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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello!

Brand new to forum. Just recently bought a 2013 wrangler sport that has the alpine system (sub on back passenger side). I’ve done some considerable research on upgrading the sound and originally wanted to keep the stock head unit to retain steering wheel functions and my Sirius subscription. I read somewhere that in keeping this I’ll lose the ability to control the bass, treble, fade, etc which is a deal breaker for me. The solution involved using the stock amp as a processor and seemed beyond what I’m willing and capable of handling on my own.

So far, I’ve purchased a set of component speakers for the front, 6.5s for the sound bar, a compact 4 channel amp and a separate compact amp/sub package that I was going to put under a seat or mount where the existing sub and trim are (would remove existing factory sub and box).

Admittedly, I’m a total amateur and have not installed an aftermarket system on my own before but I see it as a winter project and I’m eager to dive into it. However, I’m stuck now in identifying what additional components are required with a new head unit to keep steering wheel controls/Sirius. Both amps have stereo level inputs.

Since some of the functionality I’d like to retain functions within the factory amp, I’m trying to figure out what I’d need to keep Sirius, the steering wheel controls, and be able to adjust the sound (think this is accomplished through a new head unit). I believe I need a processor of some sort but not sure specifically what I should be looking for. I also watched a video of an install and there was a 2nd antenna input already behind the dash connecting the factory head unit to the Sirius antenna. If the after market head unit has Sirius is it as simple as connecting the new head unit to that antenna? If so, then the only thing I am missing would be steering wheel controls, which I’d be willing to give up if 2 of my 3 problems were solved.

If the above is true then I think I’m safe to purchase a new head unit with the preamp and sub outputs needed, with Sirius, hands free calling, etc.

Any advice or input is more than appreciated.
 

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Contact Crutchfield (Crutchfield.com), give them a list of your wants and they will hook you up with a fairly priced head unit and all the accessories you need to hook it up.

Most aftermarket head units do not include a Sirius tuner, but are compatible with an add-on tuner. There are a couple different solutions to maintain your steering wheel controls depending on the head unit you choose and what other integration with the vehicle it offers.

In my experience, Crutchfield has excellent customer service both before and after the sale.


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Yes, I’ve been on and off with them for the last week, and I’m getting mixed messages which is why I’m here. I bought most of the equipment through them. They didn’t say a thing about losing functionality with the speakers/amp when I was going with plan A (keeping factory head unit) and when I contacted them tonight, they suggested a $500 custom built Jeep head unit, which is way too pricey.
 

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You can replace the stock head unit and still retain full usage of all controls (including fade and steering controls) so long as the head unit you buy is compatible with the idatalink Maestro can bus adapter.

Compatible Maestro head units:

You can use a more universal can bus adapter called the PAC unit but if you are trying to keep the alpine amp then it's not a great idea, or at l;east you should understand that you will lose fade control on the alpine amp.

If you have purchased your serious account (and not simply received it with the jeep) then you can simply transfer it over to the new Sirius radio.

Most aftermarket head units come "Sirius ready" which means you need to purchase a separate Sirius module which plugs into the head unit.
 

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I, along with many others, have upgraded and kept the factory buttons. I put a Kenwood DMX-706S in mine at Christmas time along with a Maestro unit. I chose to not add the Sirius tuner but it would have been easy enough.

The install wasn’t bad and the programming was pretty straightforward. I disabled UConnect and set mine so the voice control activates Siri and the right side center button activates the front camera.
 

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Simpler to retain factory head unit and take the eight speaker wires from factory head and use these as line speaker input to whatever amp or amps you want to use to drive your speakers

Only eliminate factory amp and whatever speakers you want to change keep factory
Radio RES or REQ or any of the mygig it matters not
Keep factory steering wheel controls and factory serous module

If you like junkyard parts both the Boise option ML Mercedes of late 90s-2000
And the grand Cherokee with the infinity option have a amp with 4 pair wires for 4 speaker level inputs and 6 pair speaker outputs 2 fronts two rears and 2 sub speaker drivers


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Simpler to retain factory head unit and take the eight speaker wires from factory head and use these as line speaker input to whatever amp or amps you want to use to drive your speakers.......
There is nothing more simple than ripping the factory crap out and starting over. Most of the issues with the factory system is in the H/U, it is setup not to reproduce lows to avoid rattles with the stock sub and highs are all over the place. On top of that Uconnect is useless, CarPlay or Android Auto are so much better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies. So I’m looking for another head unit and will bite the bullet and buy the Sirius tuner and I’m going to attempt to leverage the factory antenna. I see the required connector available on Amazon. Pretty sure I need a processor to connect to the steering wheel controls but right now it’s not in the budget, and not that big of a deal overall. I believe that will be all of the functionality I’d lose if replacing everything with aftermarket - HU, Sirius tuner, two front components, two roll bar 6.5s, one 4 channel amp for speakers, one compact mono amp/sub, plus wiring and other various accessories
 

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Thanks for the replies. So I’m looking for another head unit and will bite the bullet and buy the Sirius tuner and I’m going to attempt to leverage the factory antenna. I see the required connector available on Amazon. Pretty sure I need a processor to connect to the steering wheel controls but right now it’s not in the budget, and not that big of a deal overall. I believe that will be all of the functionality I’d lose if replacing everything with aftermarket - HU, Sirius tuner, two front components, two roll bar 6.5s, one 4 channel amp for speakers, one compact mono amp/sub, plus wiring and other various accessories
You may have to put up a second gps antenna depending on whether or not your new head unit needs one. The factory antenna will work for the Sirius module OR the head unit, but not both (Your Sirius module will come with a spare antenna)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You may have to put up a second gps antenna depending on whether or not your new head unit needs one. The factory antenna will work for the Sirius module OR the head unit, but not both (Your Sirius module will come with a spare antenna)
I watched a video of an install and when he was installing the HU there were two antenna jacks already behind there. I assumed this would be the case with all 2013 sports
 

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You can buy the Sirius tuner without the antenna and save a few bucks. Some head units will need Maestro but not all will work. For those, PAC Audio is an option.
 

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Be aware that if you do replace your head unit, you are going to need a box to go between your Jeep and the new headunit. Your headunit is controlled by the canbus of the Jeep and doesn't have the typical wiring an aftermarket headunit expects. You will need a PAC or Maestro to provide the expected wires for the new headunit.

The canbus is also the reason you lose controls by going with an aftermarket amp. Since there are no speaker wires going to the radio, controls like that come from the amp. The radio talks to the amp and tells it what you want and the amp responds. I had issues with my amp/radio and just found it easier to take them out and replace with aftermarket. Much simpler to control that way. It does mean you lose the steering wheel controls unless you add on a Maesto or upper end PAC, but I personally believe they are not as useful in a Wrangler as other vehicles because the radio is only 4 inches from the wheel anyways unlike some other vehicles.
 

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Every oem jeep/Chrysler radio will default to normal 4 pairs of speaker level output from pins on back of unit if the can bus amp is unplugged


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I watched a video of an install and when he was installing the HU there were two antenna jacks already behind there. I assumed this would be the case with all 2013 sports
One is for AM/FM radio. The other is your gps/satelite antenna

Aftermarket units don't have a Sirius antenna connection because they don't contain a Sirius radio module. Any gps connector they have is to run the Nav, or in the case of Kenwood, to run the gps auto adjust clock and compass

Sooo... if you get a nav head unit or a Kenwood with auto clock and compass feature you will 2 (satellite) antennas.... one for the Sirius module, and one for the head unit.
 

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thank you! Sorry for the question but what is PAC Audio?
As mentioned in my post #4, a pac unit is not recommended if you plan on keeping the alpine amp active. You will lose fade ability on the amp. Of course if you are disconnecting the alpine then it's not an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you all very much for the info. It’s been most helpful. Hopefully the install will be mostly straight forward. Lots of useful info here and on the forum.
 
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