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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Chrysler REC navigation unit installation guidelines are spartan….to put it mildly. However, they are workable and the only real problem is the placement of the GPS antenna.

The antenna has a metal plate with an adhesive backing. The area Chrysler recommends for attachment is not a smooth surface…it is an area of reinforcing ribs…..the contact point of the adhesive would be along ridges…..most of the adhesive would be in “mid air” and not effective. Maybe it would hold…..hey, it might…but, this is my car and I don’t want to worry about it. Also: maybe it doesn’t matter; but, when mounted as recommended (metal plate up; antenna side down), it seems counter intuitive to proper reception of GPS signals.

I chose to mount my antenna on the ac/heat duct going to the area near the head light switch (roughly in line with your left shoulder when seated in the driver's seat). If mounted here, the antenna is further “out” (i.e., better reception? well, it can’t be worse) and the business side is pointed up.

It is really not that hard to access this area. See below:

1) There is a vertical plastic cover to the left of the dash (open the driver’s door, look for a narrow cover roughly the depth of the dash, between the door frame and the dash). It snaps in place. Remove this piece.

2) Remove the plastic cover that extends the width of the driver’s side beneath the steering column. There are two screws…..one is accessed from where your left knee would be in a driving position…the other is assessed from behind the cover you removed in the previous paragraph….after removing these two screws, the cover “snaps” off.

3) Remove the plastic cover that extends the width of the drivers’s side over the steering column.. This cover snaps off. There is an insert around the ignition switch (what we call the ignition switch, let’s not get to technical) that is included in this step (I can’t remember if it’s first or second; but, it will be clear when you do it).

4) There is a collar around the steering wheel. Remove four screws.

5) The actual instrument panel is held in by only two screws. There is no reason to remove any wiring. I used a string to hold the panel out of the way (suspend from rear view mirror)

You now have clear access to a great mounting place for the GPS antenna….adhesive side down, business side up.

HINT: lower the steering wheel to the maximum position before disconnecting battery (some say don’t bother to disconnect, I did, the reset procedures aren’t that involved). The lower position helps step 5.

Now, my problem: I’ve got this great nav system installed that I don’t know how to use. I guess it’s time to ask my kids…..hey, they couldn’t have installed it; but, probably can figure the operating system out in a flash….I had no problem with installation; but, I am struggling with usage…..maybe my kids & I together will make a great team.
 

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Wow - that install sounded complicated.

I just popped out the center dah speaker grill, and set it in there (being as my car doesn't have a center speaker. Cable runs about 2 ft. dtraight to the back of the REC unit. Popped the grill back in.

Done.

JFF:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JustForFun said:
...........being as my car doesn't have a center speaker..........
I think that is the key difference.

If I could have accessed a smooth mounting surface behind the bezel I defintly wouldn't have removed the instrument cluster (even though it really wasn't all that hard). When my kids saw the instrument cluster hanging from the rear view mirror, they thought it would never go back together!

BTW: how is your GPS reception with the "business" side of the antenna shielded by the mounting plate? I would guess okay since Chrysler recommends that method.....it just seems strange.
 

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Theres a metal bar behind the AC/Heating duct. Perfectly flat metal and the antenna adhesive sticks fine there. It works through the dash material without any issues. This is the factory location.

No offense but it seems like you did an extraordinary amount of work for no real benefit. The antenna is designed to get satellite signal through the dash, no visibility to the sky is needed.

Glad the retrofit worked out. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
rogue said:
Theres a metal bar behind the AC/Heating duct. Perfectly flat metal and the antenna adhesive sticks fine there. It works through the dash material without any issues. This is the factory location.

No offense but it seems like you did an extraordinary amount of work for no real benefit........
No offense taken. Man, I wish my old eyes would have seen such an attactive place. The only area I could access between the a/c ducts was places where the dash has vertical stiffening ribs.....I...um...well...uhhh, I got it done, I'll rest my hat on that.

ON EDIT: Wait a minute! Maybe I was going through a stupid minute (or hour). Are you talking about a metal bar below the ducts? I was only looking at areas above the ducts. Now that I think back, I think there was an accesible area below the ducts that I discounted because of its elevation.
 

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frank29 said:
BTW: how is your GPS reception with the "business" side of the antenna shielded by the mounting plate? I would guess okay since Chrysler recommends that method.....it just seems strange.
The "business" side is actually sitting above the metal mounting plate the way I installed it.

Beneath the center speaker grill is a foam disk. I simply used double-sided tape to stick the plate to the foam disk (so it wouldn't move around) and the "business" side is pointing to the sky with the only things between it being the speaker grill (perforated plastic) and the windshield.:)

JFF:D
 
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