Is There an Easily Accomplished Head Unit Swap? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


Audio (and aftermarket electronics) This is your place for alarms, remote starters, to brag about your system, exaggerate your db levels, or simply ask questions for stock or aftermarket audio. No Flames! (except from roasted amps)

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-12-2008, 12:12 PM   #1
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
Thread Starter
 
93 SSE 4 ME's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 112
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
93 SSE 4 ME is on a distinguished road
Default Is There an Easily Accomplished Head Unit Swap?

I love my new Bonne, but there are a few minor annoyances I'd love to take care of. Several dash board lights don't work (blue area of D/* HVAC control; D/* Heated Seat switch face), but the biggest is the radio display. Only the center of the display lights up. I've read the posts about tearing out the radio and resoldering bulbs, but to be honest, I just not comfortable with that. I have better than average mechanical skills, and I've been a shade tree mechanic for over thirty years. But the possibility of destroying my radio is not something I'm willing to risk.

Who has done a straight forward head unit swap that has worked? Even if a few adaptor modules are required to retain functionality, is there anyone who has installed an after-market CD player with iPod controls and XM that works as it should with all factory-installed items? (Chimes, gauges, warnings, steering wheel controls?) I appreciate advice and info, and I've read all applicable posts on this forum.

Electronics is not my area of expertise. That being said, I've installed more than a few after market systems over the years, some fairly complex with amps, equalizers, etc. This Bonne is a whole different animal, though. It'* not the typical plug & play set up I'm familiar with. This is a fairly new, fairly low-mileage car that I purchased to get me through the next 7 years until retirement. So i won't tear apart stuff unless I feel confident I can put it back together at least as well as it was originally. I envy guys like ddalder and hawkjet who possess the know-how and gumption to put things the way the want them.

Thanks for letting me vent...
93 SSE 4 ME is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 12:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
Posts like a Turbo
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 360
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hawkjet is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Is There an Easily Accomplished Head Unit Swap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 SSE 4 ME
Who has done a straight forward head unit swap that has worked? Even if a few adaptor modules are required to retain functionality, is there anyone who has installed an after-market CD player with iPod controls and XM that works as it should with all factory-installed items? (Chimes, gauges, warnings, steering wheel controls?)
The thing to keep in mind is the the adapters that are available are intended to work with many GM models. There are not enough Bonnevilles, by themselves, to create a market large enough to warrant the development costs of a product of this kind. It appears that the adapters are therefore somewhat lacking when it comes to the Bonneville. Unfortunately, nobody has reported their success at this time. I suspect the adapter can be made to work but it takes some extra parts or wiring that is not in the instructions.

Based on your particular needs and your definition of "straightforward", I suspect the answer to the question you ask may very well be no. Even if everything worked as advertised on the first attempt, all the adapters and wiring is a royal PITA. If you are satisfied with the features of the OEM head unit, you may find it easier to have the lights fixed and go with it. Frankly I am amazed that there is enough room in the radio bay for an aftermarket head unit AND all the wiring that is required.

If you have the budget, there are products called OEM Audio Integration (or something similar) that can be used to supplement many deficiencies in the OEM audio system. They can be expensive (~ $400) however. They give the option of aux inputs and ability to tailor the total system to your particular taste. There are unique design issues to the Bonneville so it may turn out that these are also a PITA.

I believe the solution is to be patient with ANY installation, and to structure the path to a solution in a way that you don't have "too many cooks". Also, if you seek assistance, be sure to start with someone that is familiar with the Bonneville'* unique design and they are competent. So far, I have not seen this approach on this forum. It seems to turn into a royal clusterf***, with ideas and suggestions coming from all directions. The person that is seeking a solution is pulled in different directions with no continuity, and everyone gets frustrated.
hawkjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 01:06 PM   #3
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
Thread Starter
 
93 SSE 4 ME's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 112
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
93 SSE 4 ME is on a distinguished road
Default

It does appear that the last generation Bonneville is somewhat of a "red-headed stepchild" when it comes to the after market in general, but especially in the area of audio upgrades. The only iPod adapter offered by Crutchfield for the '05 Bonne is the Peripheral 541ISGM73. But when I went to Peripheral'* website to double check compatibility, etc., it states that this product requires that the XM tuner be disabled. Great news, after purchasing a two year subscription for this car. I actually like the factory radio'* sound quality. My only b*&%# is the failing display. Which you graciously posted instructions on how to repair. Which I haven't completely ruled out. What I'd love to find is a bone yard radio, and try my hand at installing new lamps in and swapping that display into my head unit, if that would be possible.
93 SSE 4 ME is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
Senior Member
Posts like a Corvette
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,446
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ddalder is on a distinguished road
Default

You have a few options if you want to retain your OEM radio. Having said that, you'll need to decide on what you are most comfortable with.

1. Purchase the bulbs and give replacement the old "college try". Having read your post and concerns with this, it may not be your first/best option.
2. Purchase a used replacement radio and swap the face. This will contain the electronics and backlighting.
3. Find the cheapest possible radio (of the same type) on eBay and use it as a "practice" radio to take apart, look at and replace the bulbs in to gain experience before working on your own.
4. Purchase a good, used replacement radio for your vehicle. This will require a visit to your dealership to be unlocked. Because of the TheftLock feature, it will no longer function once installed in your car.
5. Send your radio into a repair centre to have it serviced. I can provide a number of names authorized for GM if you need.

Now, the good and the bad of these options.

Option #1 - If you are uncomfortable with this or feel you don't have the skill necessary, there is a chance of damaging the radio and needing to have it (or parts of it) replaced.

Option #2 - There is a chance that you may purchase a different generation radio and swapping parts may not work. Design changes occur from time to time and there is not usually a way be "looking" at the outside to know this.

Option #3 - This is a very real possibility. This can give you some experience and may be an interesting project at the same time.

Option #4 - Whenever you buy a used radio, there is no guarantee you won't have the same problems. Even if the seller offers a short term warranty, you still have a used radio and you never know when the bulbs may fail in it. This may also prove more expensive, since you'll need to visit your dealership for a VIN relearn.

Option #5 - This is a very realistic option. Several repair facilities for GM radios offer a flat rate service fee, depending on they type of radio being sent in.

I fully agree with Hawkjet about aftermarket installations. In the Bonneville, these require some pre-planning and patience to avoid what may turn out to be significant complications. These vehicles have much more technology packed into them than most people realize. The 2000+ Bonneville is heavily computer dependant for many of the "simple" functions we all take for granted. Without being completely comfortable in integrating other non-GM designed systems, you MAY end up in a world of grief. Since you like the sound quality of your OEM system, I recommend finding a solution where you can stick with it as opposed to aftermarket.
ddalder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 01:53 PM   #5
Senior Member
Posts like a 4 Banger
Thread Starter
 
93 SSE 4 ME's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 112
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
93 SSE 4 ME is on a distinguished road
Default

Regarding option 5, I'd like to contact a service center regarding prices and turn around times. Looked on E-bay, saw nothing from a Bonneville to practice on.
93 SSE 4 ME is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
Senior Member
Posts like a Corvette
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,446
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ddalder is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 SSE 4 ME
Regarding option 5, I'd like to contact a service center regarding prices and turn around times. Looked on E-bay, saw nothing from a Bonneville to practice on.
I'm going to try and come up with some others, I need to check one of my older contact lists.

I've listed United Radio in the interim. I've dealt with these people and have really good luck. There are several others easily searched with Google, but this company is GM authorized.

United Radio Service
http://199.236.123.239/Automotive/auto_main.asp
ddalder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 02:55 PM   #7
Junior Member
Posts like a Ricer Type-R
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Xenawise is on a distinguished road
Default

Well, I am somewhat in your shoes so to speak. However, electronics is something I do as not only a hobby but a career.

I got my 2003 SSEi and noticed that the right side of the display was dim. OK. Not too big of a deal at the time. Within several months, the center of the display burned out and the task of finding how to replace these lamps was on.

This forum provided me with enough background iniformation to get the ball rolling. I ordered new bulbs from corvetteradios.com. When those came in I set about the task of replacing those burned out bulbs. All went well except the 3 bulbs in the lower part of the face burned out I guess from all the handling I did.

Not a big deal either as I have been collecting various Pontiac radios for a project I am working on. I just took the bulbs out of another unit that was made in mid-2005 (it was out of a Grand Prix) and put them into mine.

Everything lights up as it should now.

Another suggestion is to ask to see if someone here who has done this would be willing to help you fix yours. I am sure there are several folks that might not mind helping you in this case and since you are happy with the factory stereo, this would be the easiest and I think cheapest route to take.

I would be willing to repair the radio for you as well. If you are interested in this option, just let me or whoever you would feel most comfortable with know and see where it goes from there.

As for the Heated Seat switch light, you cant service that ( I have taken that switch apart and you cant really replace the bulb in there ) so I can only suggest you just order a new switch or two and just replace it. I know there were two styles, one with the gray button and one with the black button.

The HVAC unit has 2 bulbs in it as well. They look like the large bulb in the radio face that lights up around the volume and select *****. I am sure this has burned out and it is pretty easy to replace as well. It still requires soldering though, and you have to get the bulb.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck!

Xenawise

P.*. As far as the IPod goes, I don't think it would be too difficult to wire up a circuit that would switch from the XM input to the IPod when you turned the IPod on. Since the factory unit actually shares the aux input to the radio, the possibilities are somewhat endless what you could get into the radio. But since we can't easily make the factory radio see a cd changer, we just wire the XM input to a relay and when the IPod is off or disconnenected, the XM signal would go into the radio. When you plugged in and turned on your IPod, the relay would switch to the IPod and now the radio outputs your IPod audio. The radio still thinks its playing XM, and all the chimes and OnStar would work normally in this case as well. Something to think about anyway.
Xenawise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 03:38 PM   #8
Senior Member
Posts like a Turbo
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 360
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
hawkjet is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenawise
As for the Heated Seat switch light, you cant service that ( I have taken that switch apart and you cant really replace the bulb in there ) so I can only suggest you just order a new switch or two and just replace it. I know there were two styles, one with the gray button and one with the black button.
The switches in my 2001 may be different. I replaced the bulbs in my heated seat switch in about 20 minutes.

Quote:
As far as the IPod goes, I don't think it would be too difficult to wire up a circuit that would switch from the XM input to the IPod when you turned the IPod on. Since the factory unit actually shares the aux input to the radio, the possibilities are somewhat endless what you could get into the radio. But since we can't easily make the factory radio see a cd changer, we just wire the XM input to a relay and when the IPod is off or disconnenected, the XM signal would go into the radio. When you plugged in and turned on your IPod, the relay would switch to the IPod and now the radio outputs your IPod audio. The radio still thinks its playing XM, and all the chimes and OnStar would work normally in this case as well. Something to think about anyway.
By installing a PAC iPAC-OEM, you can get the iPod to operate as if it were a CD Changer. PAC will not have the appropriate harness for your car if it didn't have a Changer, but it is no more difficult to install that what is described above. The iPAC-OEM will deal with the Class 2 Serial bus so it will provide audio when the CD Changer is selected and this should retain the XM radio operation. I am currently in the middle of assisting another BC member to do this very thing. IIRC, PAC doesn't list your car as compatible, however I am pretty sure it is only because they don't have a plug-n-play harness or they haven't specifically tested it.
hawkjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 05:07 PM   #9
Senior Member
Posts like a Corvette
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,446
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ddalder is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenawise
Another suggestion is to ask to see if someone here who has done this would be willing to help you fix yours. I am sure there are several folks that might not mind helping you in this case and since you are happy with the factory stereo, this would be the easiest and I think cheapest route to take.
This is a good idea and the idea has been tossed around before. I hadn't offered simply because I'm in Canada. Getting things back and forth over the border can be costly and a pain. If you can find someone to do this, certainly consider it. Now, I will be visiting friends in PA (just outside Pittsburgh) early May. If you haven't solved this by then, I'll be happy to give you a hand.

If you can scare up a 12 disc changer and bracket (eBay), it would be quite easy to throw that in at the same time (if you have an interest in one).
ddalder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2008, 02:22 PM   #10
Member
Posts like a V-Tak
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 59
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
drdivo is on a distinguished road
Default Yurg. Thanks, Crutchfield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 93 SSE 4 ME
It does appear that the last generation Bonneville is somewhat of a "red-headed stepchild" when it comes to the after market in general, but especially in the area of audio upgrades. The only iPod adapter offered by Crutchfield for the '05 Bonne is the Peripheral 541ISGM73. But when I went to Peripheral'* website to double check compatibility, etc., it states that this product requires that the XM tuner be disabled. Great news, after purchasing a two year subscription for this car. I actually like the factory radio'* sound quality. My only b*&%# is the failing display. Which you graciously posted instructions on how to repair. Which I haven't completely ruled out. What I'd love to find is a bone yard radio, and try my hand at installing new lamps in and swapping that display into my head unit, if that would be possible.
How annoying. The carton with that very iPod adapter is sitting in the trunk of my 05 GXP. Since mine doesn't have the factory 12 disc changer, I just ASSUMED (there I go again) that I'd be fine. I love the XM, and don't want to give it up.

If it were possible for the OEM setup to have both an off-board XM and 12 disc changer, why isn't it possible for this Peripheral adapter to run in place of the 12 disc changer and leave my durned XM alone?

drdivo is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
'07 -> '08 head unit swap reprogramming SwinginG6 Audio (and aftermarket electronics) 9 02-28-2014 04:50 PM
What did you get accomplished this weekend? myfirstbonnie Lounge 22 05-20-2008 03:53 AM
Harnesses +checklist for 2000 head unit swap to aftermarket torero500 Audio (and aftermarket electronics) 5 05-16-2008 07:11 PM
Bose system head unit swap mechanic_10 Audio (and aftermarket electronics) 16 01-29-2008 01:12 PM
Mission "Accomplished" Allmachtige Performance, Brainstorming & Tuning 21 08-24-2004 11:39 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:34 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.