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A new stereo?.... Yes. That.

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  • A new stereo?.... Yes. That.

    Thanks to our law-makers.... elected officials... The inability to use my phone while in operation of my Jeep has been a massive pain. Face it. Most 2007 JKs didn't come with Uconnect. Mine didn't. In short, I had to make a change. Bluetooth.

    So. I did some thinking. After LOTS (and i mean a LOT) of research, I narrowed my choices down to one. Alpine's iLX-W650 mulitmedia headunit. Why? Well, Alpine also offers a couple of piggyback amps that you CAN hang right on the back of the multimedia radio. Even with the amp mounted, its still not as large as a standard DVD/CD unit. Also, its a clean 50w RMS x4... at least on the amp I chose to use. Hey, if I'm going to upgrade, I'm not gonna be a slouch about it. Another thing that made this Alpine standout particularly at this price range, is that the iLX-W650 has not only a rear camera input, but a front camera input as well.

    So. I ordered my stuff. It arrived. I set a date. Good thing I took the weekend off.

    First order of business? Reverse 12 years of random "good ideas".

    Might not look like much, but there was a series of wires that I had run over time that had to be sorted out... which to keep, which to remove... Honestly, it took a while. All the stuff in the phont was in the Jeep and had to come out. I once had a rear view camera... my CB is AWOL.... I have a 60 amp 4ga source to my HiFonics Brutus amp. The JK has had a 10" sub for years, with the current one being a pawn shop sourced Kicker 10" CVR from the 2005 range. So. All the junk out.... time to yank the old radio.

    Whoa.... I seem to remember this being easier.

    Ok. So. In this photo (besides a Jeep looking like it puked Sir Lucas) I have the head unit and amp sitting up in there with the wiring harness temporarily wired in. I also ran a USB port extention. Sure I had to punch a rather large hole in my dash, but it can be seen in the final photo below the grab handle. Also wired in a ground switch for the "parking brake". In the midst of all of this, I made up a mount for a rear camera....

    and the front camera....

    Ok... ok... theres a hole in my grill. Yes. I thought that would be a GREAT place to put the camera. No. No it wasn't. Better cooling, though right?

    So. After a test fit and all the cables looped to the dash just to verify function, I dove in and routed all the wires. Ziptied the wires to harnesses, hard points, etc. Once tucked away, I found an issue. The stereo would not shut off. In an effort to ease the process, I pulled my doors off. We all know that this puts the Jeep into an auto shutdown of 30 seconds. ish. Fact is, that the place I ordered this from also "recommended" a Crux interface. Here's the trick. While it DOES work great for built in tech such as reverse triggers and stuff, with the doors off, the Crux unit doesn't cut the accessory trigger after 30 seconds. A call to the supplier verifies that this is "an issue" and that another accessory source must be tapped for the radio. (enter sarcastic comment here)

    So after wasting a good portion of my night non this little fiasco, I selected a different power source and tucked everything away. And. After many years, I chose to remove the gauges that I had on top of my dash and install the Daystar dash cover that I have had sitting in my shop... for um... a ... little while.

    So. to recap.

    I have a backup camera....

    I have a front camera....

    And I have bluetooth. Finally. In a 12 year old Jeep.

    Turns out that the ole HiFonics amp loves the clean signal from the Alpine.

    The Kicker replacements that I sourced from... Good Ole Quadratec seem to like the 50w RMS tamed with the High Pass filter in the Apine Head unit....

    But... as with any mod, it looks like I'm going to need to build a bigger box for my sub. Running at the bottom end of the airspace is hurting performance.

    Hopefully, it won't take another 12 years.

  • #2
    I like it. It's definitely fancy. My last radio upgrade in the Jeep was also to add bluetooth. Amazing how these things slowly become "necessities".
    95 YJ: 4.0, AX15, SOA, RE SOA Springs, 1" shackles, 1" body, SYE, locked 44, locked 8.8, high steer w/crossover, 37x12.5's on 15x10 beadlocks, OBA, winch, and a few other things. My Build Up Post -- Photos -- Jeep FAQ -- Mike


    • #3
      Like the front/rear camera setup. The update on the sound system will make the ride more enjoyable. USB port and blue tooth gets the jeep up to modern


      • #4
        WOW.....nice work dude. Last time i installed a stereo was like.....well. it was some time ago. But awesome work. I like the cameras and the USB port. Looks like it belongs there ya know.


        • #5
          Drove the Jeep to training Tuesday morning. In short, I have GOT to turn the amp trim up on the 4ch amp... which means I'll have to slide the stereo out. Not a HUGE ordeal, but... I knew I'd have to do it. Its not like I have any of those cool Steve Mead tools laying about to "do it right once".

          Aside from that. Yea. Those Kicker replacement speakers can't hang. They're gonna have to go. Even with the stereo set with a 120hz high pass, they don't like the power. Guess thats something else I'll have to fool with.

          The thing is, I'll get calls reference my job(s) on a regular basis... and I have got to take these calls.

          Only thing I've noticed.... I keep getting failures with this radio. It failed to recognize my iPone 8p three times when I plugged it in... but connected fine via bluetooth.


          • #6
            It would also appear that I have a problem with the Crux adapter... a speed related "noise" that is feeding audibly through the subwoofer... and visually in the camera feeds. Both cameras get it. Pretty certain its some form of noise from the speed signal out of the Crux. There is a "speed sensor" wire that comes off of it. I'm going to try and locate a magnet and wrap the wire around that. Should filter it out. Funny that there was no noise until now.

            Also. A side note to Apple users with the Alpine radio. Apparently Alpines do not like the Apple 8P with iOS 12.4.1 because it will either display a "device not recognized" alert, or it will randomly stop functioning with CarPlay. Bluetooth seems to work flawlessly, though.