Adding an Aftermarket Amp(s)

Sting_NC_USA

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(If you reply to this post - PLEASE do not quote the entire post! It is entirely too long to be repeated over and over. Thx!)

There was little information available (at the time of this original post) regarding audio wiring schematics for the JL. This thread was put together to serve as a single location for us to build upon. I'll update it periodically until this project is finished (FYI, it's now complete!).

Prior Needs:
  • Wiring Schematic, including specific wire colors
    • Base System (Solved - See below) - The Speaker Wiring Schematic is now provided to help identify positive/negative polarity
    • Alpine System (Solved - See below)
  • Override UConnect load sensing test (UConnect checks for the stock speaker resistance and turns individual outputs off if not "seen." (Solved - See below)
First and foremost, a line level converter process is needed. There are two primary methods to convert the uConnect signal and each is highlighted below (Adding Resistors or Adding a PAC Amp Pro).

When removing the stock speakers, the uConnect system has to be "tricked" into sending its audio signal to each speaker. In short, the Jeep's uConnect system checks for the proper resistance load introduced by our stock speakers.

If uConnect doesn't detect the proper resistance on any particular channel, the system turns that channel's signal off. I'd originally found only one option that worked (see the Resistor approach below). If you're interested in reading more about how the resistor approach works, this is a great article on the topic: Everything is hooked up but no sound is playing, just don't buy the Audio Control AC-LGD device it discusses. I'll elaborate...

I tried the AudioControl AC-LGD device, and it worked... sporadically. Evidently the resistance tolerances for the AC-LGD were too narrow causing it to work sometimes, and not others.

The JL Audio FiX-LSA-4 (a device similar to the AudioControl AC-LGD, but made by JL Audio) didn't work at all with the Jeep's load sensing issue. I spoke with a JL Audio tech, and this seems to be a known issue they'll likely address soon. The reason appears to be related to a difference in the Ohm load our stereo systems require vs. others.

This leads us to the two functional options for overriding the load sensing issue.

Option One: VERY EASY (and inexpensive) to do and requires light soldering:

Talking with the techs at PAC, and confirming via online references, a 47 OHM, 5 Watt Ceramic Resistor can be soldered to each pair of speaker level input wires feeding a Digital Sound Processor (DSP) such as the JL Audio FiX™ 86 or equivalent. DSP's help to flatten/condition the pre-EQ'd signal sent by the uConnect system.​
I tried this process, and it does work. You can order resistors here, and you'll find that they are very inexpensive. If you go this route, I recommend buying several more than you need, just in case you break a few.​
Each resistor is soldered to the (+) and (-) stock speaker wiring pair that you'll use to feed each line level converter input. If you're running a 4 channel amp, you'll need to purchase 4 resistors.​
Once again, this tricks the uConnect system into thinking the stock speakers are still there, allowing the system to turn each channel on without having the stock speaker attached. A home-made schematic of this resistor setup is included below.​
Resistor.PNG

And here's a photo of the resistors installed on the speaker wire, right before they enter the JL Fix86. Note that these weren't yet soldered and wrapped.​
20180902_155220.jpg

Option Two (Recommended): PAC Audio AP4-CH41R2

I was hesitant to update the post with this device initially, as I hadn't installed one personally. PAC has now updated their website to indicate the second revision (R2 in the model number) supports the Jeep JL and JT! The catch is it's a bit pricey! MSRP is originally at $349, though it can be found cheaper online. If you go this route, just make sure it's the R2 edition!​
Since the original posting, I have had the opportunity to install and calibrate the PAC device, and it does a good job of flattening the uConnect's signal. While I still recommend using a DSP like the JL Audio FiX™ 86 or equivalent, you can now effectively use the PAC Amp Pro as the sole "LOC" to feed a clean, low-level signal to your amp(s) via RCA Cables.​
PAC.PNG
Base Radio:​

Option 1 - Resistor Approach: For the speaker level inputs of the line output converter, I tapped into the speaker level outputs directly behind the Base System's radio. Those wires were extended and run through the middle console to the back of the Jeep, to my JL Audio FiX™ 86 where my amps are. Once again, wiring colors are available below.​
Option 2 - PAC Amp Pro approach: Plug the PAC Amp Pro's harness into the back of your stock radio, plug the radio's harness into the PAC Amp Pro, Connect a 12v Remote wire to your front 12V Adapter's positive wire, set your DIP Switches per the manual and then calibrate it. RCA Cables run from the PAC Amp Pro to your amp, or to your DSP and then your amp.​

Premium Radio:

Option 1 - Resistor Approach: For the speaker level inputs of the line output converter, you'll need to tap into the speaker level signals that are coming out of the stock amp, located under the steering column.​
Option 2 - PAC Amp Pro Approach: Same Option 2 for the base radio above, but check the PAC Amp Pro's DIP Switches and set via the supplied instructions.​

Premium Amp location (under the steering wheel) and modular plugs:

Premium Amp Wires.jpg


Premium Amp.jpg


______________________________________________________

Sub-woofer only install:
If you are simply adding a sub-woofer and plan to keep the stock speakers intact, you can skip the resistor or PAC Amp Pro processes described above. Instead, you'll simply tap your connections into the rear speaker wires housed in the B-pillar, behind the passenger seat at the floor level. The wires are easy to find after removing the plastic cover at the base of the pillar. The soundbar speaker wires are the only twisted pair wires down there, and they match the colors in the chart provided. Note, unless your amp has a line output converter built in (doubtful), you will need to add a line output converter (LOC). The AudioControl LC2i, or comparable device, works fine for a sub-only upgrade.​

______________________________________________________


Here are several additional details you may find helpful if the above hasn't scared you away yet...

On the Base System, there are four 4-inch speakers and four small tweeters. I ended up upgrading the Soundbar and the Kick Panels to 5.25-inch separates (Separate Woofer and Tweeter - also called "Components"). Now that Metra has introduced their new speaker pods, I can no longer recommend anything other than 6.5's in the kick panels, and here's why...

The Kick Panels:

The newly introduced Metra JP-1014 Speaker Pods, announced and released shortly after SEMA 2019, significantly simplify the kick panel speaker upgrade process. I have updated this post to recommend running 6.5-inch separates up front and 4-inch coax's in the soundbar if you don't want to modify the Soundbar much, or 6.5's if you run the SSV Works adapter. Going larger in the soundbar without the SSV Works adapter is possible, though it will require more cutting than I personally recommend, given the limited sound that can be achieved from the soundbar.

NEW: Installation Tip (Pictures added) - You DO NOT need to remove the entire dash to change out the Kick Panel pods!

To access/remove the speakers in the kick panels, you have to remove the two side dash panels (body clips hold the driver/passenger side on - pry off carefully) to access the screws dedicated to securing the dash's sides.

20200621_110646.jpg


The displayed, partially removed screws below are the only screws that must come out from under these panels, except there is one hidden screw recessed in the side of each Speaker Pod. The recessed screw is accessible within one of those larger silver "holes," and you can access it with a short Phillips head screwdriver. Once again, this applies to both the passenger and driver's side panels.

20200621_110353.jpg


Then, you'll need to remove the plastic panel under the steering column (body clips - pull the panel directly towards the driver's seat).

20200621_110757.jpg


On the passenger side, remove the glove box (depress the latch at the top-inside of the glove box to pull it down and outward). Then, remove the three black dash screws under the area where the glove box was. Only the black 7mm screws need to be removed.

20200411_133531.jpg


On the driver's side, each of the black 7mm screws visible here must be removed.

20200621_105936.jpg


Oh, and don't forget to remove this screw, too. It's tucked in just to the right of the Headlight/Dimmer pod, and removing it will give you much more space when rotating the driver's side Pod out.

20200621_105729.jpg


As mentioned, each of the Kick Panel speakers have a hidden screw recessed in the side dash panel area, as well as a screw at the top and bottom of the enclosure itself. Once all 3 of each speaker enclosure's screws are removed, you may carefully pull the bottom section of the dash away from it's mounts to access the Pods. Doing so allows you to rotate the speaker enclosures out. Be careful that you don't pull the dash so far out that you crease/pinch the dash covers.

The passenger side Kick Panel Speaker Pod rotates out easily, so there's no additional feedback provided for it. Simply unplug the speaker wire plug on the back, and you're done here!

There are a few NEW tricks to getting the driver's side Pod out easily.

After removing the side dash panel, the panel under the steering wheel and all of the screws previously shown, pop off the cover for the Headlight knob and Dimmer wheels using a pry tool.

20200621_101343.jpg


Next, from behind the dash, use your fingers to compress the silver tabs on the Headlight Knob/Dimmer plug. This will allow the assembly to easily pop out and provide access to the top Kick Panel Speaker Pod's mounting screw. Two clips on the top, and two clips on the bottom of the Headlight/Dimmer plug allow it to easily be pulled out, and there's no need to disconnect the wires.

20200621_101407.jpg


Here's the screw location for the top of the Driver's side Pod. Using a magnetic screwdriver will help in removing and re-installing this screw, as it's recessed a bit behind the Headlight/Dimmer pod. You can also use tape to temporarily hold the screw onto the screwdriver when re-installing.

20200621_101519.jpg


Once the side, top and bottom pod screws are removed, there's another trick to share regarding the removal of the driver's side Pod.

To do so, pull the dash section's you've loosened outward with your right hand, being careful not to crease any parts of the dash by bending it. Run your left hand up the inside of the dash to guide the top of the Pod. Then, with your right hand on the bottom of the Pod, lift up on the Pod, pushing it up into the dash as far as it will go, then, using your right hand, pull the bottom of the Pod towards you. It will pop over the metal dash frame that's under it, and you'll be able to rotate it out after that. You may need to rock the bottom of the Pod back and forth a few times while lifting up on it.

There's a black box connected to the back of the driver's side speaker with three screws. It's called a Gateway, and it's actually one of the things that makes the driver's side Pod so difficult to remove. You'll need to unplug both of its modular plugs (unless you're already running a Tazer JL) before removing the driver's side Pod.

Important: If you re-install your Metra Pods and your stereo doesn't turn on, it's likely because you didn't plug the Gateway's modular plugs back in. (This is the most requested question I receive!) The Gateway is the device in the bottom left of the following picture, and the driver's side Metra Pod has a place for this to be mounted on the back.

There's also a rather large hole on the back of the Metra Pod. The stock Mopar pods you removed have rubber plugs that you'll want to transfer. Just be sure to run your speaker wires through these rubber plugs before adding wire connectors and before trying to re-install the Pods.

20200621_103322.jpg


20200621_103607.jpg


Pictured below is one of the new Metra pods before the speaker's installed and another picture before the finished Pod is ready to be installed.

Note that I'm running 5.25-inch separates, yet these Pods are made for 6.5's. By using the speaker manufacturer's (Audison in this case) provided housing, the housing sits right over the 6.5-inch holes. Also, on the passenger side pod, there will still be a few screw holes open. Make sure you seal each unused hole with silicone, and/or a small screw, or it could end up "whistling."

While not shown, I did add sound deadening material inside the box, polyfil inside the box and also cut a gasket from the sound deadening material that sits between the speaker ring and the Metra Pod. The gasket simply seals out any air from the remaining, unused screw holes under the speaker.

20200621_103005.jpg


20200621_104453.jpg


To re-install everything, simply reverse the order above, ensuring all screws, clips and plugs go back nice and easy. There's no need to force anything.

When re-installing the driver's side Pod, you'll benefit by viewing the top bracket through the Headlight/Dimmer portal, ensuring it's at the location shown below before pushing the Pod up as far as it will go. Once you verify it's in the right spot, begin wedging the bottom of the Pod inward towards the front of the car. If you don't have the top section in the right spot, you'll struggle with pushing the Pod upward enough for the bottom and Gateway to clear the metal frame bracket. It really shouldn't require much force.

20200621_105046.jpg


The Soundbar:

If you do choose to upgrade to larger speakers in the soundbar, modifying the soundbar to accommodate larger speakers is fairly straight-forward. It takes some time/skill with a Dremel tool to enlarge the speaker cavities. You can fit a decent pair of mid-range coaxial speakers up there, or you could choose speaker separates. Each of the rear channels in the sound bar has a mid-range speaker and a separate tweeter already, so separates are possible, you'd just have to wire them on your own. Meaning, the stock mid-range woofer and tweeter on each channel share the same two wires (they aren't discreet). For separates, you would use the wire going into the mid-range woofer to connect to the separates' crossover, then run a new wire from the crossover to the new woofer and new tweeter.

Note, I rate upgrading the Soundbar speakers as "beginner" level install if you stay with 4-inch speakers, and as an "intermediate" level install if you up-size your speakers to 5.25-inch or larger.

Side note: All of the speakers in this system come factory installed in ported enclosures. That's how these little stock speakers sound slightly better than they should.​

I have deleted all "concerning" commentary previously shared regarding upgrading the kick panels now that the Metra pods are available. With the Metra pods, we are now presented with such a great option that I can't recommend anything other than using them with 6.5-inch separates. Advice: Invest the majority of your sound system money in the front soundstage, and use the soundbar speakers as nothing else but "fill" speakers.

If, after that advice, you still choose the Resistor route and use the JL Audio Fix™ 86, there is a calibration process necessary that requires a little patience. When calibrating the device, you must be 100% successful in "tricking" all four channels of the uConnect system into turning themselves on. If calibration doesn't work, meaning all channels didn't come on and all 4 lights on the JL Audio Fix™ 86 aren't green during the calibration, you should check your wire connections and possibly your solder points for the resistors. I had one resistor that didn't work initially - it happens.

VERY IMPORTANT: Ensure you are using the JL Fix86's test track for the calibration. JL Audio offers the file as a download. You can't simply copy the file off of the CD. It needs to remain a high-quality source, and you should ensure that sound will play on your system before attempting the calibration process.

Note that, if the JL Audio Fix™ 86 calibration process fails, you have to power down the receiver (key off, and away from the vehicle for about five minutes) until the radio fully resets. You'll know you're successful with the reset if the radio displays the disclaimer screen and boots up as normal. This is due to the fact that once the uConnect system detects a stock speaker isn't there, and the resistor override isn't functioning (for whatever reason), it has to be completely powered down and allowed to reset before uConnect will initiate a new load sensing test. On the plus side, once everything is connected and calibrated, you'll have the cleanest and flattest signal possible from a stock radio. And, you can plug your laptop or phone into the JL Audio FiX™ 86 to tweak the settings and EQ!

As with anything aftermarket, please understand you are taking any install advice provided here into your own hands, and at your own risk. I have to recommend that any power wiring, especially when wiring directly to the battery, be fused at the battery/source. In the case of a short, this blows the fuse instead of creating a new welding source! I also recommend using basic relays for your remote connections, which reduces the risk of feeding power back into your Jeep's electrical system due to a faulty amplifier or component.

Thanks,

Mike

PS: For any jlwranglerforums.com members wanting to venture into upgrading their sound systems, I've arranged a contact that can assist you with purchasing the proper equipment. He'll be happy to advise on gear that fits your needs and budget, and he's agreed to offer discounts to our members if you mention you saw his name here. To get started, contact Travis Grim @ 704-530-2073. He's based near me in the Charlotte, NC area, is a fellow Jeep owner and has approved the sharing of his contact information. All I ask: If you use him as a resource and plan to buy, please buy from him. He's a highly knowledgeable, low pressure manager engaged with a large Charlotte audio/video outfit.
______________________________________________________

Base System Speaker Wiring provided by Benny (a.k.a. AllMoparParts)

For those who may also need these color codes, the following is what the chart says. Remember, this is what is believed to be out there for the Base System (Non-Alpine and 7-inch screen).​
Left Front Windshield Grey/Violet (+) and Grey/Yellow (-)​
Left Front Kick​
Right Front Windshield Dark Green/Violet (+) and Dark Green/Yellow (-)​
Right Front Kick​
Left Rear Sound Bar Grey/Green (+) and Grey/Dark Green (-)​
Right Rear Sound Bar Dark Green/Green (+) and Dark Green/Grey (-)​

Update: In addition to the above speaker wiring, an image of the radio harness is attached below, and I've added the wiring colors from the back of the base and premium radios.​
Pinout.PNG
There is no external amplifier in the base model system. The external amp for the premium system is under the steering column (you should see the color coded wires below).​
Speaker wire colors at the radio, with pin number and polarity:​
Base Radio​
PIN Wire Speaker/Polarity System
45 DG/GN RIGHT REAR SPEAKER (+) BASE RADIO​
46 DG/VT RIGHT FRONT SPEAKER (+) BASE RADIO​
47 GY/VT LEFT FRONT SPEAKER (+) BASE RADIO​
48 GY/GN LEFT REAR SPEAKER (+) BASE RADIO​
49 DG/GY RIGHT REAR SPEAKER (-) BASE RADIO​
50 DG/YE RIGHT FRONT SPEAKER (-) BASE RADIO​
51 GY/YE LEFT FRONT SPEAKER (-) BASE RADIO​
52 GY/DG LEFT REAR SPEAKER (-) BASE RADIO​
Premium Radio​
45 GY/DB RIGHT REAR SPEAKER (+) PREMIUM RADIO​
46 GY RADIO RIGHT FRONT AUDIO (+) PREMIUM RADIO​
47 DG RADIO LEFT FRONT AUDIO (+) PREMIUM RADIO​
48 DG/DB LEFT REAR SPEAKER (+) PREMIUM RADIO​
49 GY/OG RIGHT REAR SPEAKER (-) PREMIUM RADIO​
50 GY/BN RADIO RIGHT FRONT AUDIO (-) PREMIUM RADIO​
51 DG/BN RADIO LEFT FRONT AUDIO (-) PREMIUM RADIO​
52 DG/OG LEFT REAR SPEAKER (-) PREMIUM RADIO​



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Nicholasjl2018

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There seems to be very little available (at the time of this post) regarding audio wiring schematics on the JL, so I thought I'd start this thread to serve as a single location for us to build upon.

Needs:
  • Wiring Schematic, including specific wire colors
    • (Solved for Base System - See below) Speaker Wiring (to help identify positive/negative polarity and possibly use a sound processor)
    • Alpine System (though many wouldn't likely want/need to update it (yet))
  • Safe/Dry amplifier mounting locations
Updates so far:

Speaker level converters are needed: JL Audio makes a great, albeit expensive, aftermarket sound processor: the JL Audio FiX™ 86. This device taps into the speaker wires and digitally processes the signal to provide pre-amp, low-level signals for multiple amplifiers (two full range/one sub). They also make a two channel converter, but the cost difference isn't worth the limited future upgradability.

There's also a load sensing adapter needed (JL Audio FiX-LSA-4) that connects your Jeep's speaker wires to the JL Audio FiX™ 86 box above.


The JL Audio FiX™ 86 then connects to your Amp/Amps via RCA Cable to provide a clean and conditioned signal. This is all necessary, I believe, because of the more advanced electronics that modern cars contain.

I'll update more as I conduct my install, though please feel free to correct anything I've added above, and I'll modify as needed.

As with anything aftermarket, please understand you are taking any install advice provided here into your own hands and at your own risk. I have to recommend that any power wiring, especially when wiring directly to the battery, be fused at the battery/source. In the case of a short, this blows the fuse instead of creating a new welding source! I also recommend using basic relays for your remote connections, which reduces the risk of feeding power back into your Jeep's electrical system due to a faulty amplifier or component.

Thanks,

Mike


Base System Speaker Wiring provided by Benny (a.k.a. Jeep Cares)

Benny, this looks exactly like what I need. I'll be able to get to the wiring this afternoon and will confirm. Regardless, thanks a TON for securing this for me/us!


For those who may also need these color codes, the following is what the chart says. Remember, this is what is believed to be out there for the Base System (Non-Alpine and 7-inch screen).


Left Front Windshield Grey/Yellow (+) and Grey/Yellow (-)
Left Front Kick


Right Front Windshield Dark Green/Violet (+) and Dark Green/Yellow (-)
Right Front Kick


Left Rear Sound Bar Grey/Green (+) and Grey/Dark Green (-)


Right Rear Sound Bar Dark Green/Green (+) and Dark Green/Grey (-)​
Where did you get the remote wire from? i Have the upgraded alpine system and decided to put a 4ch for the interior speaker and put a mono amp to power 2 subs. Question: (1) where did you get the remote wire or which is a good remote wire located; and 2) I am getting engine noise from just the 4ch that powers my speakers.
I am almost certain it’s not the ground because I had it relocated, can’t be the rcas because I swapped them out and finally I changed hi/lo converter to pac audio. Please help me, I have no idea What else can it be.

The engine noise it only noticeable when the stereo is off and I’m tapping the gas or at 1 volume. Otherwise if I put it up too 5 you can’t hear the engine noise.
 
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Sting_NC_USA

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Where did you get the remote wire from? i Have the upgraded alpine system and decided to put a 4ch for the interior speaker and put a mono amp to power 2 subs. Question: (1) where did you get the remote wire or which is a good remote wire located; and 2) I am getting engine noise from just the 4ch that powers my speakers.
I am almost certain it’s not the ground because I had it relocated, can’t be the rcas because I swapped them out and finally I changed hi/lo converter to pac audio. Please help me, I have no idea What else can it be.

The engine noise it only noticeable when the stereo is off and I’m tapping the gas or at 1 volume. Otherwise if I put it up too 5 you can’t hear the engine noise.

The easiest remote wire access is the Cigarette Lighter/Power Adapter. I typically use a direct battery connection that's plugged into a basic auto relay, then tap the relay into the Cigarette Lighter to trigger power. Some amps don't actually need a remote wire, as they have a signal auto-sensing feature. You may want to check to see if your amp does that.

As for the engine noise, it's simply a grounding issue. You could try a ground loop isolator, which you can buy an most electronic stores, though that is more of a band-aid. Make sure your ground is connected to bare metal, not painted. Also check to see that your RCA cables are run as far away from your power and ground wires. They will, of course, meet at the amp, but they should not be run together if you are getting engine whine.

Hope that helps...
 
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Install has been completed, and notes for the Wiring and Parts needs to upgrade to amplifiers and larger speakers have been updated above. Hope this helps, and sorry for it being so long!
 

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Does it look like 4” speakers will fit the stock enclosures without modification?
 
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The speakers are 4". Depending on the speaker modifications maybe required. I don;t think there are brackets for the JL just yet.
Updated to reflect 4" speakers. I must have measured them incorrectly. They're pretty small, with teeny, tiny magnets.
 
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Does it look like 4” speakers will fit the stock enclosures without modification?
4's should fit fine. You may/may not be able to use the provided screw locations. It's easy enough to pre-drill your own if you need to. Cutting the enclosures is likely only necessary if you go above 4-inch speakers.
 

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hi Michael,

Thank you very much for the detail write-up. I wonder if you could go further by sketching a simple diagram starting from the back of the 8.4 Uconnect HU. What Aftermarket wire harness/components -> JL Audio AMP -> the Hertz speakers. Where can I locate the factory AMPs to speakers & sub? I have a 2018 JLUR like yours with an upgraded 8.4 Uconnect Head Unit.

I really appreciate your help.

Trung
 
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Before we start, what exactly are you wanting to do? If you are just wanting to add an amp and a sub(s), that'll be fairly straight-forward. If you're wanting to upgrade all of the speakers, that's a bit more complicated.

My understanding is that, for the 8.4 uConnect, you'll need to tap into the speaker wires after the amp. I don't believe you'll be able to use the signal directly out of the back of the radio, but I may be wrong. My "Base" system doesn't have an amp, so the speaker wires were available at the back of the radio.

As I don't have the 8.4 uConnect, let's first determine what you are looking to do, then ensure that you can find your amps. My understanding is that the amps are in located the driver's side bay under the dash. You should be able to get a flashlight and take a look. The existence of the wire colors noted above (for the Premium System) should be solid indicator that you've found the right component.

Once you locate the amp(s), I may be in a better position to assist. Let me know what you find, and we'll keep updating this post for the Premium system, as I've done above for the Base system.
 
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tnnjl

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Before we start, what exactly are you wanting to do? If you are just wanting to add an amp and a sub(s), that'll be fairly straight-forward. If you're wanting to upgrade all of the speakers, that's a bit more complicated.

My understanding is that, for the 8.4 uConnect, you'll need to tap into the speaker wires after the amp. I don't believe you'll be able to use the signal directly out of the back of the radio, but I may be wrong. My "Base" system doesn't have an amp, so the speaker wires were available at the back of the radio.

As I don't have the 8.4 uConnect, let's first determine what you are looking to do, then ensure that you can find your amps. My understanding is that the amps are in located the driver's side bay under the dash. You should be able to get a flashlight and take a look. The existence of the wire colors noted above (for the Premium System) should be solid indicator that you've found the right component.

Once you locate the amp(s), I may be in a better position to assist. Let me know what you find, and we'll keep updating this post for the Premium system, as I've done above for the Base system.
Thanks for your reply. I would like to replace the factory AMPs with my Hertz speakers and a JL Audio sub. I will try to locate the factory AMPs as you indicated under the dash on the driver side and will follow up my finding on here. I wonder if I can simply route the HU wires to the new AMPS? or do I need to get the resistors to connect between the HU and AMPs or between the Hertz speakers and the new AMPs?
 
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2018 Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited Rubicon
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Most head units these days send encoded/processed signals to the stock amps and the only way to pull a usable signal over to an aftermarket amp is from the stock amp's output. I haven't had a chance to test the Alpine system, though.

I understand it's expensive, but I have to recommend the JL Fix referenced above. It can handle the stock amp's speaker level output/signal, but more importantly, it conditions the signal and provides a more balanced feed to your aftermarket amp. I'm blown away by the quality of sound I'm getting out of it. You will need the resistors. If you run four channels (Front-left, Front-right, Rear-left, Rear-right) you'll need 4 of the resistors mentioned. Buy 8 in case you break a few (they're really cheap!).

This diagram may not transfer well (use full screen just in case). Just before the JL Audio Fix's input, you'll strip a small section of the wires just before the positive and negative connectors for each channel. The resistor is soldered at the solder points shown. I'd recommend staggering them so the ceramic resistor sits parallel with your positive and negative wires. Then, carefully apply heat shrink or some other protective shield.

Resistor.PNG
 
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Sting_NC_USA

Sting_NC_USA

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Reading this makes me wish I had found a jeep with the alpine system!
That cracked me up! Seriously, though... If you can stick to 4" speakers, it's really not bad at all. The outcome is significantly better than any of the stock systems, but it's clearly not for everyone as a DIY project.
 

Cmarr22

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Hey everyone I would just like to let you know that JL Audio will be making " speaker kits" for the JL Wrangler to upgrade the stock speakers!!! It's still in R&D but can expect them to be coming out in the next few months. I'm an employee there and let the company use my jeep as the test dummy.
 

                           
























































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