Review & Install Video
Ryan: The Alpine 7-inch In-Dash Restyle Mech-Less System is for those of you with the 2007 to 2018 JK that are looking for a way to upgrade your radio to give you a ton of additional features that weren't even available from the factory in your JK. This is gonna be a two out of three wrenches for the installation, but I'll give it a pretty aggressive two out of three wrenches. There's a lot that you're gonna have to take apart in your dashboard in order to get this installed and installed correctly, but that's just a function of all the different features and all of the different bits and pieces that this ties into inside of your Jeep. But we are gonna walk you through that installation in just a second, but with something like this, it's really easier to show you all of the functionality than just talk about it, so let's show you some of what this can do.So this is the main screen that's gonna come up when you first turn your system on, and this is where you're gonna access your main and fairly basic functions for this system. So you're gonna have your AM/FM radio that's going to be, first and foremost. You can also access your Pandora Radio through a Bluetooth connection with your cell phone or any other type of Bluetooth audio, you would also be able to access right from this main screen. There are a couple of other functions that you can access without having to plug your phone in. You have your regular Bluetooth phone functionality, so you can make and receive calls directly through the system. And this is going to include a new microphone, so you're gonna have a nice, clear call quality when using your phone even through Bluetooth. If we go back to our main screen here.One of the other functions that you have access to without having your phone plugged in is your vehicle info screen, so this does plug directly into the OBD2 port on your vehicle, and it gives you a whole bunch of gauges that are going to change in real time as you're driving. So as you can see, we have a couple of different gauges set up right now, but you can customize all of those, so you can change all the gauges that you see on the sides here as well as in the center. So you can see exactly what information you find to be important. You can also change them if you are off-road, maybe you're more interested in some of those temperature settings, where if you're on-road, maybe you're more interested in fuel economy or in power. So again, you can really customize all of that which is very nice. If you go back to the main screen here, then we'll plug a phone in, and you can really see how the system comes alive when you have a phone plugged into it. So this does support both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and as you can see, we just plugged an iPhone in, so we have the Apple CarPlay app button right here. We can select that, and it brings you to what you're probably used to seeing if you have used the Apple CarPlay in the past. So you have all of those apps that pop up right here for you. You can access different music services. You can also access different map services that are all through your phone. Now, one of the things I really like about this system is that while it is a great touchscreen, it also has a couple of hard buttons along here, and the hard buttons don't just access stuff that is built right into the system. This hard button right here is your nav button, and if you have your phone plugged in, and you press it, it brings you right to the navigation system on your phone. So again, I find with a lot of these systems, when you have your phone plugged in, you're using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, you have to access all of that through the screen up here. The hard buttons really don't do a lot for you, but this system, this button is still going to access right into your Apple CarPlay or your Android Auto. So again, that's a feature that I really like about this particular system. Something else that I like about this system is all of the buttons on the steering wheel are going to work. So I'm gonna press the up volume button on the steering wheel. And as you can see, it does change the volume right here on the screen for us. You're also going to be able to change things, like your channel or your track as well as your input all through your steering wheel controls, so that's a big bonus. Sometimes, these systems require an additional piece of hardware to be able to do that. This one comes with everything you need. We'll go ahead and unplug our cell phone again and just go into the setup screen for a second. Now, we're not gonna go through all of this functionality because there's just so much to go through, but as you can see, there are going to be a lot of different features here as far as what devices you can access and how, whether it's Bluetooth or plugged directly in. If we go into the sound here just briefly, you can see that you have your EQ settings. You also have a couple of different outputs. So you have a plug-in for a subwoofer for your rear speakers. You can also change a bunch of different EQ presets in here, so you can really customize the sound for your speaker system and what you like to listen to. So you have a ton of different options that are all built-in right here. As you can see as we scroll toward the bottom, you have different volume levels for if you receive a call. How loud that is for the caller, your ring tone, all of these things you can individually change in the system. So there is a lot of customization available to you. It also has a way that you can plug in multiple video inputs and also multiple video outputs, so you can have a set of screen setup for your rear entertainment system. You can do all of that right through your system setup here, so a lot of different choices as we mentioned. Of course, this does have Sirius XM Radio available to you as with most newer systems. Of course, you are going to have to pay an additional fee for that, but it does have it built right in. Again, no additional module, no additional hardware is necessary to purchase for that to work, so really a whole lot of different options here. Again, we're not gonna go through all of them, but the point is that there's a lot of customization available in this system. You can really set it up to work exactly how you want it. So as you can see, there are a ton of additional features that this Alpine system adds to your Jeep, but that is going to come at a price. This system is right around the $1,000 mark. Now, whether that's worth it or not is up to you, and how you use your Jeep. If you're looking at it from how many functions it adds and the quality of the actual hardware, I would say, yes, it is going to be worth it. This adds so much functionality to your Wrangler. Like we said before, this is gonna be a two out of three wrenches for the installation. Let's show you how to do it.Male: Tools required for this installation. Various trim panel removal tools, a quarter-inch drive with a long extension, and a 7-millimeter socket, a Phillips head, and a small flat head screwdriver. Some consumables are going to be electrical tape and zip ties, and I always use a diagonal cutter to cut those zip tie ends, an impact is totally optional. All right, so the first step in the installing our Alpine head unit is, of course, to disconnect our battery. I'm only gonna disconnect our negative side. This is a 10-millimeter socket. Just wiggle that terminal off of the battery. Here we go. All right. So in order to get our factory head unit out of here, we first gotta start by removing our window switches. Now, this is a trim panel removal tool. I'm just getting beneath the back side of it and you pop that out. Now, there's going to be a locking tab here. Flip that over to the side, depress that harness, and remove your switch panel there. Now, next up, there's going to be a 7-millimeter screw right there. We're gonna remove that first and hold onto these because we will be reusing them. All right. Next up there's this upper tray here on top of our center stack. We're gonna remove that little plastic trim piece, and then there's going to be a hidden 7-millimeter screw. Remove that one as well. All right. Now, we're going to remove this trim piece right below our steering wheel. Just pull straight back and then lift up, put that off to the side. And we're gonna take our 7-millimeter again and remove the three bolts. There's one here, one on the bottom, and then one on the other side of the steering wheel. Remove all three. So now, we're going to remove the trim piece that surrounds our stock head unit. Let's first lower our steering wheel, so we can get some clearance for that trim piece. And I'm going to pull straight back, releasing those clips, and then up past our steering wheel, and stocks, and then we can put this trim piece off to the side. So that main trim piece out of the way, we can start by removing our four 7-millimeter bolts holding our stock unit in. All right. With those four removed, pull straight back on your stock head unit, maybe a little tight. And then we can start disconnecting all of our factory connections. This is your antenna over here and your Sirius Satellite Radio antenna as well. All right. So the next step is to remove this metal bracket back here. And my socket won't fit through, so I'm gonna actually remove my socket and put my extension through first and put that extension...put that socket back on. I'm sorry. And then remove that 7-millimeter bolt. That's one of two holding that bracket in place. We're gonna replace that with an Alpine bracket, but let's get this through as well. All right. And remove that 7-mill. So let's get that extension out of the way and this bracket. All right. So before we're gonna install our new Alpine head unit into our Jeep, there's a few things we gotta do. First, attach the brackets to the side. Second, switch over a clip, and then third, plug in a few things. So let's get started with the brackets on the side. I'm just going to lightly lay this on its side and find the holes that I need to screw into which are going to be right there. All right. With the bracket lined up, we're gonna start our screws. The other side on now. All right. So for our rear bracket, the only thing we need to do is take out this metal clip and hopefully, we can just do it with a little bit of pressure on one side and the other. Here we go. And we're gonna just place in the new one. So I just wanted to speak to you guys real quick before we get into wiring about this Datalink Maestro module. Now, I did have to hook up to my computer via the USB and flash it to some specifics about my Jeep. Now, you can follow the instructions on the back and complete that very easily. So let's work on some wiring. I'm gonna bring in the main harness now and connect the main connector up first. You're gonna wanna hear that click. And let's just connect everything else up into the back. So there's a pre-out right here, and that is for these RCAs. Now, you can add up to three different amplifiers and plug it in right there. However, we're not gonna be doing that today. So let's just get this last one into the back. And we'll worry about our GPS and our antennas when we go to install. All right. So what we're gonna do is wire up our Maestro now. So I'm gonna start with this big power wire here, followed up by this small connector for the side here. There's a green one down here. Let me get that plugged in. I'm gonna start working on the back side here. All right. So I wanted to talk to you a little bit about the wires that we did not install. First, this is your GPS antenna, your Bluetooth microphone, some antenna adapters. This is for an auxiliary backup camera if you were to install one. This hooks up to your OBD2 and runs to your head unit. This is for your stock USB, and this is to extend that USB up to your new head unit. We're gonna be installing those shortly. So before we can install our newly wired up head unit, we do have to run our GPS and Bluetooth microphone. So starting with our GPS signal here, we're going to peel off the back, the double-sided tape here. We're actually gonna stick it right here. You should press down for just a little bit. So now, we're gonna run our GPS wire through our roll bar padding. We're gonna open up this as well and we just start running that wire and closing up what you started. So this one here is a long zipper, so we're gonna have to unzip the whole thing, place our wire in there, make sure you don't have any knots like this, run it through your roll bar, and then we'll zip that back up and tuck that back in. And now, we'll move onto our Bluetooth microphone. There's gonna be a few more steps involved to install our Bluetooth microphone. First, we're gonna take a Phillips head screwdriver and remove the screw on our A-pillar here. All right. So I'm actually gonna bring a flat head screwdriver into here because this type of screw is actually like a pushpin deal. So let me just try to pull the head out of it a little bit. I'm going to push in this panel and pop it out. And that's what it's gonna look like there. So that head just comes out, then you loosen it up. All right. Then we're getting the sun visor out of the way here and take a trim panel removal tool and go right where the little hole down there for our sun visor and just pry down. And you release the two clips there. There's gonna be another set here. And we're gonna take our Bluetooth microphone end and actually stick it through right where you see this wiring harness comes down for your mirror. Feed the microphone through and down just like that and run our wire accordingly and make sure that this stays with it, so we're actually going to add a zip tie temporarily. All right. And a zip tie there to hold it in place while we run this wire the rest of the way. Now, you can use some more zip ties to manage your cables. But now, we're gonna meet up with that GPS. We might add a couple of pieces of tape to this, so let me go do that now. So this is just some standard electrical tape here. I'm gonna start it and bring it down just a little bit because this is what's gonna be running down our A-pillar and then eventually across our dashboard. I just wanna make sure everything is nice and clean. All right. That should be good enough for now. We actually have to pull this trim piece off of our A-pillar now, so let's go ahead and peel back that. I'm gonna go evenly. You're gonna have a little space here that you can actually fit those wires through. Go ahead and do that now. Your Bluetooth microphone wire is going to be substantially longer, so let me put that through first. All right. So we're also going to remove this panel next our dashboard as well. Just stick my trim panel removal tool in there and pry a little bit to release that panel. Now, I have all this room to run my wires nice and clean down my A-pillar. And then after that, we're actually gonna go in between our dashboard, but there is actually a nice space. You can actually get your fingers back there, so that's how we're gonna run it next. But while we're here, we're just going to pop our panels back into place, make sure those wires are nice and tucked, pop the main panel up here back on. There's some alignment pins, so make sure those are... Here you go. So that's our Bluetooth and GPS wire run. We're just gonna finish it up by running it over our dashboard and into our center stack here. So with the wires now at the base of our pillar, we can start running them across our windshield, so I'm just going to start tucking them back there. And you'll feel there's a little ridge and then also, like a piece of weatherstripping. I'm getting it underneath that weatherstripping. Then I am going to stuff my connectors, the 3.5-millimeter here and our GPS connector through this little opening underneath your daylight sensor here for your headlights. And you can see it coming through there. There's our GPS, followed up by our Bluetooth. So the Bluetooth has a lot of slack, so let me pull that through first. And then here's our GPS. And we'll have plenty to connect that to our head unit as well as our new Bluetooth microphone. So one thing we also have to do is remove our climate control panel. So I'm just gonna lift on these tabs straight back to release those clips and remove our electrical connectors. You only have to remove this one side if you're working by yourself. You can just get your AC out of the way like that, but I'm going to completely remove it to show you guys exactly what to do.All right. So there's gonna be two 7-millimeter bolts holding this factory Bluetooth module in place. I've already removed that one, so let's get the second one out of the way. So what we're actually going to do is unplug the USB into this so that's this little white connector down here. Let me just pull this out and show you what it looks like. So as you can see, that's actually a male USB mini. So we're gonna take our female USB mini and plug that in. And then into here, we are going to plug in our USB extender. So let's extend our USB, unravel this, route this the rest of the way up to our wires. All right. So Alpine recommends that you disconnect this Bluetooth box completely, so your phone doesn't try to connect to the old system. So we're just gonna go ahead and disconnect it and keep this box out of here. We're gonna remove it completely. Now, let's hook back up our climate controls, get this back into place. Blue one goes up at the top, small one in the middle. So what we're gonna do now is run our OBD2. We're gonna connect it to our OBD2 to start with. There is a little lock, so I'm just gonna lock it in place there. And then here's your end. There's only two wires, a power and a signal,so we're gonna go... We're gonna get some zip ties and zip tie it to some of the wires that are existing down here, but we're just gonna find a nice spot behind this trim and run it up to our head unit. So what I have here is a long rod with a magnet at the end of it, and at the end, I wire tied my OBD2 connector to it. So what that will do is allow me to now, pull this whole rod together with that wire up right into the spot it needs to be right there. Let me get rid of this wire tie, and then we're gonna start connecting everything up.All right. What we're gonna do next is install our new rear bracket. Now, you wanna make sure that you run all of your wiring through the bottom opening of this. So let's go ahead and start with our USB Bluetooth and our really long wires, get those through, followed by our OBD2 and GPS. We're gonna have to angle this in here and get the rest of those wires as well to follow. Then there's gonna be two tabs that this will rest on right there and there. Let's go ahead and start our hardware. And we'll go ahead and tighten that up. And we're gonna stick our quarter-inch drive through first, and then tighten up that 7-millimeter hardware and tighten that one up. All right. What we're gonna do next is attach our antenna adapters. This one is going to be for our Sirius Satellite Radio, and this end will be for our AM and FM Radio. You wanna plug them in until you hear that click.Now, our head unit will be ready to install. Let me grab that real quick. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna take this big plug here and plug it into this big terminal here and start making all of our connections. So that one's obviously for our GPS. We have our Bluetooth which we have a lot of slack, so I'm going to tuck a lot of that back here. All right. So let's go ahead and plug in a few remaining connections. Our Bluetooth microphone here. This is our AM/FM antenna. We're gonna grab our USB, and that is gonna go right into the back, make sure I have it orientated right, just like that. And then we do have our OBD2 over here. So this OBD2 connector will go into our Maestro wiring system, connect that. And then lastly, our GPS signal, that's gonna go into the back of our head unit right there. So now, we have to find a good spot for our Maestro and all of our wiring. It's gonna be back in that corner. So now, we have to tuck our wires, make sure that we can fit everything back here. So what I'm going to try to do is put this on the top of our radio right here. I'm gonna be flip the Maestro just like that. So I went ahead and connected our battery. Now, that our head unit is in place, I'm going to put the key in the ignition and turn on, but not all the way on. Let's test out this radio and make sure all the functions are working. So it does look like my steering wheel controls are working. There's volume up and down. I already actually paired my Bluetooth. It was nice and easy. And now, I'm changing the radio station with the other steering wheel controls. Just like that. Go to the menu, and you can see over here Bluetooth audio came right up. After that, you can go into the vehicle info even, and you can see your tire pressures. You can go to your gauges, see RPM fuel levels, intake temp, cooling temp, and your load. My vehicle's not on so that's not gonna show a value, but if it was on, it's to be something very low at idle. Let's go back into the menu. To get to the setup menu, actually you have to engage the parking brake. The reason why you have to engage the parking brake to access the setup is because Alpine doesn't want you messing around with settings while driving. So when we go into the settings, you can see our Bluetooth device. And this is just like a smartphone. You can just use your finger and scroll. All right. So let's go ahead and attach all of our hardware to our head unit. Now, we can go ahead and start attaching all of our trim pieces. So now, we're gonna bring our interior trim pieces back into place starting with our dash pad here and get this over our head unit and make sure our vents are nice and connected and firmly pressed on those body clip points. All right. Now, we're gonna reinstall our hardware. Again, we have a bolt on the top, on the bottom of our window switch here, and on each side of the steering column. So now, we're going to add our bolts to our dash pad here starting with the top, and the one next to the column as well. All right. Let's add a couple of our last interior trim pieces, the knee kick panel here, and then our window switch. Go ahead and make that connection and lock it in place and then press it in place, just like that. So that's gonna wrap up my install of the Alpine 7-inch In-Dash Restyle System for your Jeep Wrangler. And for all things Wrangler, keep it here at extremeterrain.com.