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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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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.
 

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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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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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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?

Thanks!
 

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So how did this all end up working out? The used van I get will have to have rear windows, which seems to be the base vans that come with the radio only head unit. Some make it seem like swapping this head unit out is kind of a nightmare and causes issues. Ive done a number of them before on other vehicles and it was fairly straightforward. All I want for this van will be a cheap unit that does android auto and has bluetooth.
 

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That was then this is now.

The radio is controlled by the computer unless you ordered the radio delete option. People have done it with varying levels of success a carefull reading of their experiences will help you understand just what you can expect and what will most likely be problematic. I believe the biggest problem people have had is with integrating the dashboard readouts with the new head unit. You may end up with a flashing clock or other problem. If you can live with the limitations you should have no problems.
 

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Do you know if even the basic radio only unit causes all these issues when replaced? Or just the Uconnect unit with the touchscreen?

At any rate, maybe the easiest option is to put a bluetooth unit in the house area like many RV companies do. Put two speakers from that to the little overhead compartment. Or go through the nightmare of running new wire to the existing front speakers.
 

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Do you know if even the basic radio only unit causes all these issues when replaced? Or just the Uconnect unit with the touchscreen?

At any rate, maybe the easiest option is to put a bluetooth unit in the house area like many RV companies do. Put two speakers from that to the little overhead compartment. Or go through the nightmare of running new wire to the existing front speakers.
I can't say for sure but I think both the uConnect 3 & 5 have similar problems. A separate BT may be your cheapest & easiest solution. What radio do you have? The 5 has BT (at least mine does).
 

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I replaced my UC3 with a Pioneer something or other.
I havent had any problems with the computer in the van.
It seems to work just as before the radio swap.
Now, Ive got a CD player and Bluetooth, USB (stock USB is now defunct), HD-FM, Bluetooth phone etc, sub pre-outs and MORE power! 55 watts total. Local Audio shop d the install.
No problems with any of the vans electronics.
2014 UC3 with up fitters plug in the passenger B pillar bottom.
Also, swapped out the front door speakers and added a powered sub sitting just behind the drivers seat.
Good luck
 

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That's good to know. My uc5 uses the GPS to set the clock and a few other things. I can't even adjust the time on mine it only works in conjunction with the GPS!
 

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I'm currently upgrading the same system in my Promaster. Did you install speakers in the rear? If so, where do you locate the factory speaker wires? I'm all hooked up and listening to good sound, but I'd like to have more sound in the back, but can not locate the wires for an easy install.
 

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On my new 2017 2500 I recently replaced the original factory AM/FM/MP3 radio (standard equipment), no bluetooth, no camera.

I installed a Kenwood DMX7704, Alpine 5 channel amp, and new speaker wire and speakers. I also installed a back up camera. I got a harness from Crutchfield along with the Kenwood to plug into factory harness. All this works great.

However, the clock on the Promaster dashboard near speedometer flashes the wrong time, and the date is fixed wrong, and these were apparently designed to be adjusted by the original factory AM/FM/MP3 radio only.

Does anyone know a work around to set the date, turn the clock off, or otherwise make the clock stop flashing?
 

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On my new 2017 2500 I recently replaced the original factory AM/FM/MP3 radio (standard equipment), no bluetooth, no camera.

I installed a Kenwood DMX7704, Alpine 5 channel amp, and new speaker wire and speakers. I also installed a back up camera. I got a harness from Crutchfield along with the Kenwood to plug into factory harness. All this works great.

However, the clock on the Promaster dashboard near speedometer flashes the wrong time, and the date is fixed wrong, and these were apparently designed to be adjusted by the original factory AM/FM/MP3 radio only.

Does anyone know a work around to set the date, turn the clock off, or otherwise make the clock stop flashing?
Im not sure about your year, for my 2014, with a stock UC3 radio,
you made adjustments to the date and time that displays in the center instruments display,
you make these changes using the 'mode' and arrow up and down BUTTONS that are to the left of the steering column.
Now, after I had my UC3 pulled and the Pioneer installed, the clock does not flash.
And I can still make adjustments with the MODE buttons to change my date and time display in the instrument cluster. good luck
 

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My mode button does not seem to adjust clock or date. The date doesn't bother me so much because it's not a bright flashing light. Also, my owners manual only describes an ability to adjust clock via the radio. I should've have ordered version without any factory radio so the manufacturer couldn't have bundled other seemingly independent features to the FM radio. It would seem there would be some way to get the clock to stop flashing, just have to figure it out. Calls to dealer have been unhelpful so far.
 

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Ananda, you're 100% correct unfortunately but I believe several people here have figured out a solution. Check the archives and you may find the answer or try may still be around and help you out.
 

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My mode button does not seem to adjust clock or date. The date doesn't bother me so much because it's not a bright flashing light. Also, my owners manual only describes an ability to adjust clock via the radio. I should've have ordered version without any factory radio so the manufacturer couldn't have bundled other seemingly independent features to the FM radio. It would seem there would be some way to get the clock to stop flashing, just have to figure it out. Calls to dealer have been unhelpful so far.
my owners manual describes 'how to' for both radios. The UC3 and the UC5. The UC5 has the large flat screen display, where the UC3 is a much smaller radio with a blank space cubby hole above it.
Try the mode button again. You have to pushbthe buttons in a specific order to get the menus to pop up and then make changes.
Good luck.
 

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On my new 2017 2500 I recently replaced the original factory AM/FM/MP3 radio (standard equipment), no bluetooth, no camera.

I installed a Kenwood DMX7704, Alpine 5 channel amp, and new speaker wire and speakers. I also installed a back up camera. I got a harness from Crutchfield along with the Kenwood to plug into factory harness. All this works great.

However, the clock on the Promaster dashboard near speedometer flashes the wrong time, and the date is fixed wrong, and these were apparently designed to be adjusted by the original factory AM/FM/MP3 radio only.

Does anyone know a work around to set the date, turn the clock off, or otherwise make the clock stop flashing?
I just got a professional installation of exactly the same Kenwood model and it works fine, I have no idea how they did it, but know that it can be done!
 

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Try the mode button again. You have to pushbthe buttons in a specific order to get the menus to pop up and then make changes.
Good luck.
This worked! I think the mode button needs to be depressed for 2-3 seconds to get deeper into the menu options. The manual doesn't mention this, and/or I failed to find it by my search.

Thank you!!

I spoke to a dealers technician today who gave the pessimistic and clearly incorrect answer that stopping the blinking without the factory radio was impossible. The PM Forum comes through again with helpful info.
 
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