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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Guys-- About to replace my factory base radio (6 disk) with a Pioneer DVD Unit (non-navigation) in my 06 Commander. I have done a search on this forum and can't seem to come up with a definite answer-- But do I need to use the PAC C2R-CHY4 for the install? I have no factory amp and no steering wheel controls, no back up alarm, and no DVD players in the car, and I can't figure out if I need the PAC for anything other than that. I ordered it anyway, but if you guys don't think I'll need it I'll just return it.

Thanks in advance!
 

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It could be that no one knows the answer. I know that I don't have a clue. Try calling Crutchfield and ask them.
 

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Hey Guys-- About to replace my factory base radio (6 disk) with a Pioneer DVD Unit (non-navigation) in my 06 Commander. I have done a search on this forum and can't seem to come up with a definite answer-- But do I need to use the PAC C2R-CHY4 for the install? I have no factory amp and no steering wheel controls, no back up alarm, and no DVD players in the car, and I can't figure out if I need the PAC for anything other than that. I ordered it anyway, but if you guys don't think I'll need it I'll just return it.

Thanks in advance!
No, you will NOT "need" the PAC unit.

In fact, the only time you "need" the PAC unit is if you have a factory amp, because the factory amp is controlled by the CAN network, so you have to have something talk on the CAN network to control the amp. And I think even the PAC units can't control all functions of the factory amp, I "think" you'll lose the fade control if you go to an aftermarket head unit and have to use the PAC unit.

In your case, the only thing the PAC unit would provide you, the delayed shutoff that the factory head unit has. That is the feature of the radio continuing to play after you remove the key for up to 10 minutes (or however you set it in the EVIC Menu) until you open the drivers door. That may or may NOT be worth the price of the PAC unit, up to you.
 

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Just to add, if I'm wrong, its NOT hard to add the PAC unit after installing the radio, so go ahead and install it without the PAC unit, if find there is a feature you need that does NOT work without the PAC unit, you'll have to buy it and add it later.

The Aftermarket radios do NOT talk on the CAN network.
The PAC unit's talk on the CAN network and too your radio or control your radio based on the commands it recieves.

The factory radio, most of the in/out circuits are hard wired, i.e. just connect wire to wire from you radio.

Because of the delayed power off thing for factory radios today, they do this weird thing where there is a higher capacity "always powered" wire to the radio as well as the normal ignition switched power wire. I "think" that the "always powered" wire that used to be just to keep the radio memory powered to keep presets, is NOW powerful enough to power the radio if needed, i.e. to power the radio during delayed turn off. I don't think that will have any effect on your aftermarket radio, in fact if the radio has it's own self timer, that would allow it to work.

They still have a hard wired lead in the factory harness for headlamps being on, that will control the lighting of the factory and aftermarket unit. (i.e. dims the radio display when you turn the headlamps on).

Some things that the CAN network does:
*Delayed shutoff, it tells the radio to shut itself off, (the ignition switch still cuts power to it, I "think" the factory radio powers itself off an alternate power lead until its commanded to turn itself off).
*Sends commands from the steering wheel control buttons or other remote controls in another part of the vehicle.
*Sends commands to remote equipment, like amps, CD/DVD drives, video cameras/displays.
*Sends the status of the parking brake (aftermarket radio will have a lead to splice into the parking brake sensor if it needed, so you don't have to have the PAC unit for that, but you'll avoid having to run and splice that wire if you get the PAC unit)

And there are different PAC units for different years/brands of vehicles and with more or less features to handle the CAN commands for different equipment in the vehicles.

I have the PAC RP4-CH11 for my Commander, because I have the steering wheel controls. It worked great until I pulled out the radio to add a Sirrus/XM add on box, then I screwed up a wire or fried the unit, because the steering wheel controls no longer work, but the delayed shut off does. I tried everything to reset it, but it doesn't work. I ordered a new one of ebay, haven't installed it yet.
 

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What Mongo said above sounds correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys-- I ended up getting the PAC unit anyway. Like you suggested, I'm going to try wiring directly to the vehicle harness 1st, then see what does and doesn't work. Then I'll connect the PAC and report back exactly what changed, just so we all know for the future.

Updates in a few days--
 

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Thanks guys-- I ended up getting the PAC unit anyway. Like you suggested, I'm going to try wiring directly to the vehicle harness 1st, then see what does and doesn't work. Then I'll connect the PAC and report back exactly what changed, just so we all know for the future.

Updates in a few days--
You mean you are going to wire the radio harness to an adapter harness to plug into the vehicle wiring at the Radio Connectors?

I strongly suggest you do NOT wire the radio harness directly into the vehicle wiring, NOT only will it be really hard to do, you'll make a mess of your vehicle wiring and future radio upgrades or returning back to the original factory radio becomes an even bigger mess.

The adapter harness is well worth the money, its only a few bucks, then you can splice it together with the radio harness comfortably at a bench, then just connect the connectors when you get to the part of shoving the wires in behind the radio.

NOT to mention adding the PAC later, then you just have to pull the harness and cut the wires and resplice from a bench, intead of your hands working in the cramp space inside the dash. Look at it this way, if you paid $70 for your PAC unit, it saved you $20 for an adapter harness, so you only paid $50 for the features it will retain for you.

But according to what you've told us, the only features you have that the PAC unit will retain, is the delayed shutoff, which is nice, but worth $50? If your Pioneer head unit has video abilities, then it will have a parking brake safety interlock, the PAC unit will save you the hassle of having to route and splice that wire, just splice the parking brake wire to the PAC unit's harness and it will simulate for the radio the same signal on that wire when the CAN network tells the PAC unit, the parking brake is set or off.

Heck, most of the PAC units come with an adapter harness, if you did NOT buy an adapter harness, and your PAC unit has one, then just go ahead and put the PAC in right away to use its harness. You can look at this way, if the PAC
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mongo-- No I have a separate wiring harness for the Commander (sorry I didn't mention that) so I won't be messing with the factory wiring at all-- Learned that lesson the hard way years ago-- I'll keep you guys posted on how it turns out
 
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