Upgrade to 8.4 or go aftermarket? - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Upgrade to 8.4 or go aftermarket?

Hey all,

This is my first thread start, so apologies if it is in the wrong area. I am looking into upgrading to the larger touch screen in my truck. (18' Ram 3500 Tradesman). I currently have the 5.0 Uconnect system. No radio controls on the steering wheel (although I would like those as well). I am looking to see whether people recommend going the stock radio route, or just upgrading to an aftermarket head unit? I like the look of the stock units, and also like the integration, but the price is a bit hard to swallow.

I also have a factory backup camera and reverse sensors if that is necessary info!

The kit from infotainment is priced at ~$2100 after all said and done. LINK

Thanks for any input.



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Last edited by sethster; 10-01-2019 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Added information
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sethster View Post
Hey all,

This is my first thread start, so apologies if it is in the wrong area. I am looking into upgrading to the larger touch screen in my truck. (18' Ram 3500 Tradesman). I currently have the 5.0 Uconnect system. No radio controls on the steering wheel (although I would like those as well). I am looking to see whether people recommend going the stock radio route, or just upgrading to an aftermarket head unit? I like the look of the stock units, and also like the integration, but the price is a bit hard to swallow.

I also have a factory backup camera and reverse sensors if that is necessary info!

The kit from infotainment is priced at ~$2100 after all said and done. LINK

Thanks for any input.
If youíre dead set on going with the 8.4, check out this thread- https://www.ramforum.com/threads/how...17-ram.116140/
It has all the info you need to source the parts yourself for way cheaper than infotainment. Itís cheapest to just go aftermarket with an idatalink maestro to fully integrate all the factory features.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:00 PM
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I upgraded my 5.0 to the 8.4 Nav. and put the volume and channel switches on the steering wheel. 8.4 Nav I got a factory refurbished one for $650 and found a leather steering wheel with all controls on it like new for $140. Took 15 minutes to change out the nav radio and 30 minutes for the steering wheel. Shop around and find the stuff. It was all plug and play. There are also videos on changing out the steering wheel
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:23 PM
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I went aftermarket, first with a 7" screen kenwood, but I hated the nav on it, so I upgraded to an 8" screen alpine, which required their center stack faceplate for the large screen. It works really well, terrific nav with traffic, plus it has a built in CEL code reader, all connected to the truck systems with the iDatalink Maestro interface so all the steering wheel controls work. It also has a CD/DVD drive for music and video, which is not an option on the oem radios, and has an HDMI input that you can connect your phone through with the right setup, and three camera inputs.

It wasn't cheap, but it has been superceded with an even more expensive 9" screen unit now. I have about $1100 in it, but it is much better than the oem 8.4 radio.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 04:01 PM
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I went aftermarket, first with a 7" screen kenwood, but I hated the nav on it, so I upgraded to an 8" screen alpine, which required their center stack faceplate for the large screen. It works really well, terrific nav with traffic, plus it has a built in CEL code reader, all connected to the truck systems with the iDatalink Maestro interface so all the steering wheel controls work. It also has a CD/DVD drive for music and video, which is not an option on the oem radios, and has an HDMI input that you can connect your phone through with the right setup, and three camera inputs.

It wasn't cheap, but it has been superceded with an even more expensive 9" screen unit now. I have about $1100 in it, but it is much better than the oem 8.4 radio.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mud yapster View Post
I upgraded my 5.0 to the 8.4 Nav. and put the volume and channel switches on the steering wheel. 8.4 Nav I got a factory refurbished one for $650 and found a leather steering wheel with all controls on it like new for $140. Took 15 minutes to change out the nav radio and 30 minutes for the steering wheel. Shop around and find the stuff. It was all plug and play. There are also videos on changing out the steering wheel
Are you happy sticking with the factory system? Any regrets to the whole setup? Does it still speed-lock some settings like bluetooth connection etc?


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mud yapster View Post
I upgraded my 5.0 to the 8.4 Nav. and put the volume and channel switches on the steering wheel. 8.4 Nav I got a factory refurbished one for $650 and found a leather steering wheel with all controls on it like new for $140. Took 15 minutes to change out the nav radio and 30 minutes for the steering wheel. Shop around and find the stuff. It was all plug and play. There are also videos on changing out the steering wheel
Are you happy sticking with the factory system? Any regrets to the whole setup? Does it still speed-lock some settings like bluetooth connection etc?
I don't know what speed lock is but yes it hasn't missed a beat in 4 years. Bluetooth hooks right up and the sound is great. I did upgrade the OEM speakers to Kickers. I also was able to use the factory bezel that was in the so no extra expense on that either. Looks good and works good so far. My truck isn't my daily driver so it only has 38k miles on it so far. I put the 8.4 Nav in it not long after I bought it so it has been in there since my truck was new.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 06:08 PM
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The only thing Iíll suggest if you decide to go aftermarket, is to try to view one in direct sunlight from as close to the angle youíll see it in the truck. The kenwood unit I bought a few years back (dnx-692) has great garmin nav, sounds good, integrates effectively with the maestro, but I have two complaints. First, the dimmer function is notional only. Itís like a flare in the middle of the dashboard at night. Second, in my truck (rope colored interior on a resistol laramie), sunlight reflection off the seats makes it absolutely impossible to see anything on the screen in sunlight. It doesnít get brighter, the contrast is maxed out, and polarized sunglasses make it look like a leather-colored square in the middle of the dash. The necessity for a second xm antenna is annoying as well, but it was the only option at the time. I think the new maestro units can use the factory xm antenna. Also I have no ability to play sound in the truck from the rear dvd screen. But I have 9 and 3 year old girls, so I donít exactly count that as a bad thing...


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 06:16 PM
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You could always end up getting a tesla style radio if you want the biggest screen I was planning on doing something like this to get android auto, but i ended up finding a new 18 for a good price and bought that. If i had gotten a 17 or older, i planned on upgrading to something that does android auto, so i could use google maps or waze and always have updated (for free) maps.




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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 08:11 PM
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You could always end up getting a tesla style radio if you want the biggest screen I was planning on doing something like this to get android auto, but i ended up finding a new 18 for a good price and bought that. If i had gotten a 17 or older, i planned on upgrading to something that does android auto, so i could use google maps or waze and always have updated (for free) maps.

https://www.amazon.com/LinksWell-201...CNGXNHG3RN5K7P
Someone on here said he tried one of those and it was terrible, glitchie.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 08:19 PM
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@sethster, I'd sell you my old kenwood 7" screen, along with the dash adapter pretty cheap. Radio and CD/DVD work great, sounds great, I personally just didn't like the garmin nav.

You would need to get the harness adapter and iDatalink Maestro to get it integrated into the truck electronics, but I have everything else.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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@sethster, I'd sell you my old kenwood 7" screen, along with the dash adapter pretty cheap. Radio and CD/DVD work great, sounds great, I personally just didn't like the garmin nav.

You would need to get the harness adapter and iDatalink Maestro to get it integrated into the truck electronics, but I have everything else.
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