Newer Style Chrysler Radio in an LH - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Newer Style Chrysler Radio in an LH

Obviously our cars are designed for the round/oval-faced radios, but has anyone put a newer style radio (with the squared-off corners and volume/tuning knob on the ends) in their car?

I was going to put in an RBQ, but then I figured 'heck, why not try an RAQ?' The connectors are the same as a 2002+ round-faced radio, but it looks like the spacing for the mounting screw holes are about 1/2" further apart vertically (they look about the same horizontally). Also the radio itself is a bit taller, so one or both of the crossmembers(?) in the dash that support the radio from above/below are going to have to be trimmed. Obviously, the bezel will have to be modified too.

So I'm just wondering if anyone else has done this, or am I the first one to try?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 08:09 AM
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Many have had the idea, but no one has tried it.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 08:22 AM
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Won't work. If you are talking about a radio from 2005+, then its based off of a CAN bus system....so it wont work with our PCI bus system
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 08:43 AM
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Won't work. If you are talking about a radio from 2005+, then its based off of a CAN bus system....so it wont work with our PCI bus system
With the exception of some sort of volume control to match vehicle speed, I can't think of any interaction between the vehicle and the audio. What doesn't work?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Won't work. If you are talking about a radio from 2005+, then its based off of a CAN bus system....so it wont work with our PCI bus system
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At this time, I must apologize - I am not able to get into any detail on how this deck works. Sometime during the early part of the new century, Chrysler came to a decision that I find rather unfortunate: the company began to make all their head units dependent on the vehicle's computer bus. Without the presence of the other vehicle computers, the audio system would not function. Premium amplifiers were now switched on through the bus by the vehicle computers, and stock head units would not turn on unless they could talk to the other computers in the vehicle. This head unit is no exception to this new rule.

But wait, it gets even more complicated. Due to changes in recent years to the computer bus, you will often find that some newer head units will not work properly on vehicle models of a different year, even if they physically interchange. And it doesn't even stop there - some vehicles had a high speed computer bus, while others had low speed depending on how they were optioned out. My latest information is that you cannot even interchange high speed bus compatible decks with the low speed models.

Is all this rather confusing to the customer? You bet. I'm confused, and I've been an electronics technician for decades. My advice to you, if you find yourself bushwhacking through eBay looking for a replacement for a dead head unit, is to choose carefully. After 2006 or so, try to find something out of the same model year for best chance of success. Anything else is a gamble. Some may even require a trip to the dealership for a visit with their scan tool so that your Sirius satellite subscription is carried over, among other things.

You may be asking yourself what your options are if you want a non-bus-dependent deck for your vehicle. Well, the last head unit that I know of to not require the computer bus interface to operate is the RAQ. This is a 6 disc changer model built by Alpine that also plays MP3s. This head unit is in high demand, however, so be prepared to pay for it.
That's partly why I chose the RAQ. I've already plugged it in and it works. Only thing is that the panel lights are always on, the display is always dim, and it doesn't respond to the dimmer control. I blame this on the pre-2002 to post-2002 harness adapter, but it might have been because I hadn't connected the bus wire.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 10:58 AM
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I'd forgotten about the display dimmer, which also requires a signal from the car, but as to all the rest - why did they do that!

This general "must have the original bus" business is distressing.

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Only thing is that the panel lights are always on, the display is always dim, and it doesn't respond to the dimmer control. I blame this on the pre-2002 to post-2002 harness adapter, but it might have been because I hadn't connected the bus wire.
The dimmer should be an easy fix; connect the bus.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about that, but like PredatoryTrep said, the radio is designed for then newer CAN bus while the car uses a PCI bus. I could try it, but I kind of doubt it would work. The radio's out of an 05 WK (Grand Cherokee) by the way.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 11:50 AM
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Won't work. If you are talking about a radio from 2005+, then its based off of a CAN bus system....so it wont work with our PCI bus system
The 05-08 use the 22-pin connection the 02-04 use. It is not the same as the 08+ CAN bus stereos. By the way I learned this by trying to put an '09 Chrysler stereo into my old 77 Lincoln Town Coupe. Already had the dash modified to fit then found out about the new bs they add so you can't just simply add 12v and make it work. Soo very annoying. Also, you cant test them outside the car so it makes life tough for the guy in the used stereo business.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:11 PM
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I was thinking about that, but like PredatoryTrep said, the radio is designed for then newer CAN bus while the car uses a PCI bus. I could try it, but I kind of doubt it would work. The radio's out of an 05 WK (Grand Cherokee) by the way.
If its from an 05, then you might be lucky and it still be adjusted to use the PCI bus system, much like a lot of the Grand Caravan radios were through 2005. Like the 6-disc in dash DVD changer with Aux inputs from teh Grand Caravan was from 2005-2007, same with the Pacifica. But it can be used in our cars.

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The 05-08 use the 22-pin connection the 02-04 use. It is not the same as the 08+ CAN bus stereos. By the way I learned this by trying to put an '09 Chrysler stereo into my old 77 Lincoln Town Coupe. Already had the dash modified to fit then found out about the new bs they add so you can't just simply add 12v and make it work. Soo very annoying. Also, you cant test them outside the car so it makes life tough for the guy in the used stereo business.
Yes, they use the same 22-pin connection. But that doesn't mean that all 22-pin connectors have the same purpose. All 06+ radios (and a few of the 05s) use a CAN-bus system that isn't compatible with our PCI-bus system. So if you try to put any CAN-bus radio into our car, then it wont work.

Like he said, the only exception is the RAQ which was still compatible. Hard to find though, so hes lucky he got one.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Like he said, the only exception is the RAQ which was still compatible. Hard to find though, so hes lucky he got one.
Just type 'raq radio' into eBay and you'll find 'em. They're about the same price as the round faced RBQ, though I was lucky enough to get mine for a little bit cheaper.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hooked it up again. This time I connected the bus too, and it makes no difference. Still dim whether the headlights are on or off, and doesn't change when I turn the dimmer up or down. But I LOVE having an actual tuning knob again (instead of the up/down buttons) and I like the looks of this radio better than the round-faced ones, so I might just live with the dimmed display. Now I just need to modify my dash to fit it ...
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:35 AM
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The panel lights dimmer function is independent of the PCI bus. Look at the schematics to confirm this. Mainly the PCI bus is used for the memory functions on cars with memory seats where the seat "A" or "B" memory also controls the memory presets on the radio. The PCI bus is also used when a 4 or 6 disc changer and in NAV radios for indicating the vehicle is in motion.

I remember someone using a 6 disc changer radio from an LX and trying it in his LH. Many of the functions worked but not all. I can't remember who it was and all the details.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:02 AM
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The panel lights dimmer function is independent of the PCI bus. Look at the schematics to confirm this. Mainly the PCI bus is used for the memory functions on cars with memory seats where the seat "A" or "B" memory also controls the memory presets on the radio. The PCI bus is also used when a 4 or 6 disc changer and in NAV radios for indicating the vehicle is in motion.

I remember someone using a 6 disc changer radio from an LX and trying it in his LH. Many of the functions worked but not all. I can't remember who it was and all the details.
Dad at one time had the 6 disc changer in my '97 I don't remember everything (since at the time it was "his car" per my grandparents), but I do vaguely remember the power was on to it constantly and that it did not get brighter or dimmer. Hmmm It's in storage IIRC MAYBE I'll hook it up again just to check everything. The only problems were it wouldn't fit in the dash (too tall) and even if it would there would be NO WAY the stock bezel would have fit over it without modification LOL
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:27 AM
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I believe the radio Back lighting on the LX radios are controlled by the CAN bus. On the LH 2nd gen radios it's a separate function. 1998-2001(Also 2002 Base Audio) the back lighting is on Pin C2-5. For 2002-2004 cars it's Pin C1-3. I looked at the 2006 and 2007 LX FSMs and didn't find a Panel Lamps Driver circuit for the Radio. This leads me to believe the LX uses the CAN bus for the panel lighting dimming. As always I could be wrong as I only did a 20 minute check thru the schematics.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Mainly the PCI bus is used for the memory functions on cars with memory seats where the seat "A" or "B" memory also controls the memory presets on the radio. The PCI bus is also used when a 4 or 6 disc changer and in NAV radios for indicating the vehicle is in motion.
Don't forget the steering wheel audio controls too! Guess I won't be adding that to my car, but it's not a big deal to reach over to change the radio.
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