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Old 02-07-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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2012-13 Wrangler Aftermarket Stereo Install Write-up

Well, I finally got a chance to do some work on a brand new Wrangler Sahara. Since I've been seeing so many requests for various information on the 2012 and 2013 Wranglers, I decided to snap a few pics of the process and do a write-up on here for you all. All the information here should apply to any 2012-13 Wrangler with the upgraded Alpine system without factory navigation, though some of it will also apply to any JK 2007-13. Sorry for the poor quality photo's; I only had my phone with me...

First, you need to gather all the necessary installation parts. All prices listed are standard retail prices, some online shopping can get you better deals if you want.
Dash Kit - Metra 99-6511BB ($19.99) - Comes with both the single-DIN and double-DIN mounting brackets
Wire Harness - Axxess CHTO-013BB ($139.99) - Retains factory amp and creates Retained Accessory Power for your new radio.
AM/FM Antenna Adapter - Metra 40-EU10 ($17.99) - adapts the factory antenna plug to the aftermarket standard connector
Steering Wheel Control Module - Axxess ASWC ($109.99) - retains factory steering wheel controls with your new radio



The owner of this Wrangler decided on a Kenwood DNX-6190HD navigation stereo with HD radio, Bluetooth, and DVD/Video capabilities. He also had me run a back-up camera and connect a smittybuilt inclinometer. He had the factory connectivity package, but I was unable to interface with the factory microphone after a bit of testing; he didn't mind the new bluetooth mic, but beware if this is something you are worried about. There are also lots of other options out there for harnesses and steering wheel control modules... I would recommend the parts listed above for a few reasons:
  1. The CHTO-013BB has the ASWC harness pre-wired into it - there are no additional connections needed to get your steereing wheel controls to work with the new radio.
  2. The ASWC is auto-learning, so it doesn't need to be painstakingly programmed to your Jeep.
  3. The CHTO-013BB has a 4-channel input, meaning you will keep your fade control with the factory amp and an aftermarket stereo.
When the install was all finished, the steering wheel's voice command button did not work with the Kenwood stereo; all other audio buttons worked, and he had volume up/down, track forward/back, change source, and seek forward. If you want to keep the Voice Command button working, most new Pioneer and Alpine stereo's will support the bluetooth commands, though I have not personally confirmed this in a Wrangler; it wasn't a big deal to the owner.

Moving on to the benchwire of the harnesses. It's important to familiarize yourself with the manuals for the wiring harness as well as the new radio. I will go over a few pointers to keep in mind, but I will assume you know how to match wire colors and connect accordingly.
  • The CHTO harness provides a Reverse gear signal output, a Vehicle Speed Sense output, and a Parking brake output in addition to the standard stereo wires. I used the reverse gear output so that the Kenwood would display the back-up screen automatically upon shifting into reverse. The Kenwood unit does not have a VSS input, so that was not used, and I chose to wire the parking brake input of the Kenwood directly to ground to bypass the video interlock.
  • There are two red ACC outputs on the CHTO harness - I used one for the Kenwood's turn on, and the other I split to turn on the ASWC and the back-up camera.
  • The CHTO comes with two vehicle-end connectors - be sure you begin your bench-wire with the correct one for your Jeep. Take the original radio out first and verify which plug you will need.

The CHTO harness/module. The two grey plugs are the vehicle ends; be sure to use the right one!


The CHTO module and the ASWC module plugged in and ready to be wired up


Getting there! The bare ends will connect to the Kenwood's harness


Benchwire complete and ready to be installed!


More to come...

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Old 02-07-2013, 01:12 PM   #2
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Next I will go over how to get the dash apart - it's probably been covered before, but just in case:

Stock setup over-view


Steering Wheel Controls - the main audio buttons are on the back-side of the steering wheel


Start with the top dash pocket area. There is a rubber insert that can be pried up with a panel popper or small screwdriver.


You will then see a single 7mm bolt that needs to be removed


Next, turn your attention to the window switches. A panel popper or small screwdriver will allow you to pop them out of the dash; be careful not to mark or scratch the plastic if you're using a screwdriver!


Unplug and remove the window switches to reveal another 7mm bolt that you need to remove.


Pry off the driver's knee bolster panel starting at the top corners.


You will see two more 7mm bolts behind the panel in the top corners. Yep, remove them too.



Now you can pop the whole radio/guage cluster dash panel off, the rest is just held in place with pressure clips.


Remove the four 7mm bolts holding the radio in, unplug it and chuck that POS as far as you can
If you're installing a double-DIN, you will also need to remove the metal rear support bracket - I forgot to snap a pic of it, but you will see the two 7mm bolts you need to remove to pull it right out. There is no cutting involved with these newer JK dashes, but I did need to file away a little bit of the plastic cross-member directly above the radio to make the new one fit in. Once I installed everything, the 7mm on the top dash pocket didn't have anything to screw into since the metal rear support bar had it's fastener attached to it; other than that, just reverse the steps above to re-assemble.

Here's his Kenwood installed

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Old 02-07-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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The Back-up camera

I mounted the back-up camera on the license plate holder. You will need to take the plate off to reveal two 7mm bolts that need to be removed. On the bottom of the plate holder between it and the bumper, you will see two more 7mm bolts to remove. Then just pull the whole plastic piece directly back toward you to release the two pressure clips still holding it in. Unclip the wiring harness for the light, and bring the whole thing to your work bench.

The plate holder itself is really two pieces of plastic - pry the left side off by releasing the clips on the top and bottom as well as the left side.





Once you get the two pieces apart, you can mock up the camera and route the wire along with the factory light wires. I notched out a bit of plastic in the light mount's corner to allow the camera wires to run inside without getting pinched.





Once you have the wire routed through, snap the two pieces back together and follow the factory wire loom into the tub of the Jeep.



You can reach up into the inner fender of the rear left wheel to feel where the wires run into the tub. If you trace the factory wires up, they make their way into the interior of the tub through a rubber grommet under the carpet. You will need to remove the plastic panel in the left rear corner - pop the seatbelt bezel off and pry the backside panel off to reveal a 10mm nut behind the rollbar. Two torx T25 bolts hold the bottom of the panel and the cargo hooks - remove these two and carefully pry the whole panel off. Move the carpeting to reveal this grommet.



Cut a small slit in the excess rubber and run your camera wires through and up to the radio.

Here are a few pics of the camera mounted:


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Old 02-07-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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I have also been seeing a few requests for the factory amp's wiring. I did not need to do anything with the factory amp during this install, but I did snap a pic of the two amp plugs and verify the wiring for reference. The amp is located directly behind the front left woofer, the plugs can be easily accessed near the OBDII scan tool port.



In the following pin-out list, the large white plug is referred to as C1 and the smaller black plug is C2.

Front Left Woofer + Grey/Violet Pin C2-8
Front Left Woofer - Grey/Yellow Pin C2-16
Front Left Tweeter + Grey/Orange Pin C1-20
Front Left Tweeter - Grey/Yellow Pin C1-9

Front Right Woofer + Dark Green/Violet Pin C2-7
Front Right Woofer - Dark Green/Yellow Pin C2-15
Front Right Tweeter + Grey/Dark Green Pin C1-19
Front Right Tweeter - Grey/Light Green Pin C1-8

Soundbar Left + Grey/Light Green Pin C2-13
Soundbar Left - Grey/Dark Green Pin C2-5
Soundbar Right + Dark Green/Light Green Pin C2-4
Soundbar Right - Dark Green/Grey Pin C2-12

Subwoofer 1 + Grey/Brown Pin C2-14
Subwoofer 1 - Dark Green/Brown Pin C2-6
Subwoofer 2 + Grey/White Pin C2-3
Subwoofer 2 - Dark Green/White Pin C2-11

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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Excellent write-up eboven.

I'm looking for anything on replacing the front two speakers. I've read some threads in the past. I replaced my HU with an Alpine double din and the sound bar speakers with some Polk db651 speakers. Apparently my HU is putting out enough extra juice to seriously distort my front "subs." With moderate bass they're starting to pop so I'd like to replace them.

Without having to go remove one myself, can you tell me if they are indeed intended to be "subwoofers" or are they 2-way speakers? I'm looking for a drop-in replacement with a good low end frequency.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kramer2k View Post
Excellent write-up eboven.

I'm looking for anything on replacing the front two speakers. I've read some threads in the past. I replaced my HU with an Alpine double din and the sound bar speakers with some Polk db651 speakers. Apparently my HU is putting out enough extra juice to seriously distort my front "subs." With moderate bass they're starting to pop so I'd like to replace them.

Without having to go remove one myself, can you tell me if they are indeed intended to be "subwoofers" or are they 2-way speakers? I'm looking for a drop-in replacement with a good low end frequency.
The factory "premium" system is a component setup for the front speakers. I assume you have the Alpine system from factory, and you just replaced the radio leaving the factory amp as is?

If you look at the last post, I listed wire colors and pin positions of the factory amp's output. The front woofer wires only receive mid to low frequencies from the amp, while the tweeter wires only receive high frequencies. When replacing your front speakers, your easiest option is to replace them with an aftermarket component setup like the Polk DXi6500 or something similar. Instead of using the factory amp to drive them, you can run wires directly from your Alpine headunit's front speaker leads to the new speaker's crossover. From the crossover you can chose to either tie into the factory woofer and tweeter wires - bypassing the amp for the front channels, or just run all new wiring.

I hope that sheds some light on that for you - really there are several other options for doing this, I just explained the most direct method.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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Great write up.

Couple of questions:

I noticed you didn't mention Sirius. The install you did, did you ditch the Sirius or did it come over?

Do you know of a steering wheel integration setup that does maintain the VR and Phone features? Is the loss of these features a head unit and/or phone configuration?

Does anyone actually know where the factory mic is?

Did you run any additional usb connections?

I am looking to install the Kenwood DNX9990HD and integrate with the factory amp. But I want to keep my Sirius service. Also, I would like to use the two additional USB ports on the head unit and connect one to the USB port in the center console and run an additional cable to a secondary location.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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I do have the premium system.

If the fronts are a component setup from the factory, what is the benefit of bypassing the stock amp and running the fronts from the HU? If I went with the Polk component set couldn't I just use the stock wires for the front subs and tweeters and still benefit from better speakers and get the crossover from the stock amp?

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Originally Posted by eboven View Post
The factory "premium" system is a component setup for the front speakers. I assume you have the Alpine system from factory, and you just replaced the radio leaving the factory amp as is?

If you look at the last post, I listed wire colors and pin positions of the factory amp's output. The front woofer wires only receive mid to low frequencies from the amp, while the tweeter wires only receive high frequencies. When replacing your front speakers, your easiest option is to replace them with an aftermarket component setup like the Polk DXi6500 or something similar. Instead of using the factory amp to drive them, you can run wires directly from your Alpine headunit's front speaker leads to the new speaker's crossover. From the crossover you can chose to either tie into the factory woofer and tweeter wires - bypassing the amp for the front channels, or just run all new wiring.

I hope that sheds some light on that for you - really there are several other options for doing this, I just explained the most direct method.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:25 AM   #9
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Great write up.

Couple of questions:

I noticed you didn't mention Sirius. The install you did, did you ditch the Sirius or did it come over?

Do you know of a steering wheel integration setup that does maintain the VR and Phone features? Is the loss of these features a head unit and/or phone configuration?

Does anyone actually know where the factory mic is?

Did you run any additional usb connections?

I am looking to install the Kenwood DNX9990HD and integrate with the factory amp. But I want to keep my Sirius service. Also, I would like to use the two additional USB ports on the head unit and connect one to the USB port in the center console and run an additional cable to a secondary location.
My customer didn't want Sirius badly enough to pay the extra money. I did see the satellite antenna connector behind the original stereo, but it probably wouldn't plug into the aftermarket Sirius tuner. If you want Sirius, you would probably need to run a new antenna - the best place for them is under the padding of the roll-bar or soundbar. You won't see the new antenna, so it's usually not a problem for most people.

The Voice command and phone button's functionality is mainly decided by the stereo itself. The Kenwood you are looking at is a bit higher end than the one I installed above, you could call Kenwood and ask them if the radio supports bluetooth commands via steering wheel controls. As I said above, in my experience, most Pioneer and Alpine stereo's will support them; I assume Kenwood is doing the same with their high end units.

The factory mic was in the plastic panels above the driver's front corner of the roll-bar. You will see a little grille there that gives it away. I did try interfacing with the factory mic, but I think Kenwood's mic inputs need to see a specific resistance as it just didn't work.

The DNX6190HD only had one USB input, the owner said he planned on using the Bluetooth Streaming anyway, so he just had me run it to the glovebox. The factory USB in the center console ends up at the hands-free module which is located right behind the climate controls. It's a mini-usb connector with a molex plug formed around it, but with some ingenuity, I am sure it could be adapted to plug into one of the Kenwood's USB inputs.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kramer2k View Post
I do have the premium system.

If the fronts are a component setup from the factory, what is the benefit of bypassing the stock amp and running the fronts from the HU? If I went with the Polk component set couldn't I just use the stock wires for the front subs and tweeters and still benefit from better speakers and get the crossover from the stock amp?
While you *could* do this, certain aspects won't be quite right. The factory amp's outputs are crossed over internally, meaning the crossover is in the amp. The factory crossover points are likely a bit different than the aftermarket speaker setup, so you will probably be blocking certain frequencies that the speakers can handle or letting other potentially damaging frequencies through. Running new wires directly from the new deck's front outputs will provide a full-range signal for the new speaker's crossover to split up between the woofer and tweeter.

Not only that, but the signal quality will be much higher and cleaner coming directly from the aftermarket stereo than it will be traveling through the factory amp. They may call it "premium" but it really is just a cheap amp that Chrysler threw in there to make the average listener more satisfied with the volume levels.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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Thank you for the feedback. I'm leaning towards just running new wires to the crossovers directly from the HU.

So it'd be fine to leave the rears connected to the OEM amp?

I think I'd then regain fading ability by going this route too. I lost fading ability by using the PAC module due to the OEM amp. I think I'd then get it back by running the soundbar with the OEM amp and the fronts directly from the HU.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:53 AM   #12
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eboven,

I am in CO as well, maybe a meet up over a pint would be in order?

Back on topic, if you have the infinty amp, will the canbus flip it's lid if it is pulled from the system? I was thinking about ditching it for something better with better speakers and sub, but everything I have researched says the CANBUS can get pretty grumpy if something is missing from the original setup.

Is there a better amp out there that could be mounted in the same place? My last TJ had a Kenwood headunit with Boston Accoustic amps and speakers and I was very happy with the setup, out side of the lost real estate...

I half hearted looked into picking the components based on compatibility, but the CANBUS issues have made me re-think this...
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:08 PM   #13
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eboven,

I am in CO as well, maybe a meet up over a pint would be in order?

Back on topic, if you have the infinty amp, will the canbus flip it's lid if it is pulled from the system? I was thinking about ditching it for something better with better speakers and sub, but everything I have researched says the CANBUS can get pretty grumpy if something is missing from the original setup.

Is there a better amp out there that could be mounted in the same place? My last TJ had a Kenwood headunit with Boston Accoustic amps and speakers and I was very happy with the setup, out side of the lost real estate...

I half hearted looked into picking the components based on compatibility, but the CANBUS issues have made me re-think this...
As far as I know, you shouldn't have any CANBUS issues from removing the amp - I have done it in many new vehicles that use the CAN system, and haven't had any issues. If your radio is already replaced, you will get much better sound quality ditching the factory amp and replacing it with an aftermarket. The main problem you will run into with this is properly powering the factory sub and speakers; if those have all been replaced as well, than you are good to go. There was quite a bit of room under the dash there (assuming Auto trans), so you should be able to fit a good 5-channel amp there - even if you had to leave the factory amp there for some reason. Most new Class D amps are very small for the power output - I chose an Alpine MRX-V70 to mount under my TJ dash.

If you are fairly local and have a heated garage, just PM me if you need some install help.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by kramer2k View Post
Thank you for the feedback. I'm leaning towards just running new wires to the crossovers directly from the HU.

So it'd be fine to leave the rears connected to the OEM amp?

I think I'd then regain fading ability by going this route too. I lost fading ability by using the PAC module due to the OEM amp. I think I'd then get it back by running the soundbar with the OEM amp and the fronts directly from the HU.
Yes, that's your best bet. I'm not familiar with the PAC module, but if it only uses two channels and you want to retain fade, use the rear channels to feed the PAC and the fronts to run directly to your new speaker's crossover. Just be aware that your factory sub will also drop off if you fade it to the front.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:46 PM   #15
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Yes, that's your best bet. I'm not familiar with the PAC module, but if it only uses two channels and you want to retain fade, use the rear channels to feed the PAC and the fronts to run directly to your new speaker's crossover. Just be aware that your factory sub will also drop off if you fade it to the front.
Ok, I gotcha.

I plan to ditch the factory sub and run a replacement on a mono amp eventually.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #16
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hi, do you know the other plug? do you have the amp wiring of that plug
thanks
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:31 AM   #17
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hi, do you know the other plug? do you have the amp wiring of that plug
thanks
I listed all relevant speaker connections for both plugs at the amp - any wires that you see in those harnesses which I did not list will be of little use to you. The factory amp uses a data signal to be turned on/of as well as carry the audio signal; there is no way to interface with any of it unless you are using a specific-use module...

What are you trying to do? I may be able to shed some more light on the situation if you'd like.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:19 AM   #18
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Well, I am in SE Aurora so not sure we could actually hook up. I do however have an insulated garage, but not heated. lol
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:22 PM   #19
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Nice writeup. Planning on installing a new system in my 13' 2 door soon.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:24 AM   #20
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Nice write up
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:04 AM   #21
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I just finished installing a KENWOOD DNX-6990HD in 13' JK using these instructions and had to respond to say that EBOVEN hit it out of the park. I to was going use the PAC Module for the install but decided to go this route and use the Axxess and Metra parts instead. I was impressed by the ease of setup of the SWC and the dash came apart as shown in the pictures. All items needed were found at the local Best Buy which may not have been the cheapest route but were in stock. Thanks for the excellent write-up EBOVEN.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:59 AM   #22
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I just finished installing a KENWOOD DNX-6990HD in 13' JK using these instructions and had to respond to say that EBOVEN hit it out of the park. I to was going use the PAC Module for the install but decided to go this route and use the Axxess and Metra parts instead. I was impressed by the ease of setup of the SWC and the dash came apart as shown in the pictures. All items needed were found at the local Best Buy which may not have been the cheapest route but were in stock. Thanks for the excellent write-up EBOVEN.
I'm glad it all worked out for you!
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #23
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Great write-up! This will ease my trouble when I decide to do this upgrade.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:22 PM   #24
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Nice write up I'm book marking this for reference. ugghhh the DX6190 makes me cringe. I put that in my old 02 Vette and it was so ridiculously slow it was almost useless.

Only thing holding me back is trying to get over needing $250 in harnesses. I have a base Rubicon.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:13 AM   #25
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I have a 12 with "premium sound".
I've been looking at how to replace the HU with stock amp, I like this setup that can retain the fade control, rather than PAC and Scoshe those so far I've read will lose the fade control.

However, losing the USB in the center console and stock mic is holding me up.
Any picture of the stock usb connector?
And anyone know which HU can use the stock mic?
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #26
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EBOVEN, thanks a ton for this. I used it last night to help install a new Kenwood excellon 997. It is a good clean install but one big problem, the rear speakers are not working at all - no sound. All sound out of the front. I used the XSVI-6522NAV you recommended to me in a different thread because I don't have amp (just had the base system for a '12). I'm guessing I must have just wired it wrong to the kenwood, but I was really careful and am hesitant to uninstall the whole thing just to check when I think I'm going to find I followed the directions correctly. Any other explanation? When radio is playing there is no sound at all coming from rear soundbar speakers. When I turn the fader all the way to rear on the stereo, the sound just disappears completely. Any possible suggestions before I tear this thing apart again are appreciated. So frustrating to think you are done and then have a problem!
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #27
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EBOVEN, nevermind, I think the head unit is bad. Started another thread so please ignore this one, and thanks for the tutorial!
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:20 AM   #28
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can yall help....I have a 2012 rubicon. I can get radio to turn on but now sound but I have the smaller connector I think it has 10 pins and plugs next to the big connector. where do I hook that to. I bought the schoshe kit with the interface. I have no idea where to go from here
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:12 PM   #29
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head unit amp instead of factory amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eboven View Post
The factory "premium" system is a component setup for the front speakers. I assume you have the Alpine system from factory, and you just replaced the radio leaving the factory amp as is?

If you look at the last post, I listed wire colors and pin positions of the factory amp's output. The front woofer wires only receive mid to low frequencies from the amp, while the tweeter wires only receive high frequencies. When replacing your front speakers, your easiest option is to replace them with an aftermarket component setup like the Polk DXi6500 or something similar. Instead of using the factory amp to drive them, you can run wires directly from your Alpine headunit's front speaker leads to the new speaker's crossover. From the crossover you can chose to either tie into the factory woofer and tweeter wires - bypassing the amp for the front channels, or just run all new wiring.

I hope that sheds some light on that for you - really there are several other options for doing this, I just explained the most direct method.
I was wondering if I can bypass the factory amp and use the one from the new headunit... wouldn't that sound better? I was originally planning on using the head units amp and have a separate sub amp which I already have to take some load off the head units amp. How could I wire that?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:15 AM   #30
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Have you guys replaced the stereo on a 2013 with the factory Alpine system?

I talked to the guys at Crutchfield and they say that no one makes a harness that mates up to this new system yet and that the steering wheel controls don't work.

They say that the 2012 system (infinity) was a totally different system. Is this true?

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2013 radio , factory amp , navigation , steering wheel controls

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