Over the years Chrysler has changed its interface for radios, both physical form/fit and electrical connectors. But for the Commander I'm "pretty sure" they are all from the same family of radios with the same form/fit/connectors. So a radio swap should be plug and play with a few exceptions, like if the new radio has features requiring equipment elsewhere in the vehicle that your vehicle does NOT have. Things like Satellite Antennas, GPS antennas, Steering Wheel Control Buttons, etc, etc. You'd have to add that extra equipment.
Originally Posted by LuvMyCommander
...The reason this idea came to mind is that there is an iPod interface cable available for the RER Uconnect MyGig radios but only for the 2009-2010 version....
I did something similiar, added a Chrysler Uconnect Hands Free Kit from the Dealer Acessories, for my Factory Radio. With the iPod Interface Cable.
The Hands Free Works just fine, the iPod interface is worthless, it doesn't work at all. I've tried all iPod/iPhone Products of various generations and firmware status, none work.
Googling it showed one post after another all over the internet complaining about Chrysler's iPod interface NOT working with any iPod/iPhone that is newer than the release date of the specific Chrysler iPod Interface Cable NOR any earlier iPod/iPhone that has had its firmware upgraded to a version later than the release date of the Chrysler iPod Interface Cable.
You'll find posts from people reporting they called Chrysler Customer Service and were told Chrysler is aware of the problem and working on a fix that will be released soon. The posts span 4 years or more, the same thing happening and Chrysler saying they are working on a fix and will be releasing it soon and no fix has ever been released.
My experience was several years ago, I gave up and stopped trying to find a fix and get it working. So, if someone tells you from more recent experience that it works for you specific equipment or Chrysler has released a fix, listen to them, otherwise, I would NOT even risk it, most likely you'll spend good money and time installing that cable to find it won't work.
Even more frustrating, Chrysler keeps selling the cables, claiming they are compatible when they are NOT. Best I can tell, the only people that have gotten the cables to work on anything other than a brand new Chrysler vehicle, have been people with older generation iPod's that they hacked them to go back to earlier versions of firmware.
Originally Posted by LuvMyCommander
.....If the radio is able to be easily replaced will it require dealer programming?....
This is frustrating, more and more electronic modules are like this by design from the Manufacturer, some for good reason, some for bad reason, like no other reason but to force the customer into the dealership to overpay for uneeded servicing.
If its a brand new radio, like most brand new electronic modules, it will have to be activated by the Dealership using their proprietary tools. I think that is anti-theft measure, if someone hi-jacks a truck load of parts, they'll don't work, and the only way to make sure they work is too have a dealer activate it with a tool that checks a data base over the internet and would be able to tell the module was stolen.
Many used electronic modules, were either activated at the factory or by dealer from the previous owner, so they will work just fine when you plug them in.
In a few cases, the Front Control Module (Central Gateway for the CAN Bus / Vehicles Computer Network) has to be configured to properly work with the new module, most cases NOT, it recognizes the new equipment and configures itself.
Finally, I have read, but don't know for sure, but some of the ultra-premium stereo's from the factory have anti-theft measures that they have to activated by the dealer if you move them to a new car. Just like PCM's and WINS/WEEMS (the electronic ignition key modules). The modules/radios check serial numbers/VIN's with the other modules and won't turn on if they recognize they've been swapped into another car.