As you mighta read earlier, my first CB choice, a Uniden Bearcat 880, was a little too big to install and tuck out of the way in my new JK. One key difference I’m learning about the JK is that it’s much more an SUV with plenty of creature comforts while my TJ was basically exposed metal with a few seats bolted to the tub. This isn’t a bad thing or a dig at either model by any means, just a difference. It does make adding interior goodies a little more challenging if you want to maintain that OEM fit & finish which I certainly do.
After stalking the “Where do you Mount Your CB” thread on a Jeep forum and staring at potential mounting locations in my JK for far too long, I decided that I didn’t really like anything I’d seen before, but I did have an idea. I ordered a Cobra 75 WX ST from Amazon for it’s reviews, simple functionality, & mostly compact all-in-one design and got to work running my coax in preparation for its arrival. I previously mounted the antenna using a Teraflex antenna mount using the OEM spare tire mounting locations, but now it’s time to run the coax.
I think I mentioned that I used to dabble in mobile audio installation (did I mention that?) and one of the lessons I took home from my installer friends is that if you can see the wires with out hunting for them, then a. You ain’t done yet or b. it’s a sloppy, sloppy install. I’ll let the pix tell the story, but basically, my coax wire is running from the cb mount, through the lift gate, attached to the OEM cabling at the hinge, behind the sub, around the roll bar, down the rear wheel well, next to the front/rear door sills, and pops out in the front passenger kick panel.
With the coax run, it’s time to unbox the CB. The awesome thing about the Cobra 75 WX ST is that there’s really not much to it. It consists of a very small control box about the size of a handful AA batteries where the antenna comes in, a power/ground wire running out, & a handset plug. To complete the install, all you really need to do is mount the small control box, connect the antenna coax & run the power wire to the battery.
Once you’ve decided on your control box mounting location, you need to run your power/ground to the battery. If you haven’t run a power wire through your firewall yet, relax it’s actually not that bad on the new JK’s. All you need is a flathead screwdriver to [gently] pop off the black plastic panel on the edge of your dashboard and a firewall tool (aka skinny metal coat hanger). The dash panel you need to remove is parallel to the door and can be a little tricky/stubborn. Once off, look just below where the a-pillar connects to the tub and you’ll see a small round hole full of foam insulation. Take your firewall tool and gently stick it straight through the middle. Don’t try to bore out a hole or make any side to side motions, just slide it easily through. Also please do yourself a favor and don’t try this from inside the engine bay because odds are you simply won’t find the opening going the other direction. Once your firewall tool has gone about 1/4 of it’s length through the opening you just created, tape your power wire onto the tool and feed it the rest of the way through as show in the pix below. These pix are taken at the same time once I pulled my firewall tool all the way through.
Connect your wires to the battery black to black, red to red, put all your panels back in place, and connect your CB to the control box. Fire it up to the soothing sounds of weather band radio to test your wiring.
Where you choose to mount your handset is totally up to you, and since I only use it when I’m off on wheelin’ trips, I found a $0.96 plastic clip that lets me hang it right on my visor when I need it yet tucks out of the way when I don’t. When CB is hung up on the visor, it offers an easy view of the display, the mic is so good that I don’t even pull it down, it’s never in the way, and best of all it’s a no drill solution!