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Old 07-21-2019, 12:39 AM
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Best Buy Radio install?

Thinking about getting the Alpine ILX-W650 from Best Buy and while I'm at it they're offering free installation. The radio is $295 and install kit (metra mounts, antenna adapter and Pac interface) is $130. So about $440 total I suppose.

The question is, should I do it myself or let them have at it? I've not installed a radio since 1988, and I've never pulled a Wrangler dash apart.

I'm an electrician by trade, mechanically minded and very capable of doing lots of stuff that I've paid pros to do for me, only to have to come back myself and fix their shit work.

So. Best Buy for the install? Or will the scratches on the dash, rattles over bumps and screws that turn up on the floor mats be enough to not make it worth 'free'?

@Mike-Mike makes it look easy enough for a caveman to do it.

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Old 07-21-2019, 12:58 AM   #2
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Generally, I would recommend against having a big box store do the install. If you don't want to DIY, consider having a reputable brick & mortar audio shop do the work. While it will cost more, the chance of having a happy ending attached without collateral damage goes up exponentially.

I moderated a now-defunct car audio forum for years, was a contributing member there for many more- the number of Best Buy and other big box store audio install horror stories from new members asking what went wrong was alarming.

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Old 07-21-2019, 01:26 AM   #3
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In the early ‘90s Best Buy installed a couple stereos on my vehicles. Did a fine job however....workmanship & service has changed for the worse since that time, at least in my experience. You cited a YouTube vid, while not familiar with that video I’d imagine like most videos it will get you well on your way. I’d say you have an ace up your sleeve with an electrical background. Besides you get the satisfaction of doing the job yourself & correctly. Good luck
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:52 AM   #4
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I did my own audio (HU, 6 speakers+sub, metra, etc.) in my 2016 JKU. The Wrangler dash is really easy to take apart. Since (if) you're not removing the front speakers, it's less of a fight. The most annoying part will probably be wiring; at worst you might have to trim the opening a little for the right fit.

I vote for DIY.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basicxj View Post
Generally, I would recommend against having a big box store do the install. If you don't want to DIY, consider having a reputable brick & mortar audio shop do the work. While it will cost more, the chance of having a happy ending attached without collateral damage goes up exponentially.

I moderated a now-defunct car audio forum for years, was a contributing member there for many more- the number of Best Buy and other big box store audio install horror stories from new members asking what went wrong was alarming.
That's what I was thinking too. Seemed like a dream come true - drop off Jeep in AM, collect 2 hours later then happy trails. I'm sure if they screwed it up and I went back to complain, they'd offer me a refund of 'free'. LOL.

Thanks for your reply!
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locomotive View Post
I did my own audio (HU, 6 speakers+sub, metra, etc.) in my 2016 JKU. The Wrangler dash is really easy to take apart. Since (if) you're not removing the front speakers, it's less of a fight. The most annoying part will probably be wiring; at worst you might have to trim the opening a little for the right fit.

I vote for DIY.
Thank you. @Mike-Mike Has some exemplary videos on Youtube on tearing into the dash.


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Besides you get the satisfaction of doing the job yourself & correctly. Good luck
Absolutely. I think I'll order it from Crotchfelt so I don't have to deal with BB at all.

Thanks guys.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:55 AM   #7
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Do it yourself. Do not chance someone half-assing the job.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:39 AM   #8
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Save some money DIY MIKE-MIKE also has a long thread on the tech forums on how to do installs I did an amazon double din HU and bought the supplies at BB and did it myself first install ever wasn't that hard. That thread over at the tech forums has diagrams of the wiring also for some head units if you run into trouble you can ask overthere for assistance the guys are great....https://www.wranglerforum.com/f202/j...c-1800113.html
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ChuffHugginLoognat View Post
Thank you. @Mike-Mike Has some exemplary videos on Youtube on tearing into the dash.


Absolutely. I think I'll order it from Crotchfelt so I don't have to deal with BB at all.

Thanks guys.
Crotchfelt?

uh, ok.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:50 AM   #10
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My experience with the BB Geek Squad has been limited but good. Nothing on computers (I do that myself and build my own desktops) or auto, but when I bought my 65" QLED TV to replace my plasma, I had them deliver and install it. Now I purchased the wall mount and installed that myself.

They showed up with 4 guys (I think they were training a couple), unboxed and mounted the TV and got it all hooked up and operating (the screen has fiber optic to the display and a separate control box). They then hauled away all the packaging and the old 52" plasma.

I watched them very carefully during the entire process and was pleased with the care they took. I doubt this team would be doing vehicle radio installs, however.

Rather than ask the general forum, you might want to ask local people who would have been customers of your local store, especially if they owned a Jeep JK.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:08 AM   #11
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It all depends on the local store’s installer. I had BB install a pioneer HU, backup camera and sub in mine recently.

When I made the appointment there was an experienced installer that I spoke with that I felt he knew what he was doing and had all the right answers since I had done a lot of research online.

When I arrived for my appointment the experienced tech was not there (he no longer works for BB). Tech that did the install did a good job and I am happy with everything.




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Old 07-21-2019, 10:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfleury32 View Post
It all depends on the local store’s installer. I had BB install a pioneer HU, backup camera and sub in mine recently.

When I made the appointment there was an experienced installer that I spoke with that I felt he knew what he was doing and had all the right answers since I had done a lot of research online.

When I arrived for my appointment the experienced tech was not there (he no longer works for BB). Tech that did the install did a good job and I am happy with everything.




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Your post has touched on part of the problem- "free" installs don't attract the profits needed to pay living wages to the staff, and most of the experienced and quality installers that may have once graced big box stores have left to pursue other opportunities. This has been happening more and more since the late 80's to early 90's.

Unless the install is extremely simple, things can and do go wrong when underpaid staff are doing the work. This ranges from avoidable damage to the vehicle from heavy-handed disassembly, to products that aren't installed or tuned correctly. If things went right for you (and I am glad they did), that is the exception rather than the rule these days.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:10 AM   #13
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I was very surprised at how easy the dash comes off the Jeep and if you are just replacing the head unit you will have no problem doing it yourself.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:27 AM   #14
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With your background I would DIY. I wouldn’t let Best Buy touch my Jeep.


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Old 07-21-2019, 12:59 PM   #15
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Best Buy installed the stereo and speakers in my 2004. They did a fine job.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by n3tfury View Post
Crotchfelt?

uh, ok.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rgreen65 View Post
My experience with the BB Geek Squad has been limited but good. Nothing on computers (I do that myself and build my own desktops) or auto, but when I bought my 65" QLED TV to replace my plasma, I had them deliver and install it. Now I purchased the wall mount and installed that myself.

They showed up with 4 guys (I think they were training a couple), unboxed and mounted the TV and got it all hooked up and operating (the screen has fiber optic to the display and a separate control box). They then hauled away all the packaging and the old 52" plasma.

I watched them very carefully during the entire process and was pleased with the care they took. I doubt this team would be doing vehicle radio installs, however.

Rather than ask the general forum, you might want to ask local people who would have been customers of your local store, especially if they owned a Jeep JK.
Good info, thank you. Don't know about tracking Jeep owners down that had the local BB install a radio or similar, that'd be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Most people around here suffer from affluenza (I was immunized at birth) and probably only have top dollar factory radios.
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2018 JKU Golden Eagle. M/T. Picked up 7.8.19
2018 JKUR white, M/T. Picked up 5.25.18. Sold Feb 19 big mistake.
2016 JKUWW Blue manual. Picked up 5.24.16. Sold 10.2.17
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:52 PM   #18
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Do it yourself. With the manuals, directions, you tube and everything available, you really can't fail. Take your time, be patient, and it'll come back to you. And, if something goes wrong later, you'll know how to fix it.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:25 AM   #19
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Doing an upgrade on the jeep was really easy. I have installed car stereos in pretty much every car i have ever owned.

PAC harnesses make a world of difference. So far I am quite pleased with the 430 that came with my JLUWW. I know everyone hates this unit but if you are not going add amps and swap out all the speakers, why swap out the deck?

So far I have added the back up Camera harness and the Amp harness to add a sub in the back and swapped out my overhead and dash speakers with Kickers. Remote start too.

I bought mine with no sub because of the placement of the sub in a 2016. I wanted it on the side like the -2015 models instead.

If you have ever done a car stereo in the past, this is a whole lot easier than the old days. Youtube is your friend when it comes to opening up the dash. I can do it in 2 minutes now.

Ken

PS. If you want a challenge put 9 speakers, 1200 watts in a 1974 corvette. There is no room in there for the equipment never mind the space needed to get your body inside that car to do the actual install.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:31 AM   #20
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I do a lot of wrench turning on my own but when I went to install the new head unit, the wiring was a pain. Ended up taking it to Best Buy and they did a great job.

They're offering a free service and couldn't make it more simple. I'd just drop it off and drive home with my new tunes when they finished up.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:51 AM   #21
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IF you get it from Crutchchfield with their wiring harness it should be a simple plug and play install. I would DIY and actually am planning on installing that same Alpine head unit myself next month along with an Alpine Power Pack amp.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:01 AM   #22
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I did my own install, its really not hard at all today.
Everything, doesn't matter if you get it from Crutchfield or not, is mostly plug and play.
Although the Crutchfield wiring harnesses are no longer free and included, they are suggested.
Speaker adapters are free but actual Head Unit Harnesses are not free.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:06 AM   #23
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Do it yourself. Do not chance someone half-assing the job.
As an American he has the God-given right to half-ass it himself.

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Old 07-22-2019, 11:14 AM   #24
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IMO it boils down to want/desire -vs- Time. It's "free" so there's that BUT you have the ability.
IF you have the time and would enjoy it.... go for it.

otherwise, stop by BB and see how the shop looks. If it has grown-ups working there with onsite management -vs- a bunch of hoodlums with their pants down around their ass - maybe PASS.

Either way have fun!
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:48 AM   #25
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IMO it boils down to want/desire -vs- Time. It's "free" so there's that BUT you have the ability.
IF you have the time and would enjoy it.... go for it.

otherwise, stop by BB and see how the shop looks. If it has grown-ups working there with onsite management -vs- a bunch of hoodlums with their pants down around their ass - maybe PASS.

Either way have fun!
Made me think of

RubiconSS, cadman99 and screwlose like this.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:56 AM   #26
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I had a Sony unit installed in my daughter's Patriot at Best Buy. No problems at all. The price was right - free.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:01 PM   #27
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Made me think of

Fine looking group..... Girl on the right takin' a dump (pants still up Ooops!)
Girl on the left looks a little.... stiff?
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:41 PM   #28
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It depends on the location and staff, but I'd DIY even if it's free. You could also try a local shop that specializes in car audio, they may match the Best Buy offer. Crutchfield also offers to pre-wire your harness and adapter for around $25: I haven't tried this service, but plan on testing it out when I swap head units.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:59 PM   #29
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(4) 7mm screws take the dash off on a JK, (4) 7mm screws hold in the radio. That's about the extent of the disassembly.

You might have to mess with the back bracket. Many just pull it out, I cut the bottom ears off of mine so I still had the top screw mount.

I used a PAC module for my Pioneer install, but the iDatalink Maestro is also a good choice. If you have the Alpine system, it's a bit harder but not that much more. Get the Scosche or Metra bracket set and the Metra antenna adapter and go for it.

It took me about 3 hours total and that included adding a backup camera and the wiring to manually turn on the camera separate from actually using reverse and programming the PAC. I used to install car stereos when I was a kid but that was a long time ago and a bunch of things have changed.
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:13 PM   #30
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I have had it done at Best Buy and I have it done at a custom stereo shop and I really don’t see a difference. The guy at BB was awesome and knowledgeable. I guess it all depends on who is installing it. Mine was free when I bought my unit and I payed like $87 for wires and cables. Lifetime guarantee.

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