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Old 09-03-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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JK Stereo Upgrade - requesting feedback!

Hi All,

After hours of research forum posts (such as this one), Crutchfield, etc., I'm putting together a plan to upgrade the sound in my JK (with factory Alpine system). I have a few questions (listed at the end), and I'd appreciate any useful feedback before I throw down a few hundred $$$ to get this rolling.

I already upgraded the speakers (roll bar and dash) to Polk 651s, and I have a Sound Ordnance powered sub from my previous vehicle that will fit inside the seat cover of the back seat (I'm trying to go stealth for security purposes). I'm not looking for major sound, just something with more clarity and warmth than the factory system (especially with the top off).



This is what I have planned:I have the following questions:
  1. Double din kit: Is the 95-6511 the correct double din kit? I've seen posts that mention the 99-6511, and Scosche (didn't list specific part number). I want one that won't require any major mods to the dash. If you've used any of these kits, please provide pics of the installed stereo.
  2. Speaker wiring: I'll eventually add a 4-channel amp, but for now, I'll use the head unit to drive the dash and roll bar speakers (I'm assuming the head unit will sound cleaner than the factory amp). Can I tie into the speaker wire immediately downstream of the factory amp (to save the work of rewiring all speakers)? I realize I'll lose the factory sub this way, but that's fine since I'm adding the powered sub.
  3. Wiring harness: Do I need a wiring harness? Crutchfield says I'll need the PAC RP4-CH11 or PAC C2R-CHY4 "to retain the factory amp", and I've seen references to the Axxess CHTO-013, but I don't think I'll need any of these since I'm bypassing the factory amp. Do these harnesses have other critical connections? I.e., can I get an accessory power turnon lead, dimmer signal, etc. without a harness (it seems silly to pay $80 for a few misc. connections)? Can I connect the ASCW (for steering wheel controls) without using one of these harnesses? If I do need a harness, will other connections still work if I bypass the speaker connections on the harness?
  4. Bluetooth: Will I need any other adapter for Bluetooth connectivity? I've read that there is no way to maintain the factory bluetooth hardware (voice button on the steering wheel, microphone, etc.); is this still the case?
  5. Antenna extension: Will I need an antenna extension cable? Crutchfield says I'll need one, but I've seen reports of these cables messing with reception. Also, why would I need an extension when I'm mountain the head unit in the same place as the factory HU?
  6. (Down the road) 4-channel amp: Does anyone know the dimensions of the factory amp? When I get around to adding a 4-channel amp (like the Kenwood KAC-2404S), I'd like to mount it where the factory amp currently resides. Will removing the factory amp have any consequences (will it disable the streering wheel controls or mess with anything else)? Also, to avoid needing to tear the dash apart when I'm ready to add the amp, can I connect RCA cables to the pre-amp outputs now? (I'm not sure if the head unit will disable sound from the internal amp if it detects that RCA cables are connected.)
Thanks for the feedback!

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Old 09-03-2013, 04:09 PM   #2
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1. 95-6511 is the one I used, I think. 99-6511 looks like a single DIN kit.

2. Yes

3. Not really, but it makes life easier. CHY4 is the harness only, RP4-CH11 gives you SWC as well. You can connect directly to the factory wiring if you like but it makes it a lot harder to revert to stock; I'd spend the extra. If you go SWC you'll need a harness because it incorporates a protocol converter, you can't just wire CANbus directly to your HU.

4. No adapter needed, but I don't think you can retain any of the factory hardware.

5. Because Chrysler have their own specific plug on the end of the aerial cable, so you'll need a converter to be able to plug it into the head unit.

6. It's about 8x6, it's possible that you may be able to put an aftermarket amp in there (some people seem to have done it) but I found it to be too much of a PITA to bother. The Kenwood you link certainly won't fit in there (also Kenwood amps suck balls). There's no reason why you can't connect your RCAs now, just make sure you tape the ends.

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Old 09-03-2013, 09:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woansleftpeg View Post
1. 95-6511 is the one I used, I think. 99-6511 looks like a single DIN kit.

2. Yes

3. Not really, but it makes life easier. CHY4 is the harness only, RP4-CH11 gives you SWC as well. You can connect directly to the factory wiring if you like but it makes it a lot harder to revert to stock; I'd spend the extra. If you go SWC you'll need a harness because it incorporates a protocol converter, you can't just wire CANbus directly to your HU.

4. No adapter needed, but I don't think you can retain any of the factory hardware.

5. Because Chrysler have their own specific plug on the end of the aerial cable, so you'll need a converter to be able to plug it into the head unit.

6. It's about 8x6, it's possible that you may be able to put an aftermarket amp in there (some people seem to have done it) but I found it to be too much of a PITA to bother. The Kenwood you link certainly won't fit in there (also Kenwood amps suck balls). There's no reason why you can't connect your RCAs now, just make sure you tape the ends.
Thanks for the info, woansleftpeg. I think I'll shell out money for the RP4-CH11 harness to make life easier. By doing this, will I still need the Axxess Metra ASWC-1? Or are these capabilities built in to the RP4-CH11?
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:01 AM   #4
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CH11 will do everything you need.
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