Installing After market Radios - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #1 of 79 Old 12-31-2017, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
ThomD
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Installing After market Radios

There is some good info spreading across threads, but I figured it was time to consolidate what works (and what doesn't) with third party radios.

CaptainRob got this started with a great set of posts beginning here,
https://www.promasterforum.com/forum/...&postcount=207


With that info, I bought these items:
Maestro's ADS-MMR RR - this box converts all the vehicle side info into something the radio understands. Mostly vehicle and radio agnostic. Lots of cables included in the box.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Maestro's iDatalink ADS-HRN-RR-CH3 harness. Vehicle specific. This plugs into the vehicle radio harness & OBD2 connector and connects to the Maestro ADS-MRR box
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Kenwood DMX7704s - double din with support for Android Auto and two cameras. No navigation. Oddly, it does have a GPS antenna, but that is only used to set the time.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Metra 95-6523 - Dash kit for Promasters (2014+)
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Metra 40-EU10 - antenna to radio adapter cable
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

USB A Male to USB Mini Female adapter - This converts the connector inside the dash to the connector on the back of the Kenwood. The USB port in the dash, under the steering wheel, connects to this. This allows for Android Auto (and probably car play too).
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I used some nails to push into each of he 4 holes on the face of the radio to release it from the dash.

To configure the maestro, you need a Windows machine with IE. Login to the Maestro site, connect the MMR-RR to your PC (usb) and walk through the steps to identify exactly which factory radio and new radio you have. There is an option to reprogram the functions of the steering wheel buttons.

After you configure your MMR-RR, there are links on the web site for wiring diagrams and operating manuals. These are specific to your setup, so they are very easy to follow. You do need to splice the Maestro wiring harness to the radio harness. I used crimped insulated spade connectors because I know this radio will not last forever.

The dash kit needed a couple of screws to secure it to the dash, so I reused some from the factory brackets that I removed. Overall installation was straight forward. In order to run the microphone (OK Google!) and OBD2 cable up to the back of the radio, I had to remove the lower center stack and cup holder. The cup holder just pulled out. The center stack had 4 torx bolts - two under the cup holder.

I removed a UConnect 5.0 radio. With the new setup, all radio functions work. Steering wheel controls work. The backup camera has a dedicated button on the radio and engages when I shift to reverse. Back up sensors work and display. some vehicle gauges are available (OBD2 sourced) on a dedicated screen. Door open indicators show on the vehicle info screen. I think the back doors (I have two) only show as a single entity. The radio is updating the dash clock. There are a couple of vehicle specific config item accessible from the radio, for example Trip B data display on/off. The Maestro allows for prebooting the radio when the doors unlock and continued power (for a defined time) after vehicle shut down.

I have not connected any rear speakers. (I'm not even sure where those wires are in the body.)

Issues right now: TPS data shows, but 3 show 91 PSI. only one is showing the correct value (62). I have a bluetooth OBD2 device I need to hook up for diagnostics. On the vehicle info screen I have a flashing P in box. I presume that is supposed to show the parking brake state, but it doesn't.

2017 159" Gas High top with dual sliders.
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Last edited by ThomD; 12-31-2017 at 09:42 AM.
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post #2 of 79 Old 12-31-2017, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Now that I've almost completed the install I've learned a few more bits. TPS does not come from OBD2. It comes from the vehicle info. I'll probably disconnect the OBD2 cable - I won't ever look at those gauges.

I have hit a fitment issue between the face plate kit and the Kenwood radio. The radio bezel is 1/8" too narrow for the opening in the face plate, leaving a small gap all the way around. I can live with it for now.

2017 159" Gas High top with dual sliders.
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post #3 of 79 Old 12-31-2017, 10:45 AM
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Thanks for starting this thread, there is so much info spread across the electronics forum, I have the uconnect 5.0 and I've been hesitant to start messing with it just due to trying to gather the right info. Please post if you come up with a solution for the TPMS and bezel fitment, what else does the ODB2 gauges show? CEL? Could be bad to get rid of that...

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post #4 of 79 Old 12-31-2017, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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The bezel fit turned out to be a nonissue. I was trying to push the trim kit too far onto the radio. There is a small even gap all the way around the radio. I could probably caulk that if it bugs me. The fit into the dash is perfect.

The ODB2 gauges give things like RPM, MPH, outside temp (still shows in the dash), intake and exhaust temps. Nothing I care to look at very often. I'll probably lose access to engine error codes, but I have a bluetooth OBD2 reader for that if needed.

I'm not sure what to do about the TPS issue. Yesterday one read correctly; the other 3 showed 91psi. I'm guessing that is some default non-value. Today all 4 show 91psi. I can't think of a way to determine if it is the van or the Maestro that is wrong. The Maestro is working well with all the other data - parking sensors, door sensors, camera, shifting to reverse - so I suspect the van has it wrong.

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post #5 of 79 Old 12-31-2017, 12:10 PM
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TD,

Thanks... lots of good info!

I may decide to get a good radio/bluetooth/usb unit and build it into the camper area of the van. That would let me use it while parked without any timeouts and it would be an easy mount back there. With a remote control, it couls also be used while driving!

Still contemplating...

Ed

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post #6 of 79 Old 12-31-2017, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Closing the loop on my install, once I took the van for a spin, the TPS values started showing correctly. Must be a calibration thing.

In conclusion - easy to do and everything works.

2017 159" Gas High top with dual sliders.
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post #7 of 79 Old 12-31-2017, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by proeddie View Post
TD,

Thanks... lots of good info!

I may decide to get a good radio/bluetooth/usb unit and build it into the camper area of the van. That would let me use it while parked without any timeouts and it would be an easy mount back there. With a remote control, it couls also be used while driving!

Still contemplating...

Ed
I did the reverse - bought a JVC with a remote control to replace the stock no-cost radio. I keep the remote back in the van to control the dash radio. The remote works fine but doesn't do everything such as on/off. I just didn't want to deal with two radios in one van.

15 PM 159 High EXT, camper conversion completed 11/2017

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98 Lazy Daze 30' C on Ford E van
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post #8 of 79 Old 01-01-2018, 09:43 AM
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My concern is with the design of the original radio that is told when to go on and off by the van's computer. That's why there's no way to defeat the 15 minute power-off when in key-out mode.

I would figure that a special "adapted" harness to match a new, better radio would also be configured to power the radio the same way as the original. If the replacement radio could be powered on without the 15 minute timeout, that would make it a more reasonable unit for front and camper use.

Also the swap would be a lot easier if the van's controls and settings weren't part of the radio, as they are in the UC5.

I'd prefer to put in a new radio without any connection to the van's settings, but coming from the UC5, I'm not sure if I would lose the ability to make/view settings for some van parameters.

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post #9 of 79 Old 01-01-2018, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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The Maestro allows up to 30 minutes of run time after you turn off the key.

This swap really isn't any harder than any other radio. All of the splices would be needed regardless of the vehicle. All of the fancy functions (camera, vehicle integration) are all plug and play.

For back of the vehicle audio, I'm going with a bluetooth speaker setup.

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post #10 of 79 Old 01-25-2018, 03:49 AM
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Just did (most of) my headunit install - very similar, with a Kenwood ddx9904s. The maestro and Kenwood harnesses are freaking huge - enough so that I partially untaped then and retaped so I could more easily move wires around and push used ones it off the way.

I retaped the harnesses with tesa tape, which is very similar to the oem fuzzy take used in factory wire harnesses. Much better than wrapping with electrical tape - more secure, and reduces rattling. Pretty cheap to too.

Taped the USB extensions, and antenna connections while I was at it.

I grounded the hand brake wire (light green) onto the back of the unit, to turn off some of the nanny features.

Also made my connections between the Kenwood and maestro harnesses with molex connectors - a 4 pin for the front speakers, 4 pin for the rear speakers, and a 6 pin (using 5 of the pins) for power, 12v, acc, reverse, and dimmer. I used a spade connector for the blue/white amp wire - I don't believe you need this on the stock system, but I'll be running it to an aftermarket amp. That's also why my speaker wires are on different connectors for front / rear - I'll probably run the front to an amp (so that will be disconnected at that point - run RCAs to the amp) , and run rear fill off the head unit (leave that connected).
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