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Thread: WxNerd2015's Never Ending Build

  1. #1
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    WxNerd2015's Never Ending Build

    Hello all! I have created this thread to post up about my 2011 JK and all the building and modification that I do to it starting from day 1 when I drove her off the lot! This is a bit late, but as I am sure that you can see, I only joined Wayalife a month or so ago, so I have to get caught up some! I had been reading/seeing/following some other members build pages, and I really like the idea of it as sometimes you know you want to do something, but just don't have an idea of what you want to do to your Jeep (cuz let's face it, I get antsy and twitchy if it has been too long without working on my Jeep, and we all know, it's always a work in progress, never finished!) and these build forums I just loved reading through and seeing interesting things that I had never thought of or ideas that I didn't even know were possible, and making it happen and seeing that it works! These build forums are also neat I think too cuz the write ups are well thought out and thorough and really have provided me with so many answers that I have been looking for! I love bring these ideas that I have come up with and found from other fellow Jeepers into one location for me (on my Jeep, and in this forum), and as I am a newer Jeeper (1+ Years owning a my JK, but I have been a Jeep fanatic much longer than that), there are a lot of ideas and builds to come, as well as I would love all of your feedback too on my projects as well! Thanks for reading and please subscribe as hopefully this will be an informative and interesting thread for you all!

    Thanks!,

    WxNerd2015

  2. #2
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    Before my Jeep, I had my first truck for 7 Years. I saved up and bought it when I was about 15 so I could work on it and get it fixed up right once I got my license. It was a 2001 Dodge Dakota 2WD no ABS 3.9L V6...it was a fun truck! I also just graduated from the University of Oklahoma this past May with a degree in meteorology (and I also did my fair amount of storm chasing while I was down there too, my buddies and I called ourselves the Wedge Seekers and we have fb and twitter and youtube and a webpage if anyone wants to go and check that out!) But that Dakota lasted my on many trips back and forth between Oklahoma and Michigan (where I am from) as well as was great for many storm chases well! However, as I am sure you all know, sometimes there comes a time with some vehicles that it is costing more to keep it up than just to get a new one, and while I wished I could have gotten a new vehicle, AND kept the truck, i could not afford that at the time! Well, I had been wanting a Jeep for a long time, that was my dream vehicle that I could work on and make all my own and really have some real good fun in, and I didn't think that my dream of that would come true for a while, but thankfully...it did! My nana had purchases a 2011 JKU Sport S back in 2011 and she let me drive it sometimes, and boy was that dangerous...the second I got behind that wheel, that was the vehicle that I had wanted. Well, she obviously decided that she did not want to part with her Jeep, so I went out searching and in May of 2014 found this beauty below! A 2011 JK Sport S, Sand in color, and only 10k miles! So basically, a brand new Jeep still! The dealer also decided to add some of the black accents on there cuz they said that they thought it looked cooler...and I absolutely agree! I love the whole simple black and tan look on it and that is how I am keeping it! Below are a few photos of the aforementioned vehicles (Dakota, JKU, and my JK):
    20140403_182937_Fotor.jpg155065_1662813460988_3327453_n.jpg20140513_192625.jpg20140513_192610.jpg

  3. #3
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    Here's just a few more off of the lot and first time home pictures! I just could not pass up on this beauty sitting there, as the deal was great and I just absolutely loved it from the second that I saw it!
    20140513_192636.jpg20140514_103056.jpg10371593_10203624631807148_8981121729357098390_n.jpg

  4. #4
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    The first modification that I did on this JK was to get my CB radio that was in my Dakota, installed into the jeep! To do this, I used the:
    Rugged Ridge 11503.96 CB Radio Antenna Mount Kit

    d0e182c4415fa49626e20ba93c26b241.1500.jpg

    As well as a few left over parts from the CB antenna mounts from the Dakota and an extra connector from radioshack for the antenna to the radio!

  5. #5
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    The Rugged Ridge CB mount was used to mount a 4' Firestick CB antenna behind the spare tire, as well as a Cobra 29 LX 40 Channel 4 Color LCD Display CB Radio w/ Weather Channels (As a meteorologist and storm chaser, the weather radio was my main want from this, and the weather alert works absolutely awesome!).

    29LX_RED.jpgKW.jpg

    I already had plenty of length on the coax cables from the installation on my truck which this was removed from so All I needed to do was run the coax cable. I took the plastic conver on the inside of the tailgate off and I ran the coac through the vent and into the tailgate through that cover. I then reinstalled the cover to hold the cable in place and zip tied it to the tailgate strap to run it into the jeep.
    Then the cable was run through the passenger read plastic cover and up into the roll bar cover. I unzipped the roll bar covers all the way up to the windshield and ran the coax up through the windshield until there.
    Next I took off the sunvisor on the passenger side and the plastic in the upper corner of the windshield and also pooper the passenger side of the upper part of the plastic by the windshield out. I ran the coax up behind the plastic trim located there and down up against the windshield at about the position of the rearview mirror. (I will do a full write up with pictures of where thing sgo completely soon, however this is just a fast write up for the moment) I then attached the U-bracket for the CB radio to the mount and ended up having to drill new holes in the mount so that the radio would fit horizontally with the mic attached in between the sun visors.
    With the mount attached properly, I attached the coax to the radio and hung the radio up in the windshield.
    From there I then ran the power cord back through the plastic trim the same way the coax came in to the edge of the windshield. I then ran the coax down inside the passenger side of the dash, then around underneath the glove box and out at the bottom of the center dashboard trim piece right next to the 12V plug.
    From my truck I had already had a 12V plug soldered onto the end of the power cable which also had a power switch on it, so I can switch the radio power on and off as well, and plugged that in to the 12V plug.
    Wala! The radio is in and installed and working! Definitely came in handy for me out inthe Plains chasing storms! The entire process took maybe 2-3 hours total, however there was some stoppage time for needing to grab a few extra parts as well as lunch!

    Contact me with any questions or comments, and a full write up with pictures will be coming soon!

  6. #6
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    My next modification was an upgrade to the radio in the Jeep. The radio that originally came in the jeep was the 130S/RES, which was 1 step above the base model as it had the satellite radio has well as the functions for the UConnect but did not have the UConnect module.

    system_lg_130_RES_RSC.jpg

    I did some research to find what the UConnect module would cost to add in and what the parts I would need would be. This modification was definitely possible, but you needed the Uconnect module (which was $200+) as well as another harness to connect to the radio, and a microphone. Then you also have to mount the uconnect module inside the dash panel as well. Now this was not too expensive for keeping the OEM look and function, but adding in the additional function of having the bluetooth features, however, this radio didn't even have navigation and I could purchase a new aftermarket radio that had navigation as well as satellite and bluetooth all included for the same price and the same amount of work, and have better audio.

    So I did some more research and decided that I did want to keep the OEM look and function, but I wanted to upgrade the radio. I looked into the 430 model radios, but those still required the addition of the same UConnect module so that just added to the price that I already knew. I ended up research the 730N/RHR model radio and searched eBay for a great deal. These radios brand new retail for anywhere between $1500-$3000, and eBay prices were not much better for used and refurbished radios that were in good shape. However, I got extremely lucky and was able to find one that was being sold on eBay as a pull off from a junkyard for only $500!!! Score!!! The only imperfection on the radio was a slight knick on the screen in the corner which you barely notice when the radio is off and can't see when it is on, so this was perfect!

    20140731_190058.jpg
    20140731_190130.jpg
    20140731_190151.jpg

    This radio was pulled out of a 2011 Dodge Ram 3500 and was barely used. The 730N/RHR radios have 2 connects on the back for the antennas, the white is the AM/FM antenna and the yellow is the Satellite/Navigation antenna. The 730N/RHR is also a major improvement on internal equipment as well, as the UConnect functions are built in to the radio which means this radio is much closer to plug and play with no extra module required for UConnect function. The only thing that is required to activate the UConnect in the radio itself is the addition of the microphone which is inserted in the small middle slot in the plugs on the back. The microphone looks like this:

    $T2eC16VHJIkE9qU3kIJrBRdwhqEM,!--60_57.jpg

    And only costs about $35-$40 to get and is a simple install!

    More write up to come on the radio installation, radio function, radio updates, and Chrysler radio compatibility discussion!

  7. #7
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    Chrysler Radio Compatibility Discussion

    Now, my main issue and the big part of the research that I had to do was understanding the compatibility of the radio with my Jeep! When I started looking and had the idea, I had no clue on how many different radios that were actually made by Chrysler and that it was very specific as to which radio would work in my Jeep!

    This first keep decision that I was making was which models of radios I wanted to look at (operating systems, features, fitment, etc.) and what were the key features to me. I decided that I wanted to go for the upgrade to an in-dash navigation radio as having the GPS up in the window was becoming an annoyance as windshield space on the Wranglers is very limited, and if I was going to spend the money to upgrade, I wanted to do it right!

    I originally had access to a brand new REN model radio, pulled brand new from a 2009 Town and Country. This is the non-navigation model of the touchscreen Chrysler radios. This was not as ideal as I wanted to navigation radio, however this was almost all the way there, and it was free, which you can't beat!

    20140722_201017.jpg
    20140722_201038.jpg
    20140722_201108.jpg
    20140722_201122.jpg

    I soon found out in researching the compatibility that there are 2 different kinds of CAN-BUS systems in all Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram vehciles, a high-speed CAN-BUS which covers all the JK models (07-current), and the low-speed CAN-BUS which applies to some other vehicles. Radios meant for low speed CAN-BUS are not compatible which those using a high speed CAN-BUS. So the free option was out the window!

    I then started the comparison between the 430N model navigation radios and the 730N/RER and the 730N/RHR radios. Now i liked the 430N models as they were a bit cheaper, the interface was nice, and Garmin navigation is the system that I had in my window for years, so I knew the system would be solid, However, a few of the key features that swayed me away from the 430N were the lack of a built in UConnect module (as stated earlier, you still had to purchase that separately), as well as the lack of being able to have the radio and navigation split screen as I feel that that is a really nice and useful feature. And as mentioned before, for some of the 430N's and the 730N/RER's, the high and low speed CAN-BUS compatibility needed to be checked as these were used in both systems, which was a pain in the butt to constantly have to check. I did however find a great site to help show what model numbers of what radios are compatible with all chrysler vehicles:

    Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2 - 2011 Grand Cherokee Navigation radios

    Which this page is meant for the Grand Cherokees, however parts numbers which are compatibly for 2011 Wrangler with the High Speed Can-Bus system are listed in there and that was a great help in the search, as well as making sure that I had everything that I needed to install and get 100% operation out of!

    So, I decided, for what I was look for, the 730N would fit me best, so I researched both the RER and the RHR which both had high and low speed systems, both had built in hard drives, both had navigation by Navteq, both have built in HDD for music, pictures, etc. (however the hard drives vary in size depending on which radio you purchase and when it was made), etc. Basically they are the same unit, just the RHR is slightly updated in operating system, as well as a few additional features. The major difference between these two units came when I was looking at the plugs on the back of the unit. They both contained the main operation radio plug, a spot for a facttory backup camera, the UConnect mic plug, 2 USB connection plugs, and the AM/FM antenna plug. The difference however came when looking at the satellite and navigation antenna connections. On the RER, there were two separate antennas with two separate plugs for the satellite radio (yellow) and the navigation (blue):

    fSjmGFO_1024x1024.jpg

    As these were two separate antennas on the vehicle when these radios were being installed new from the factory, so, 2007-2010. On the RHR model, the separate satellite and gps anetnnas were combind into one plug on the back for the radio (yellow), so one less wire needed:

    cuEHmFZ_1024x1024.jpg

    So, no having navigation from the factory, I assumed that I was going to need to install a gps antenna somewhere on the vehicle (which, it's a Jeep, not a lot of upward facing surfaces that are going to stay on the Jeep all the time, so I was trying to determine the location of the satellite antenna. Turns out, that location is on top of the sound bar on the passenger side, roughly above the speaker, as the interference from both the hard and soft tops are minimal, so this way the antenna is always on the vehicle. So having satellite and needing GPS, I assumed the RER was going to be easier so I didn't have to get an additional connector. I did just a bit more digging and talking with the parts department (who then had to call the Chrysler engineers) and found out that starting in 2011, any Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep vehicle that had satellite radio was already wired for navigation as the antennas had been combined into a single dual antenna, which meant no need to add a gps antenna and run a wire and all that! Woohoo!

    This meant that the connector that I had for both of those matched to that which plugged in to the RHR model, not the RER model, so I then decided and searched for the 730N/RHR model radios.

    Now, I know this has been long winded, but I searched a lot, and spent a long time putting all this information together in my head, so I just wanted to share it here to get a lot of this information together in one location to help anyone else out who is in the same situation that I am in, and deciding on the same modifications! So with that said, there was one last thing that needed to be considered...and thanks Chrysler for making it this complicated to change to another OEM radio which are compatible with some many different vehicles, but this much work is needed for all the different parts number that one have! Oh well, there is also a great satisfaction after a long and hard chase is complete and all is installed and functioning properly too, so I guess I can't complain too much! So the last consideration for me, was the fact that in some of the RHR model radios, Chrysler built in an anti-theft device, where-as you need to have a certain code to unlock the radio if it gets installed in a new vehicle, which many times, junkyard radios and eBay radios don't have with them, meaning that your new radio is bricked until you can get the code from the seller, figure out how to program around it, or pay for someone to generate a working code and send it back and enter, which all would be a big hassle. These anti-theft codes were introduced starting in the radios manufactured in 2012 to present, so if the radio you purchased was built in that time frame, make sure to check for the security/anti-theft code. I however got lucky and found one that was from 2011, so there was no security code to have to deal with and my radio was plug and play!

    I hope this discussion can help those of you, who are in the same situation as I was searching to make sure that you get the best part possible and that all will work. I know, in the end, the aftermarket option may have been simpler, but I just really wanted the OEM fit, look, and function! Feel free to share and use when you would like!
    Last edited by WxNerd2015; 11-10-2015 at 02:47 PM.

  8. #8
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    730N/RHR Radio Install

    Now, as promised, a write-up on the installation of the 730N/RHR In-Dash Navigation Radio!

    The installation overall, since it is an OEM part, was pretty straight forward with no surprises! I also apologize as I don't really have any picture of the process of disassembling the dash, but there are plently of videos and forum post with pictures and video if you are more of a visual learner! I am one of those visual learners, so here is the video that I used which was a big help for me:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDDA...LGEo9TxHJnITZa

    1. Pull the panel below the steering column down starting at the top, just below the steering wheel. Start pulling at the top and pull carefully as it is held on just by clips that snap in and out.

    2. Once that panel is removed, there are two bolts located at the top right and top left areas, to the right and left of the steering column which the panel had covered up, which need to be removed.

    3. Lift out the tray insert in the tray on top of the dash in the middle. Underneath that, there is one bolt that needs to be removed.

    4. If you have power windows, this next step is a bit more tricky, and for me, it was a PITA! Remove the power window switch (Or without the power convenience package just remove the cup where those switches whould be) by grabbing the middle of the switch and pulling, and using something flat to slid in to pop the plastic off doesn't hurt either. Once the switch is loose, you will not have mouch play in the connector to that, but release the connector and remove the switch if you can do this as this gives you much more room to work with.

    5. Once you have access to the power window switch location, the last bolt needed to remove in located just below where that switch was. If you look in at a downward angle, you will see the bolt, remove that, and make sure that all your hardware is in a good secured location so that you do not lose any them! I had one fall down under the carpet under the drivers seat, luckily, I had a long magnetized screw driver that I was able to find it and get it out after 20 minutes wasted cuz I wasn't paying attention.

    6. The rest of the dash is not just held on by the same type of clips that were holding that lower panel on, just just give some good, strong, but careful pulls and the dash panel should release! The dash panel in the 2011+ goes all the way over to the driver side door and encompasses the instrument cluster as well as the center of the dash!

    7. Now that the dash panel is removed and no longer interfering, you have access to remove your radio. There are 4 bolts (1 at each corner) holding the radio in place. Remove these 4 bolts and once again, put them in a safe place!

    8. Pull the radio straight out towards the rear of the vehicle until you have access to the plugs in the back of the radio.

    9. Disconnect all connections to the radio, and note the locations of which plugs go where, as this makes the install of the new radio much easier!

    ***As a side note, make sure that all CDs are ejected from the old radio before plugging in and installing the new radio as it is nearly impossible to get it back out unless plugged in to a factory harness!***

    10. With the old radio removed and set aside, take this time to clean out inside the dash panel any dust and dirt yo may have in there! I know it is a Jeep and all, but it's good to clean up where all that electrical is running as well as the vents since they do get used sometimes, ya know, on rainy days when you have to have the top up! Just a suggestion from me!

    11. With the dash empty and cleaned out, take the time and space to run the UConnect microphone and connector if you purchased one to activate the UConnect features on the radio! I routed mine right to the middle of the dashboard where the Sun Light sensor would be if I had automatic headlights! So it is in between the defrost vents directly below the review mirror!

    ***I tested a few locations, but for mounting convenience, this was the best location, and the sound quality for those on the other end is absolutely awesome! Even with the top off and windows down! And the UConnect works perfect!***

    12. Once you have the mic installed in it's location and the wire run and tied up nicely where you would like it, time to get the new radio in the dash! Get the radio close to the dashboard, as you don't want to stretch the wire harness too much and cause an issue somewhere else, and plug the appropriate connectors into their locations, with the new mic plug going into the smaller location next to the harness that is running in to the CAN-BUS system.

    13. Once all connections are made, line the radio up and slide it back into the dash location making sure no wire get pinched! It is a tight fit, so a little bit of force may be needed to get it all the way in.

    14. Before anything is secured back down, take a moment to start the vehicle and allow the radio to turn on and "learn" your vehicle and make sure that all is functioning properly, as you would hate to discover this once everything is buttoned back up!

    ***My radio turned on instantly when powered on and came up with the RAM splash screen (As this radio was last in a 2011 Ram 3500) which showed for 3 second, and then the radio automatically switched over to show the Jeep splash screen as it "learn" what it was connected to. If you have a radio that needs a security code, this is around the time that the new security code would need to be entered to allow the radio to function in it's new vehicle. The radio then came up to the black screen which displayed the clock. I then pressed the volume knob to turn the radio on and the radio turned on with 100% function. I then checked the navigation and it searched for signal and my current location for less than 1 minute and then displayed my location. and function was 100%! Last to check was the UConnect mic, so I pressed the UConnect button and UConnect activated and gave me possible prompts and it tookthe voice commands and executed properly. I also checked and the radio had synced in it's information to show my vehicles VIN number as to what vehicle it belonged to.***

    ***Extra side note, if you have a Sirius subscription, you will have to call SiriusXM and switch your subscription to your new radio, as the radios have different SiriusIDs. It is not linked to your Jeep, but the radio itself.***

    15. Once all is checked and you are satisfied that the radio is functioning properly, go head and reinstall the bolts to fasten the radio back to the dash.

    16. Grab the dash panel to reinstall. Line up all of the clips and snap them back into place.

    17. Reinstall the bolt that is through the power window switch hole.

    18. plug the power window switch back in.

    19. Once again, test to make sure that the power windows are functioning properly before going beyond this step.

    20. Snap the power window switch back into place in the dash by pushing it back in from the front.

    21. Reinstall the bolt in the upper dash panel tray. Careful not to over tighten as you could crack the plastic in the tray.

    22. Reinstall the bolts on either side of the steering column.

    23. Snap the panel below the steering column back in place starting with lining the bottom up and work your way to the top.

    And there you have it! A brand new 730N/RHR Navigation radio to play around with! This for was 100% a plug and play modification, but depending on the features in your jeep, you may need an extra couple of parts. The radio the I took out was a 130S/RES which is one step about the base as it has satellite radio and is UConnect ready if you had the module. Therefore I already had a Satellite antenna which in 2011+ is also a GPS antenna, so I had no need to run any additional wires. If you do not have satellite radio already, or have a pre 2011 Jeep, then you will need to get additional antennas and run extra wires.

    Here are a few pictures of the final product all installed and functioning:

    20140802_173245.jpg
    20140802_173236.jpg
    20140802_173229.jpg
    20140802_173305.jpg
    20140802_173315.jpg
    20140802_173328.jpg

    Please reply or message with any questions as I have an answer for most stuff dealing with these radio installs. I spent hours doing my research and know almost all there is to know about it! Also, let me know if you have any questions on compatibility as I can help, and you can read my previous post that goes in depth on this matter!

  9. #9
    Living the WAYALIFE MTG's Avatar
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    Subscribed so I can find this again.

  10. #10
    Been Around the Block WxNerd2015's Avatar
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    Picked this up last August as I had to make the trek down to Oklahoma from Michigan for my last year of college! Since I didn't have my truck anymore, I needed some way to get my bike back down there, so I picked up a spare tire mounted bike rack! The purchased the Thule 963 Spare Me Spare Tire Mounted Bike Rack:

    http://www.quadratec.com/products/92...q_pxoCYDrw_wcB

    It cost about $200, but is extremely solid and very secure. Here is a picture of it mounted with my Jeep Overland bike up there:

    20140812_074103.jpg

    I love the fact that your bike is up higher so you don't have to worry about if you go up a big incline you don't have to worry about the bike hitting the ground or a trailer hitch mount hanging way back for the hitch! I also love the fact that it has 2 built in locks, one that locks the mount to the Jeep and another which you can pull out to go around the bike to lock the bike up if you leave it on the back! The only thing that I additionally added was to throw a few bungees on there to keep the wheels from spinning the entire time as well as to hold the front tire straight so the wheel and handlebars weren't swinging back and forth and hitting the spare tire and Jeep!

    Overall, extremely solid quality, secured fit, and the bike and the mount didn't budge even once over 1100 miles in 2 days! I am extremely impressed with this mount and am excited to add a winter extension on to this too! As I do love skiing, Thule makes an add on mount to turn this into a spare tire ski and snowboard mount too, the Thule Tram 9033 Ski/Snowboard Carrier!

    http://www.jeepworld.com/accessories/thule/hitchski.htm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwVyJFySvDg

    Highly recommend and absolutely worth the price!

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