Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pioneer AVH-4200NEX with idatalink maestro rr and a Jeep 2011 JK 2 door Sport

Installing a idatalink maestro RR into a JK Jeep Wrangler 2 Door Sport with a Pioneer 4200 NEX head unit.

I recently bought a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport 2 door (standard transmission).  Overall, it is a no-frills vehicle missing pretty much all of the power options.  It does however have UConnect connectivity package (using steering wheel controls and Bluetooth), heat and AC.

For what it is, the standard stereo on the JK Jeep is not too bad.  It came with the standard setup, 4 speakers and two tweeter separates.   Basically, it could get loud, but the quality is poor and base and mid-range is non existent.   One thing is though the bluetooth speaker works excellently.   The pairing and uconnect commands/interface are a bit of a mess though.

I decided that I wanted to swap out the head unit with something that had a little bit more function, as well as the ability to drive some new speakers better.  (The old speakers are paper cones).   I looked around, and ultimately felt that the Pioneer AVH-Pioneer 4200 NEX was the most cost effective solution that I could get that had the functionality of Android Auto.  (It also supports Apple Play.)

As I was swapping out the unit, I did want to maintain the factory radio controls, and was looking for what the appropriate mess of wiring harnesses and adapters would be needed to make it all work.  This is where I learned of the maestro RR for the first time, by a surprisingly competent BestBuy installer.

The maestro RR is a simple box that interfaces directly with both the existing systems/controls of your car as well as the car's OBD-II (computer) and the head unit itself.   What's really cool about it, aside from being a substitute to traditional adapters/harnesses, is its ability to interface with the vehicle's computer.    This means that (paired with the  Pioneer 4200 NEX or other suitable head unit) that it can do creative things, such as access engine diagnostics and other features that a stripped down car like mine doesn't have by default.   Since the Maestro RR only added about $80 total to the install vs. traditional adapters, I decided to take the risk.   I was really curious to see what a stripped down version Jeep Sport like mine would show in the interface.

So, long story short, I wound up getting the install done at BestBuy because I just don't have the time or energy anymore to do these myself.

 The whole install took a full day, that's for the 4 speakers, 2 tweeters, head unit, alpine power bar (mini amp), maestro, and a Pioneer backup camera.

So, what's the verdict?  What can you expect to see on the idatalink Maestro and Pioneer integration with a JK Jeep Sport circa 2011?    Well, I wasn't expecting to see too much, but I was happy with the results.   You can:
  • Get alerts and read engine codes if a problem pops up
  • See if your doors are ajar
  • See RPMs
  • See Fuel level
  • See instant MPG (real time based on driving habits)
  • MPH gauge,
  • Range until empty
  • Engine intake temperature
  • Battery condition
  • And the most exciting thing for me was the ability to see individual tire pressures!

So, even in a base Jeep sport, the Maestro RR and Pioneer 4200 NEX have some pretty useful information to display.  I definitely was satisfied with the purchase.

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Update:  I added a cheap subwoofer and amplifier combo into this JK set up.  Check out the thread.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I have a 6 speed JK and have been looking at a similar set up. Does the backup camera turn on automatically when you go into reverse on a manual? said...

Yes, I've got the 6 speed also.