GME XRS install

The right way to install your UHF.

WORDS AND IMAGES BY WES WHITWORTH

Installing a UHF is essentially a rite of passage for new four-wheel drivers, or one of the first things you do when you get a new fourby. This writeup is for those who are looking to install their first UHF, or haven’t done one in a while, and could look to pick up a couple of tips.

GEAR GME XRS install

*Terms and conditions apply
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READ THE REVIEW IN UNSEALED 4X4

Working it all out
First thing you’ll want to do, is working out exactly how and where you’re going to mount the unit, and where you’ll run the cabling. For me, I’ve got the GME XRS unit, which has a small control box to hide up behind the dash, and the speaker/handpiece that has all the controls on it; so I know I’m not going to need much space.

For the wiring, on the HiLux, the battery is on the passenger side, and I’m going to connect it directly to the battery, so I can leave it on while the keys are out of the ignition (HiLuxes beep incessantly if you’ve got the keys in the ignition and a door open!). The power and aerial cable will run down the passenger side of the engine bay, through the firewall, and in behind the glovebox. I’ll mount the unit in there, and run the handpiece cord through to the cab; easy as, right?

Ok, so we’ve got a plan and know where we’re going to mount and run everything, so let's get to it.

“This is the fun bit and helps if you have kids with tiny hands, or you’re triple jointed at the waist and elbow."

4WD ACCESSORIES FOR THE REAL OFF ROAD ENTHUSIAST

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WELCOME

DUAL
BATTERY TRAY

COMPACT FIRE PIT /
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PREMIUM BBQ
SLIDE-OUT SYSTEM

Once you’ve done that, run the aerial cable through your grill and have it pop out near where you’ll be running the power lead from the battery. This keeps things nice and neat, and you can run them together, which makes life just that much easier. Finding a factory harness you can run along with always helps, as it gives you a good anchor point to cable tie the cables up and out of the way.

From there, you’ll want to go around any sensors, engine bay parts, or wiring looms to your firewall. You should have a rubber grommet that the factory wiring loom runs through, and most times there is a spot where you can run your own wiring. If not, find a hole in your firewall to run the wiring through, but make sure you add an appropriately sized grommet – it’ll help keep water out, but more importantly it will help stop your wire rubbing and shorting on the steel of the firewall.

Now, with a bit of luck, you’ll have wire inside your cabin and can think about mounting the unit and connecting it all up.

Running cable
This is the fun bit and helps if you have kids with tiny hands, or you’re triple jointed at the waist and elbow. First thing you’ll want to do is lay your aerial out the front of your four-wheel drive, and feed the aerial cable through your mount, whether that be on the bullbar, or a standalone mount you’ve got. Next, you’ll want to put the nut on the cable, and run it up to the aerial mount, and do the nut up on the bottom of the aerial with the split washer. Working out you need to do this after you’ve run it through the firewall is not nearly as much fun as it sounds; ask me how I know.

Mounting the handpiece mount to your dash is entirely on you. I’m not one to go drilling if I don’t need to, and the HiLux has a great little spot under the air-con controls that I can pop the handset. It’s out of the way and gets some good sound bounce under there for when I’m listening, and it remains easily accessible. Work out a good spot to put yours, and whether you want to go drilling holes for the handpiece mount.

Mounting and connecting the GME XRS
Now that you’ve got the wiring through, you’ll probably need to remove the glove box (if you’ve gone down the passenger side) and find somewhere to mount the unit. If it’s a DIN unit (with a full facia like the TX4500) mounting this under your stereo is a great option you’ve got. If it’s a tuck-away unit like the XRS, you can hide the control box up behind the glovebox with a few cable ties. From there, it’s just a matter of routing the handset to your centre console area and connecting your aerial and power wire to the unit.

Confirm it works!
In the same boat as tying a load down on your ute, giving it a nudge and saying “that’s not going anywhere!” is the required radio check! Once you’re connected up and the unit has power, you’ll want to make sure it’s working as it should. If you’ve got a local repeater station (usually on a channel between 1-10), jump on there and call up. If not, get your radio on Scan, wait till you hear someone on a channel, and ask for a radio check. Bearing in mind, that sometimes folks are using a sidetone, so they’ll not be able to hear you – going near a decent highway and listening to channel 40 or 29 you will usually get a truckie who will let you know your new bit of kit is working.

Giving it power
If you’ve gotten this far, the last thing you should need to do is connect your wiring up to the battery (or an accessory source if you’re going that way). How you do this will vary, vehicle to vehicle, but the single most important thing you do here, is adding a fuse as close to the positive terminal on the positive wire as you can. I know there is one already on the wiring harness, but you’ll need an extra one close to your power source. Make sure you get one in there – a 2amp fuse should be plenty and will cover your wiring. Second most important thing, is make sure you connect the earth to the chassis, NOT the battery. As the aerial uses the bullbar as an earth, if you have an issue with the vehicle earth, your UHF becomes the only back to battery earth you’ll have. So make sure you earth it to the chassis!

GEAR GME XRS install

Installing a UHF is essentially a rite of passage for new four-wheel drivers, or one of the first things you do when you get a new fourby. This writeup is for those who are looking to install their first UHF, or haven’t done one in a while, and could look to pick up a couple of tips.

WORDS AND IMAGES BY WES WHITWORTH

GME XRS install

The right way to install your UHF.

*Terms and conditions apply

READ THE REVIEW IN UNSEALED 4X4

SCROLL TO CONTINUE
ADVERTISEMENT

Working it all out
First thing you’ll want to do, is working out exactly how and where you’re going to mount the unit, and where you’ll run the cabling. For me, I’ve got the GME XRS unit, which has a small control box to hide up behind the dash, and the speaker/handpiece that has all the controls on it; so I know I’m not going to need much space.

For the wiring, on the HiLux, the battery is on the passenger side, and I’m going to connect it directly to the battery, so I can leave it on while the keys are out of the ignition (HiLuxes beep incessantly if you’ve got the keys in the ignition and a door open!). The power and aerial cable will run down the passenger side of the engine bay, through the firewall, and in behind the glovebox. I’ll mount the unit in there, and run the handpiece cord through to the cab; easy as, right?

Ok, so we’ve got a plan and know where we’re going to mount and run everything, so let's get to it.

“This is the fun bit and helps if you have kids with tiny hands, or you’re triple jointed at the waist and elbow."

4WD ACCESSORIES FOR THE REAL OFF ROAD ENTHUSIAST

TRADE
ENQUIRES
WELCOME

DUAL
BATTERY TRAY

COMPACT FIRE PIT /
BBQ FLAT PACK

PREMIUM BBQ
SLIDE-OUT SYSTEM

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Running cable
This is the fun bit and helps if you have kids with tiny hands, or you’re triple jointed at the waist and elbow. First thing you’ll want to do is lay your aerial out the front of your four-wheel drive, and feed the aerial cable through your mount, whether that be on the bullbar, or a standalone mount you’ve got. Next, you’ll want to put the nut on the cable, and run it up to the aerial mount, and do the nut up on the bottom of the aerial with the split washer. Working out you need to do this after you’ve run it through the firewall is not nearly as much fun as it sounds; ask me how I know.

Once you’ve done that, run the aerial cable through your grill and have it pop out near where you’ll be running the power lead from the battery. This keeps things nice and neat, and you can run them together, which makes life just that much easier. Finding a factory harness you can run along with always helps, as it gives you a good anchor point to cable tie the cables up and out of the way.

From there, you’ll want to go around any sensors, engine bay parts, or wiring looms to your firewall. You should have a rubber grommet that the factory wiring loom runs through, and most times there is a spot where you can run your own wiring. If not, find a hole in your firewall to run the wiring through, but make sure you add an appropriately sized grommet – it’ll help keep water out, but more importantly it will help stop your wire rubbing and shorting on the steel of the firewall.

Now, with a bit of luck, you’ll have wire inside your cabin and can think about mounting the unit and connecting it all up.

Mounting and connecting the GME XRS
Now that you’ve got the wiring through, you’ll probably need to remove the glove box (if you’ve gone down the passenger side) and find somewhere to mount the unit. If it’s a DIN unit (with a full facia like the TX4500) mounting this under your stereo is a great option you’ve got. If it’s a tuck-away unit like the XRS, you can hide the control box up behind the glovebox with a few cable ties. From there, it’s just a matter of routing the handset to your centre console area and connecting your aerial and power wire to the unit.

Mounting the handpiece mount to your dash is entirely on you. I’m not one to go drilling if I don’t need to, and the HiLux has a great little spot under the air-con controls that I can pop the handset. It’s out of the way and gets some good sound bounce under there for when I’m listening, and it remains easily accessible. Work out a good spot to put yours, and whether you want to go drilling holes for the handpiece mount.

Giving it power
If you’ve gotten this far, the last thing you should need to do is connect your wiring up to the battery (or an accessory source if you’re going that way). How you do this will vary, vehicle to vehicle, but the single most important thing you do here, is adding a fuse as close to the positive terminal on the positive wire as you can. I know there is one already on the wiring harness, but you’ll need an extra one close to your power source. Make sure you get one in there – a 2amp fuse should be plenty and will cover your wiring. Second most important thing, is make sure you connect the earth to the chassis, NOT the battery. As the aerial uses the bullbar as an earth, if you have an issue with the vehicle earth, your UHF becomes the only back to battery earth you’ll have. So make sure you earth it to the chassis!

Confirm it works!
In the same boat as tying a load down on your ute, giving it a nudge and saying “that’s not going anywhere!” is the required radio check! Once you’re connected up and the unit has power, you’ll want to make sure it’s working as it should. If you’ve got a local repeater station (usually on a channel between 1-10), jump on there and call up. If not, get your radio on Scan, wait till you hear someone on a channel, and ask for a radio check. Bearing in mind, that sometimes folks are using a sidetone, so they’ll not be able to hear you – going near a decent highway and listening to channel 40 or 29 you will usually get a truckie who will let you know your new bit of kit is working.

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