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XJ sound system upgrade

Old 07-24-2017, 07:00 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Model: Cherokee
Default XJ sound system upgrade

I would like to update the sound system in my jeep xj. I don't want to do anything crazy and I don't know much about sound systems. I would like to know if their is a plug and play speaker and head unit upgrade that maybe includes a subwoofer.

thanks in advance
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:12 AM
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Year: 1999
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0l
Default has a ton of information and a great selection of equipment, although it is pricey. Find some gear that works for you then buy it cheaper elsewhere.

To upgrade the headunit you'll need the radio, mounting plate, and wiring adapter.

The wiring adapter will need to be spliced into the back of the new radio and can then by plugged directly into your existing wiring harness behind the factory radio.

The speakers are essentially plug and play. Get some that fit (one in each front door and two on the roof of the cargo area) and replace. You might have to cut the clips off the wires and solder/crimp them directly to the new speakers.

The subwoofer is more work. It requires running wires (a remote and two RCA's) from the headunit and a heavy gauge positive lead from the battery to an amplifier mounted somewhere, then wiring the amp to the sub.

You can get basic gear or go wild with the system. When I was 16 I replaced my system with an Alpine headunit and Alpine type-R speakers and they still kick *** like 7 or 8 years later.

Tons of information out there and plenty of how-to's. Get googlin.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:49 AM
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Keyword here "Mounting plate" Dont be an idiot like i was and hotglue it to the inside part of the bezel. You will regret it terribly. Also I hear those rockford fosgates are pretty good and dont distort easily. Gotta have a headunit that will push atleast 22+ rms watts to all 4 speakers. Another one is 50 watts per speaker. Never go by max watts as what youre looking for most is rms watts imo. But look around and i would suggest installing a 4 channel amp wired for each speaker. But thats getting into the nitty gritty if you want them to sound good. Also adding a subwoofer will do great things too lol.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:24 PM
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Years ago when I had my zj I bought an adapter that plugged into the factory head unit harness and the other end fit directly to a Sony head unit. No splicing needed. I'm not sure if something like that is still available today. I believe they had them for all the common audio manufacturers. Sony, Pioneer, Kenwood etc.

Sucks though because I sold my dad the zj, then I borrowed it one day and totaled it. Then when he was stripping it he cut the wires when all he had to do is unplug it. I have since soldered it back together and am planning on using it in an xj. Luckily I still had the installation book that told me which wires were which.
Oh and I think I bought that adapter at Best Buy. Also now they make a plug for the speakers that plugs into the factory harness and the other end fits virtually any aftermarket speaker. No splicing necessary there either.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:58 PM
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Head unit and speakers will be plug 'n' play, though you'll have to match the colors on the two wiring harnesses you'll get with your new radio... you'll also get a mounting kit that bolts right up to the factory bolt holes in your Jeep's dash that the new radio and metal radio "cage" will slide into, and you'll bend the metal tabs on the "cage" down to lock it into place. You'll also have to splice the factory radio's "ground" wire, if present, into a sufficient grounding point in your Jeep with a metal spade, as the provided wiring harness WON'T feature a grounding connection. But from there, you'll plug the gray and black wiring harnesses that you'll get with your new radio into the gray and black factory wiring harnesses. Use Posi-Products connectors to secure the wiring connections instead of electrical tape for more secure connections: just twist the wiring connections together for each pair of wires, slide the Posi-Products connector over those wiring connections, and then screw on the cap. Simple.

For '97-'01 XJ's, you'll pull out on the entire center stack to remove the trim piece, and remove the bolts securing the factory radio in place. For '84-'96 XJs, you'll need to remove a few screws to get the dash bezel off. For the front door speakers, you'll remove a few screws and carefully go around the front door panel to release the plastic clips holding the factory front door panel to the front door. The factory front door speakers are held to the front doors with Philips-head screws. For the rear speakers, you'll need to pry out the rear sound-bar, and then unbolt the factory speakers from the sound-bar by removing the factory Philips-head screws.

Speakers are plug 'n' play and you just slide the connectors onto the new speaker terminals, and plug the wiring harness into your factory wiring harness. Screw holes should match right up no problem.

As others have said, Crutchfield is by far the best place to start. Not ONLY do you get awesome tech support and buying advice for FREE, but you ALSO get FREE installation equipment (which would cost you $14-$20) at Best Buy or Walmart. Oh, and FREE next-day shipping!

Good luck on your project, hope this helps.


Last edited by 94zj318; 07-27-2017 at 09:01 PM.
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