Zorba's JeepI was advised by someone who knows more RF than I do to ground the CB chassis - I'm using a braid to do accomplish an RF ground, and it can be DC ground as well. I had to wait ENTIRELY too long for the new single DIN stereo head unit to show up, Amazon apparently lost it and I sat here twiddling my thumbs waiting until they finally deigned to ship me another one. Went from August 12th when I ordered it until the 30th when the replacement FINALLY arrived. Its a Jensen "Heavy Duty" unit, that is also what's become known as "mechless" - which is a fancy way of saying "no CD player". Its AM/FM/Weather-band/USB so I can use "geek sticks" for my music, much like I do in the other cars. I hardly ever use their CD players, so why get one when it can break? In addition, the Jensen has weather resistant conformal coated circuit boards and is built to take vibration and temperature extremes - just the thing for a Jeep! Jensen makes more expensive versions that do have CD players, as well as bluetooth, but I needed neither.
CB, Stereo, Dash Painting
Metra double DIN escutcheon
Almost two entire cans of "DupliColor" - this stuff doesn't cover well.
Instrument cluster surround needs to match. Masked off rubber gasket at bottom...
Long story short, masking caused more problems than it solved.
Installed in Jeep.
Raining on the Jeep while I was painting...
CB radio stuff has arrived...
Another shot of same...
Hole sawing pilot hole for CB antenna. Cut-out can be seen on the ground.
Greenlee punch in place.
Hole punched and mounting holes drilled. Slight divot in top of main hole from first pilot drill.
RustOleum "Red Lead" primer from both inside and out.
Everything bolted in place.
Its really there, all five feet of it!
But I'll use a shorter one when off roading.
ProComm model JBC2400. Old timer at the Ham radio store said
"Its the only 2 footer that actually works!"
2 foot stainless steel for trail use. It won't have the range of
the 5 foot FireStik, but should be fine on the trails.
1:1 SWR on channel 1
About 1.1:1 on channel 19
Up to about 2.2:1 on channel 40
SWR tuning accomplished by this pair of screw rings. 16mm hex on the base.
Stock stereo has sung its last song, just this morning!
Stock escutcheon removed.
I FINALLY got my CD back - the hard way!
The virtually inaccessible "security bolt" is actually very weak and pulled out
from its mount (left)when I tugged sharply on the stereo from the front side!
Seen in the back is the stock rear support...
...attaches all the way up here to this nut, and one just like it on the other side.
Now a ground braid is attached to this location, with a star washer underneath.
This will DC ground the CB, as well as provide a good RF ground.
The Metra escutcheon fits fine, Note the inner lip of the double DIN opening.
I knew that squeezing two single DIN components into a double DIN opening was going to be a challenge. I expected there to be not quite enough vertical space because of two bezel overlaps trying to occupy the same space. That was indeed a problem, but not the whole of it by any means! Apparently a "double DIN" is actually slightly shorter than a pair of single DINs would be, there wasn't even enough room to fit the two DIN mounting sleeves into the Metra escutcheon vertically; or, what was a HUGE surprise, the HORIZONTAL distance was also smaller! Not only was the horizontal opening in the Metra escutcheon too narrow, but so was the distance between the two internal mounting brackets! So "double DIN" is only vaguely close to 2X single DIN. As I've seen pictures of this same escutcheon with true double DIN equipment installed without modification, this was a bit of a surprise! I had to file/grind the escutcheon opening quite a bit larger, completely eliminating the inner lip of same. In addition, I had to make a slight modification to the internal mounting brackets to space them apart slightly further.
As if all that wasn't enough, I had to modify both sleeves. DIN sleeves - or at least single DIN sleeves - are intended to be installed into the dash from the outside. That wasn't possible here, they needed to be riveted to the internal mounting brackets which in turn are bolted into the dash, then the escutcheon put on over the whole mess. So the fronts lips of both sleeves had to be ground off, although I was able to leave on the lower lip of the stereo sleeve and let it hang down over the CB sleeve - possible only because the CB DIN adapter bolts onto its sleeve separately as well as not completely filling it! Thank Goddess, the whole project would have failed otherwise. The CB DIN adapter wasn't as well engineered as it could have been, but it was adequate and if it had been much different, I wouldn't have been able to use it the way I did.
As for the equipment, I am very happy. This stereo, with the previously installed speakers sounds wonderful, now that I can actually play "my" music in it. Its so good, that I'm going to replace the speakers in the Mercedes, it has a good stereo, but the speakers are 35 years old - think I might be able to improve them a bit? Back to the Jeep, as noted previously with it's stock stereo, I have to bias the fader slightly to the rear as the older Jensens aren't quite as sensitive as the "kickers" in the dash. But this setup sounds fantastic!
After considerable work, the escutcheon will now accept both single DIN sleeves.
Internal bracket bolt slots lengthened (left, right not done yet), allowing them to space slightly
wider. Thank the Holy Goddess Athena Parthenos that there was room in the dash for this!
New stereo test fit in its sleeve which had been attached to the mounting brackets.
Attaching the CB radio DIN sleeve. Assembling the sleeves to the brackets would have been
FAR easier if the latter did NOT have these slots molded into them. I don't know how that
would work with a true double DIN head unit. Note rivets on front portion of the CB sleeve
(upper sleeve in this upside down picture.). This held on the internal angle brackets to the sleeve.
The Metra supplied pigtail connected to the Jensen supplied pigtail. Note 2 pin
connector, foreground, which is to connect a blinking LED fake "car alarm" seen
installed in the CB bezel - mid picture, directly above the RH end of the cable assembly.
After a butt load of work, the bracket assembly with both sleeves fits in the dash!
Testing the stereo - this thing is FANTASTIC!
CB radio sleeve projects slightly at the bottom because the frontside of the Metra
escutcheon curves, whereas the ground off inner lip did not.
Because each single DIN component wants to overlap all around, the
top of the CB bezel needed to be ground down to fit under the stereo.
A quick paint refresh.
Yet another challenge - the angle brackets that hold the CB bezel onto the CB sleeve
projected to the outside. How that was supposed to fit into anything is beyond me...
So I folded them flat, as seen with the RH one here! I then riveted the brackets to the sleeve.
CB radio mounted in its bezel.
Side view shows the fake "car alarm" LED.
Braid ground with star washer attached to side of radio. DC ground loops back to this point as well.
Installed. Managed to catch the "car alarm" LED on film - 50% duty cycle.
Update: I ended up unplugging this - too much current draw. Will look at a larger dropping resistor.
Probably should flat black this...
Head on view - a right angle connector for the microphone was
ordered to get the mic cord out of the way of the gearshift knob.
Right angle connector installed, mic clip temporarily put on...
... and peeking out from behind the mic, a magnetic mic holder now in place as the CB bezel is steel!
Update: Despite the right angle mic connector, I was tending to grab the
mic cord when shifting gears. This 3 inch gearshift extension fixed that.
Two of the new 4X6 "Kickers" for the Mercedes. The other two have already been installed!
At this writing, I haven't used the CB much of course, but the previously installed center console speaker works well as an external speaker. I was able to "get out" and do a radio check on 19, I had considerable issues with my SWR meter, but they were solved by buying a better one. SWR still isn't great, but acceptable. I actually had to get a slightly longer screw to put into the antenna in order to tune it for the lowest reading. There was also a moderate amount of ignition noise that got through, utilizing the radio's ANL switch eliminated it completely unless the RF gain was cranked to its stop, then the RFI is back but very weak. This too has been solved with a DC filter:
Although the LED headlite bulbs are completely noise free on both the CB and the AM/FM/Weather bands, its a different story for the LED offroad lites. Those miserable things just BLAST the CB band, although they're OK otherwise. CB is completely useless with them turned on. I'll probably replace them eventually because of that, but won't worry about it until it becomes an issue. They would make excellent aux backup lites.
This filter, installed along with the GMRS radio, completely fixed the ignition noise in the CB!
This SWR meter was a POS...
So this is where it ended up!
How it looked the next day...
SWR at 1.7 to 1.9 across the band. Not great, but acceptable.
As can be seen above, I decided to body color parts of the dash, including the passenger "monkey bar". The DayStar tray is now back on the top as well.
Read on for the next part!