DIY: RBK to RB1 Stereo Swap

Discussion in 'How-To/Tech Database' started by Kevan, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Kevan

    Kevan SRT-10 Owner

    Likes Received:
    Dec 15, 2007
    New Albany, OH
    STEREO SWAP- RBK (stock SRT-10 AM/FM/CD) to RB1 (AM/FM/CD/NAV).
    (This could also work for the RBQ radios, but has not been tried with one. Please post if you have information about the RBQ model.)

    This one is VERY easy. It's only 7 screws!!!
    On my difficulty scale, this project is a 1.

    TIME: Approx. 30 minutes.

    Let's take a look at the tools we'll need for this project:
    Yep. Just a #2 Phillips screwdriver and a 10mm socket.

    Here's the RBK in it's current home:
    Yes, it's Keith's RumbleBee.
    Behind the dash it's almost the exact same thing as the SRT-10's. I'll make clear any differences.

    Disconnect the NEG battery cable!!!
    Use a 10mm socket and loosen the nut and set the cable aside (or put something non-conductive between the cable and the battery).
    We don't want the airbags accidentally going off!!
    Plus it helps 'orient' the stereo once everything is plugged in.

    Allow 2 minutes for the caps in the airbags to discharge.
    Go check the pressure in your tires. :)

    Now let's remove the faceplate for the center section of the dash. This is really easy- ONE screw!
    It's down by the grocery bag/purse holder hook:

    The steering column cover should be removed too. There are (2) screws WAY underneath for this one.
    Those need to come out, then a firm pull along the top edge will slip the 2 push connectors off up towards the steering wheel.
    (TIP: If you want to just un-clip it at the top edge and not remove the screws underneath, you can.)

    Now CAREFULLY but with a little bit of muscle, pull the center section off.
    The clips are 2-way so they're tough to jack up.
    Don't yank too hard- there are wires attached back there.

    On the driver's side, pull on the lower corner firmly and the clip will come free:

    You'll need to disconnect the pass. airbag connector:

    ...then the heater/AC control plug....
    (connector looks a little different on the SRT-10, but it's in the same location)

    And finally the starter button connector which is on the side closest to the steering wheel.

    Once those are off, you can set the center piece to the side.
    Preferably face-down on a clean towel to prevent scratches.

    We can now begin removing the old head unit.
    There are (4) screws that mount it in place, one at each corner.
    Top right:

    Bottom Right:

    Bottom Left:

    Top Left:

    Now the head unit can be lifted out:
    Don't yank on it- there are still cables connected in back.

    Let's start with the AM/FM antenna plug:


    Remove it by pulling it's plug away from the back of the stereo:
    (Try not to slam your hand into the dash like I did when it finally broke free. LOL)

    Next is the wiring harness connector for the head unit. Like almost every connector on the truck, this connector also has a safety clip that needs to be depressed before it will come out:

    "Hey Keith- there wouldn't happen to still be a CD in there, right?"
    Oops. :D
    Check to make sure all CD's are out of the old head unit before putting it up on an auction site, never to see your Air Supply disc again.
    Or RHCP. :)

    We're done with the RBK. It can go in a box.

    Let's take the new RB1 out and get it ready for it's new home:
    Dapper, we know.

    To use the navigation, we need to mount the NAV antenna (some RB1's come with this; some don't. Navigation won't work without it. Make sure you have it.) It's a small metal plate with a black bubble on it and about 3' (1m) of wire with a plug on the end:

    Don't plug it in yet.
    We need to find a suitable mouting place for that bad boy; someplace that's flat, as the antenna needs to be mounted horizontally.

    Looking inside the dash, we found a flat spot high on the dash just underneath the main dash cover. The antenna would mount flat on that vent section, and have a clear view of the sky (save for 1/8" of plastic dash. LOL).
    It's very hard to photograph, but here you get an idea of where we put the antenna:

    We'll permanently mount it and clean up the excess antenna wire in a minute.

    Now, before we go all crazy and start screwing stuff in, let's test it out to make sure everything works.

    First plug that goes back in is the AM/FM antenna plug.
    Then the NAV antenna plug, which is in the top corner of the head unit's rear.
    And finally the main connection:
    You'll notice that there's a 2nd smaller available connection on the back of the unit, right next to the main plug port. This is for Ipod or UConnect setups. We won't be using that smaller connector port.

    When finished with the 3 connections in back, it should look like this:

    Set the stereo in it's proper position, checking that the screw holes are lined up and that no wires are pinched behind the head unit:
    I installed a single screw........just in case.

    We can now put the NEG. terminal back on the battery.

    Turn the key to the ON position, and fire up your new RB1!

    Now we can finish up the installation.

    Power off the truck and go pull the NEG. battery terminal again.
    Remove the radio from it's postion and unplug the 3 connections in back. Set the head unit aside for now.

    Take the antenna from it's temporary spot and remove the backing off the double-stick foam tape on it's back. You get one shot with this adhesive, so make it count.
    I slid the antenna in "nose up", so that it would clear the tight opening. Then making sure it was close to centered, I let it drop into place. I applied pressure all around for a good 30 seconds making sure that the foam tape stuck firmly.

    Now we can clean up all that extra antenna cable.
    I coiled it up, then used a small zip tie to finish it off:
    Trim off the unused end of the zip tie.
    Notice how I left enough cable so that the antenna could be plugged in? It doesn't take much, but a little goes a long way.

    Plug the 3 connections in the back in again, and set the head unit in place.
    Make sure that none of the wires in back are pinched or caught on anything. The unit should slide nicely in place without being forced at all.

    Re-attach the 4 screws to mount the head unit to the dash:

    Let's put our face plate back on the dash.

    Re-attach the air bag connector, the heater/AC control connector, and the start button connector to their respective connection on the back side of the face plate.

    Set the face plate into position, and with a firm hand push it into place:
    Check that all the clips are seated properly and the seams along the face plate are flush with the rest of the dash pieces.

    We can put the steering column cover panel back in place now (2 screws, remember?):
    ...and re-attach the NEG. battery terminal.

    Installation Complete:



    Last, but far from least, is the Keith "Two Thumbs WAY Up" Seal Of Approval:

    - It will take about 10-20 minutes for the computer to figure out what stereo is in there now, and will automatically adjust for the correct power-on splash screen (Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, etc.).

    - The RB1 takes it's sweet time finding your location the first time. LOL Make sure you're in an open area (no obstructions to the sky) while the unit sets itself up. You'll get a warning screen asking for that.

    ©2007 Kevan J. Geier
    All Rights Reserved
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2008