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i recently installed an aftermarket sterio in by buddies 97 tj and ever since then the fuse to the instrament panel
 

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Look carefully at all of your splices, since you did the work yourself… double check all your work, especially the required grounds!

If you spliced into a wire to power the new stereo, undo it and run it to an unused fuse slot. If that won't work, install an inline fuse and get power directly from the battery.

Chances are extremely high that if everything worked normally before the install, you've got a bad connection somewhere that is pulling too many amps and blowing the fuse.
 

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This happens with the radio off and because it blows a 10 amp fuse instantly when you turn the lights on I'm betting on some sort of weird backfed short. My head unit is RCA out only so its impossible for it to pull anywhere near 5 amps even.
 

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Are you sure that the light for the dial (orange wire) isn't wired to ground? When you turn your lights on it would blow the fuse 10A #12 immediately.
 

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All my wiring for the head unit was via the stock harness and adapter. I used a meter to find constant hot, ignition hot and what I THOUGHT was ground(seems like I got 0-2 ohms)
It is possible that the panel dimmer(a reostat) is in the wiring harness and I mistook it for ground.
I really don't see any other explination as to why it would be doing this. Hot and ign hot could not be the culprit.
 

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yes, there is a dimmer wire in the radio circuit. You likely have this connected to something that it shouldn't be connected to. The ground supply for the factory radio is a silver braided strap that terminates directly behind the gauge cluster. If you don't have the new radio's ground hooked into this grounding strap, than you probably don't have the right ground source.
 

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I will run a ground up to the unit and see if it solves the issue. Stuffing the head unit in these TJ's is a real bitch.....I have all 3 RCA outputs in use plus the 4 speakers backfed from the amp back into the wiring harness along with trigger for my amps.
 

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I had no issues with mine, there is a bunch of room behind the climate controls if you have the knob style and not the slider bar HVAC panel. I have my Alpine headunit, a separate bluetooth module box, two crossovers for the rear speakers, and my battery backup for my alarm system all behind the radio/hvac area. It's a bit tight, but with some smart positioning, there is plenty of room back there.

A good practice for testing for voltage/ground on radio wires is to turn the lights on and back off when you are testing the wire, dimmer and illumination wires are often mistaken for grounds or switched accessories.
 
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