Stereo installation assistance needed VSS speed sensor wire and parking brake wire


New Member
May 5, 2023
San Diego
I’m installing a GPS/Apple CarPlay aftermarket stereo (JVC KW-M865BW) in my 2005 Jeep TJ Rubicon Unlimited. I purchased the aftermarket double din dash piece that came with a wiring harness and I’ve made most of the connection to the radio harness. I’m just about done and ready to plug it all in, but I’m having issues with locating the factory Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) wire on my Jeep that is supposed to connect to the pink wire on JVC harness. Apparently the GPS won’t function nor will the wireless CarPlay if this wire is not connected. So, if anyone knows if this is in the factory harness from the Jeep (fingers crossed) or where I can locate it on the vehicle and what color it is, that would be amazing. Im hoping it came premiered on the Jeep harness, but I’m guessing they didn’t do me that solid of a favor and it will probably be located somewhere that will require a lot of extra work to find it and tap into so that I can get this thing to function. I tried scouring the internet but the only leads I got were of wiring for various harnesses (not in dash) and I had no idea which harnesses they were nor where to find them, so if anyone knows what I’m talking about and can dummy it down for me, that would be amazing. Thank you in advance for any help rendered, it is greatly appreciated.
I tapped into mine (for my cruise control) near the sensor itself on the transfer case. It runs up to the PCM, but good luck finding the correct wire in that mess.
I tapped into mine (for my cruise control) near the sensor itself on the transfer case. It runs up to the PCM, but good luck finding the correct wire in that mess.

From what I read, aren’t there two (or more) wires at the sensor and you have to hit the right one? Unfortunately, the people that wrote that never said which one was the correct wire. Do you happen to know which wire it was and what color it was? And remember you have to dummy it down for me because I’m sure I can mess it up, so if you don’t mind saying something like: looking at speed sensor on transfer case from drivers side, there are two wires: red and black, the red is on the right (while attached to t-case) and is the wire you need to tap into. I do have an aftermarket skid plate that is a pain to drop, so hopefully it is still accessible or there are other places to encounter it.
I tapped into mine (for my cruise control) near the sensor itself on the transfer case. It runs up to the PCM, but good luck finding the correct wire in that mess.

I just tapped on your signature line and saw your build page, that’s pretty cool that you documented everything and posted it for others. I saw your cruise control install and saw that you tapped into the blue with red striped wire. So that answers my previous question. Now, does anyone know if that wire is accessible inside the vehicle so I don’t have to route it from outside?
The Dark Blue with Orange stripe VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) wire runs from the connector on the back of the transfer case, up and over the TC and along the right side of the transmission. It runs up the right side of the bell housing and the firewall to a big "knot" of cables at the right rear of the valve cover (where four big cables join). From there it goes down a little and across to the right and up into the PCM (computer) on the firewall (on connector C1, the one farthest from the engine). As far as I can tell, it never goes into the cab. And I could be wrong about some of this, I haven't actually opened up all of those cables.

See the 2005 service manual.


Old Buzzard, that was perfect thank you. Even I can’t screw that one up. Your photos and illustrations are perfect. I think you are right about the shifter, I’ll give that a look when I get home.

I don’t suppose you know if the parking brake sensor has a wire at the stereo harness, do you? I was debating on doing a ground switch so I can bypass that issue for the stereo, but if they already have one in the stereo harness, I’d probably just go that route. I’m on my phone, so these old eyes can’t see the manual very good, I can try finding that later too if you don’t know off the top of your head.

Thank you again for everyone’s assistance, it was very helpful.
Old Buzzard, what I thought would be an easy find Based on your info is now leaving me stumped. I got under the vehicle and looked at the 3 wires coming out of the connector harness attached to the transfer case and I see a black, a red and a pinkish-orangish colored wire which according to the manual should be a yellow/pink, dark blue/dark green, and a dark blue/orange wire. Could mine be different since it’s an LJ Rubi with stock SYE? If so, any idea which one I need to tap into, or how I can test these to see which I need?


Sorry, I showed pictures for a non-Rubicon '05, which uses a different speed sensor. I thought they used the same connector, but it looks like they don't. You may have to dig into the FSM, but I didn't see anything different there for the Rubi.

First, peel open some of that plastic sheathing so you can see the wires a couple of inches farther up. Wipe them with soapy water, rub them good. The wires can weather to surprisingly different colors.
Peeled it back a bit and they are solid red, solid black, and then that tan/pink/orange looking one (solid color). Anybody know which is the one I need?



Does anyone know how these work? Is it a simple power in wire, a ground wire, and the power/speed out wire? If that’s the case, then I would assume the red is power in, black is ground, and tan is the speed out wire and also the one I should tap into? I’m getting ready to finish this thing up (dang kids soccer tournaments have tied up my last 3 weekends).
You've got it right. A +5V line from the PCM, and low-noise ground from the PCM (not necessarily tied directly to frame ground), and a signal wire to the PCM.

Additional info, maybe not needed here: The PCM pulls the signal line up to +5V through a 1K resistor. The sensor pulls the signal line to ground about 8 times per sensor revolution (which depends on the gearing in the tail housing of the TC).
Thank you Willis36, I will order that for the parking brake issue. And I found the speed sensor wire at the C1 plug so I’m going to tap into it there so that the GPS and Apple wireless work. Thanks everyone for all the help, I couldn’t have done it without you.