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Old 04-23-2019, 12:32 PM
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Alpine ILX w650 install and review

Like so many I was tired of the Stock Head unit in my Jeep, sound while not bad (factory Alpine upgrade) I knew could be better, Uconnect had to go, would like to add Android Auto for many reasons etc etc etc.
I was on the fence about getting a i207-WRA for the better part of 2yrs, $1k is a bit of money when there are many other accessories fighting for my pocket change.
Enter the w650, available for UNDER $400, without the needed installation parts.
I can totally see another "kit" getting put together like the 207-wra which is an ilx-207 with all the needed parts to install in a Wrangler.

Part #1, Wiring
I went with a PAC PR4-CH11 $80



It may look like a spaghetti disaster but follow the directions and follow the color codes and its not bad, Black to Black, Yellow to Yellow, Red to Red, Stripes to Stripes, Solids to Solids.
This keeps the Steering Wheel Controls and integrates with my factory Alpine Amp.
You do lose front to back fading as you do with just about all aftermarket headunits while still using a factory amp.

#1-B FM Antenna Adapter Metra 40 EU-10 $6
#1-C USB Adapter for Uconnect in center console $6
#1-D Microbypass to get full access while driving or not need to use EBrake $15

#2 Dash kit to screw it down, Metra 95-6511 $9

Being a Sirius Sub and living in Maine, lack of FM in some remote areas
#3 Sirius SXV300v1 $36

Total from Amazon was under $450 for everything.
Plugging it all in and enjoying the sweet sound, think Foreigner Jukebox Hero...
Priceless...

Its been long known that the issue with any Jeep Sound system in the entire Jeep line are Dodge/Chrysler/FCA crap Decks.
You can add all the Amps/Subs/Crossovers/DSPs you want but with the Stock Headunit you are still going to have issues.
This is not only louder, by far, but importantly sounds better at any volume.
Best I can explain is and old Cassette thats been played 5000 times to a CD.
I had heard the Restyle kits at a few Jeep events with the Factory Alpine System and talked with the Sales people there and all the Restyle is is a new Headunit, Amps Speakers and Subs are options that you can add on.
Yes you do get obd2 readouts, tire psi, error codes, doors open or closed, etc etc, I also have EVIC and a Bluethooth obd reader, do I need any of that in a radio?
Hearing just the difference in a non-amped Restyle system I knew I wanted one someday, but $2k+ for a i209 or $1k+ for a i207... no thanks.

So I was able to get it all wired last night while it was raining.
Had 2 minor issues that I can work out.
The microbypass did not seem to do anything but turn on, its supposed to switch on and off to simulate the Hand Brake, I'll return or buy a new one.
The USB in the center console didn't work for Android Auto.
It worked great when I test fit everything till I added the adapter and the center console.
I'll return the adapter and see if there is anything else I can find, there were a few reviews that pointed out there may be issues.
It charges but thats it which points to data pins not wired correctly.

A few dark pics as I was figuring everything out




Being a "Mechless" Media Headunit it is really small.
Here is a side view with a key for reference



Here is video of the turn on and response of the capacitive touch screen
Its a simple interface, no animations or fancy menus but its all very quick and easily laid out

https://bit.ly/2IBZA1I

I am going to play with the start up splash screen and see what I can do to personalize it a little.
The different menu screens I'm fine with, the icons, the button colors all work and no need to change for me.

tl;dr... great sound for little money
Easily expandable with 4v preouts front rear and subs
Front and Rear cam capable
Wired ACP/AA

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Old 04-25-2019, 04:09 PM   #2
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Looks like you can get everything from Crutchfield for about $369. But they are out of stock at the moment. I really leaning to this radio. Seems to be the cheapest way to get a backup cam.

Do you have steering controls and how are they working with the PAC RP4-CH11 Wiring Interface?

Thanks for the input.

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Old 04-25-2019, 04:39 PM   #3
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Looks like you can get everything from Crutchfield for about $369. But they are out of stock at the moment. I really leaning to this radio. Seems to be the cheapest way to get a backup cam.

Do you have steering controls and how are they working with the PAC RP4-CH11 Wiring Interface?

Thanks for the input.
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:40 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum.
Thanks, I ended up with 2015 Wrangler Sport (Freedom edition). Has some nice upgrades, but the radio wasn't one of them. Uconnect just does not play well with iPhones. After the Radio and backup cam, I have so much I want to upgrade.
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:38 AM
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Looks like you can get everything from Crutchfield for about $369. But they are out of stock at the moment. I really leaning to this radio. Seems to be the cheapest way to get a backup cam.

Do you have steering controls and how are they working with the PAC RP4-CH11 Wiring Interface?

Thanks for the input.

Full Steering Controls and you can actually reprogram them all to do exactly what you want, thats what the PAC RP4 was actually designed to do.


I did get in a new microbypass and tested it with a multimeter first and looks like this one actually works, hopefully it'll also fix my android auto issue.
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Old 04-26-2019, 04:06 PM   #6
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Full Steering Controls and you can actually reprogram them all to do exactly what you want, thats what the PAC RP4 was actually designed to do.


I did get in a new microbypass and tested it with a multimeter first and looks like this one actually works, hopefully it'll also fix my android auto issue.
Sweet, I'm going to pull the trigger. Thank you!
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:48 PM   #7
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Another quick question, if you don't mind. I have seen other people do Radio install on youtube where they have to modify the dash on the jeep. basically cutting about a 1/2 inch on the top to make the radio fit.

Did you have to modify the dash at all for the install?
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:07 AM
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Another quick question, if you don't mind. I have seen other people do Radio install on youtube where they have to modify the dash on the jeep. basically cutting about a 1/2 inch on the top to make the radio fit.

Did you have to modify the dash at all for the install?
Yep you'll see some just cut the cross bar at the top totally out, you really don't want to do that.
There are two sides to the top cross bar, think like a piece of Angle Iron you might find at a hardware store.
The front vertical part of that cross bar will need to be trimmed to fit a Standard Double Din, its pretty soft plastic I used a Pocket knife and just took my time, other than that no other permanent mods.
Its maybe 1/4 of an inch, you don't see it once the dash is back together.

I left the rear metal frame in that the top screw from the top Dash pocket goes into, for the 67 Designs users out there.
Since this headunit is so shallow it doesn't even come close to the rear bracket.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:55 PM   #9
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Thank you again. I have it on back order. I did get the microbypass today, and I order the backup cam from Quadratec. I'll try to shoot some video for Youtube when it gets all in and post it here.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:14 AM
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My 1st microbypass had an audible click, which I thought was a good sign but it didn't pulse any of the outputs at all, which it needs to to access the full menus.
My 2nd one now is completely silent and works as it should.

Wire the Black to Black, Blue\White to Blue\White, and Yellow\Blue from micro to headunit only not to the wire harness to the Jeep.
Yellow\Blue should start at 12v at turn on then ground, pulse a 12v and back to ground to simulate turning the ebrake on\off\on.

Take your time don't get flustered you'll enjoy the outcome I'm sure of it.
If you don't have the factory Alpine Amp there is a great little addon you can throw on the back of the w650, the KTA-450 and you get real 50watts to 4 full channels.
All still inside of the dash, no amps under a seat or back with a sub box.
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:47 PM   #11
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Exactly what options can you not access without the microbypass?
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:10 AM
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Exactly what options can you not access without the microbypass?

Its easier to say what you CAN do WITHOUT the bypass, change the Audio Source and Stations, Volume and simple sound settings EQ Presets and Bass and Treble, its same with all the Alpine Touch screen headunits.


To configure a Phone for ACP/AA, to set the clock, to do any of the advanced sound settings set crossovers, time correction, Media Xpander (which I highly recommend)... all things you really shouldn't do while driving which is why they lock them out you'll need to hookup to your EBrake or install a bypass.
All touchsreen headunits are going to have things locked out, its nothing new and its only going to get tighter and tighter.
Sad part is it doesn't help with bad drivers, just yesterday I had someone just about turn right into me, zero turn signal, zero warning just lane hopped like it was nothing, we were less than a foot away from touching.
Thank you to my dashcam if anything did happen I'd have it all on video.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:17 PM   #13
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Placed my order, along with a PWE-S8. I haven't done an installation in close to 15 years, so this could get interesting...
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:47 PM   #14
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Mine is on the way! Should have it tomorrow. I got bored and installed the backup cam. So all I have left is the radio install. I'll update here as soon as I get it installed.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:43 AM
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Placed my order, along with a PWE-S8. I haven't done an installation in close to 15 years, so this could get interesting...

I know right where you're at, I started my audio addiction in '96
Its actually gotten much easier and you don't have to rely on Crutchfield like days past
I still love em for all their Master Sheets and info but everything is plug an play or just match up the colors and go

I hope to keep this all simple and mostly stock with the factory Alpine amp but who knows in a year or two
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:08 PM   #16
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I know right where you're at, I started my audio addiction in '96
Its actually gotten much easier and you don't have to rely on Crutchfield like days past
I still love em for all their Master Sheets and info but everything is plug an play or just match up the colors and go

I hope to keep this all simple and mostly stock with the factory Alpine amp but who knows in a year or two

Crutchfield was the greatest thing since sliced bread, back in the day. I may be dating myself, but my first radio involved cutting the factory harness off and hard wiring it to the radio...
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:23 PM   #17
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All installed. Here a pic. The video will take some time. maybe this weekend.

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Old 05-09-2019, 07:36 AM
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All installed. Here a pic. The video will take some time. maybe this weekend.


Looks good, any issues?
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:01 AM   #19
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All installed. Here a pic. The video will take some time. maybe this weekend.


Looks good, any issues?
No issues. Took my time so I ran out of daylight. I have to readjust the mount a little on the left side to be even with the right.

I’m not impressed with the sound so far. The factory unit sounded fuller. This one lacks lows and bass. But I haven’t messed that much with the eq. So I’ll do that after work today.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:08 AM
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Deff check the Crossover points, I have mine set pretty low with the steepest cutoff 25hz I think, I'll check
Then look for MX or media Xpander, its Alpine's version of the old Loudness button
Setup\Sound\Advanced then the more arrows after TCR
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:02 PM   #21
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I got it to sound a little better, but I still think the factory radio had more bass. It's like they have a high pass filter set for the fronts and rear speakers that I can't disable. I have the lowes set up all the way in the eq.

Another question, did your install have a big lip on the bottom? Like this?
https://i.imgur.com/N54Wk7e.jpg

I will have to modify the Dash Kit to push the radio forward. I Might look into another kit. this one was the Metra 95-6511 Dash Kit.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:17 AM   #22
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I got it to sound a little better, but I still think the factory radio had more bass. It's like they have a high pass filter set for the fronts and rear speakers that I can't disable. I have the lowes set up all the way in the eq.

Another question, did your install have a big lip on the bottom? Like this?
https://i.imgur.com/N54Wk7e.jpg

I will have to modify the Dash Kit to push the radio forward. I Might look into another kit. this one was the Metra 95-6511 Dash Kit.
I have the i207-WRA and feel the same. Even with an amp, the bass on the 430 using basically the same amp produced better bass/low tones (expect at higher speeds.)
One thing I don't like about this Alpine. Even with crossovers set on Alpine recommendation, I barley get low-mid bass lows. Why a powered sub or a regular sub is even more needed now.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:06 AM
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I got it to sound a little better, but I still think the factory radio had more bass. It's like they have a high pass filter set for the fronts and rear speakers that I can't disable. I have the lowes set up all the way in the eq.

Another question, did your install have a big lip on the bottom? Like this?
https://i.imgur.com/N54Wk7e.jpg

I will have to modify the Dash Kit to push the radio forward. I Might look into another kit. this one was the Metra 95-6511 Dash Kit.

Check the Crossovers for sure you can set them for full pass, its the tab just before the EQ.


I have a gap at the bottom more than a lip, and I used the very same Dash Kit.
Its known to have its issues, one reason a few wanted the i207 as it came with a specific metal kit and I can't find who made it and I've tried.
One trick is to remove a bottom edge to the ears that mount to the sides of the radio, that may be what is pushing the dash out from the inside.
Also there are two clips that should clip into the side ears, make sure those both snapped in.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:52 AM   #24
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Tried flat too, nothing.

You can buy the brackets.
I have another pair I can sell to someone


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Old 05-10-2019, 10:41 AM   #25
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I got it to sound a little better, but I still think the factory radio had more bass. It's like they have a high pass filter set for the fronts and rear speakers that I can't disable. I have the lowes set up all the way in the eq.

Another question, did your install have a big lip on the bottom? Like this?
https://i.imgur.com/N54Wk7e.jpg

I will have to modify the Dash Kit to push the radio forward. I Might look into another kit. this one was the Metra 95-6511 Dash Kit.

Check the Crossovers for sure you can set them for full pass, its the tab just before the EQ.


I have a gap at the bottom more than a lip, and I used the very same Dash Kit.
Its known to have its issues, one reason a few wanted the i207 as it came with a specific metal kit and I can't find who made it and I've tried.
One trick is to remove a bottom edge to the ears that mount to the sides of the radio, that may be what is pushing the dash out from the inside.
Also there are two clips that should clip into the side ears, make sure those both snapped in.
I207 parts are here. http://www.pacparts.com/model.cfm?mf...de=auto&back=0
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:15 PM   #26
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Check the Crossovers for sure you can set them for full pass, its the tab just before the EQ.


I have a gap at the bottom more than a lip, and I used the very same Dash Kit.
Its known to have its issues, one reason a few wanted the i207 as it came with a specific metal kit and I can't find who made it and I've tried.
One trick is to remove a bottom edge to the ears that mount to the sides of the radio, that may be what is pushing the dash out from the inside.
Also there are two clips that should clip into the side ears, make sure those both snapped in.
It Looks like the i207 buttons on the bottom extend out further than the w650, closing that gap on the bottom. I don't think the I207 mounting hardware will help with that.

I did read the instructions on the dash kit and it has two sets of ears. I used the wide ones thinking it will look better, but the instructions state the narrow ones are for short noise radios. I think the w650 is short noise. So I'm going to switch it out today to see if it closes the gap.

My Crossover is set to flat and bass all the way up, still barely any mid-lows and bass.

I was going to return this one and get the ilx-207, Same radio as the i207-war, but you can save like $250, but Dirt Boy kina of scaring me away from that one if it has the same lows and bass issues. I don't have the factory amplified or subwoofer system on my jeep.

I love the features of this radio, and I have a 3d-printer, and with time I could create a custom dash kit. But I'm not loving the sound. I don't see any good ways to add a subwoofer on a 2 door jeep without dishing out a lot of money for the JBL stealth kit, or losing space, which I use. I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:56 PM
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I'm def going to try the USB adapter there, only issue I have was using the center console USB, not really a deal beaker for me but would be nice to have.
I may try the brackets to to get a better fit.


For lows you will need to at least replace the drop in with say kickers but really without a sub you are not going to get very low at all.
Look for a salvage yard that you could pick and pull the new sub out of the floor in the back, only takes up the hidden storage space under the carpet.
And with it bolted into the floor you feel it thru the whole jeep.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:05 PM   #28
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I'm def going to try the USB adapter there, only issue I have was using the center console USB, not really a deal beaker for me but would be nice to have.
I may try the brackets to to get a better fit.


For lows you will need to at least replace the drop in with say kickers but really without a sub you are not going to get very low at all.
Look for a salvage yard that you could pick and pull the new sub out of the floor in the back, only takes up the hidden storage space under the carpet.
And with it bolted into the floor you feel it thru the whole jeep.
I'm not looking for hard-hitting bass from the w650 set up, but I can't even hear low elements that I know are in songs, and I know where working before with the factory radio. From my own MP3 collection.

I have been thinking about the salvage yard sub, I see eBay has them for &250 and up. then I would need to get a small amp to power it. That might be a solution.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:16 PM
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I'm not looking for hard-hitting bass from the w650 set up, but I can't even hear low elements that I know are in songs, and I know where working before with the factory radio. From my own MP3 collection.

I have been thinking about the salvage yard sub, I see eBay has them for &250 and up. then I would need to get a small amp to power it. That might be a solution.

The Audio Control Micro amps are hard to beat, ACM 1.300 for $250
The stocker has 2ohm voice coils which the AC amp can easily handle.


If anything I might part with the factory amp in favor of the ACs someday
Then I'd have full control fader and gains in all four corners
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:24 PM   #30
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It Looks like the i207 buttons on the bottom extend out further than the w650, closing that gap on the bottom. I don't think the I207 mounting hardware will help with that.

I did read the instructions on the dash kit and it has two sets of ears. I used the wide ones thinking it will look better, but the instructions state the narrow ones are for short noise radios. I think the w650 is short noise. So I'm going to switch it out today to see if it closes the gap.

My Crossover is set to flat and bass all the way up, still barely any mid-lows and bass.

I was going to return this one and get the ilx-207, Same radio as the i207-war, but you can save like $250, but Dirt Boy kina of scaring me away from that one if it has the same lows and bass issues. I don't have the factory amplified or subwoofer system on my jeep.

I love the features of this radio, and I have a 3d-printer, and with time I could create a custom dash kit. But I'm not loving the sound. I don't see any good ways to add a subwoofer on a 2 door jeep without dishing out a lot of money for the JBL stealth kit, or losing space, which I use. I'm not sure what I'm going to do.
Well you will need an amp anyways and a small power sub will work. Can do all for under $400

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