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Discussion Starter #1
My factory Nav unit seems to be dying a slow death. This really blows since we aren't far from trying to sell the vehicle.

What is the best replacement option and source for the Nav unit? I want to retain all the factory features. It's a Limited model if that makes any difference. Has backup camera and backseat TV screen. It's not a touchscreen unit, but I would "update" to that model if it would plug and play.

Thanks!
 

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Ebay, people often sell their OEM radio left over after replacing it with an aftermarket radio, usually pretty darn cheap compared to the price new and they are usually gently used.


Dealer, just order a new one, it will be frustratingly expensive.


Dealer with online sales, same as any other dealer, just has an online sales department selling the Dealer parts at a discount.


Internet searches, perhaps a company is selling new OEM radios or used/repaired OEM radios.


Finally go aftermarket and get a new Head Unit that includes NAV, most including NAV are the more expensive models and are fully loaded with features, including back-up cameras and auxiliary output for rear screens, etc...


The issue would be can the aftermarket stereo connect to the existing back-up camera and rear screen TV. My aftermarket head unit, with an optional XM radio unit connected, the OEM Satellite antenna doesn't fit, but you can make it fit by taping it down and the OEM antenna gets the signal just as strong as the included antenna that your suppose to use.


Go to Crutchfield: Car Stereo, Speakers, Home Theater, Pro Audio, 4k TV they have lots of resources to figuring this out.


And another option, since you have to pay so much for the NAV, just get the control head without the NAV and use your phone. Although a couple years ago when I upgraded to an aftermarket stereo, the connection between head unit and phone was still rather immature. I could use my phone NAV on the Head Unit Screen, but I couldn't listen to the radio or recorded music while I did it, as well I had to connect two huge cables to the phone. Perhaps its more worked out now, and you can actually use your phone NAV on the screen while still listening to the radio and NOT use ungainly cables while doing it. i.e. Android Car Talk, or something like that.
 

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Oh BTW, Double DIN head units do NOT fit the Commander's Dash without cutting and modification. Yes, the front face of the OEM radio is the exact same height as Double DIN and slightly wider, the adapter for what you see in front is just plastic inserts to fill in the left over opening of slightly narrower Double DIN aftermarket Head Unit.


But look at the OEM radio removed, the body of the radio behind the face plate is smaller than the face plate. While most Double DIN head units have a body the same size as the face plate, and thus will not slide into the opening in the dash behind the face plate. You will likely need to cut up the plastic of the dash behind the faceplate, enlarge the opening, to get the aftermarket Double DIN radio to slide into it.
 

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Oh, one more, Do you have a Factory Amp? The higher end sound system? Is it Kicker or Harmon Kardon, I forget the brand?


The Factory Amp is controlled through the CAN bus, thus an aftermarket head unit cannot communicate with it to control it. Aftermarket Head Units cannot communicate on the CAN bus for steering wheel controls or the delayed shutoff that the OEM radio has either. They do make a CAN Bus Translator that is an additional purchase that you can wire in, that will work with the delayed shut-off and steering wheel controls for the aftermarket radio, it will communicate with the Factory Amp as well, BUT, they haven't figured out all the controls, I think you will still lose the ability to control the fading with the factory amp, but should be able to control everything else, like volume, balance and so on with a CAN Bus Translator.
 

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I'm about to swap in a Pioneer AVH-X3800BHS and a PAC-RP4-CH11 to maintain steering wheel controls, VES and Amp (although I may choose to skip the factory amp). I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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I'm running a setup similar to yours, though a bit older. I've got the PAC-RP11 and steering where controls work perfectly, as does the Boston Acoustics amp. It should be noted that the front/rear balance no longer works. However, I didn't retain rear VES functionality with my Pioneer AVIC-X920BT. I also don't have the backup camera so I can't vouch for that. I didn't have to make any modifications to the dash to make my stereo fit, either.
 

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How do I tell if I have a factory amp? My speakers on the door panels say Boston Acoustics or Research, 1 of the two.
 

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How do I tell if I have a factory amp? My speakers on the door panels say Boston Acoustics or Research, 1 of the two.
If you have the Boston Acoustics system then you have a factory amp. Unless, of course, it was switched out by a previous owner. The factory amp is located behind the driver's side trim panel in the cargo area.
 

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Just installed the Kenwood DDX6902S with Apple CarPlay which uses the Phones NAV. Works with everything except the VES, which was ok with me .The kids always use Headphones anyway.
 

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If you have the Boston Acoustics system then you have a factory amp. Unless, of course, it was switched out by a previous owner. The factory amp is located behind the driver's side trim panel in the cargo area.
Does that mean if I replace the head unit with an aftermarket unit I will lose the amp?
 

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Does that mean if I replace the head unit with an aftermarket unit I will lose the amp?
Yes, simply because the Factory Amp is controlled by digital messages on the CAN bus. The aftermarket head unit does NOT have the ability to send thus digital messages on the CAN bus, so the amp won't be able to operate like it did with the OEM head unit.


So, the aftermarket head unit might work fine, but no sound at all might NOT come out of the speakers.


You could wire the speakers directly to the aftermarket head unit, but that is a lot of extra work routing wire speakers. I don't think the factory amp is that powerful and good aftermarket head units are powerful enough to provide great sound with a good set of speakers. I "think" most aftermarket head units might be slightly less total watts than the Factory Amp, most aftermarket amps will be more.


They do make a CAN Bus Translator, for different features or combination of features. There is one for just the steering wheel controls, another for the factory amp, etc.... These basically connect to the aftermarket head unit and vehicle wire harness and sends the digital signals on the CAN Bus to operate things like the OEM head unit. I think the only one for the Commander Factory Amp, can do everything but FADER, i.e. you'd lose the ability to change Fader.


Start at Crutchfield.com, they have resources to explain and find these things to buy.
 

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Update: I installed my new Pioneer AVIC-7100. I was able to purchase a Metra 99-6510 Dash Bezel and a PAC RP4-CH11 SWC Interface & Wiring Harness for use with factory installed amps. All works well. I purchase at Best Buy and they matched the prices from Amazon.


Now my next question: Does anyone know where the factory Sirius XM tuner is? I would like to hook my new tuner up to the antenna on the roof, rather than add a 2nd antenna.
 

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...Now my next question: Does anyone know where the factory Sirius XM tuner is? I would like to hook my new tuner up to the antenna on the roof, rather than add a 2nd antenna.
The factory Sirius XM tuner is internal to the OEM Head Unit.


You can buy a Sirius XM tuner unit fairly cheap, its standardized, so every aftermarket head unit that offers it as an option, has the standardized cable to plugs right into it.


The OEM satellite antenna connector is slightly oversized for the connector on the Sirius XM tuner unit, so it will fit but won't snug/secure to the connection. I wrapped electric tape around the entire tuner unit, wrapping it over the antenna connection, to hold that connection tight for years to come. It tunes and receives satellites just fine using the OEM antenna and some improvised way to snug/secure the antenna connectors together.


I've used the PAC C2R-CHY4 for my Pioneer Head Unit, it burned out within 3 months, I replaced it and the replacement burned out in 3 months.


Let us know how your PAC unit works and lasts, i.e. post if it goes bad, it would be nice to know if its just my vehicle or if these units fail often for everyone?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the replies. I've never been through such an aggravating experience trying to replace a car stereo. I can't even really figure out what this thing is called to search for a replacement on eBay. I've gotten the best luck with "jeep rec unit" but 99% of those are already broken too. I wish that I could just find a plug and play replacement, maybe from a newer model, and be done with this.

The aftermarket options seem complicated as well. If I have to go that route, I really want to retain functionality with the factory steering wheel controls, rear VES, and backup camera - mainly for resale purposes. Just can't figure out the simplest way to go about this.
 

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Update: I installed my new Pioneer AVIC-7100. I was able to purchase a Metra 99-6510 Dash Bezel and a PAC RP4-CH11 SWC Interface & Wiring Harness for use with factory installed amps. All works well. I purchase at Best Buy and they matched the prices from Amazon.


Now my next question: Does anyone know where the factory Sirius XM tuner is? I would like to hook my new tuner up to the antenna on the roof, rather than add a 2nd antenna.
Twisted, do you have the rear DVD player and backup camera? Any chance you could post pics of your head unit installed?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Have come across navrepair.com.

Has anyone used them for fixing a faulty radio? Their YouTube video describes exactly the problem I'm having with the screen having gone black and bottom and right rows of buttons not working. 400 bucks to repair, but I would probably have that much or more in an aftermarket unit that wouldn't retain all the factory functions. Only a 90 day warranty included with the repair. I'm going to call and ask if they are using a new part or one cannibalized from an existing radio. If I thought the repair would last another 9-10 years I would do it in a heartbeat. We'll probably only keep the Jeep another year or so anyway.
 

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Does that mean if I replace the head unit with an aftermarket unit I will lose the amp?
Yes, the OEM Head Unit and OEM factory amp talk to each other over the vehicles CAN Bus. Since aftermarket head units can't talk over the CAN Bus, there is no way for the aftermarket head unit to turn the factory amp on or adjust its volume/fade, etc.... So without the factory amp, there will be no sounding coming from your speakers.

You could also replace the factory amp with an aftermarket unit, and that would require doing a lot of wiring all over the vehicle, complicating the install a lot.

UNLESS, you get a CAN Bus Adapter, that talks to the aftermarket head unit and the vehicle CAN bus.

This is NOT only an advantage for controlling the factory amp, it will also provide the features that the OEM head unit has to the aftermarket head unit and also makes for an easier installation for the extra circuits the NAV radios need.

Steering wheel controls.
The RAP (the radio runs for 10 minutes after removing the key).
A CAN bus adapter will retain these features for your aftermarket head unit.

The NAV and/or multi-media radios need to know if the parking break is set, the speed of the vehicle, if the vehicle is in reverse.
The aftermarket radio alone would require you to run wires all over the car, tapping into these circuits to get the features to work. With a CAN bus adapter, this information is reported over the CAN bus and the adapter can be spliced directly to the aftermarket head unit's wire harness and translate the info over the CAN bus directly to the radio.

There are 3 brands of CAN Bus translators that I'm aware of: As well, they offer several different models do separate things, some just the steering wheel controls or just the factory amp, other models do it all.

PAC - I've had two of them and they both burned out within several months. This brand offering can't control fade on the factory amp, you'll get everything else. I'm trying one of the others, not to satisfied with PAC and there are others that have had bad experiences with them as well.

Axxess (Metra) - They have several different models, just steering wheel controls, or a full feature unit that controls everything including factory amp. And a new universal model that you update the software yourself over the internet, it requires a separate steering wheel control module.

iDataLink Maestro RR - A full feature unit, that you flash for your specific vehicle and its configuration over the internet. You need to get a separate adapter wire harness for your specific vehicle. I ordered this to replace my 2nd burnt out PAC unit.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I've never been through such an aggravating experience trying to replace a car stereo. I can't even really figure out what this thing is called to search for a replacement on eBay. I've gotten the best luck with "jeep rec unit" but 99% of those are already broken too. I wish that I could just find a plug and play replacement, maybe from a newer model, and be done with this.

The aftermarket options seem complicated as well. If I have to go that route, I really want to retain functionality with the factory steering wheel controls, rear VES, and backup camera - mainly for resale purposes. Just can't figure out the simplest way to go about this.
Its only getting worse, the newest models of cars now have the Information Center Screens that are getting near impossible to replace with aftermarket radios. They have vehicle info tied into them and now even controls are part of the screens, like the HVAC controls, there are no longer knobs and buttons on the dash, you pull up a screen on the OEM radio touch screen to change fan speed or temperature.


The OEM wants to force you back to the Dealerships to pay insane prices for a stereo upgrade if you want it.


But, the aftermarket is getting better and trying to keep up.


The iDataLink Maestro has models that work with certain Alpine and Kenwood models, that the aftermarket radio can pull up an HVAC screen and change things just like the OEM radio, as well as the other screens.


The apple talk/android link is looking like they have finally gotten a real full feature link that works with the cell phones.


BUT, yea, the days when you bought any old radio and just hooked up the power/ground/antenna and speaker wires is long gone.
 

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Update: I installed my new Pioneer AVIC-7100. I was able to purchase a Metra 99-6510 Dash Bezel and a PAC RP4-CH11 SWC Interface & Wiring Harness for use with factory installed amps. All works well. I purchase at Best Buy and they matched the prices from Amazon.


Now my next question: Does anyone know where the factory Sirius XM tuner is? I would like to hook my new tuner up to the antenna on the roof, rather than add a 2nd antenna.
The Factory Sirius XM tuner is internal to the OEM Head Unit you removed. Your aftermarket head unit should have the standard Sirius XM aftermarket tuner connection. You can get the tuner for as little as $50 on ebay, perhaps more at best buy. iDataLink makes an adapter cable for the OEM satellite antenna on the roof. The oem antenna cable will connect to the sirius xm aftermarket tuner, but the clip is slightly larger and will NOT clip in. I wrapped electric tape around the entire tuner over the antenna connection to hold it together and reception is perfect.

If you had a Sirius XM subscription, you can transfer it to the new radio for a small fee.

I had the PAC RP4-CH11, I do NOT have the factory amp, am I correct you can't adjust the fader on the factory amp with the PAC RP4-CH11.

Let us know how the PAC PR4-CH11 works out for you. On my 2010 with a Pioneer AVH-8500BHS, it worked perfect for a few months, then something burned out, the steering wheel controls don't respond most of the time, and when they do, they keep repeating the input endlessly for 10 seconds. The other features get wonky and slow to respond and the unit makes a ton of radio noise that is heard over any AM channel on the radio.

I replaced it with another PAC PR4-CH11, and it did the same thing after several months.
 

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Just installed the Kenwood DDX6902S with Apple CarPlay which uses the Phones NAV. Works with everything except the VES, which was ok with me .The kids always use Headphones anyway.
Can you listen to the radio/satellite radio/SD card/music on the phone while you use the phone's Nav?

How does the phone link with Apple CarPlay, through bluetooth or a cable? Do you know if its the same for Android?

I bought the Pioneer AVH-8500BHS, several years ago, cause it could link with only a couple of cell phones. It basically required a USB and HDMI cable connected to the phone, and several apps installed on the phone to just port the phone's screen on the head unit's screen. So you could see the phone's nav on the screen. Then after going through all that, I found out the head unit can't do anything else while the cell phone's screen is up, like listen to the radio. Then I upgraded my phone and it didn't work with the old head unit. It was a waste basically. I've heard the CarPlay for Apple and Android is much better.
 
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