YJ Head Unit, Front Speakers, and Antenna Install - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-04-2012, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 11
YJ Head Unit, Front Speakers, and Antenna Install

Having finally replaced transmission, brake lines (soft and hard), body mounts, exhaust, and had Rambo (my YJ) deemed street legal, I decided it was time to get some audio up and running.

Looking through some other threads and taking a look through Amazon's reviews, I settled on a http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00012O6QQ. I'd never heard of the company before, but it had decent reviews, boasted Bluetooth hands-free, USB, iPod and 1/8" audio connectivity, and didn't break the bank. With it, I ordered a pair of Pyle speakers, but when they were delivered I realized I had ordered 6"x9"s instead of 4"x6"s. Oops. One trip to best buy later and I had a pair of http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-TS-A4674R-3-Way-200-Watts/dp/B004CLYOIC speakers. They're not marine certified, but they were on sale as an open box item, and they had decent reviews on Amazon. My plan is to get a soundbar at some point, but this solution was cheap and easy.

Here are the packages fresh off my porch:

Antenna and accessories:

Radio and accessories:

Correct speakers:

Wire caps:

Necessary fuel prior to any project:

In other threads, I read that the driver's side speaker is the biggest pain in the a**, so where better to start. The speaker is held on to the enclosure with four 1.5-2 inch bolts. If you pull the wiring harness for the gauges out of the way, it's not too terribly hard to reach your hand up there to undo the nuts. Apparently, it's easier to access if you fold the windshield down and pull the dash forward, but I didn't want the headache of resealing the windshield. The PO (or the factory) had only installed two of the four nuts on the speaker and they were both loose enough to take off manually. They got tight towards the end of the bolt, but a 7/16" socket was enough torque to get them off.

The old speaker was not in horrible shape, but I didn't want to bother hooking it up to the new head unit:

I also tore out the cloth lining behind the protective grate. It probably fends off a little moisture, but if the speaker's going to get wet, it's going to be because the dash is underwater. Better to show off the sexy new speakers. I didn't buy Bose speakers because I didn't want to worry.

Here's the back of the speaker enclosure from the driver's footwell.

The most difficult part of installing the new speakers was keeping the plastic mounting bracket flush with the speaker while trying to position the unit on the four bolts. I ended up using electrical tape around the speaker and mounting bracket, and before I finished tightening the nuts I snipped the tape from the back and pulled it out.

The grate was kind of dented in like the PO had punched or kicked it, and it was making contact with the speaker. I used a screwdriver to pull each facet of the grate out, causing most of them to develop a slight crack in the middle. When it's nice out, I might cut the grate out all together and install some kind of plastic cover.

Driver's speaker wiring prior to wire caps:

Driver's side speaker installed:

Parking on the left side of a two car garage, I opted to install the head unit/wiring prior to turning Rambo around to facilitate installing the passenger speaker. I found two different wiring color diagrams and printed them out... glad I did because mine happened to be the non-standard version.

Here's the version I used and here's the mainstream version.

Here's the snipped wiring harness, compliments of the PO:

After my handiwork:

Five cables on the left not used are for rear speakers and a remote starter (not sure why the radio needs to be connected to a remote starter). The black cable on the right was an 1/8" microphone connection for the Bluetooth hands-free microphone.

The mounting bracket slid into place, and there were 8 or 10 tabs on both the top and bottom, and 4 or 6 on each side. I bent these down using an open ended wrench, and the bracket was held in place pretty well. I was concerned when I got started because there weren't any screw holes to mount the thing with, but this solution was simple and effective. Kudos Dual.

It works!

I backed it out and pulled in forward, and got to work on replacing the antenna.

I don't know how the PO snapped it off, but I can't imagine the radio worked very well without it.

The top two were just sheet metal screws and came out without a problem, but the bottom one was held in with a bolt. Nothing a ratchet and vice grips can't solve. The new antenna came with these yellow "caps" that must be for exactly this situation. Almost like a drywall mount, with enough force the new sheet metal screw caught right onto the yellow cap and was held in almost as tight as the top two screws.

You can see the yellow mount:

Time to get to work on the passenger speaker. There was no speaker mounted in there, which was problematic because there were no nuts to hold it in place. I had some nuts lying around that just happened to be the same size. Went in much easier than the driver's side but I still had to use the electrical tape to keep the bracket and speaker together until I had it mounted.

With the passenger speaker in, I ran the Bluetooth microphone around the brake release and clipped it onto the VIN plate:

I took it for a test drive and both people I called said they were able to hear me clearly, and didn't hear any more noise than with the factory Uconnect system in the Challenger.

Thanks for reading, and I'll be happy to field any questions!

1995 Wrangler SE 5 speed
2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Classic Redline 6 speed
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-22-2012, 01:37 PM
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tampa
Posts: 3
Great write up, wow the PO of your YJ seems similar to mine, I am always left shaking my head. I am working on installing a stereo as well and replacing the speakers. How do you like the stereo? Price seems great and it has all the features I want. And the speakers how are they holding up? Thanks!
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-22-2012, 02:19 PM
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: catskills ny
Posts: 292
I bought that head unit for my Taurus 3 years ago.... Hated it. Bluetooth was rough of best with my iPhone, and also the sync feature to display and use music from my phone to radio just stopped working one day.........
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-22-2012, 04:52 PM
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1992 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Issaquah
Posts: 1,686
You may want to go w/ something other than those wire caps. They have allowed internal cables to rust and cause more problems in the future. Otherwise, good job with the whole thing..

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antenna , hands free phone , install , radio , speakers

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