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2020 Dodge Charger Installation Ideas

ke6gcv

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Feb 13, 2006
Messages
225
Location
Somewhere, Northern CA
Greetings! I'm looking for some ideas on where to install my radio control heads into my Charger. Can you please help? I'd really like to install two radios - Kenwood TM-V71A and CS800D - but if I can't, then I will only install my Kenwood.

The RF decks will be installed in the trunk of the car. That's where the battery is located plus a plethora of grounding locations. I will be running trunk lip mounts for the antennas... for now. I will eventually drill holes, but since this is a brand new car (and my current track record of picking lemons) I will hold off for now. But rest assured, it will happen!

One area I have to worry about is the back seat heaters. I don't know if it's ideal to pull the cables down the middle or from the door tracks. I'm thinking the tracks may be ideal. Which brings me to my next question.

For the Kenwood. Though I can't seem to find the information, I recall someone using standard Cat5 cable to run from the RF deck to the control head. Is that possible? Can I do the same the mic cable? Or am I better off getting another extended cable kit from HRO? I'd be using shielded Cat5 or Cat6 cable.

For the control heads, where can I mount them? One area comes to mind but I'd lose a spot to put my phone. That's where the red circle is. I'd use double-sided tape and put the control head there. But where to put the second one? I can't use the side pocket where the red 'X' is located because that is where the emergency shift release is. I'm also stuck as to where to put the external speakers.

2021_dodge_charger_dashboard.jpg

I'm not opposed to some drilling for cable runs and connectors but would really like to keep this as minimal as possible. I've got all the necessary material to keep it as neat as possible too - cable ties, split loom, anderson connectors, etc. Just a matter of putting it all together. I love puzzles!

So... any ideas you have will be greatly accepted and, above all, appreciated! If you have photos that you want to share, please do! Thank you, everyone!
 

mrweather

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,074
Here's what I did with my 2018 Charger R/T:


I've since made a few changes including mounting a Kenwood KES-4 speaker to the driver's seat frame so it's tucked away but still points the sound up towards the steering wheel.

As far as the V71A goes, guys have used regular ethernet cable and connectors but have reported a "helicopter" sound on their transmitted audio. The theory is there's interference of some kind between the mic audio line and the data line in the cable. The official Kenwood extension kit has the mic audio lines shielded. When I owned a V71A I used the Kenwood extension kit (DFK-3D combined with PG-5F).
 

ke6gcv

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Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
225
Location
Somewhere, Northern CA
Here's what I did with my 2018 Charger R/T:
HA! I commented on your install last year! How ironic that it'd come back around to pay me a visit! I still think that is a sweet install!

How did you mount the control head? I'm assuming you drilled into the back to run the cables through. The Kenwood is shorter in height, but is longer across. So, by my getting an idea of how you mounted the Yaesu will help me to get ideas for how to better mount the Kenwood. I would prefer to not block the 12v plug, but if I have to...

May I ask: Do you have heated rear seats? If you do, did you run the cables up the middle or along the door tracks? I'm thinking for me, since I have heated rear seats, it's best to run along the door tracks. I really don't want to mess with having to pull the seats up and disconnecting the heaters.

Can you please share your pics of where you mounted the RF deck? You mentioned the spare tire well. I'd like to see how you did that. That sounds like a much better place than in the corners of the trunk (where I mounted the RF decks on my 2010).

As far as the V71A goes, guys have used regular ethernet cable and connectors but have reported a "helicopter" sound on their transmitted audio. The theory is there's interference of some kind between the mic audio line and the data line in the cable. The official Kenwood extension kit has the mic audio lines shielded. When I owned a V71A I used the Kenwood extension kit (DFK-3D combined with PG-5F).
I did some digging over the weekend and found similar information. That seals the deal with me that it's best I get another extension kit. Then proper continuity is guaranteed.

Thank you @mrweather for sharing your install (again)!
 

mrweather

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
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Fortunately, the FTM-400 comes with a mounting bracket for the control head because it doesn't attach to the radio body. The bracket is screwed into the base of the cubby just in front of the top console bezel. The cables (control and speaker) are run through an opening between the console bezel and the cubby floor, which runs down the inside of the console and out the bottom under the driver's seat.

I do I have heated and cooled seats (but I didn't really consider it) and ran the cables under the bottom door trim to the trunk. I'll upload some pictures later of how the radio body is mounted.
 

ke6gcv

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Feb 13, 2006
Messages
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Location
Somewhere, Northern CA
Yeah... Yaesu was smart to include the control head mount and I like that! But what moved me away from them was how big the control head is on the 400. I know there's the 300, but it doesn't have crossband and I'm a huge proponent of that feature. Which is what led me to Kenwood.

How you ran the cables is similar to what I did on my 2010, but I was able to remove the rear seat and continue to the trunk. I too think it's best that I run the cables to the door track then to the trunk because I don't want to risk damaging any portion of the rear seat heaters. I just need to get one more extension kit.

Thank you greatly, @mrweather, for your input and comments! Greatly appreciated! I look forward to seeing your photos!
 

mrweather

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Dec 19, 2002
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Finally got around to taking a pic (front of vehicle is at the top of the pic):

IMG_0026 med.JPG

There's a small metal platform(?) just behind the tire jack that I screwed the radio body mounting bracket. There's just enough space for the cabling to fit without the spare tire contacting the radio body. Hope that helps!
 

kd5knr

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Dec 19, 2002
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Location
Bedford, TX
Here’s where I mounted my D-710AG in my 2019 Challenger R/T SPWB.

RF Deck – The RF Desk is mounted, well more like placed, in the left side wheel area of the trunk. It’s mounted to a very small cutting board that fits perfectly without moving around. I utilized the Kenwood PG-5F Extension Kit. Microphone extension cable is alongside the driver’s side door track, while control head extension cable is run alongside the passenger side door track. Extension speaker is currently sitting in front of the rear seat on the transmission hump.

Control Head – The control head is mounted just below the Uconnect 8.4 console using a ProClip Dodge Challenger Angled Mount, along with their Heavy Duty Tilt-Swivel, and the factory Kenwood control head mount.

Mount-RF_Deck.jpgMount-Control_Head.jpg
 

mrweather

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
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Yes, you Challenger guys don't get the cubby at the front of the console like us Charger guys get. :) But, that mount looks better than the Charger Proclip options.

Since we're sharing pictures, here are some updated ones since my last thread (which is locked now because it's too old):

I've since added a single-head, dual-band Kenwood TK-690/790 and put the KCH-11 head in the cubby with the factory bracket. There's a speaker wedged in the cubby behind the head:
IMG_0014 med.JPG

The FTM-400 head is mounted above the overhead console:
IMG_0016 med.JPG

Audio from the FTM-400 comes from a Kenwood KES-4 mounted under the driver's seat:
IMG_0018 med.JPG

As for antennas, the FTM-400 feeds a Larsen NMO-4503 on the roof (using the radio for 70CM only since Fusion around here is mostly UHF) and the Kenwood gear feeds a Larsen NMO-150 on the trunklid (works on both 2M and 6M).
 

ke6gcv

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Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
225
Location
Somewhere, Northern CA
Here’s where I mounted my D-710AG in my 2019 Challenger R/T SPWB.
I had the RF decks above on both sides of the trunk. This kept the radios off of the floor so that I could maximize trunk space. Little did I know at that time the install would only be temporary as I started having mechanical issues with my 2010.

This is the Kenwood TM-V71A. It was on the passenger side.
20201028_102724.jpg

This is the CS800D on the driver's side.
20201028_102736.jpg

I don't I need to say what these are. ;)
20201028_102515.jpg

Sadly, Dodge did away with dual cubbies in the newer Charger models. So, I'm now left scrambling with how I want to install the control heads. I'm thinking I can sandwich the heads together. Maybe I can flip the Kenwood front panel kit upside down and stick it to the top side of the cubbyhole. Maybe I can also drill from the top, down into the cubbyhole and run my cables.

All great ideas and recommendations! Thank you! Once I get it all figured out, I'll post pictures in the other forum.
 

mrweather

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,074
That's a great idea too! Is the same for your Yaesu?
Yes, sorry the audio from the Yaesu comes out the KES-4. I have a separate, smaller speaker wedged in the back of the cubby for audio from the TK-690/790 (the speaker plugs in the back of the KCH-11 head).

I had thought about mounting the radio bodies under the rear parcel shelf but, at least in my Charger, that area is all carpeted. The spare tire well seemed the best place and also allowed for a short power run to the battery. Unfortunately, the only way to fit both the FTM-400 and TK690/790 in the spare tire well is to pull out the spare tire and jack (which kinda defeats the purpose...) The Kenwood gear sits on the trunk floor just behind the right rear seatback (picture below when I used to run a TK-790/890 setup):
IMG_0019 med.JPG
 

ke6gcv

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Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
225
Location
Somewhere, Northern CA
Yes, sorry the audio from the Yaesu comes out the KES-4. I have a separate, smaller speaker wedged in the back of the cubby for audio from the TK-690/790 (the speaker plugs in the back of the KCH-11 head).
HA!!! I completely blanked on your saying that in a previous post! Oy... Lack of sleep... Oh well...

Unfortunately I use my trunk all too often to put the radios where you have the Kenwoods. Too much risk damaging them with my loading/unloading the trunk as often as I do. I'd have to use the sides like I did with my 2010.

Hmm... more to think about. Thank you again!
 

mrweather

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,074
No problem. The way I positioned the Kenwood drawers has the more "sensitive" bits (power connector, antenna jack) hidden from the rest of the trunk area. What you see are the KRK-7DB plates and covers, and they're pretty durable. The x90 Series drawers overall are built like tanks.
 
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