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Unread 03-03-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
Country Jeep
Comanche Kemosabe
 
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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How to install an RB1 navigation unit in a 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee

For the past six years now, I have been looking off and on around the web to see if anyone would ever attempt a Mopar RB1 retrofit into a ‘97+ XJ. When I finally acquired a ’98 XJ in May 2011, I delved a little deeper to see if I could find a write-up, photos, any evidence of an attempt at an installation – to no avail. It seemed odd to me, especially with the mass amount of random-project-creating Jeep junkies that exist in the world, that there wasn’t even mention of putting an RB1 into an XJ. After diving head-long into the Wired with extensive multi-termed Google and forum searches, I finally found a few threads from various sites that asked the definitive question: “Can an RB1 be installed in a 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee?” A couple of those threads had some nonsensical (or at least hard to interpret) responses that all led to the same conclusion: No. But after a few more days of digging around, I found two interesting threads. To summarize the first thread, an RB1 was supposedly “successfully” installed in a '98 ZJ after having some wiring done between the ZJ PCM and a separate ‘02+ WJ PCM. Unfortunately, no details of the installation were given. As for the second thread, the install was for an RB4, and once again, only a limited amount of details were given.

In the end, all of this seemed absolutely ludicrous to me. So I embarked to find out for myself and provide the good people of JeepForum, as well as the rest of the Internet, an ultimate answer, which is:

Yes, you can install an RB1 navigation system into a 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee and have fully functioning navigation.

*phew*… Alright, there’s six years’ worth of stress off my shoulders. Now, after waaaaaaaayyyyyyy too long of a wait, here are the step-by-step instructions of how to install a Mopar RB1 navigation system into your 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee.

Quick summary as to what the RB1 navigation unit is:

The RB1 is a Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep navigation system that was built for use in late-‘90s / early-‘00s model Chrysler vehicles that had the 1-1/2 DIN headunits with rounded corners. The unit was built specifically to operate on the PCI bus system that was used in most Chrysler vehicles of this era, which delivered vehicle speed information to the navigation unit for better accuracy and ability to track location when driving through low-signal areas, such as a tunnel or dense city. Unfortunately, the vehicle speed information is necessary for the GPS to track the vehicle's location at all, making the unit non-PnP to older applications that used CCD bus systems, such as the ’93-’98 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the '97-'01 Jeep Cherokee (which have squared corners to the 1-1/2 DIN headunit opening, making installation a little funky anyway). However, there is a way to install a PCI bus system alongside the older CCD bus systems in order to deliver the necessary vehicle speed information to the RB1.

This write-up will detail all the steps of installing an RB1 into a ’97-’01 Jeep Cherokee, as well as installing the PCI bus system necessary to properly run the RB1 navigation system.

Anyone who so chooses to attempt this project should have some experience in basic automotive electronics (just to better flow with the steps) as well as a Philips-head screwdriver, a 10mm socket and ratchet, a pair of wire cutters, wire strippers, four rolls of differently coloured 14-16 gauge wire, and either five things of 14-16 gauge three-way crimps, or a soldering iron and some solder.

To install the RB1 into the 1997-2001 Jeep Cherokee:

• Prepare new headunit installation:
- Acquire P/N: P56038629AH – Mopar RB1 Nav. unit
- Acquire P/N: 82207541 – Chrysler wiring harness adapter

• Remove center dash trim bezel and old headunit.

• Plug in Chrysler wiring harness adapter into XJ harness, including antenna adapter. Set aside PCI bus wire.

• Determine if ground leads need to connect to body of RB1 or to supplied chassis ground (a black wire with a plastic plug that clipped onto frame of old headunit). Splice as needed.

• Plug in Chrysler wiring harness adapter into RB1 headunit, including antenna cable.

• Plug in GPS antenna and rest on top of dash temporarily, allowing the wire to run alongside the unit and out the front.

• Set unit into the bay and screw one bolt on the top-right to hold in place.

• Drive the Jeep to an open area with a clear view of the sky.

• Test unit.
- If not operational, check ground leads again and cycle placement. Discard supplied chassis ground if needed and use harness ground only.
- If operational, proceed to next series of steps.

To test the RB1 unit:

• Confirm that the unit boots up with ‘Jeep’ logo with PCI bus wire disconnected. If not, note this, but proceed anyway.

• Test radio operation.
- If not functional, check antenna adapter connection.

• Test GPS functionality.
- NOTICE: Initial results expected should be that of failure.
- Confirm that the supplied navigation disc is inserted into the DVD drive.
- Switch to navigation mode and allow software/firmware to load.
 > If the software does not ‘boot’, there may be an issue with the disc. Check for error message. If no error message, check disc cleanliness and reinsert.
 > If the software loads, go to Option, GPS Information, and determine if GPS satellite signals are acquired.

• Allow the system to sync for at least 10 minutes while sitting out with a clear overhead view of the sky before proceeding.

• If satellites are not acquired, check GPS antenna connection and placement on dash. Move to a more open space if necessary.

• If satellites are acquired, proceed to next step.
- Determine location on map and check accuracy.
 > If location is inaccurate, try physically moving the vehicle to a distance greater than 15ft and allow 5 min. elapse before checking accuracy again. If still inaccurate, oh well; proceed anyway.
- Attempt to set a destination.
 > If destination cannot be set and an error message is displayed relating to inability to acquire location or need to move the vehicle, proceed to PCI bus installation steps.
 > If destination can be set, proceed to next step.
- Drive the Jeep a distance no less than 30ft and determine if location on map has changed.
 > If location has not changed, but your direction heading has, proceed to PCI bus installation steps.
 > If location and direction both change… you have a special Jeep.

To install a PCI bus system to interface with the RB1 unit:

• Acquire a 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee PCM from a 4.0L.
- If possible, acquire corresponding wiring harness as well.

• Print out all wiring diagrams pertaining to’97-‘01 XJ PCM and ’02-’04 WJ PCM. BEWARE: Colours represented on diagrams may not be accurate, but pin-outs are. At the end of the installation, just be sure you have run wires from the corresponding pin-outs by checking ohm readings with a multimeter.

• Drive your Jeep somewhere that you can work on it safely and out of the weather.

• Disconnect the battery.

• Remove the air-filter box.

• Unplug the three plugs (black, white, and grey) from the XJ PCM, located toward the header panel on the drivers-side fender-well next to where the air-filter box sits.

• Cut a slit half-way back toward the firewall in the plastic shielding that contains the wires for the black and white harnesses. Be sure not to sever any wires when cutting the shield!

• Trace wires from your black XJ PCM wiring harness.
- Using a multimeter, locate the ‘Fused Ignition Switch Output’ wire [pin A2], the ‘Fused B(+)’ wire [pin A22] and the two wires that supply ‘Ground’ [pin A31 and A32].

• Trace a wire from your white XJ PCM wiring harness.
- Using a multimeter, locate the ‘Vehicle Speed Sensor Signal’ wire [pin B27].

• Record all your results however you prefer.

PCM to PCM wiring steps:

• Splice into the five wires that you located and either install 3-way crimps on each one, or prepare solder. Crimp/solder each wire back to its respective wire, and then run third wires from each (preferably with different coloured wires that you can identify yourself).

• Run the new third wires to the same corresponding pin locations on your WJ PCM. Remember: The colours mentioned in your diagrams may not be accurate, but all of the pins are – and the XJ and WJ PCMs use the same pins for the same purposes mentioned thus far (e.g. XJ PCM pin A22 needs to have its third wire run to WJ PCM pin A22.)

• Run a new PCI bus wire from WJ PCM [pin C30, grey plug] and directly connect to PCI bus wire of the Chrysler wiring harness adapter.
- You can either route your wire temporarily, like I did, in order to test it out (run the wire out the side of the hood, through the window, and into the back of your RB1 with the radio bezel removed), or if you’re feeling lucky, you can go ahead and find your preferred means of routing the wire through the firewall and up through the dash to the back of the RB1. I slipped mine through the side of where the hood release cable comes through the firewall.

• Clean up your mess.

To test results:

• Switch the ignition to the ON position.
- If any CEL codes or other erroneous effects are encountered, check all wiring. If all wiring is correct, discard project and restore everything to factory condition.
- If no erroneous effects are encountered, proceed to next step.

• Start the Jeep.
- If any CEL codes or other erroneous effects are encountered, check all wiring. If all wiring is correct, discard project and restore everything to factory condition.
- If no erroneous effects are encountered, proceed to next step.

• Check status of RB1 unit outside of navigation mode.
- If unit does not boot or any errors occur, check all wiring. If all wiring is correct, disconnect PCI bus wire. If this resolves the problem, discard project and restore everything to factory condition.
- If unit boots and functions properly, proceed to next step.

• Switch to navigation mode.
- If navigation mode gives any initial errors, check all wiring. If all wiring is correct, disconnect PCI bus wire. If this resolves the problem, discard project and restore everything to factory condition.
- If navigation mode operates, proceed to next step.

• Allow GPS satellites to be acquired and latitude / longitude to be determined.

• Drive the Jeep a distance no less than 30ft and determine if location has changed on map.
- If location has not changed, check to see if a destination can be selected.
 > If destination cannot be selected, check all wiring. If all wiring is correct, disconnect PCI bus wire. If this resolves the problem, discard project and restore everything to factory condition.
 > If destination can be set, discard project and restore everything to factory condition.
> If location has changed, then mount your GPS antenna wherever you like (I took off the top dash piece and mounted it above the A/C vents, as there's a good bit of space there), reinstall center dash trim bezel (you may need to trim the right-side off a little to get it to fit well; or, cut 'n bondo if you have the know-how), and your project is completed.

_________________________

That’s everything. It’s a long write-up, but it only took me and my dad about two hours to install – and that entails two boneheads working in a cluttered garage while constantly losing tools and parts along the way. There were no hiccups of any sort; the only reason I bring up any causes for discarding the project would be in the case of a defective WJ PCM or some other unpredictable issue.

Just to be clear, the RB1 is a Mopar product, but it has been discontinued for quite a while now. The latest navigation software released for the RB1 was in 2011, P/N 5064033AK, but Mopar may eventually cease support for the RB1 and RB4. If this eventually happens, this will no longer a practical application – while the navigation works, the latest map update will be outdated and may become inaccurate in some continuous-development areas. But this is the closest thing you can come to fabricating a factory navigation unit into your Jeep Cherokee: it’s a Mopar product, it found use in two Jeeps at one point, and the overall colour scheme, both screen and illumination, exactly match the stock setup of the ‘97+ Jeep Cherokee. You simply can’t get any closer to OEM than this. It’s a fun project at the very least, one that I’m thankful to say is no longer a mystery to me – and hopefully won’t be for anyone else from here on out as well.

And if it turns out there already was a write-up, please, oh please, share this knowledge with me. :P

The proof:

Photos:









Video (I will upload a more detailed video once I have access to T1 again):


And I can get more detailed photos of the installation if requested.

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'96 XJ Country (pearl white) 2WD, 4.0L HO I6, AW4. Daily driver.
'98 XJ Classic (moss green) 2WD, 4.0L HO I6, AW4. Restoration project.

Gone, but not forgotten: '88 MJ Pioneer, '94 ZJ Limited, '85 CJ7, '98 ZJ Limited

Blue Jeep Club Member #113

How to install an RB1 w/ working nav into a '97-'01 XJ!
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Unread 03-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #2
Country Jeep
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Final demonstration video:

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Main rig under screen-name...

'96 XJ Country (pearl white) 2WD, 4.0L HO I6, AW4. Daily driver.
'98 XJ Classic (moss green) 2WD, 4.0L HO I6, AW4. Restoration project.

Gone, but not forgotten: '88 MJ Pioneer, '94 ZJ Limited, '85 CJ7, '98 ZJ Limited

Blue Jeep Club Member #113

How to install an RB1 w/ working nav into a '97-'01 XJ!
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Unread 03-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
Azzy
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In addition to maps being out of synch, unless there is a way to update teh firmware, the degradation of satellite orbits will not be able to be updated, and cause first a longer lock on time, and then a situation with no lock.

ive had that issue with a few older systems, which seem to never get a true lock again, or take over an hour to finally lock on.
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Unread 03-06-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
Country Jeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
In addition to maps being out of synch, unless there is a way to update teh firmware, the degradation of satellite orbits will not be able to be updated, and cause first a longer lock on time, and then a situation with no lock.

ive had that issue with a few older systems, which seem to never get a true lock again, or take over an hour to finally lock on.
The good thing is, the firmware is updated every few discs, and the 2011 map DVD included the latest update. As it stands, it takes about 10 minutes for the RB1 to make its first initial lock-on, which is definitely a change from the 2-5 minutes I got with my Garmin Nuvi. Nonetheless, the owners manual suggest 15 to 20 minutes, so I suppose for living in the south, 10 minutes is fine. And of course, it locks on within a few seconds of starting the Jeep after its first initial lock.

There is a 2011 map update out there, P/N 5064033AK, so as of the date of this post, there is still map and firmware support for the RB1.
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Main rig under screen-name...

'96 XJ Country (pearl white) 2WD, 4.0L HO I6, AW4. Daily driver.
'98 XJ Classic (moss green) 2WD, 4.0L HO I6, AW4. Restoration project.

Gone, but not forgotten: '88 MJ Pioneer, '94 ZJ Limited, '85 CJ7, '98 ZJ Limited

Blue Jeep Club Member #113

How to install an RB1 w/ working nav into a '97-'01 XJ!

Last edited by Country Jeep; 03-09-2012 at 06:37 PM.. Reason: New info regarding map updates
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Unread 03-06-2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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I would take a look at the map files, and see if they are made by a normal commercial map vendor, like garmin. You may be able to hack together an update, but even those arent all what they are cracked up to be.
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Unread 03-20-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
hasselback
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I know this is an old thread, but I'd like to do the impossible, and install one of these in my CJ. If I was able to find a Grand Cherokee with the RB1 head unit sitting in a junkyard, what all would I have to take to transplant into my CJ? Anything more than what is mentioned in the write up?
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