Introduction: How to Install an Aftermarket Radio in a 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

In the following steps, I will tell you how to install an aftermarket radio into your 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Step 1: Introduction.

About a year and a half ago, I purchased my first car: a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. From the factory, it included an A/M-F/M radio with both a cassette and a CD player, which is fine for most people, but if you're like me, you probably are envious of your friends who have newer vehicles with more tech features. Thankfully, you can easily replace your factory radio in your 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee by following these simple steps, and you can add features such as Bluetooth for both hands-free calling AND wireless music streaming through a compatible smartphone, HD Radio (better quality than regular old FM radio, and there's no subscription fees!), iPod and USB inputs, satellite radio, and much, more to your older Jeep!

Step 2: What You'll Need.

Here's what you'll need to install your aftermarket radio into your 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee:

Parts you'll need to purchase:

-(1) Aftermarket Single-DIN Radio (a double-DIN aftermarket radio WON'T fit into your Jeep's dash).

-(1) Aftermarket Radio Dash Kit for 1998-2008 Chrysler Vehicles (this adapts the aftermarket radio to fit into your Jeep's dash so you won't have to modify your dash, as well as fills the gap of space that the larger factory radio took up in the dash).

-(1) Aftermarket Radio Wiring Harness for 1998+ Chrysler Vehicles (this wiring harness had a plug, or plugs, depending on the model year of your Jeep, that plug directly into your Jeep's factory radio wiring harness so you don't have to splice into your factory radio wiring. You'll color-match wires from this wiring harness to the wires on the wiring harness that is included with your aftermarket radio).

-(1) A/M-F/M Radio Antenna Adapter for 2002+ Chrysler Vehicles (this antenna adapter plugs directly into your factory antenna, since the factory antenna is the "newer" style antenna, and won't just plug directly into your aftermarket radio).

-(1) Package of Posi-Products Car Stereo Connectors (Not necessary, but this creates an even more secure wiring connection than electrical tape, and is great if you drive on a lot of rougher roads on your daily commute like I do, you just connect the wires together, place one end of the connector onto those wires, and then screw the other end of the connector onto that connector).

-(1) Roll of Electrical Tape (If you choose not to use the Posi-Products Connectors, this allows you to make the wiring connections. You'll connect the wires together, and then wrap a piece of tape (or two) around the wires to keep them together).

And here's what you'll probably already have lying around your house:

-(1) Philips-Head Screwdriver.

-(1) Pair of Wire Cutters.

-(1) Flathead Screwdriver.

Finally, here's what will be included in the box of your aftermarket radio:

-(1) Aftermarket Radio (Single-DIN).

-(1) Aftermarket Radio Cage (You'll remove this using the installation keys, and place it into the dash kit you purchased).

-(1) Radio Faceplate (You'll want to detach this from the front of the radio while you're installing it, and then reattach it when you're ready to power up your new radio for the first time. It's detachable for security purposes so no one will steal your stereo).

-(2) Installation Keys.

-(1) Wiring Harness (Connect this to the wiring harness you purchased).

-(1) Owner's Manual (Read this THOROUGHLY before beginning your installation to make sure you are familiar with both the installation process, as well as with your new radio).

With all that in mind, let's get started!

Step 3: Readying the Wiring Harness.

You'll begin the installation process before going out to your Jeep to install your new radio.

First, you'll match each colored wire on the wiring harness that came with your new radio to each colored wire on the wiring harness that you purchased that will plug into the factory wiring connections. You will either use electrical tape or the Posi-Products Connectors to secure each wire connection. When you're done, connect the plug end of one wiring harness to the plug end of the wiring harness. Make sure they "click" into place and create a secure connection.

Step 4: Installing the Radio Into the Dash Kit.

Now that you've got the most difficult part of the installation out of the way, it's time to install your new radio into the dash kit you purchased.

First, insert an installation key into the front of the aftermarket radio on either side. Once the installation keys are in, you'll be able to remove the "cage" surrounding the radio (if you don't have these keys you can use a flathead screwdriver). You'll want to save these keys in case you have to remove your radio at a later time.

Next, insert the cage into the dash kit, and fold the metal "tabs" on the installation kit down to "lock" it into place.

Finally, you'll insert the aftermarket radio back into its cage from the front of the dash kit.

Also, you'll plug the completed wiring harness into the port on the back of the aftermarket radio, again making sure it "clicks" securely into place.

Next, it's out to your Jeep to complete the installation process.

Step 5: Removing the Factory Radio.

Now, it's time to go out to your Jeep and install your new radio.

Start by carefully (CAREFULLY!) inserting a flathead screwdriver into the side of the plastic bezel surrounding the radio and center dash vents. Continue prying around the bezel until it "pops" out of the dash. Then you can remove it and set it aside.

Now that you have access to the factory radio, you'll remove four (4) Philips-head screws holding it in place, in each corner of the radio.

Next, pull the factory radio out of the dash, and disconnect one or two wiring harnesses (1 for 2002-2004, and 2 for 1999-2001) and an A/M-F/M radio antenna from the back of the factory radio. You may have to pull firmly outwards on the antenna, as it "locks" into place and takes some effort to remove.

Now, we'll install your new radio into your Jeep.

Step 6: Installing the New Radio.

To install your aftermarket radio into your Jeep, start by taking the A/M-F/M radio antenna adapter, and plugging it firmly into the factory A/M-F/M radio antenna.

Next, take the aftermarket radio, and connect the A/M-F/M radio antenna adapter to the A/M-F/M radio antenna port on the back of the radio until it "locks" into place.

Now, connect the one or two wiring harnesses on the aftermarket wiring harness to the one or two plugs coming out of the dash opening until they "click" securely into place.

Next, turn the power on to your Jeep by inserting your key into the ignition slot, put the radio faceplate back onto the front of the radio if you removed it earlier, turn on your new radio, and check operation. If something isn't quite working, go back and check your wiring and make sure the wires are connected correctly.

Once you've verified everything is working correctly, line up the screw holes on the dash kit with the screw holes in the factory dash opening, and secure your new radio in place using the four (4) Philips-head screws you removed from the factory radio.

Finally, in the final step, we'll finish up the installation process by putting your Jeep's dash back together.

Step 7: Reassembling Your Dash.

Finally, it's time to reassemble your Jeep's dash.

You'll only need to put the center vents and radio bezel back in place and press firmly, starting at the top and working your way down, on the bezel to secure the bezel back into place.

I hope you've enjoyed this Instructable! Now you can enjoy your tunes anew! (: