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PeterF 12-01-2012 11:52 PM

WK Remote Start Xpresskit and Smartstart Writeup
Hello all, I never really have contributed anything to this forum the past 2 years so now is my time. I have gotten so much help on this forum. What I am going to do here is make a writeup for the installation of an Xpresskit DBALL and DirectEd Smartstart module. I'll begin by explaining what everything is for those of you that don't know. This was all very very confusing to me when I first started doing my research. THIS GUIDE IS FOR 2005-2007 GRAND CHEROKEES but 2008-2010 are similar, the wiring is a little different! When installed the way I will tell you, you will be able to remote start, unlock, lock your car with your smartphone from anywhere (other options described as well). When remote started, your car's heated seats will also be activated (my favorite feature). You can also pop the back glass window open (who cares?)

The Xpresskit DBALL is a Bypass Module which basically taps into the WK's computer and can control almost anything and allows you to remote start the car without a key being present in the ignition. It must be programmed with firmware on the xpresskit site using an Xkloader2 which just connects the xpresskit dball to a computer using a usb port.

The Smartstart module connects your Xpresskit to a 3G wireless network in order to receive commands from your smartphone to remote start the car, lock it, unlock it, or pop the trunk window. With the Smartstart app (free) you will be able to control your car from virtually anywhere. It does require a plan which costs $50 a year which I believe is a small price for being able to start my car ten minutes before I am even close to it. It is unlimited range because it receives its signal from the 3G network. It is also what they call 2-way which means you will send the signal, and receive confirmation that the signal was received and your car has been started, unlocked, locked, etc. There are various Smartstart modules, one is the DSM200 which i use, and the DSM250 which is more expensive. The difference is that the DSM200 just controls the car, and the DSM250 controls the car and has GPS in it which can be used to locate your car. I don't really ever forget where my car is parked and I don't live where it will be stolen (hopefully).

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Smartstart module can be substituted for an XL202 module which is just a receiver with remote to control your xpresskit to remote start, lock, unlock, etc. Basically, it just is an antenna to use your xpresskit like a typical remote starter with remote (not using your smartphone as remote). This is the best thing for those of you who do not have smartphones or do not want to pay $50 a year for a smartstart subscription, and just want a simple remote. Also, you don't have to use either of these modules, and the factory remote can be used to press lock three times which will result in the xpresskit dball remote starting the car. Now I'm sure that sounds fantastic but the range on the factory remote blows, and believe me it is nearly impossible to press lock 3 times in a row and have the car recognize the signal and honk. It must honk each time you press lock, you cannot just press lock quickly. It will require a bit of practice to get the rhythm correctly. For these reasons I guarantee you will never be satisfied using the factory remote for remote starting. It is a huge mistake. Use either of the 2 modules.

Before I begin explaining the installation process, I just want to say that the DirectEd company does not want anyone but an authorized dealer to install or activate the Smartstart module. I will guide you through a (not so) secret process of which I found that you can activate it yourself. Lastly, I do not take any responsibility for whatever you may do to your car.

First thing you should do is go on and in the top right, you can click on your vehicles year, make, and model to make sure the Xpresskit DBALL is right for your vehicle.
The DBALL will be best for all grand cherokees 2005-2010, but the install is different for 2005-2007 and 2008-2010. I will be explaining the installation process for 2005-2007, but the only difference for 2008-2010 is that their wiring will be different.

I will be referring to a few documents/guides when I write this. Use them to help guide you.

XpressKit DBALL guide: Refer to Installation Type 4 (page 13) for 2005-2007 Grand Cherokees according to the chart on page 3 (for all you 2008-2010 WK people refer to Installation type 2 but I WILL NOT be explaining that wiring here) -

Smartstart Installation Guide -

Smartstart User Guide -

Xpresskit DBALL
Smartstart module (or XL202 module with a remote)
Xkloader2 cord for connecting the xpresskit dball to the computer
CHTHD2 T-harness for less wire splicing (CHTHD1 is used for years 2008-2010)
electrical tape
soldering iron and electrical solder (if you want to solder your 3 splices)

Step 1 Programming firmware onto the DBALL: Get your Xpresskit DBALL out and plug it into your computer for programming. If you are buying your Xpresskit DBALL off ebay and you want to save money on buying the xkloader2 wire by having the seller program the DBALL for you, DON'T FLIPPING DO IT, there are a bunch of different firmwares for this DBALL and you must use the exact correct firmware configured for RSR (remote start ready).
You must then use Internet Explorer (not google chrome or firefox or whatever) to go to
Follow the steps in these pictures

Step 2 Wiring the DBALL: This is probably the hardest part I think. I like to solder my connections and put some tape on them. I am not a professional automotive electrician keep in mind. The DBALL comes with a red, blue, and black connectors which have a ton of wires coming out of them for you to hard wire into your vehicle and plug into the color coded ports on the DBALL. With the T-harness, you do not need the red and blue. The T-harness uses the red and blue ports on the DBALL. DO NOT CONNECT THE RED OR BLUE CONNECTORS OF THE T-HARNESS TO THE DBALL UNTIL INSTRUCTED TO DO SO IN STEP 4
You must take off the trim around the ignition barrel, unscrew the two star screws holding the barrels and then maneuver it down below the dash. I know it is tough but you have to maneuver it down below the dash all the way out to where you can work on it.
There are 2 connectors going into the ignition barrel. You must unplug the one with the red retaining clip on it in order to maneuver the ignition barrel below the dash. Just slide the retaining clip to the side (towards the driver door) and unplug the connector.
Now that you have the 5 pin red retaining clip where you can work on it, wire it as shown in the Xpresskit DBALL guide link above, and you can also refer to the pictures below for help. Look at the 5 pins carefully. It depends whether you are looking at the front of the connector, the back, or whether it is upside down or not. The violet/brown wire that is just hanging off the CHTHD2 harness needs to be connected to pin 2 (also violet in color). The picture kinda makes it look like I connected it to pin1, but i did not!!!!
The yellow/red start wire coming from the blue connector on the CHTHD2 harness needs to be connected to pin 4 (pinkish or kinda orange red in color).
Now you must disconnect the 2nd connector (8 pin male, shown as number 1 in the picture below) from the ignition barrel (shown as number 2 in the picture below) and plug it into the female connector on the T-harness (shown as number 4 in the picture below). Then plug the male connector (shown as number 3) from the T-harness to where you just unplugged the original wire (number 1) from the ignition barrel.
As shown in the Xpresskit DBALL guide link above, you must cut the violet/brown wire (pin 8, shown in the picture below) near the 8 pin male connector (shown as number 3 in the picture ABOVE) on the T-harness that you just plugged into the ignition barrel.
Some of you may see that the Xpresskit DBALL guide link above shows that you can connect the black connector/harness supplied with the DBALL to a hood pin (or neutral safety switch) so you do not start the car when you are working under the hood. I did not wire in this hood pin because I don't believe I will have this issue and I like to live dangerously. Do whatever you want. The hood pin is basically a pin that grounds the white/black wire from the black connector when the hood is open and then the DBALL knows not to start the car. Also, from the red connector is a green/black wire you are supposed to wire to the parking lights. I did not do this because lights flash and come on and everything whenever i send commands, i dont think this wire is necessary.

Step 3 Wiring the Smartstart module (or any other module)
This is very easy. Refer to the Smartstart install guide I posted above. Simply plug the white D2D (they call it data 2 data) male connector from your smartstart module harness into the DBALL as shown. You do not need any power connections, the D2D wire supplies power and everything! Plug and play!
Then you must connect the gray wire from the smartstart module to a ground. I just connected a piece of wire to a screw under the dash to make a ground wire and then connected it to the gray wire of the smartstart module as shown below
You are done wiring the Smartstart

Step 4 Programming the DBALL part 2
Refer to the programming page in the Xpresskit DBALL guide posted above, it is page 18 if you have keyless which most people do i assume. First thing it tells you to program the DBALL with the firmware on their website which you should have done in Step 1 of my writeup.
1. Connect the white male connector on the smartstart to the DBALL, you probably already did this in step 3.
2. Connect the red male connector from the T-harness to the DBALL. AFTER THE RED, connect the blue male connector to the DBALL.
3. Put your key in to the ON position and the DBALL will start flashing green. Take the key out and press lock or unlock, which then makes the dball go solid green or orange for a second or so.

Pictured below are the last connectors on the T-harness. They are red and blue and they plug into their corresponding blue and red ports on the DBALL. Notice I am holding the yellow/red wire that you wired earlier. It is coming out of the blue connector as i said.
Plug in the red and then the blue connector. The DBALL will power up.
Here is a picture of the total setup

Step 5 Activating the Smartstart
If you chose to use the XL202 module with remote over the Smartstart then you are on your own at this point but I'm pretty sure you just plug it in and it should work.
For this step, you can refer to the Smartstart Module install guide above.
To program the smartstart, make sure it is still plugged into the dball. Both the Amber (orange) and Green LEDs on the smartstart module should be on and solid (not flashing). If they are not, unplug the blue connector from the DBALL, which cuts the power. Then plug the blue connector back in and the smartstart should boot up again. The amber and green LEDs should become solid after flashing for a little bit.
Keep in mind you are not supposed to be able to activate this smartstart unless you are a dealer.
Go to and login using username dei1 and password dei1.
CLick "install device"
Enter the Air ID given with your Smartstart module and the word verification stuff.

I cannot show you the next window because once you do it, you CAN NEVER GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN!
The next window has some settings and things you can change and it also has buttons you can press to test your installation. You can press unlock, lock, or remote start I believe and the website should send a command your car, test it. If it does not work, DO NOT COMPLETE THE ACTIVATION. ONCE YOU COMPLETE THE ACTIVATION YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK AGAIN EVEN IF THE SMARTSTART DOESN'T WORK! If someone could take a screenshot of this page and post it on here that would be great! Once you have tested it and it works you can complete the activation.
Now you must pay for your subscription. Just follow the SmartStart User Guide I posted above. It should be easy.
Last thing, download the app on your smartphone and you should be good to go. Here is a picture of the app.

Good luck everybody, if you have any questions just ask even if they are dumb questions. I must have screwed up this installation 50 times before I got it right. It's confusing. Happy Holidays!

DieselDevotion 12-02-2012 02:20 AM

Thanks, I was waiting for this from ya! I didn't get a chance to read through it yet but it looks like one hell of a good job!

onlyone 12-02-2012 09:16 AM

This should be a sticky.

C0mbatChris 12-02-2012 11:01 AM

This is an incredibly awesome in depth write up! Great job! I agree, needs to be a sticky.

DieselDevotion 12-03-2012 06:27 AM

X 3 on the Sticky! Finally got a change to read through. Will be ordering the dball, the loader, and the harness for the wife's Christmas present. I'm going to take a chance on using the factory key fob and if I'm not happy I'll add a long range remote. Thanks a lot! Very nicely done!

PeterF 12-03-2012 07:38 PM


Originally Posted by DieselDevotion (Post 14545316)
X 3 on the Sticky! Finally got a change to read through. Will be ordering the dball, the loader, and the harness for the wife's Christmas present. I'm going to take a chance on using the factory key fob and if I'm not happy I'll add a long range remote. Thanks a lot! Very nicely done!

It's unfortunate but I know you will be very disappointed (as i was). Not only does pressing lock three times hardly ever work, the range is terrible.

I took a few minutes and I found a few installation guides (depending on which remote you use) for the xl202 module. It looks like the remote and antenna (remote and antenna together are called an RF kit) do not come with the xl202 module and must be purchased separately. You must also purchase an RF kit. Check out the various installation guides for each type of remote you might purchase. The instructions are extremely straight forward and much easier than the smartstart module. When programming the DBALL with the xkloader2 and your laptop, where I checked the box for "Smartstart" and "3X Lock Start", you should check the box for the maker of your remote such as "Viper", "Astrostart", "Clifford", "Avital", etc.

A quick note about RF kits. They come with pretty much every remote starter. I have one sitting in my garage that is from an avital remote starter that I bought for $40 brand new a few years ago. The remote is only a one-way remote, meaning it just sends a signal and does not give you confirmation that the signal was received. This should give you an idea of what an RF kit might cost. It should be cheap for a one-way.

I can't seem to find any decent prices for RF kits on the internet. It's almost like most places don't sell them.

JBert 12-04-2012 10:58 AM

How much should we expect to pay for this kit?

PeterF 12-04-2012 10:05 PM

I've been doing a bunch of google searches and it seems nobody really calls it an rf kit, they call it an rf system. I searched for viper rf system, python rf system, and clifford rf system and found that you can purchase the xl202 module with the rf system which is extremely convenient.

Here is a sample installation guide for a few different remote types:

You can google search "xl202 installation guide" and you will find various guides for all sorts of remotes

This website sells the xl202 module with a remote and antenna but I have never bought anything from this website so I am not sure if it is reliable. The price seems great:

DieselDevotion 12-05-2012 01:00 AM


Originally Posted by JBert
How much should we expect to pay for this kit?

I ordered a Dball for $45 a T-harness for $22 and an xkloader2 for $28 off of eBay

Steve01WJ 12-15-2012 01:45 PM

I just did this install. There was 3 screws holding on the ignition. One is on top under the trim.

Also does anyone have details on connecting the parking lights?? Mine didn't automatically work.

Tjgrou2 01-27-2013 11:29 AM

Outstanding write up. Looking into this for my 2005 WK. I'm going to use the factory remote. I've tested it inside my house and office. It SHOULD work, but who knows. From what I've read, the expresskit should be a plug in and go (ie. no splices needed). Also, did you ever find it necessary to go back in and wire the hood and brakes? Can't wait to try this.

Tjgrou2 01-27-2013 01:03 PM

Do you recall if that was a "Plug and Play"? The reason I ask is that an eBay vendor has a Dball&CHTHD2 T-Harness for sale. He will program it and he says it is plug and play. Plug and play should make splicing and cutting unnecessary right?? Any help would be great.

-I know you suggested not purchasing one of these, but he has 100% feedback on 400 items sold. I'm going to trust him, plus a 14 day return policy.

DieselDevotion 01-28-2013 02:37 AM


Originally Posted by Tjgrou2
Do you recall if that was a "Plug and Play"? The reason I ask is that an eBay vendor has a Dball&CHTHD2 T-Harness for sale. He will program it and he says it is plug and play. Plug and play should make splicing and cutting unnecessary right?? Any help would be great.

-I know you suggested not purchasing one of these, but he has 100% feedback on 400 items sold. I'm going to trust him, plus a 14 day return policy.

It's nearly plug and play just a few slices to make. Just be very specific in what options you want programmed into the firmware, like 3x lock for start, heated seats on at 32 or colder, delay if its a diesel etc...

PeterF 03-10-2013 09:33 PM

Dustintinsley, you messaged me but I can't reply because your inbox is full.

First, make sure the the brown loop is cut and not grounded. Unplug the blue connector to the xpresskit to shut everything down. Then plug the blue connector back in and everything should power up. The green light should come on eventually. If it doesn't, that means the xpresskit and smartstart aren't communicating. Then the problem will be with your xpresskit. The xpresskit needs to be programmed exactly like I did in the forum, with the correct smartstart firmware

UPwjjeep 12-24-2013 03:10 PM

Excellent writeup! I just installed the smart start setup for my FiancÚ today using these instructions. Very detailed and made the install seem simple. Thanks PeterF.

One thing I thought I would throw out there: For anyone using more recent smart start modules, they now have a white loop and brown loop instead of a gray grounding wire. There is no need to ground the newer DSM200. To set the new smart start module up for 2005-2007 WK's leave the white loop alone and cut the brown loop. This will tell the smart start module that it is an RSR setup. Refer to the installation instructions for further explanation. I have only verified this setup for the DSM200.

Thanks again for the great writeup!

The time now is 03:31 AM.

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