Satellite Radio Install in a TJ or LJ -
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Unread 08-26-2008, 09:35 AM   #1
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 179
Satellite Radio Install in a TJ or LJ

Don't know if it belongs here, or if it should just go out on the main forum...but it is worth a shot.

When I bought my LJ, it had the stock stereo installed with the single cd player. I had XM installed in my previous car, and I wanted it in my Jeep. My mechanical skills are slightly above my labrador retriever, but only because I have opposable thumbs. Anyone can do this install with the following tools. I installed mine with the cigar charger at this time, but I will be purchasing a power cord that wires directly into the ignition at a later time.

Phillips head screwdriver

Seriously, that is it.

Location, location, location

After I had spent a few minutes deciding where to install the receiver, I decided that the top of the windshield would be the best option. I placed it in several locations deciding where it would look best aesthetically and be the easiest to use and mount.

It almost fit between the center dash and the steering wheel, but I felt it would be too crowded. I thought about putting it on the dash above the glove box, but then I realized it would become a projectile if the airbag ever went off in an accident (not that it would bother me, but my wife did not like that fact). I then decided to mount it on the plastic between where the soft top latches down to the windshield.


The first thing I did was remove the sun visors. Next, I removed the plastic trim around the windshield. I removed both sides and the top piece in the center. However, I quickly realized I only needed to take one of them off to run the wires. Three phillips screws held the side pieces in place, as well as a pinch clip that mounts into the windshield frame above the visor.

A plastic screw without a head is installed on the outside corner of the windshield near the rollbar. Leave it in place as the trim moves out of the way without having to remove the plastic screw.

Now, unzip the rollbar pad cover and place the magnetic antenna on the rollbar.

When doing this, make sure the antenna wire is on the back side (nearest to the driver) to prevent your reinstalling the pieces around the door that hold the top down from hitting the wire. You can now zip the rollbar cover back into place.

From that point, run the antenna wire through the windshield trim avoiding the sun visor screw and let it hang out of the trim piece.

Next, bundle the excess antenna cable making sure there are no kinks in the wire. Use the twist tie that the antenna cable came with to tie it together. Place the top center trim piece near the windshield and place the excess antenna into the piece out of the way of the pinch clip. Leave a few inches of the antenna hanging out of the cutouts for the windshield retainer.

The kit I was installing came with a cleaning kit.

Following the directions, use the "Surface Preperation Cleaning Kit" to clean the mounting location. Wipe the area in one direction and wipe dry with a clean towel. Repeat the cleaning in one direction, wiping it dry again. The next step is to clean the area with an alcohol prep pad letting it dry on its own. Finally, remove the protective cover from the adhesive and press the mount firmly for 30 seconds. If possible, remove the receiver holder from the mount to be able to get a better grip.

If you are mounting your receiver to a flat surface, let it dry for a few hours to achieve the best adhesion. I live in South Louisiana where the humidity is low tonight, only 45%. In other words, not the best time for adhesives. I took two clamps, placed them on opposite corners, and let them dry overnight.


Most satellite radios have an option to connect to your radio by selecting a channel on your radio and satellite reciever. Starting at the low end of your radio dial, find a station that is nothing but static. If you select a channel that has some radio station coming through, it may interfere with your receiver communication with your radio. I selected 89.9. Follow the installation instructions as to how to program your satellie receiver to the appropriate station.

The power cord is hanging behind the mirror for now, but I will be installing a power cord that is wired directly to the ignition at a later time. If your kit came with a power cord designed to be wired into the ignition, wire it according to the directions and run the power cord from the steering wheel to the side trim piece. You can then run it up to where your antenna cable is run.

I ran the power cord in the gap between the seering wheel trim piece and the center dash trim for the meanwhile.

KingofPop is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-18-2009, 02:34 PM   #2
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Addison, Illinois
Posts: 657
What about when it rains with the top off? The radio is fully exposed when located that high up. Have you had that problem yet? I do like the idea but would be affraid of when it rains. Wonder if a plastic cover can be made to protect it. I have been caught out in the rain several times.
Rugby_3 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-30-2009, 02:29 PM   #3
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: GULF SHORES, AL.
Posts: 14
any more answers about the rain?
HEADBLADE is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 04-20-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Hope Mills, North Carolina
Posts: 10
i did the same thing with my sirius radio. If it's raining and i have the top off I just take the receiver out the mount and throw it in the glove box. I can deal with not using it while it's raining, usually not doing too much driving at that time anyways.
moloko is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

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