Hey guys, I just wanted to take some time to share my install of this head unit. I've learned so much from others posting here that I wanted to share my experience in hopes that I can return the favor and help someone else out.
I purchased this awesome Alpine unit, the Perfect fit kit and Sirius XM Antenna from a place called Car Stereo Warehouse in North Carolina and got a great deal. (http://www.carstereowarehousenc.com) If interested, give them a call and ask for Zee! I got a picture of everything prior to shipping, it shipped quickly and I saved a few hundred bucks from other places out there. I was very pleased with my experience!
I also purchased the PAC TR7 bypass from Amazon -
To keep my stock USB functioning correctly I purchased the AX-TOYUSB made by Metra. I got mine here because it was the cheapest place that had it in stock - http://www.thewireszone.com/p-5159-a...-vehicles.aspx
These guys had it the cheapest but were out of stock when I tried ordering - http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...AX-TOYUSB.html
The install took about 10 hours collectively over 2 days. I am not a professional installer and just took my time to make sure I didn't break anything. The perfect fit kit provided by Alpine certainly streamlines the installation process. I first started by hooking up the TR7 bypass to the Alpine harness. Pretty straight forward, I just cut some of the wire ties on the harness so it made it easier to work and then just attach the appropriate wires. Removing the stock unit was extremely easy and there are plenty of discussions on this including the sticky under the Audio forums.
I wanted to utilize the stock location of the bluetooth mic, so I went through the process of removing several items to not only get to it, but also to run the Alpine mic to it. Routing the mic to the stock location was actually easier then expected. You need to first start by removing the driver side pillar (Oh shit handle thing), the sun visor and visor clip, the airbag plastic piece above the door and the middle console in the roof where the mic resides. See this video from help removing those items -
You don't need to remove anything other than what I said, that will allow you enough room to slide your hands in and run the mic wire up the pillar and over to the stock mic location. Now on the middle piece with the stock mic, you will see from the backside (it's black with gold contacts everywhere), you will see the rectangular gray piece that has the openings for the mic, there are clips on both sides, just take a very small flat head and push two of them off and that piece pops right off. (Be sure to unclip the wire from the back before trying it, it won't move otherwise since there is no slack on the wire harness.) The stock mic is a small rectangular black piece and also pops out with a small flat head. I took the Alpine mic and centered it in that stock location and took some small wires ties and placed them around that rectangular plastic just to squeeze on it and hold it in place. (Although I think it was overkill.) I say that because once you push it back up into the main piece, it's a really snug fit and you'll see the rubber back of the mic piece bending just a little bit. It didn't seem to be a bad thing, not to much compression but just enough to really keep that mic in place. I know this seems crazy but you'll see what I mean when you take it apart, it's really pretty easy. I should have taken pics!
Installing the Sirius XM antenna wasn't too bad but caused a few headaches. Let me first start by saying that I had originally installed the Sirius XM antenna under the dash but found that to be a poor location since the slightest overhead interference caused it to lose signal. We are talking about trees with no leaves on them right now causing it to lose signal! With that said, I went back and removed it from under the dash and relocated it to the roof. I ran it around the weather seal on the front windshield, through the rubber boot in the firewall and up into the radio location. Getting it through the rubber boot was a pain! (Make sure you take your time and try to make the hole big enough.)
For those of who have had the antenna scratch the clear coat, I've had that happen to past vehicles. I got smarter with my wife's car, just head to a craft store or fabric store and pick up some fabric that is water proof. (I look for material that is similar to the Jeep's soft top.) That material has a black side and a reasonably soft white side. Cut a piece big enough to cover the bottom of the antenna and glue the black side to underside of the antenna. This way the nice soft side is touching your paint. The magnet is plenty strong to still stick and no scratches if it moves!
The GPS antenna got mounted under the dash, on the vent system behind the radio and that seems to work just fine. It takes a minute or two to locate the satellites but all seems great with it otherwise.
All the harnesses were pretty straightforward since they are all unique and you can't really screw it up. Please note, the steering wheel controls hookup is located on the Alpine wire harness with the camera inputs! I didn't hook those up since I just use my backup camera in my rear view mirror and couldn't figure out how to hook up the steering wheel controls. Dumb mistake on my part but I figured it out after looking at the wiring diagram.
Everything works great and all the steering wheel controls work! FYI..the up and down arrows will change the station but in order to go up or down through the presets, hold down the up and down for a second or two.
Thanks to MetallicTaco for finding this out! GPS works great and I am extremely impressed with how much better it sounds in the car, even with the crappy stock speakers! (It's like day and night!) The only two concerns I have found with this unit. The first is that the BTPandora option doesn't work, I can use Pandora on the radio but only through the BTAudio option. That option doesn't allow you to use the Thumbs Up or Down option in Pandora, nor does it allow you to see your stations. I found a discussion about this having to do with Apple upgrading the iPhone to the OS 6.0 or higher. Apparently BT programming changed and Alpine is working on a firmware update the fix the issue. The other concern I have is that when someone calls me, it only displays the phone number, not the name of the person calling. According to Alpine's manual, if the number is in your contact list and the contact list is synced with the unit, it should display the name. I have yet to figure out why this happening and may end up calling Alpine Tech support for assistance. I will update you guys if I find out anything.
This is a great unit and I am very pleased with the look, feel and sound of the unit. Alpine did a great job! And the 8" screen is huge! I will try doing a video and posting to youtube, I'll post it when uploaded.
Feel free to PM with any questions, I will do my best to answer them!