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Unread 04-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
cju84
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Head Unit Installation for complete beginner?

Hi all,

I've seen several threads regarding after market head unit installations and I still haven't quite found an answer.

I have a 2012 Laredo (6 speaker, no subwoofer) that I've been looking to upgrade. I've seen most people have purchased these units off of Crutchfield along with the adapters/attachments.

I plan to first upgrade to a DVD Head Unit (No GPS as my Nexus 4 works fine) and then eventually new speakers and a rear view camera.

The reason being the sound is absolutely terrible. I'm not sure if an aftermarket head unit will help in itself, but I'm hoping it will. It will also look much more aesthetically pleasing.

My question is: If I know absolutely NOTHING about audio/electronics, would I still be able to change/install an after market head unit with Crutchfield instructions? I understand I may need to buy a dremel to fit a unit.

My Jeep also came with XM Satelite radio (free for 1 year). Will I lose this capability with the after market unit? What about the USB port in the center console?

Thanks in advance!

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Unread 04-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #2
cju84
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One other question I thought of for those that installed after market units. Should I buy one where the mounting screws are on the top/bottom or sides? Is one easier than the other?

Thanks again.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
Jackal01
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Crutchfield provides everything you need for an install. You just need to make sure everything is there because you sometimes have to add the parts individually because they do not come as a kit. The features depends on the unit you buy on whether or not they will work on the new unit.
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Unread 04-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
ColdCase
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You can ask crutchfield for which radio is easiest to fit that provides the functions you want. Most have proprietary antenna connections, OEM cables may or may not hook up. It is a standard USB connection, however. You need to pick a head unit with USB input.

The head unit is not that bad but you need to be willing to pretty much take your entire interior apart to get at the speakers and wire an amp.. if you add an amp. You probably need to set aside more than a weekend. The OEM sub box needs some improvement to prevent buzz. There was a teardown posted somewhere, and mod tips. Mostly from the 2011 time frame.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
cju84
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the answers. I'm aware that every DVD Head Unit is a "modified fit" meaning i'll have to do a little bit of dremeling. I'll ask them what they think the easiest fit that requires the least amount of dremeling might be.

ColdCase - as far as the speakers are concerned, I'll probably have someone else do those. I have honestly zero experience with car audio and electronics in general, so was just seeing if a complete noob could put a head unit in using Crutchfield's instructions.

Thanks again!
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Unread 04-26-2013, 08:33 AM   #6
ColdCase
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Bezel removal – you can spend 30 seconds by grabbing the bezel from the bottom and pulling or you can spend 5 or more minutes using the trim stick and prying the bezel off. The 30 sec method is as follows. Open the door to the center stack cubby. Reach above door and grap bezel from behind. Pull bezel out from bottom. Work your way around from bottom to the top by pulling the bezel until it pops loose. Work you way around the entire bezel doing this until it is completely free from the dash. Don’t worry, it will not break. It has plastic clips that will come off before the bezel breaks.

Bezel harness – The AC/Htr controls have two wire harness connected to the back. Remove these harness by pushing on the quick disconnect clip and pull the harnesses free. Put the harness in a safe place like the back seat floor.

Radio removal – There are 4 screws securing the radio. Use the 7mm socket or nut driver and remove the four screws. Grab the radio by the metal housing and ease it out. There can be 2 large harnesses, 1 small harness, and two antenna cables on the back of the radio. All harnesses and cables are connected to the radio by quick disconnect connectors. Push the quick disconnect clips and disconnect all harnesses and cables from the radio.

Many use a file or rasp to open up the plastic enough for the replacement radio. May be easier with a dremel but certainly not necessary. I'm partial to the Kenwood line, basically because the NAV is Garmin and you get plenty of features for the money.

Make sure you get all the adapters needed, especially if you have and want to retain the steering wheel radio control.

Being aftermarket, I don't think the dealer needs to reprogram any security features. If you were swapping out the radio for another chrysler radio, the vehicle computer may need to be programmed with the radio serial number.
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Unread 04-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #7
cju84
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Thanks so much ColdCase, this was extremely helpful. Seems pretty painless.
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