This is another non pertinent install. Remember that game when you were a kid where you kept trying over and over and over to get that darned round peg in the square hole? ....Me either. Anyway.... This is kind of like that.
If you have a Jeep manufactured before 2003, you know that the stereo CD player, besides being temperamental at times, will not ever play your CDR's or RW's. The common logic would be to go out and buy a more high end head unit that would handle the different formats. The problem is, anything new and flashy is just theft bait when sitting in an open air (or plastic and canvas shrouded) Jeep. Not only will it attract them to your new brand name deck, but it gives them a reason to be in your vehicle and then presumably picking up other souvenirs for themselves along the way that may have remained happily halfway hidden had they not already been browsing. Now if you've the honors of having a '03 and up model TJ, you know that Jeep finally got with the program and made their stereo's multi-compatible to play your own tracks. So instead of beginning the seemingly eternal cycle of providing pawn shops everywhere with your local neighborhood criminal's baggings, I figured why not install a newer deck in Dana's '02 TJ and see how that worked out. We have never had any problem with the quality of the stock unit. In fact, we had recently installed a new deck in Chris's '01 Jeep, and another faceplate later, it still plays just as loud as his old stock one.
We knew we were up against a few problems before we begun. Different wiring, brackets, and most importantly, different dash bezels. I figured though, with a $40 steal off Ebay that came out of an '04 Dodge Ram, it was worth a shot. I went ahead and added to the challenge by attempting to retroactively install a Ebay bought console sub/amp at the same time.
Upon researching I found that the newer model stereos needed a special wire harness to adapt into later years' wiring and a special antenna adapter. I picked up the harness from the dealer but Circuit City sold me the antenna wire cheaper and had it in stock.
Another thing I opted out on was installing a new "theft-detererent" bar. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you've probably never peeked behind your TJ's stereo before. To remove the stereo, besides removing the two screws that hold the face in the dash, there is a bent bar bolted to the rear of the stereo that "secures" the stereo to two points near the windshield. Even if a retarded thief couldn't figure out how to remove the nuts to get that bracket off its studs, it snaps off its weld easily enough (learned that on Jared's). So with that knowledge and the fact that the dealer wouldn't give one up, the new set-up won't involve one.
Then, because the dash mounting hole on the left was no where near the stereo's I made a silly little bracket out of an existing L-bracket I had lying around too.
I drilled out the bracket's previous holes to my liking (the bottom to fit the stock screw, and the top one smaller so the stock screw I saved from the other side would thread into it. The picture I have is when I was still testing it. I ended up grinding off the corners so it fit better, but when I was done it didn't look half bad (my opinion only I'm sure). Anyway, the point it is, they served their purpose quite nicely and the radio didn't budge.
Before I was done, I had dremmeled a tiny bit of the inner dash on the bottom left, so the radio was centered right and not off kilter. It basically took playing around with it to get it just right, but it wasn't that hard. You can also see in the pic that I skimmed off the radio's bottom right mounting hole just because I didn't like it.