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Old 10-15-2010, 09:58 PM   #1
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Putting an aftermarket head unit in a JK?

Don't know if this is the right place or the electronics forum, but I figured more people would see it here.

I have a 2010 with the standard audio system (not Infinity). I have upgraded the speakers and now I'm ready to do the head unit. When I get everything set up on Crutchfield's site, it pops up saying that I MAY need a $70 adapter to make the radio work, because there is no Accessory power at the factory head unit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't I only need ACC power if I planned to add an amp or had the Infinity system with the external amp?
I'm hesitant to ask Crutchfield, since they're trying to sell me something, so I figured I'd check with the guys who have done this themselves.

Thanks!!

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Old 10-16-2010, 07:57 AM   #2
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Don't know if this is the right place or the electronics forum, but I figured more people would see it here.

I have a 2010 with the standard audio system (not Infinity). I have upgraded the speakers and now I'm ready to do the head unit. When I get everything set up on Crutchfield's site, it pops up saying that I MAY need a $70 adapter to make the radio work, because there is no Accessory power at the factory head unit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't I only need ACC power if I planned to add an amp or had the Infinity system with the external amp?
I'm hesitant to ask Crutchfield, since they're trying to sell me something, so I figured I'd check with the guys who have done this themselves.

Thanks!!
If this is true^^, which I'm not exactly certain of there meaning of acc. power, it may be a good idea to add it while your in there.
Basically, they're saying that there's no hot tap for anything other than the stereo??(key switched)

When I upgraded the stereo in my WJ, I had the shop add all the usb and other "stuff" while the dash was out.(IPod, usb cables)

Please keep me posted on this, at some point, I'm gonna replace the head unit in mine.(although the place that I've bought stereos has done lots of JK upgrades) I'd like to do this one myself.

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Old 10-16-2010, 08:15 AM   #3
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I just updated my head unit. 2007 JK 2dr. I got mine from sonicelectronix.com they give a less expensive wiring adapter. All you have to do is run the red acc wire down to the cig lighter. its pretty easy. pm me with any ?'s
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:21 AM   #4
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By running the red wire to the red wire (has inline fuse) to the cig lighter it gets the power it needs and continues to run the stereo when key is off until the doors are opened. here's a link with some good info and pics... Alpine IVA-W205 Stereo Head Unit install - JkOwners.com - The Community for Jeep JK 4x4 Owners After you are done installing stereo your compass my stick no sweat just do a manual calibration as in the owners manual.
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Old 10-16-2010, 08:53 AM   #5
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awesome, thanks for the info!!
i had read that not using the $$ harness can mess with the canbus system (which is maybe the most ridiculous PITA thing i think i've ever seen). so everything in your jeep still works like it's supposed to after just running a jumper off the cig lighter?
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:57 AM   #6
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The adapter makes things a fair bit easier. Running the head unit off the accessory wire at the lighter MAY pop fuses from time to time, which gets annoying. The adapter works nicely, although it takes up a fair bit of space. Necessary? No. Helpful? Quite- Mark W.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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There doesn't look like much of a difference between the cheaper harness and the one that interfaces with everything when i buy the head unit at the same time from Crutchfield or Sonic Electronix........
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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Every thing works as before. My stereo even stays on until the door opens (with the Keys off)
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:01 PM   #9
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I took the harness from stereo and harness from sonixelectronix and spliced them together on the work bench, there will be one wire (red) left over from stereo harness. I then took apart dash (fowling the link earlier in thread) and put in stereo. I took the red wire and fed it down to the cig lighter and spliced it into the wire coming directly of the back. taped it up. and buttoned every thing back up and wala your done. took about 45 min.
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Old 10-16-2010, 02:20 PM   #10
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I have read that the cig. lighter is the only safe place to tap into on the canbus system.

Isn't the factory plug wired to do the same thing?
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:09 PM   #11
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thanks dbar. i had the radio out once already, so i know what i'm doing there. but i do plan on doing a dual-din head unit, which from what i've read is a tad trickier with having to cut one of the dash supports. doesn't look too bad, i'm sure i've done worse!!
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:54 PM   #12
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No problem. Shoot me a pm when your done or if you got any more?s.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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So I ordered everything from Crutchfield this morning...........
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:48 AM   #14
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Probably the smart thing to do. I put my alpine H/U in a month or so back and used the adapter from Crutchfield. Same adapter at Best Buy was over $130. It is basically just a wiring harness specific to the newer Jeep models since they are now running the same setup as Chrysler. I talked with both Crutchfield and Best Buy as well as a local installer and they all recommended using the actual harness. It does take up some space, but there are a couple places to tuck it into.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:05 AM   #15
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yep, i figured the heck with it and just got the harness. hopefully i can get everything to fit in there with the dual-din radio!!
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:29 PM   #16
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I bought my wife a double din from crutchfield very helpful got a good price .if you do decide to the dd there's a metal bracket in the back of head unit that's tricky to get out took me about twenty mins to get out .it was a nice install all kinds of room once the bracket was out . I put the AVH- p3200bt pioneer wires very happy good luck
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:31 AM   #17
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I bought my wife a double din from crutchfield very helpful got a good price .if you do decide to the dd there's a metal bracket in the back of head unit that's tricky to get out took me about twenty mins to get out .it was a nice install all kinds of room once the bracket was out . I put the AVH- p3200bt pioneer wires very happy good luck
thanks.
i read about a DD install on another jeep board and the guy had just cut that bracket out. can it be unbolted?
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:14 AM   #18
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It can be unbolted, but it's a pain in the ass. If it was on JKO, that was probably my thread Just cut it- save you a LOT of headaches! It's (for no good reason) rather thick metal, so it won't bend easily, and there's NO room in there to wiggle it out without cutting either the bracket, or plastic- Mark W.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:41 AM   #19
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i think it was. great write-up!! it will definitely serve as a nice point of reference.
how thick is it? can i cut it with tin snips? i'm a little wary of using my sawzall on the dash and that close to the windshield.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:26 PM   #20
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Hmm- I used my 3" angle grinder, which was a bit hairy. If you have a Dremel, that would do it. Beware molten metal! Hand tools likely won't cut it, though- Mark W.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:19 PM   #21
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It wiggled out with a little patience .didn't want metal shaving falling down behind the controls
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:29 PM   #22
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Ditto on wiggling/bending it out. Didn't take long. If I remember right there were 2 bolts I had to remove first.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:32 PM   #23
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Yeh two low in the corners 7 mm two on top I'll have to post pic of wifes radio just did Sirius this afternoon
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:52 PM   #24
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^ You guys are more patient than I. Also, the dealership I bought it from had attached the Lojack GPS unit back there, so my headache was a bit trickier- Mark W.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:15 PM   #25
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looking at the THOROUGH instructions from Crutchfield, it looks like removing the bar, which is actually a cage, simply requires the removal of 4 small screws that look easy to get to in the pictures.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #26
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It always, always looks easy in the pictures...lol
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:39 AM   #27
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^ Very true, right there Mark W.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:01 AM   #28
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well, my tool set is mighty, lol.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:39 PM   #29
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did the install earlier. the bracket that needed to be removed was definitely the hardest part, but after some convincing, it came out just a little mangled.

it really is a tight fit with a double-din head unit. i had to jam as much wiring as i could to either side of the unit. the harness from crutchfield was pretty cut and dry and everything still works as it should. i did not need to tap into the cigarette lighter at all. the unit still stays powered until the doors are opened. the metra double-din dash kit looks nice, but could stand to be made of some less flexible plastic. the ears that bolt to the factory radio locations bend a bit under pressure. it doesn't look like it will be an issue, however.

i went with the clarion cx609 head unit as i have come to love the sound quality from clarion's stuff. what they lack in looks, they more than make up for in sound quality. i had the next step down (cx400) in my previous 2 cars, so this one with its little extra power and more sound control tweaks, matched with the memphis 6.5 speakers i had previously installed really sounds great. no amp needed, i can't imagine not hearing the music crystal clear at and speed a jeep is capable of with the top down.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:42 AM   #30
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So I ordered everything from Crutchfield this morning...........
What is thé part number you ordered on thé Crutchfield site?

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