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Old 06-24-2013, 12:15 PM
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MaxPower MaxPower is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Age: 38
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Vehicle: 2009 Ram 1500
Trim Level: Lone Star
Color: Grey
Engine: 2009-20?? 345ci (5.7L) Hemi V8 390hp 407lb/ft
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Default Just some pics on installing aftermarket bluetooth

I doubt anyone will have any problems with this, but I swapped out my factory head unit for an aftermarket one. I took some pics and thought I'd throw up what I found in case it helps someone out.

I initially went with a JVC KD-X80BT, but it was slow in how fast my inputs on the factory steering wheel would respond. Plus the radio reception was terrible. I had bought it from Crutchfield so I contacted them and I swapped to a Pioneer DEH-X8500BH free of charge. Gotta love their service. Their kind of high in their prices, but I had gotten a free reward card that cut them down to cheap.

Here's the install. It was all straight forward with using the PAC RP4-CH11 adapter to retain factory steering wheel audio connections. One thing I found was on the JVC you have to splice together the steering wheel input wire, while with the Pioneer you use the included 2.5 mm jack plugged directly into the back of the head unit.

Here's a pic of the mess I made. It was an easy mess to make with 2x some size torx bit for the bezel, 4x 7mm bolts holding the head unit in, and 2x 10mm bolts to remove the driver's grab handle.

Here's where I mounted the mic for the hands free calling. I pulled the A pillar cover off and there was tons of room behind it. I zip tied to the existing wires in it. There was about 3/4" of space at the bottom that was open to under the dash. All in all, it was about the easiest wiring run that I had done for going from the headliner to the head unit.

After that was installed, I put it all back together with a custom cell mount I built (that still needs to be painted in this picture) and it looks pretty good. The sound is great with the Infinity 6x9s I also put in. The unit is fast with cold booting to playing off the 16 GB USB in under 5 seconds. HD radio has been a surprise because I didn't realize most radio stations broadcast multiple streams of programming on the same channel. Hands free calling is working great with the factory radio buttons now being used to answer calls in addition to browse folders, change stations, volume, etc...

For $300 including all the above plus all adapters for steering wheel controls, antennae, single DIN, and factory harness connection isn't bad. Plus I'll give Crutchfield a big plug for hooking up a free return and replacement when I wasn't happy with my first receiver.
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