Citizens Band radios have a loyal niche market in off-road driving enthusiasts. Many Jeep owners appreciate that the CB provides the ability to communicate in areas that cellular towers fail to cover. Other Jeep owners, who would never take their vehicles off-road, still appreciate the utility and the fun of communicating with truck drivers and emergency personnel while driving. Installing a CB in a Jeep requires some planning to get the best signal possible.
One of the most important parts of mounting a CB is placing it in a convenient and safe location. Find a spot either on the dashboard or along the console that is within reach of the primary user and where it will stay clean and dry. Consider potential off-road driving when making this determination. Avoid mounting it where it will interfere with an airbag. Attach the mounting bracket to a solid surface and attach the microphone bracket close enough to grab quickly as needed. Wait to mount the radio to the bracket until you have wired it.
Remove both battery terminals from their posts, noting which is positive and which is negative and from which post the ground connects to the engine block. Most Jeep models use a negative ground. Connect the red power wire to the ignition switch accessory terminal located in your fuse box using a spade terminal. This method of wiring power automatically shuts off the CB when you turn off the car. Attach the black wire either below your mounting bracket if you have a metal dash or to the negative battery terminal. Route the other end of the cables through an existing hole in the engine compartment to the location where you will mount the radio. If you must drill a new hole, use pass-through grommets to protect the wire from damage. It may be necessary to route these wires through doors or under carpet, if applicable, to reach the radio location.
A CB radio antenna is ideal when it is approximately 10 feet long from the mounting bracket to the tip. If this height is not practical, purchase a magnetic mount antenna. Given that CBs operate best when you can get a clear line of sight to the receiving vehicle, mount the antenna in a high location. Specialized brackets are available at your local electronics store. Mount the bracket or antenna and route the antenna cable to the back of your radio location through a hole in your engine compartment. It may be necessary to route this cable along the floorboard next to or under the bracket that holds down your carpet.
Mount the cables to the back of the radio. Verify all excess cable is hidden and safe from damage. Attach the radio and its microphone to their respective mounting brackets and reattach your battery terminals to the posts. Test your CB to see if it gets power and receives any signals on any available channel. Use an SWR meter to fine tune the radio or take it to a local electronics or radio shop to have a professional do this.
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