They said it couldn’t be done. 100% complete Alpine to Harman conversion…

OnTheReel

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Okay, nobody actually said it couldn’t be done but I’ve never seen anyone do it. This is the final frontier for me. I’ve went from the stock Alpine, to an $8,000 Focal & JL system, back to a hybrid of stock, and now closing it out with a 100% complete, “as factory” HK retrofit. I needed to have ANC fully working with a baby now, and this was a better sounding option than just running the Alpine. And a fun project too. Obviously hindsight would say I shoulda just ordered the truck with this option but the plan was to replace everything with aftermarket. So here we are.

Parts needed:

Amplifier:

With pano roof: 68547711AA/AB/AC
Without pano: 68547712AA/AB/AC
TRX specific: 68547713AA/AB/AC

TRX amp is same with or without pano roof for some reason.

Wiring for amplifier to add second power wires and avoid cutting: PAC APH-CH03 Harness

Speakers:
Subwoofer (10”, 5 ohm) 68315544AA
Qty 7 Dash/Upper Door/Roof (3.5”, 4 ohm): 68584767AA or 68043045AA/AB/AC/AD
Qty 4 Door (6x9, 4 ohm): 68590588AA or 68043032AB/AC/AD

The sub is 5th gen Ram specific, but the rest of the speakers were/are used in all HK equipped FCA cars, trucks and vans from ~2013 and up. So you can search for Challenger, Charger, Durango, Jeep GC speakers, and find many used units for pretty damn cheap.

You will also need AlfaOBD, a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner, security bypass harness (or Tazer) and Android device. For the scanner, I used the OBDlink MX+ because it lets you into the radio module without any adapters needed. This was helpful when troubleshooting the ANC, as I was able to uncover a DTC that led me to my solution.

Speaker installation:

Not going to go into great detail on the subject. Great videos exist on removing door panels, etc. But in short, all speakers will need to be replaced. To access the subwoofer, the right half of the back seat needs to come out. The new sub is a single voice coil instead of triple like the Alpine, and needs to either be hardwired, or you can make an adapter plug. The connector on the sub is the same as what’s used on the door woofers. So a connector can be repurposed if the speakers you bought came with one. The roof, dash and 6x9 door speakers plug and play.

Upper door speakers, of course will need to be wired in. You can either pin empty sockets in the door plugs or just run the wire through a slot in the middle of the plug. This means your speaker wires will need to be cut if door needs to come off but is a big time saver. The plugs still put up a bit of a fight though. Very hard to reach in there. And when you do get them off the body, it’s still a challenge getting the wire through the boot. Fought the first one for the better part of an hour. The second one only took like 15 minutes. I used 20 gauge wire for this and it made it a little easier than what I’d normal run for speakers. Note that the provision to mount the speakers is there on the inner panel, but obviously the door panels lack the cutout & grill, and would need to be replaced.
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Amplifier wiring:

Nearly everything is the same between the Alpine and HK at the amp plugs. The only differences are (1) an extra power and ground in connector C1, and (2) the second and third subwoofer voice coils in the Alpine correspond to the upper door speakers in the HK. The extra power wire just needs 12v constant. You can run it to the battery, fuse block, or in my case, I just tapped the power wire from my sub amp which I am keeping in the mix. Ground is equally simple.
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For the upper door speakers, it comes down to making sure you get the right feed from the amp while disconnecting the extra sub wires. This is where the PAC harness comes in. It gives you the extra power and ground wires, and also allows you to “tap” the outputs for the front upper door speakers and attach your new speaker wire for them without cutting anything. You can do without the PAC harness, but you’d need to re-pin the factory harness for the new power and ground, and then cut or re-pin the wires originally going to the sub.
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Programming:

This is where the trouble started for me. There are a couple settings to change. One is simple. In the body computer “ECUConfig 3: cabin equalization curve” needs to be changed to “Crew Cab Premium 3 (Harman 12ch) (RAM)”. This will make the audio sound as HK intended. I thought I was done but ANC did not work.

So I scanned the radio module and found a “B2201 configuration mismatch” trouble code.
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Eventually I deduced that the ANC has it’s own calibration based on cab, engine, and even bed length. There are a hundred combos, and the TRX specific ones are not even displayed on AlfaOBD. This was a big problem because I had to change the Alpine calibration to HK or none of this would work.

I had enlist the help of the prolific Ram BCM wizard @jimmy07 to figure it out for me. From a forum member, I retrieved an AlfaOBD backup file of a TRX with HK and no sunroof (to match my truck). He was then able to pull the portion of that file that related to the ANC calibration so I could effectively cut & paste just that part into the backup of my truck.

Then I simply had to restore my truck to that altered backup file and voila, the correct ANC calibration was installed, the trouble code cleared and never returned.
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The system and ANC now works 100% like stock. Because it is! I changed all door panels, grills, speakers, amp, wiring, and programming so you literally could not tell it’s not factory.
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Oh, but I did leave the Stealthbox and VX1000/1 in place and it complements the system well.

The pros to this swap:

-Better overall sound than the Alpine
-Louder volume
-Factory ANC retention
-Low cost. If done with used speakers and amp, and you don’t change all the door panels this is a $500-$700 mod all day and a good value at that price since as a standalone option it was like $1600 or something.

The cons:

-HK has weird overboosted bass from around 100-200hz which gives it a slightly boomy sound.
-Much more expensive and labor intensive if you want everything to look factory. Finding good used parts helps a lot though.

Overall I’m happy I did it and even happier that it’s over and working correctly. 😎
 

quietpeen

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Can't wait for the next radio change...just kidding. Nice work man. I remember you replacing your door panels a little while ago. Were those the correct panels or did you have to replace them again?
 
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OnTheReel

OnTheReel

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Yeah, I put the correct HK ones on awhile back so it was really just down to changing the speakers and amp. Again. 🙄

Think I’m gonna have to be done now. I am satisfied that this is the best it’s going to sound with ANC working.
 

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