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My system install Phase 1 of ??

3217 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  DodgeKnitro
I hit a snag when trying to post this.. As I can only post with 10 images.. So you'll have to click the links for the last few to see them. Or you can just browse them in my gallery. Sorry bout that.
EDIT: I raised the max images in post limit to 20. pe0n.
EDIT: I fixed the images up to 20. thanks. reehmicks.

OK I finally gave up on waiting for someone to come out with a radio wiring harness and decided to just do the splicing..
My Phase 1 entails hooking up an amplifier to power the factory speakers, a new head unit and an equalizer. I also cleaned up my Sirius portable radio install (I didn't get the pics of this..)
I ran into a problem later, so I didn't get as many pics as I wanted, but hopefully these pics help someone with later installs.
First remove the mat from the top of the dashboard. It's held in with a little formed nub and should come out easily.

This will then reveal the two screws holding the top tray in place. Remove these two screws.

Get a grip at the top of the tray with two hands and pull up. In my pic I only show one hand, but that's cause I couldn't take the picture without my other hand.

One the tray is removed, you can start removing the front face plate. I have the appliques on mine, but it shouldn't be any different without them. At the top of the face plate where the tray was you should see 4 tabs that are holding the top of the face plate, you can just pop them off, then again using two hands slowly pull the face plate toward you to pop the top clips off.

Once the top clips are off, move to the middle where the radio is. My radio is missing from this pic, I know. I had to go buy some others parts and didn't want to put the entire radio back in, so I just put the face plate back on. But anyway, you should be able to get your hands behind the face plate as the top has been loosened, and again with two hands pop the sides off, then the middle area. You can see one of the connectors just by my index finger in the pic, and the middle connectors also.

You you have that off, you will also want to disconnect the bottom, but be careful as this is where all the wires are, so you don't want to just yank the thing right off. You should be able to get to the bottom sides of the face plate and pop the connectors at this point, just again don't yank to far away. Once this is disconnected, you should be able to get behind to disconnect the wires. I took a basic overhear shot and they I tried to get a zoomed in view of each one, but they ended up a little blurry.

Overhead view

You have to push that big red button in to unlatch and disconnect this cable.. This one was a pain to get undone, as I really had to push on it and it had the shorted cable length on it, so there was really no room to work.

This one was easier, just push on the button on the clip to unlatch it.

This is the APO (Accessory Power Outlet) cable, this one was kind of a pain also to disconnect, as you should have to push on that plastic clip that looks like it glows in the dark to actually disconnect it, but I ended up jamming a screwdriver into the slot in the orange thing instead.

Also, for anyone else who's interested (as it's been asked and answered a few times), there are two lines coming off of the APO, exact colors I believe are black with a white stripe (negative) and blue with a violet stripe (positive). The positive one is the one you would use for your accessory turn on for a radio.

The final connector was also pretty easy to remove.

You may have to take the vehicle out of Park to actually get the cover out of the way, don't forget to put the parking brake on so you don't roll anywhere you don't want to.
I don't know if other model Nitro's have additional connectors or not, as it did look like there were some empty areas where other connectors could go, just nothing electronically was there.

I also removed the shifter console cover, as I noticed in another post that there was some room down there, and I decided to put some stuff in there. To take that off was pretty easy also..

Get a grip on both sides of the cover and pry it off starting farthest away from the radio console (basically start closest to the back of the vehicle). It does also help to have some fingernails to do this. Just be careful.. I started with 10 fingernails and when I was done I only had 7.

Again I know there's only one hand in the pic.. I didn't have my tripod..

I have 4 wheel driver on my vehicle so there is a 2/4 selector switch on my center console, so I couldn't just yank the cover up as there was a wire there. You may or may not have this. If you do.. Here's a shot of the connector underneath. It's pretty simple to disconnect, just push the latch in like the ones behind the top console and slide it out.

Once that's done, you can just lift it slightly up and pull it toward the back of the truck to disconnect it from the front two connectors. Again, you may want to put the parking brake on, as it makes it easier to lift the cover out of the way.

I had to run a line to the battery for the amplifier that would be powering the amplifier, and I was dreading this, as in all of the vehicles I had to run a power line, it was never easy. This one was cake. I love Dodge for this design (accidental or not).

There's an easy access hole through the firewall (I think someone already posted this), and there is also pretty easy access to the underneath of the steering wheel, making the run simple.

To get under the steering wheel, just pull down on the underside of the cover. Not sure what the technical name is.. But here's a pic (use two hands).

Here's the cover pulled down, you can see how it's hinged.

Cut to under the hood and the spot in the firewall where we will be running the wire. It's on the driver side and should be pretty easy to spot. There's a rubber grommet that is pretty simple to pull out. Here's two pics. One with the grommet one without.

Finally, here's a shot back inside the vehicle looking through the dash to where the hole in the firewall is. Also one of my wire run through it. And yet another of the radio dash where the power line is run through that. Those additional RCA jacks in the last pic are from the breakout box for my radio. It's hidden in the side area there.

This pic is my remote turn on cluster and the splitter box for my ground/power for the amplifier. Basically it splits the power/ground to the amp but also to a relay that is triggered from my antenna lead on the radio, so instead of splitting the antenna/amp turn on lead to 9 different devices, I have a central location that has it's own clean line from the battery that is triggered by the radio.

This last pic is where all my trouble started, but I didn't find out the problem til two days later. I purchased a basic amp that I was going to use to power the factory speakers, just to boost the power, and with the equalizer I figured I would be able to tweak the sound. And it worked great, with the car not running. As soon as I started the vehicle, I got the most horrific alternator noise I had ever heard. After two days of troubleshooting and ripping out all the wires, I found that the amp was the culprit. I don't know if it was faulty, or just a really bad design, but if you're going to get an amp for your vehicle, avoid the Phase Linear from Pep Boys. That's was I get for spending 50 bucks for an amp. I unfortunately didn't get the pics of my Sirius radio wiring setup, but basically there's also an accessory plug behind the dash that runs into my relay turn on, and the antenna wires are also behind the dash all running through a hole in the top tray. I know someone else on here already did that, and props to them, as that's where I stole the idea.

The dreaded bad amp.. Now gone..

Finally here are two pics of the finished radio/eq install. The radio is an Innovtatek 818DVD DVD/DivX/MP3 player and the EQ is a Blitz BZE-7S 7 band equalizer. It's a no name EQ, but there's no quality diff that I can see. Oh the other thing I forgot to mention. I modified the single din mounting kit. I chopped the back like 5 inches off the 'CD holder tray' at the bottom of the kit and popped the 1/2 din eq into it. It was an almost perfect fit. I had to cut some more of the plastic out of the back as that holder tray gets smaller as it goes back.

Again not the best pics of the radio. I'm having trouble with lighting. I'll work on getting some better ones.

[URL=""]Phase 01 Image A[/URL] [URL=""]Phase 01 Image B[/URL]

I did also take a quick movie with my camera, but it came out horrible, maybe I'll try that again.
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Great Job Reemicks, certainly this job is way over my head, but I am sure the forum will appreciate and gain much needed knowledge from all your work. Great detail, and pictures.
Great post. Thanks for all the pics and details. :rep:
Nice Job

yes great detail, gettin to old for that kind of work. ahh for the 60s-70's tearing dashes apart installing FM adapters, 8 tracks ,cassettes CBs, naww give me CDs and mp3s, satellite radio any day, Enjoy that unit but watch the volume believe me is no fun to lose some of your hearing from loud music, I know :4-scratcher:
Great write up ,I'm sure a lot of folks here will appreciate the detail you put into it.:rep:
Great write up! I've been wondering how to take the center console apart where the shifter is. Thanks!
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