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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Members,
I'm trying to figure out why my head unit goes out and then comes back on 10 -15 seconds later. It completely looses power because the unit gets reset back to factory mode and this happens randomly. I could be driving, or parked. I figured it might be the unit itself so I just replaced it with a new Alpine and checked all the wiring and connectors as well as all the speakers. Everything works fine, the fuses look fine. It just goes dead and then comes back on again! I will double check to see if my wipers/turn signals go out when the stereo goes out again but I don't recall that happening (if so then I need to check ignition switch?) Also the battery cables are clean with a new battery in Feb. this year. Any advice will be truly appreciated. Thanks to all.
Something else I just thought of, connected to the front speakers are a pair of super twitters, the right one is sounding a little crackely. I checked the wiring and it looks good but there might be a partial short there. Could that knock the whole unit out?

Filth
 

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Assuming that the radio power supply is wired correctly ( switched power, constant power and ground) and you lose power and the unit is going back to default settings, there is an issue in the constant 12volt source (yellow wire). It would not be the ignition switch because that only controls the switched 12volt source (red wire on radio). UNLESS, for some reason you chose to wire both the red and yellow wire from the radio to the same wire that you're getting power from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks BigCrave,
Switch, constant and ground are wired correctly. That was the first thing I checked. Everything looks good from the Jeeps radio plug and on out to the unit. I'm not sure where that cluster of wires that leads to the radio plug goes once it's behind the dash the dash. I assume it exits the firewall on the driver's side but I don't have a complete vehicle wiring diagram.
 

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If your constant power source is the OEM radio circuit, maybe the fuse is loose at the fuse block. I've seen several times where owners would use a fuse tap at the fuse block and then remove it at a later time for whatever reason leaving the contacts in the fuse block widened out just enough to cause an intermittent loss of power. Sometimes you can use a small screwdriver to slightly bent the contacts back in to make the fuse fit tighter.
Also, check to make sure you have a good ground. Just a thought!
 

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I would check the ground again. I just pulled out my old head unit and crimped and spliced my way into a new one today. Turns out the old head unit would have worked perfectly fine had the wire been grounded correctly. Thing needs to really be attached. There's a spot up near the windshield behind the dash that works just great.

Wiring issues are the worst... Good luck!
 

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Something else I just thought of, connected to the front speakers are a pair of super twitters, the right one is sounding a little crackely. I checked the wiring and it looks good but there might be a partial short there. Could that knock the whole unit out?

Filth
You could try fading to the rear speakers completely and see if the problem goes away. I blew out a pair of Infinity speakers and I had shorting problems too from the blown pair. I had to fade them out until I got them replaced because I was afraid that it might damage my radio.

If you have a amp, it could be overheating and going into proection mode. Some people polyfil their sub box with built in amp, I could imagine that it could overheat that way too.
 

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You could try fading to the rear speakers completely and see if the problem goes away. I blew out a pair of Infinity speakers and I had shorting problems too from the blown pair. I had to fade them out until I got them replaced because I was afraid that it might damage my radio. If you have a amp, it could be overheating and going into proection mode. Some people polyfil their sub box with built in amp, I could imagine that it could overheat that way too.
If the amp went into protection mode, it would not affect the radio and cause it to revert back to default settings. Only a complete loss of power or pushing the reset on the radio would cause that. It has to be either a bad ground or a bad connection between the yellow wire on the radio and the constant 12volt source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, thanks for the input BC, MF, and CU. At this point all the speakers have been replaced, the bad tweeter removed and tomorrow I'm going to make sure the ground is ground!
I'll follow up on that.
 

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I had a similar problem after my winch install. The radio would "pop" and shut off, then turn back on. I cleaned my battery terminals, no change. Bought new ones at Wal-Mart for 5 bucks and no issues since. For 5 dollars you should give it a shot, its good to have fresh ones anyway.
 

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There's a high probability of a bad ignition switch since you mentioned this happening when parked. Try wiggling the switch with radio on / or when it kicks off to see if it will affect radio operation.
 

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There's a high probability of a bad ignition switch since you mentioned this happening when parked. Try wiggling the switch with radio on / or when it kicks off to see if it will affect radio operation.
If it was a bad ignition, I wouldn't think that it would go back into factory default mode. You have to lose power on the constant 12 volt source in order for that to happen. I didn't think the ignition switch would affect the constant power source assuming it is connected to the correct source.
 

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The ignition switch should only affect the 12v switched wire and that wouldn't change the factory settings or cut out all power. If he's totally losing power it has to be that the ground is shorting out periodically or that the the stereo's battery wire is actually connected to the 12v switched and not the 12v constant.
 

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The ignition switch should only affect the 12v switched wire and that wouldn't change the factory settings or cut out all power. If he's totally losing power it has to be that the ground is shorting out periodically or that the the stereo's battery wire is actually connected to the 12v switched and not the 12v constant.
Agreed
 

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Just a thought, check your battery hold down and make sure it is tight. Mine snapped and my battery was sliding back and forth. The positive cable was touching the fender and shorting causing the stereo to go out and the gauges to flicker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Still no answers. wiring all looks good and I know it was done right since everything worked perfectly for years. The ground is well ground. I found nothing with the ignition switch, I'm thinking that if it was an ignition switch problem it wouldn't affect just the radio (right?).
So during yesterday's 3 hour trip, the radio would pop off for anywhere between 3 - 15 seconds and then back on. Sometimes it would come back on and be completely factory reset and other times it would retain all my settings. That leads me to believe that constant power is out and sometimes the switched power is out. Unless longer periods of power cut causes the unit to reset and the shorter periods don't.
The battery is tightly in place and was just replaced 2 months ago.
I'm going to replace the fuse even though it is good and tight.
 

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Still no answers. wiring all looks good and I know it was done right since everything worked perfectly for years. The ground is well ground. I found nothing with the ignition switch, I'm thinking that if it was an ignition switch problem it wouldn't affect just the radio (right?).
So during yesterday's 3 hour trip, the radio would pop off for anywhere between 3 - 15 seconds and then back on. Sometimes it would come back on and be completely factory reset and other times it would retain all my settings. That leads me to believe that constant power is out and sometimes the switched power is out. Unless longer periods of power cut causes the unit to reset and the shorter periods don't.
The battery is tightly in place and was just replaced 2 months ago.
I'm going to replace the fuse even though it is good and tight.
It sounds like a break in the factory loom behind the dash. Here's what I would do to r/o a constant power issue along with a bad ground. Run a long wire from battery straight to the constant +12v of radio. Run the radio ground straight to a clean ground to firewall. Try this to see if helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It sounds like a break in the factory loom behind the dash. Here's what I would do to r/o a constant power issue along with a bad ground. Run a long wire from battery straight to the constant +12v of radio. Run the radio ground straight to a clean ground to firewall. Try this to see if helps.
Thanks Watta, that sounds like the best fix so far. But in a new development, yesterday while driving the chime (like when you leave your key in the ignition) went off for about 2 minutes and then stopped on its own. So now I'm thinking I should change the ignition switch since I'm still not positive that I'm loosing the constant power....:zap:
 

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That was why I initially thought it was the ignition switch since it's somewhat a common fail on TJ's. My reasoning was that some radios will not work with no ignition power even with good constant memory 12v but will work with no memory and good ignition. Do my suggested wiring stated above, if it cuts out then wire both ignition and memory wire together to battery. If that works, then more likely the ignition since it was bypassed. Just be sure to turn off the radio manually to prevent battery drain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
All right, thanks for your advice guys. I'm going to do Wattapunk's r/o wiring plan and I'll follow up after that. Now I just need some free time to get that done!
 

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Mine just started cutting out tonight on the way to dinner. Never happened before. Seemed to be when I pushed in the clutch and shifted to a new gear, but I could not reliably repeat that. No electrical or burning smell at all. Just a pop and it went out. A few seconds later, back on again. I have not lost my settings, but it did switch channels on me one time. Will check the mentioned potential issues. I am interested in nipping this in the bud.
 
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