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  • Writer's pictureKulAdventures

Dodge Sprinter T1N Radio Upgrade/Install

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

Definitely needed to replace the radio head unit with a new Bluetooth head unit. Mine did come with a aftermarket radio, but it was cycling on and off while the van was on and I made the false assumption that it was the radio's failure. Either way I upgraded to one that had a flip-up 7" screen and featured a Dual-Mirror feature, which was my main reason. I had hoped with this feature I could display and interact with mapping software on the touch screen display streamed/mirrored from my cell phone.


Alpine CDE-HD149BT Head Unit

Alpine S-Series 4" Speakers (Front)

Alpine S-Series 6"x9" Speakers (Rear)

Alpine S-Series 6"x9" Speaker Grills

Alpine Remote

The head unit I went with was a Dual DV737MB Flip out 7" multimedia head unit (NOT RECOMMENDED - See below) from Amazon. My stereo already had the aftermarket plastic plate that hold the single DIN radio in place, if you don't have one already you will need one.

I also purchased the Wi-Fi adapter for the Dual head unit in a hopes to stream my maps to my head unit (in hindsight I would not get this, was unable to get it working).

The installation was pretty straight forward, I found it much easier to fit in if you snapped out the top vent above the radio. I hardwired the radio in as the previous owner had deleted the wire harness and didn't leave me an option. If you go this way make sure to take your time and use heat shrink tubing.

Green heat shrink holding the wires together

I placed the wi-fi adapter behind the dash and ran it to the head unit permanently.

Back to my on/off while operating issue with my previous head unit... so this new head unit did it also. After much troubleshooting it appeared that the factory ground wire had some resistance to ground. So running a new ground wire quickly fixed the issue (green wire in picture).

If anyone runs into an issue where the head unit turns on/off while the van is on and radio is on I would suggest checking the ground first.

The Dual radio lasted a year or so with no issues. The Bluetooth connects well. There are plenty options in terms of controlling sound/audio and it has the option to have a pre-amp out and sub out. I debated installing some "outdoor" speakers to run off this head unit and the pre-amp output would be helpful with that.

I had already replaced the front speakers with some 4" Alpines, which have been performing very well. I used butyl tape and trimmed that tabs to make them fit. I had installed some Rockford Fosgate Speakers first, but quickly blew them so decided to upgrade even more to the Alpines seen below.

Alpines vs Rockford Fosgate 4"

UPDATE (SEP 2018): So after a year or so of use the Dual flip out screen head unit has failed... The screen is stuck in a half way out position and will not move. Based on this I would not recommend this head unit. The money wasted on the Wi-Fi adapter is also a loss as I now have to replace the head unit again. Contacted Dual and will report back if they correct the issue who did not correct the issue (out of warranty), however I purchased an extended warranty through Amazon, which did refund me the purchase price of the broken head unit, which I put forward for the Alpine head unit below.

UPDATE (Jul 2019): I replaced the Dual head unit with an Alpine CDE-HD149BT head unit since the rest of the system is Alpine and I have been really happy with the Alpine speakers. It has a lot of features I have not used yet, but I really just wanted a bluetooth radio that was reliable and easy to use. There are a lot of cheap ones out there and paying $200+ for a basic radio seems silly, but reliability for me was worth it. So far it has been great. Connects much faster to bluetooth and seems to be much more reliable, plus amazing sound quality when paired with the Alpine speakers.

Also while I was in there this time I decided to fix my AM/FM antenna issue. Apparently the old owner had just cut it in an attempt to avoid buying an adapter. I cut my adapter and just spliced it together using an additional wire to connect the inner and outer shielding separate from one another. Worked great!!!

UPDATE: (Oct 2019) So far the Alpine head unit has been performing really well. No problems with it and sounds amazing. I did purchase a remote for it with the hops that I could affix it to the steering wheel for steering wheel controls, but it is an IR line of site style and has to be pointed at the head unit. AM/FM antenna fix is also performing great with the stock antenna.

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