An Infotainment Radio Upgrade Makes The Long Hauls More Enjoyable

When I purchased Project WorkHorse, I knew there were a few things I would want to change or upgrade. Sure, I could have kept looking for a truck that had everything I wanted, but the 2019 Ram 2500 I did buy had almost everything that I felt I needed in a truck. However, after only a few short months, the first thing I realized was the basic 5-inch radio that came in the Ram was missing a few key functions that make life easier, especially when traveling. I came to the conclusion I definitely needed a radio upgrade.

I thought about going to a salvage yard to find an 8-inch or even a 12-inch-screen head unit to upgrade my truck, but then I realized that even after purchasing a used unit, I would also need to make a trip to the dealer to get it “programmed” in order for it to work in my truck. Most used radios can cost close to $2,000 these days and add in the cost of programming, and I quickly realized there is a better option. Enter of Oviedo, Florida.

radio upgrade

The radio upgrade will come with everything you need. You will need to install your current 12-volt accessory plug on the top of the bezel and the lower accessory controls.

An Easier Than Ever Radio Upgrade

If you’re as seasoned as I am (read: old), then you surely remember a time when cutting and splicing wires was all that was required to replace a radio in your car or truck. It’s not that simple anymore, and switching a radio for an upgraded unit requires special wiring and programming to keep many of the factory functions. The radio in your truck is so much more than just a radio these days.

Simply remove the two screws at the top of the bezel, grab the bezel and give it a yank (it's held on with plastic clips). Once pulled from the dash, you can disconnect the factory unit's wiring. It's all simple plug-and-play. was created to help car and truck owners by offering easy-to-install, plug-and-play, DIY upgrades that anyone can install with confidence. Infotainment is a company that transformed from an OEM parts supplier to an auto-electronics engineering company. Because of this, the items like the radio upgrade we are doing are factory units that are designed to be factory installed. They fit right because they are right.

I asked Infotainment’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Tyhler Gomez, if these are these all-new, or refurbished? “It depends on the year, make, and model of the vehicle. The newer the vehicle the more likely that the piece you receive is new.
We do provide refurbished units as well. If a unit is refurbished, it is put through an extensive inspection process to ensure the unit is in mint condition when received by the customer.”

Size Does Matter

In the case of my 2019 Ram, the 5-inch radio was able to play music and allow me to make phone calls and hands-free text messages. Since I travel quite a bit, I quickly learned the absence of the ever-important GPS and the not-as-important but still nice Apple Car Play and SiriusXM needed to be resolved. It’s no secret that I haul various things for various people, and having navigation is something I felt was necessary. Sure, I could simply mount my phone in a holder and use the Google Maps function on the phone screen, but that looks too cluttered for my OCD. Having a phone mounted somewhere with cords attached is not something I can live with.

radio upgrade

With the old unit next to the new Infotainment upgrade, you can see the extent of the swap. Simply take your factory accessory switch panel from the original bezel and install it into the new upgrade bezel.

The upgrade I acquired is UAV Radio Uconnect 4C NAV with an 8.4-inch display that incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Upgrade (SKU: C-BDLUAVHD-XL). The “kit” includes a UAV GPS Navigation Radio Module, a replacement radio panel (which is specific to the trim level of the truck), the radio bezel with the built-in 8.4-inch display screen, and the required wiring and connectors.

I was fortunate in that my truck had the satellite antenna which is needed for navigation. But, if someone needs the antenna, does Infotainment also offer those? “Yes,” says Tyhler, “we offer antennas, as well as any other end-to-end plug-and-play harnessing that is needed in order for you to get the OEM upgrade you want.”

You will need to install the supplied clips into the dash to hold the UAV module. After the factory and Infotainment wiring is connected to the module, it can be installed into the dash and the wire connected to the monitor and the module.

Intelligent Programming

When upgrading 2018 and newer Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM vehicles they are equipped with a device called a security gateway. This is a “signal blocker” that protects your vehicle’s computer from being hacked. In order to activate your new feature, again, like our new radio, you will need to temporarily install a bypass device while using Infotainment’s OBDGenie programmer.

The brain of the upgrade is the OBD Genie Programmer and Security Gateway Module Bypass included in the kit. But what does the OBDGenie programmer do? When you install a new feature into your vehicle, like a new radio, the OBDGenie is plugged into the OBD-II port under the dash to program the new feature. This means you do not need to make a trip to the dealer to “activate” the upgrade you installed.

Next is to connect the Security Gateway Bypass. If working on a Ram 2500, this is located behind the speedometer cluster. Disconnect the wiring from the gateway module and connect the wires to the bypass module. Once programming is complete, reconnect the wiring to the security module and reinstall the dash and the new radio bezel.

This is an extremely necessary step and must be performed for this upgrade to work. With the radio connected to the truck, you will need to connect the included gateway security bypass. To do so, you will simply remove the two connectors from the factory-installed gateway module (Ram 1500 – located behind the driver’s knee bolster to the left of the steering wheel shaft) (Ram Heavy Duty – located behind the instrument cluster). Once these two connectors are disconnected plug them into the security gateway module bypass. Turn the vehicle to the run position and plug the OBDGenie programmer into the OBDII port. Once the Genie gives a green light, you are all set and can remove both the Genie and bypass. Then, reinstall the two connectors back into your gateway module and programming is complete.

Radio upgrade

Modern OE-supplied radios will not function if not properly programmed. Infotainment supplied this OBD-II plug that is connected to the truck and programs compatibility. When the light turns green, programming is complete.

Getting The Radio Upgrade Done

While this upgrade does require some interior disassembly and reassembly, do not let that scare you from taking on this upgrade. The center bezel is only held in place with two screws and several clips. Simply remove the two screws and pull the center bezel away from the dash. As far as removing the instrument cluster to connect the gateway module, it too is held in place with a few screws and is easily removed. The hardest part for me was getting my large hands through the opening behind the instrument cluster to connect the security module. Other than that, I could not believe how easy the installation was and that it took less than two hours — and I was stopping to take pictures.

radio upgrade

Each radio comes with a security code that will need to be entered. Once you enter the code, the radio is ready to go.

While the new Infotainment system will not improve the performance of Project WorkHorse, it does create a more user-friendly interior, especially on those long hauls when I am not sure of the exact location I need to arrive. Also, no more fumbling through the radio stations trying to find something to listen to. I can now subscribe to satellite radio or use Apple Car play and not listen to commercials anymore. That’s a definite win to me.

While this article deals with a radio upgrade in a Ram truck, Infotainment has a multitude of upgrades available for many makes and models of cars and trucks. Check out the website to discover your vehicle’s potential. In fact, they do much more than just Infotainment system upgrades. They can help you get the OEM accessory upgrade that you are missing and wanted to have since you purchased the vehicle. These are true OEM parts with VIN-specific programming to give you a plug-and-play installation.

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About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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