification: Not watch DVDs while driving. Only if parked. You know, wasting time.
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
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Haha, good to hear.
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:48 PM   #6
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it is quite a chore. I got the pioneer double din gex-p920xm unit . had to remove part of the bracket in the top back of the dash neer the windshield to get the unit in. had to purchase an adptor from metra (on line nice folks and great support). also purchased their panel kit mad a very professional installation. I did this a year ago on a 2010 unlimited and have not had any trouble even on a trip to the north slope of alaska. radio faded out some in alaska but did better then other radios . at the time Metra did not have a unit that supported all the functions the radio Had, (parking brake switch, back up switch, ect) the jk was just two new, I wired small toggle swityches for thoes functions. Thoes functions all had to do with the video functions of that radio. I used the video as a back up camera, I made a sharks fin for the top back of the hard top to house the camera it is the best place as it is not bothered by lights at night. and questions or need for photo,s just drop a line Mike
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:11 PM   #7
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it is quite a chore. I got the pioneer double din gex-p920xm unit . had to remove part of the bracket in the top back of the dash neer the windshield to get the unit in. had to purchase an adptor from metra (on line nice folks and great support). also purchased their panel kit mad a very professional installation. I did this a year ago on a 2010 unlimited and have not had any trouble even on a trip to the north slope of alaska. radio faded out some in alaska but did better then other radios . at the time Metra did not have a unit that supported all the functions the radio Had, (parking brake switch, back up switch, ect) the jk was just two new, I wired small toggle swityches for thoes functions. Thoes functions all had to do with the video functions of that radio. I used the video as a back up camera, I made a sharks fin for the top back of the hard top to house the camera it is the best place as it is not bothered by lights at night. and questions or need for photo,s just drop a line Mike
Like to see your install
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:13 PM   #8
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Mike, thank you and welcome to the forum. Sure, go ahead and post pics if you can. Would be nice to see the set up.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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shots of my installation. the antenna for the xm was placed in the covering for the roll bars aqns attached to the roll bar just in back of the rear upright inside the vehical and worked well even in upstate alaska.Mike
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:51 AM   #10
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Mike, thats looking good! I visited the Pioneer website and I think the one I like is the Z-1100BT or the Z-1200BT. Dont ask me what the difference is between the two, but the suggested retail for the newer model is suggested cheaper by $200. Go figure.

The radio I choose will have to be symmetrical in looks though. If buttons left, must be buttons right. Most Pioneers are symmetrical in design, but previous double-din models were not. Most buttons off to the left, like your model.

Thanks for posting! Looks like a clean install.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:38 PM   #11
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I quickly replaced my factory radio with a single DIN. In all it took me about 1 hour and it was very simple. It did cost a little more though as you need to buy a special wiring harness.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:44 PM   #12
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did a clarion cx609 double-din in my 2010 by myself. it really isn't too bad. you can unbolt the support bracket, but i still had to mangle it up pretty good with a pipe wrench to get it out.

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Old 11-28-2010, 06:50 PM   #13
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Sinister,

Did you require any aftermarket harnesses or signal converters? How does the Clarion measure up in overall sound quality? Did you keep the factory speakers or did you replace them too?
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:02 PM   #14
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I had the Pioneer AVIC-910BT and I just switched it out for the new Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT.
Both are great radios but I'm a gadget freak and have to have the latest. I'll probably sell my 910 on ebay.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:12 PM   #15
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Sinister,

Did you require any aftermarket harnesses or signal converters? How does the Clarion measure up in overall sound quality? Did you keep the factory speakers or did you replace them too?

The two best DD's are the Pioneer and the Kenwood. Every audio I shop I went to as well as several of my friends who install car stereos say that the Pioneers have the best sound quality. I agree. My brother in law has the Kenwood DNX9960 which is their top of the line DD and my Z120 sounds better. The Ipod/Iphone Interface on the Pioneer blows away the Kenwood.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:46 PM   #16
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Maybe, and the Alpines sound even better. However, kenwoods have better gps (garmin), so there is more than sound quality when you're in a noisy Jeep. It also depends what phone you use and what speakers/amp you're going with. Also, you need a rear camera or rear seat DVD output?
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:12 AM   #17
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everyone will tell you what they bought sounds the best, so really the best advice i can give is go and listen to as many different head unit as you can, then decide for yourself.

i bought through crutchfield and part of what they recommended was this harness: PAC Chrysler Radio Replacement Interface Allows aftermarket radio installation in select 2004-up Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles (model C2R-CHY4) at Crutchfield.com
it was $60 as part of the install kit crutchfield sends you when you buy from them.

i replaced the speakers with a set of memphis 6.5 2 ways. the difference in sound is nothing short of amazing.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:24 AM   #18
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Sinister, I was also looking at the clarion cx609 on Crutchfield. I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on it after I saw how it looked in your picture. I might hit you up with some install questions if I get stuck....thanks for the info.

I'm also replacing dash and bar speakers with Polk Audio db651s 6-1/2"s, hope it sounds nice.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:45 AM   #19
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feel free to ask away if you have any questions.

polk makes a nice speaker, i have used them before. you will be amazed by the terrible quality of the factory speakers. installing 6.5 speakers in the factory locations is a little tricky, but i'd be glad to let you know what i did if you get stuck.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:44 AM   #20
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feel free to ask away if you have any questions.

polk makes a nice speaker, i have used them before. you will be amazed by the terrible quality of the factory speakers. installing 6.5 speakers in the factory locations is a little tricky, but i'd be glad to let you know what i did if you get stuck.

I'm ordering a new stereo and speakers. You mention installing 6.5 speakers in the factory locations is a little tricky. What do I have to look forward to? haha
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:53 AM   #21
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I ended up going with a pioneer DEH-P6200BT head unit and four 6.5" Infinity Reference speakers. Can't wait to get it installed! Crutchfield makes it so easy to be sure you have everything you need and some good sales/coupon codes.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:54 AM   #22
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I'm ordering a new stereo and speakers. You mention installing 6.5 speakers in the factory locations is a little tricky. What do I have to look forward to? haha

ok. standard 6.5 speakers will not bolt right into the sound bar or dash pods. since i wanted my speakers hidden (like the factory stuff), i had to get a little creative.
for the soundbar, i took the trim rings that were included with my speakers, flipped them upside down and popped them up in to the holes in the soundbar where the factory speakers were. they will stay up there because the diameter of the hole in the soundbar is smaller than the trim rings. i took the supplied clips (your speakers should come with trim rings, clips and screws) and put one on each side of the trim ring. then, i held the speaker up in place and carefully started the screws through the mounting holes in the speakers and into the clips on the trim rings, basically sandwiching the soundbar plastic in between the supplied trim ring and the speaker body. once you get the factory stuff out of the way, you'll see what i mean.

the dash pods need to be removed, which really isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. there are threads here and on jk forums detailing the process. it took me 5-10 minutes per side to remove the pods, but i have some experience with audio installation as well.
anyway, once the pods are out, you will see the body of the stock speaker is larger than your aftermarkets. remove the stock and hold you new speakers in place. you will see there is a gap around the speaker body and the opening in the pod. my quick solution was to just drill a couple new pilot holes to mount the aftermarket speakers, leaving a gap at the the bottom of the opening in the pods. you should be able to get 2 or 3 screws in to support the new speakers. i think what i will eventually do is get some thin mdf or sheet metal and make plates that i can fit the speakers to and then screw them into the pods.
sorry i didn't take any pics, i never think to when i do this stuff, lol.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:30 AM   #23
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ok. standard 6.5 speakers will not bolt right into the sound bar or dash pods. since i wanted my speakers hidden (like the factory stuff), i had to get a little creative.
for the soundbar, i took the trim rings that were included with my speakers, flipped them upside down and popped them up in to the holes in the soundbar where the factory speakers were. they will stay up there because the diameter of the hole in the soundbar is smaller than the trim rings. i took the supplied clips (your speakers should come with trim rings, clips and screws) and put one on each side of the trim ring. then, i held the speaker up in place and carefully started the screws through the mounting holes in the speakers and into the clips on the trim rings, basically sandwiching the soundbar plastic in between the supplied trim ring and the speaker body. once you get the factory stuff out of the way, you'll see what i mean.

the dash pods need to be removed, which really isn't as hard as some people make it out to be. there are threads here and on jk forums detailing the process. it took me 5-10 minutes per side to remove the pods, but i have some experience with audio installation as well.
anyway, once the pods are out, you will see the body of the stock speaker is larger than your aftermarkets. remove the stock and hold you new speakers in place. you will see there is a gap around the speaker body and the opening in the pod. my quick solution was to just drill a couple new pilot holes to mount the aftermarket speakers, leaving a gap at the the bottom of the opening in the pods. you should be able to get 2 or 3 screws in to support the new speakers. i think what i will eventually do is get some thin mdf or sheet metal and make plates that i can fit the speakers to and then screw them into the pods.
sorry i didn't take any pics, i never think to when i do this stuff, lol.
Wow, thank you very much for taking the time to write that up! I printed it for the install.
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:35 AM   #24
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no problem, hope i didn't confuse you too much. you'll see what i'm talking about when you get everything apart.
give this a look as well: JK Speaker wire color chart and other helpful data
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #25
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no problem, hope i didn't confuse you too much. you'll see what i'm talking about when you get everything apart.
give this a look as well: JK Speaker wire color chart and other helpful data

Printed and saved, thank a million!
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:46 PM   #26
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C2r-chy4

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everyone will tell you what they bought sounds the best, so really the best advice i can give is go and listen to as many different head unit as you can, then decide for yourself.

i bought through crutchfield and part of what they recommended was this harness: PAC Chrysler Radio Replacement Interface Allows aftermarket radio installation in select 2004-up Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles (model C2R-CHY4) at Crutchfield.com
it was $60 as part of the install kit crutchfield sends you when you buy from them.

i replaced the speakers with a set of memphis 6.5 2 ways. the difference in sound is nothing short of amazing.
Did you have a hard time installing the PAC C2R-CHY4? I got all my stuff from Crutchfield today, I think I am in over my head with the wiring for this interface. I don't have navigation or an amplifier, is the part even required?
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:14 PM   #27
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Will changing only the speakers do the job as well? Or is the 'signal' provided by the stock radio poor quality?

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...once the pods are out, you will see the body of the stock speaker is larger than your aftermarkets...
Isn't it easier just to take larger speakers so they fit in the stock body? Or is this an absolute noob suggestion...?
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:24 PM   #28
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Did you have a hard time installing the PAC C2R-CHY4? I got all my stuff from Crutchfield today, I think I am in over my head with the wiring for this interface. I don't have navigation or an amplifier, is the part even required?
no, it was pretty straight forward. i believe everything was color coded. from what i was told, it was needed to retain various functions (door ajar chime being one). as sensitive as the canbus system seems to be, i wasn't going to risk it.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:29 PM   #29
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Will changing only the speakers do the job as well? Or is the 'signal' provided by the stock radio poor quality?



Isn't it easier just to take larger speakers so they fit in the stock body? Or is this an absolute noob suggestion...?
i did my speakers first and it sounded terrible. there was a ton of bass distortion, so much that i had to turn the bass all the way down. you still won't be able to hear your rear speakers due to the low power output on the rear channel by the factory head unit.

not really, no. for round speakers, 6.5 is as big as they get. next size up is 8" and they are considered subwoofers. it's really not difficult to make them work. if you're still wary, you can get the mopar kicker upgrade speakers which are a direct swap. i haven't heard them personally, though. they're a little pricey for 2 way speakers in my opinion.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:01 AM   #30
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mr. sinister, did you replace your tweeters as well?

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