Radio Upgrade - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-09-2017, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Radio Upgrade

My first post! Sure hope I do this right...

So the first major project in 'ol Puggy was to upgrade her radio. She came with the base radio (UC3 I think). As many of you know, this does not support iPhone playback or a backup camera. We pretty much stream all our music through Spotify, binge on podcasts, and get audio books from the library through our phones, so connecting to the iPhone is a requirement. Additionally, a backup camera would sure make me feel better about backing up in a parking lot.

After some searching and reading reviews we landed on a Pioneer AVH-4200NEX mostly because it seems to have good support of Apple Car Play.

This post will talk through this upgrade journey. But first a fair warning. The last radio I tried to install almost ruined my marriage. Fortunately, my wife is "frugal" so when Best Buy told her it was going to be $100+ for the install she let me try again. Proceed with caution.

Step 1: Get your parts.
I found this video very helpful:
I ended up ordering the following:
Removal Keys
Antenna Adapter
Wiring Harness
Dash Kit

Step 2: Remove current radio
Pretty easy. Just push the removal keys into the radio and it pops right out. There are two wire clips in the back, one is gray with a bunch of wires and the other is white with 5 wires. The gray one is all the radio specific wires and the white one is for the USB connection. Remove the two torx bolts and you are free and clear of the old radio.

Step 3: Wiring harness.
This is where I bungled up last time so I spent quite a bit of time reading and watching videos. Basically there are 4 important wires: a yellow one that has constant power, a black one for ground, a red one to let you know when the ignition is on, and an orange/white one for illumination/fade (this fades your radio when the headlights are on and when you adjust the brightness of your dash lights). Then there are another 8 wires that are simply the +/- for each speaker (front back left right). Colors for these wires are standardized. This video is pretty good:

These are all the wires that come out of the wiring harness I ordered. I used my meter and verified that all the wires did what they were supposed to do. The harness did come with two extra wires (power amp and power antenna) but I don't have either of those features.

Next we need to solder the wiring harness to the wires that go into the back of the radio. The radio comes with it's own wiring harness looking thing that fits into the back of the radio. Your task is to connect the wires of the same color between the Metra wiring harness and the radio harness. I first verified that all the colors mapped correctly to each other by checking the radio manual and the harness documentation. Then it was off to soldering and heat shrinking.

Now, the radio wiring harness has more wires than the Metra wiring harness. I didn't worry about those at this point. I will update this thread as I get to them. At the end of the day, you don't need those to get your basic radio working.

Step 4: Install
The Metra dash kit works fine. The fit was not perfect and it feels a bit flimsy but it will work. Attach the wiring harness and antenna adapter. Hold your breath and turn the key. Sweet Mary, we have sound. Play with the balance to make sure the left and right are hooked up correctly. Fade doesn't do much without back speakers.

While I was in there I added a Sirius/XM receiver, which is just a box stuffed in behind the radio that plugs into the back and then you route the antenna. I have the antenna just stuck on the dash and it seems to work fine. When I drill a hole in the roof for solar I may route it up there.

Push the radio in, snap on the faceplate and boom, you are tonight's hero.

Next up: attaching the USB to the factory port.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-10-2017, 04:05 AM
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I think all Promasters come with an antenna for Sirius already. It's that little black thingy on the top front. I might be wrong but you probably only have to plug it in.

Great write up so far looking forward to more.

2014, High Top/159 WB, 2500 gas Promaster fully converted for camping.

Last edited by keeponvaning; 03-23-2017 at 01:21 PM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-10-2017, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, that is interesting. I will check it out. Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-10-2017, 08:15 AM
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There is another radio thread on this forum where nobody was able to get the Metra kit to work with factory backup camera and full steering wheel controls. Only the Maestro kit worked.

I just went through the Maestro kit installation. What a mess that is. It took 3 different POS windows computers, loaned from friends, to find one that would work with the Maestro wonky plug-in and flash their module. An old Windows 8 machine is one that worked. Lots of people bitching on the Maestro forum about it.

My next Promaster better come with Car Play from the factory.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-28-2017, 12:21 AM
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My 2014 PM came with the Uconnect that has am/fm/cd/mp3. It does not have Sirius but the antenna is the small black box on top. I got the small Sirius add on radio that clips to the dash. If you pull your radio, the antenna is attached to the present radio compass function. I got an extension on Amazon that I ran from that wire to the add on Sirius radio. It works great and I enjoy the Sirius radio. It uses the present speaker and antenna. Hope this helps someone that is installing this. I got the add on radio at Best Buy.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-22-2017, 08:50 PM
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In the 3ed picture you uploaded there are 2 plastic connections that need to be disconnected from stock radio and you are holding them. My radio and harness will allow me to connect the gray adapter but not that white one you are holding..... where does that one go?

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