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CarPlay (or Android Auto) and front mount camera in 2015 RAM 1500


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Decided to drive this truck for awhile and to that end might as well do a few things I always wanted / wished it had.

To start, I picked up a Customtronix Jailbreaker Enzo which is a little box that sits inline with the head unit and the rest of the harness in the truck to intercept signal and inject stuff based on how it's configured. I'm using it to add the front camera signal and to do the conversion between the new CarPlay head unit and the old BCM and gauge cluster in my truck. It also adds a feature called "park pro" where the front camera will automatically come on under 12 km/h and turn off again when over. I think I like it?


The camera I chose is mounted in the front grill emblem. It's stock-ish looking so I'm happy with it. Clear enough. I've also learned that the different head unit makes a big difference in the brightness and clarity (the same camera on my new HU is MUCH brighter than the old one).



So in 2018 RAM changed their 8.4" head units from Harman Becker to Panasonic and with that added CarPlay. They also changed the "media hub" (the usb ports) to add some sort of chip that enables CarPlay so you need both of these components to do the conversion. These Head Units are like hen's teeth so I've been scouring car-part.com for awhile now. I finally found one in BC, jumped on it and had it shipped with the media hub.

I also needed a media hub conversion harness (different plugs on the back of the new hub) so I picked up one of those too from a guy that builds them on one of the RAM forums I'm on ... support "local" I guess.

When the HU arrived it was in nearly perfect condition (for a used 2018 HU). The screen has some normal wear and tear and unfortunately one of the "Fakra" connectors on the back was missing - the one for the radio antenna. So I had to order a pigtail and wait for that to arrive. 


With all the supplies ready to go I set out last night in the freezing cold and pitch black dark (optimal time to do electronics work) and set out to getting this thing installed. Pulling the console apart in the RAM is pretty straight forward. I have the console with bucket seats so you remove five screws around the "tombstone" and then yank up the trim (just clips) on the centre console. Once that is out of the way you yank the "tombstone" off the front and then everything is ready to be disconnected. There are no less than six wires connected to the back of the tombstone that you let go and then it's out of the way and the HU is exposed. HU has four bolts holding it in and then there are another five or six wires connected including the big harness.



For style points I decided to wrap the Enzo harness in fabric tape to look like the OEM harness.


I also had to disassemble the console lid to get the media hub out - I think there are 7 hex screws holding it together. You pop the hub out from behind, put the conversion harness on and reconnect the new harness. I'm going to try and source a 2017 Chrysler 200 hub as it nearly fits perfectly in the 2015 RAM hub hole. The 2018 hub is MUCH wider than my 2015 so I'll have to cut it up to make it fit. If anyone knows where I can source a 2017 Chrysler 200 usb hub please let me know.

Swap the process to re-install, but this time I put the Enzo in between the truck and the HU. Button it all back up and voila! The new HU did require a dealer PIN as it was locked - no big deal, I made sure to get the VIN from the donor truck. It also required three resets to "learn" the features my truck has. From what I can tell - all is working great now!


At the end of the day I have a "factory" install and ALL of this was cheaper than buying an aftermarket head unit and the necessary harnesses, dash kit, and HVAC controls / converters. The truck's HVAC is controlled by the head unit so if I replace it with aftermarket I lose those features (or some don't work or the hardware buttons don't work, or the controls in the aftermarket HU are hard to access, etc.). They actually make entire new HVAC controls for the truck when you replace the HU - new dash panel, new physical buttons (or sometimes touch screen) just to make it all work. And then there is the issue that my truck has the Alpine "premium" stereo which has an amplifier, etc. that aftermarket HU's just **** the bed with. It's a hassle.

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  • 4 months later...

Just to finish this off - I had a bit of delay ordering the wrong parts, but the right part finally came in yesterday so I got it installed.

The media hub for the 2018+ RAM is a different shape - short and wide vs. square. The media hub from a 2017 Chrysler 200 is nearly the same size as the original 2015 RAM hub. Just requires a little bit of plastic trimming to make it fit. The new media hub is required because there is some sort of chip in it for CarPlay.

Got it all fit up, looks OEM. Super happy.



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