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Old 10-25-2015, 07:15 PM   #1
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Question Head unit upgrade questions on 1998 Park Avenue

After seeing some good deals spring up recently on 7" Android-based double DIN car radios, I'm considering a head unit upgrade in this car, but have never undertaken such a project before, so I have a few questions before starting.

1. First, what'* the story on actually getting the radio to fit? I've heard from some threads that the depth of the compartment in the Park Avenue is a concern and personally observed that the brown trim bezel that sits in front of the head unit has awfully rounded corners. Is there a lot of cutting and grinding that has to be done to get an aftermarket unit to fit or is it plug n play with the standard Scosche GM mounting kit?

2. How difficult is it to run the GPS antenna from the radio compartment to someplace in which it'll actually work?

3. Which pins on the harness are for the steering wheel controls? I looked at the wiring guide for this model and don't see any information on there for steering wheel controls; is it just missing from that diagram? If so, which wire(*) does it use?

4. I read in another thread (for the previous generation Park Avenue) that the automatic dimming of the climate control display was dependent on the radio and that using an aftermarket radio would render the module unable to change its brightness automatically; is that how it works on the 1997-2005 models as well?

5. While we're on the topic of dimming and such, I'm guessing the gray/black "illumination" wire on the harness gets attached to the "illumination" wire on the radio, but what do I do with the "dimmer" wire on the harness? Does it get left disconnected or does it connect somewhere else?

6. Lastly, from what I can see in the pictures in the listing for the radio I was looking at, the actual connections for the speakers themselves (see the attached picture) end in a female "ISO" port. How do I attach these wires to the wires on the factory harness adapter? Do I just cut this connector off and manually connect the wires or is there a
more civilized way to hook it up more civilized way to hook it up
?
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:49 AM   #2
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I've never installed a radio like you describe but I have put several into 1990s GM cars. I would definitely not cut into the car'* wiring harness if you can help it. There are plug and play adapters available that you can solder up to the aftermarket radio'* harness for a plug-and-play solution. Chances are your steering wheel controls won't be supported by the aftermarket radio but if it has an infrared remote control, there are some aftermarket kits that will allow you to use the steering wheel buttons to control various functions on the radio through that interface but you may not be able to get the buttons to control all of the same functions they did with the OEM radio. I have one of these kits to enable the steering wheel buttons when I had a JVC head unit in my '95 Aurora but I never got it installed. The head unit crapped out and I ended up replacing it with a Delco radio out of a Buick. The steering wheel controls now function as they would in a Buick instead of how they normally do in an Oldsmobile, for instance the 'prog/seek' and temperature buttons now have their functions swapped and the fan button controls some other radio function.
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Old 11-03-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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Post clarification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human View Post
I've never installed a radio like you describe but I have put several into 1990s GM cars. I would definitely not cut into the car'* wiring harness if you can help it.
I had no intention of doing so. I was just wondering which wires I'll need to use from the plug-n-play female wiring harness adapter for the steering wheel controls since this is not made clear by any of the diagrams I have found so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human View Post
Chances are your steering wheel controls won't be supported by the aftermarket radio but if it has an infrared remote control, there are some aftermarket kits that will allow you to use the steering wheel buttons to control various functions on the radio through that interface but you may not be able to get the buttons to control all of the same functions they did with the OEM radio.
I know. I had every intention of buying one since the radio is fully compatible with such adapters and even allows complete customization of what each button does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human View Post
I have one of these kits to enable the steering wheel buttons when I had a JVC head unit in my '95 Aurora but I never got it installed. The head unit crapped out and I ended up replacing it with a Delco radio out of a Buick. The steering wheel controls now function as they would in a Buick instead of how they normally do in an Oldsmobile, for instance the 'prog/seek' and temperature buttons now have their functions swapped and the fan button controls some other radio function.
Using the aftermarket steering wheel control interface and radio doesn't prevent the climate control steering wheel buttons from working, does it?
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Using the aftermarket steering wheel control interface and radio doesn't prevent the climate control steering wheel buttons from working, does it?
You should be able to program those buttons to do something but whether they will actually work the climate controls is debatable. That function is actually built into the OEM radio. Don't worry, though. your dashboard climate controls will not be affected by the radio swap.
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