CB Radio Installation for 97-00 XJs and other vehicles
CB Radio Installation
Vehicle: 2000 Jeep Cherokee (XJ)
This installation can be applied to any ’97-’01 Cherokee (XJ). However, the overall gist of the installation can be applied to almost any car.
- Wire Crimper
- Wire Strippers
- Butt Splices
- 16 Gauge Wire
- 2 In-line fuses (10 amp)
- Stud Ring Connectors
- Electrical Tape
Decide where you would like to mount the CB. I kept in mind how often I’d be using it, where I’d be able to hear it best, and where it would not interfere with other passengers or myself. I chose to mount it on the center console, on the passenger side. I know many may say that this would interfere with the movement of the passenger seat, or the passengers themselves, but I haven’t had any problems thus far, and my passengers have said that it really doesn’t interfere with their legs.
I installed the mount with the screws provided with the CB, and since this CB is so small and light the console has been strong enough to hold it (even after various wheeling trips).
I bought 24’ of 16 gauge wire, but did not use anywhere near that much for the installation of a single wire (I used the extra wire for other projects). The way I measured out how much wire I would need was by taking a small rope and running it from the battery through the firewall (more detail on this later) to the back of the CB, and then cut the wire a little longer than what I would actually need. The wires for the Positive and Negative wires will be the same length since they will both be running to the battery. I will leave all of the splicing and stud ring connectors until the end. I found it easiest to have all of the wires run, and then add the splices at the end.
Now many people have many different ways to run their wires. Some drill holes in their firewall, others find holes or grommets already in use for factory accessories. I took the latter route. I ran all my wires (including Antenna coax through a grommet for one of the main wire bundles that is installed from the factory. All I did was take a utility knife and put a small hole in the rubber just big enough to run the wires through.
Here is a picture of the grommet I am referring to. It is just to the left of the brake pedal, about parallel to the steering components. You can see my Red (Power) and White (Ground) wires running through the grommet. The black wire is the Coax for the antenna (more on that later).
This is the same grommet, but on the engine bay side:
I then ran the wires behind the brake and gas pedals, making sure that they did not interfere with their movement. Then I ran the wires behind the center console. One way to do this would be to remove the part of the console that runs vertically (where the Radio/AC Controls/AC Vents are) and just tuck the wires back there, or you can take something stiffer such as a wire hanger, cut it, straighten it, and GENTLY push it behind the console until it comes out the passenger side. Then you can tape (Electrical Tape) the two wires to the hanger and pull them through. Both ways are really easy.
Once the wires are run to the CB you will want to strip the ends of the wires running to the battery and the ends of the wires coming out from the CB radio. Using a butt splice connect these wires (Red to Red for power, and then the ground wires). Make sure that you do not have any wires connected to the battery yet, that will be the last step. Now your CB is ready to be connected to the battery.
At the battery end of the wires you will want to use a Stud Ring Connector on each wire. This is done by stripping the end of the wires, and putting on the Connector with crimpers. Then you will want to take the nut off of the bolt that holds down the battery cables to the terminals, and slip the connector over that bolt and replace the nut. You will want to do the power wire first, then the ground. Power goes to the Positive terminal, and the ground will go to the Negative terminal.
Here is how everything will look under the hood. As you can, I ran the wires (Red and White) around the back of the engine bay, away from any moving parts. The wires were small enough that I was able to run them through the zip ties that hold the factory wire bundles together. The second picture is of the wires connected to the battery terminals. I used electrical tape to make sure the wires stayed together and away from other things, creating a “mini-bundle.”
Now it’s time to connect antenna. I decided to use a hood mount, and have the antenna mounted on the driverside, about parallel to the OEM antenna for the radio. This turned out to be really easy, and all I had to do was drill 4 holes, and screw in the mount. Others opt to mount their antennas to the rear of their Jeeps. Either is fine, it’s mostly personal preference.
I ran the Coax for the antenna through the same grommet, following the same path on the interior of the XJ for the power/ground wires. The PL-259 connects are pretty big, but making a little bigger hole in the grommet will allow you to push it through. You will have plenty of Coax left over if you use lengths of 9’ or 18’, so you will want to make sure that you wrap it in a manner that it does not make any sharp bends.
I used a small white clip to secure the wire against the quarter panel to make sure that it would not get crushed or damaged by the hood. If done properly, the hood will not even touch the coax preventing any damage.
Once the coax is run, connect it to your antenna and to the back of the CB
Connect the Mic to the front outlet of the CB. In terms of where to mount the mic, I found that putting it on the panel just left of the Vertical center console, behind the windshield wiper stalk was a great place because it keeps the wire behind the shifter and is generally out of the way. The mount for the mic should come with the CB. All that needs to be done is to drill two small holes, and then screw the screws for the mount through the holes.
This is how I mounted my CB in my XJ, however the way I ran lines to/from the battery, and how I mounted the antenna can be used for almost any type of Jeep. Personal preference can allow the CB to be mounted anywhere you want. I highly recommend disconnecting the negative battery cable for the duration of the installation just as an added precaution. Some also prefer to use inline fuses near the battery on the wires leading to the CB as a measure of protection. I did not, but this is easily done by picking some up at Radio Shack and splicing them into the power/ground wires.
Another thing I’d like to add is that putting the CB that far away from the driver’s ear will make it difficult to hear people, even with the volume turned up. I really wanted to mount mine on the roof between the driver and passenger seats, however the overhead console prevented me from doing this. In my case, I added an external speaker which I mounted to the OHC so I could hear the CB.
Finally, this write-up only describes how to install a CB radio and Antenna. After everything is installed, you will need to tune your CB radio, and an SWR meter is necessary for this. There are also many places (such as www.firestik.com) that have good descriptions on how to tune your antenna.