Installing a Late 90′s Delco CD Player

- Swapping in a Newer Delco CD Deck

(1997-2002) -


This type of deck will NOT fit without modification to the center

console vant ducts.  Click here for updated information. 

Perform the steps below at your own risk.

Times have changed and where our cassette decks

were it back then, I myself have yet to play one in my ride for quite some

time now.  Since my other two daily driver vehicles have CD players, I

now buy, cut, compose my own CD’s.  Especially with today’s CD

recorders reaching writing speeds of 24X, you can cut a CD in less than 10

minutes!  Not even high-speed dubbing of cassettes could match

that!  HAHA!

What I was really looking for was an original

CD deck that was available in 1989 to 1992.  Kind of that vintage look

that would match the era of my ride.  Well, from what I read, although

that would be nice, I found that they have problems playing recorded

CDs.  Me, liking to compose my own music from my collection, that

wouldn’t do.

I finally set out to get a newer Delco CD

player from the 1997 (or around about) to present era, Chevrolet.  As

Pontiac CD players use those gray buttons as they always do, wouldn’t quite

match the interior if the IROC.  I finally landed on a 1998 Delco CD

player from a pickup truck on eBay for $102!  I guess mainly it was

because it was noted that it could be locked so people may have not been

willing to buy something they couldn’t use without putting effort into

getting it working again.  Well, it was locked, but since I’ve used our

local Pontiac dealership over and over and over again due to our other two

cars (which are Pontiacs), my sales advisor took care of it no problem

since I had a signed bill of sale and VIN number from the seller.

GM decided to change the connector in 89 in our

cars from the old 12-pin type to a newer 21-pin type.  There are adapters readily available to

do this swap. 

(Affordable PN# WH-36).  We used River Oaks Car Stereo in

Houston, TX.  Their site is located at

Delco slide deck


is what my new radio looks like.  Same size, but it looks like we

may have some "rigging" to do to make it fit right in the

Camaro since it’s designed to go in via slide rails.  There is

another deck that looks just this one, but has the brackets on the

sides (see below).  This would probably be most ideal as it looks

as if you can get at least one screw in each side, which should be

enough to hold it in place.  We’ll show you how to get the slide

type of deck in our cars with a little work.


In the dash

where the radio sits.  Typical Camaro setup.  I hear

Firebirds are a bit different.  Keep in mind the vent ducts on

both sides.  These are in the way of the extrusion on the rear of

the new deck.

Rear view of

the 1998 CD deck.  If you look closely and compare where

everything would sit, there should be no reason this thing won’t go

based on the metal bracket.  We will have to trim out some room

for the extrusion though.

- The "Adaptation" -

Because we’re installing this

deck into an 88 IROC, we have to adapt from the old pinout harness, to the

new.  This part right here will get the job done (see below).

Part # WH-36 from River

Oaks Car Stereo

You will also need an

antenna adapter Part # MET-40-GM20.  This is because the antenna

diameter of pre 1989 vehciles is larger than 1989 to present.  This

adapter will remedy this little issue too.

You can check out my other

project, Installing

a Newer Stock Delco Radio for other information regarding swapping in a

1989 and newer deck into a pre 1989 vehicle.

If you have an 89 or newer,

you should be good to go as far as the connections are concerned with wiring

and the antenna connection.

Step 1


need to remove the bottom plate so we can remove the slide rails as

well as insert the peg into the rear of the unit.

Step 2 Using

the holding bracket and peg from the old radio, simply push the

threads of the bracket through the hole and screw the peg on, holding

the bracket in place to keep it from turning as you tighten down on

the peg.  Make sure you install the peg in the BOTTOM most hole.

Note 1

Compare the old deck and the new, you can

see that the peg is pretty much in the same spot.

Removing the slide rails


the rails are "latched" in, you’ll need to bend them out a

little bit so when you tap down on them, they won’t catch.

Removing the slide rails


a hammer, bang off the rails.  You may have to apply to pretty

good force to do this.  Ensure the rails are just off of the edge

of the bench. 


tabs that held the slide rails in place will have to be removed. 

Using pliers, grab a hold of each tab and wiggle it back and forth

until it comes off.  If you’re worried about using this deck in a

slide rail type install, you should be able to place the rails in

place, slide the deck in and still be able to hold in place from the enclosure.


where the old hole is on the old deck.  We’ll need this

measurement to drill a small hole on each side of the new deck.


marks the spot.  Placed a mark on the new deck right where the

hole should be compared to the old deck.  Don’t worry. 

We’re going to drill the hole right where the seam is on the new deck

so we won’t risk any damage to the circuitry in the new deck.


placed a piece of electrical tape on the bit to keep from going too

deep.  The bit I used was 3/32" (to use the short hex screws

I took off of the old radio).  You will not need to go very

deep.  Looks slightly less than 1/4" there.


the holes going at a medium to slow speed.  Too much speed will

harden the metal and we don’t want that.  It’s kind of tricky

drilling right there at the seam as the bit wants to travel off. 

Just take your time, steady your hand and get that hole as close to

your mark as possible.  I did it!


used the old brackets from the old radio.  I had the lift up the

bottom plate of the new radio, slip in the bracket piece, then screw

it down.  Should be good go now.  Don’t tighten too tight as

to strip the screw.  Just a good snug will be more than enough to

hold the deck in place.  You’re just keeping the deck from moving

up and down pretty much.

The deck is now ready for install.  This project will be



If you look at this picture here …

You’ll notice that the two vent ducts

on each side are in the way of the extra extrusion on the new deck. As

of right now, the deck will not fit in all of the way into the

dash.  Some modification will have to be done to the vents. 

I have decided to go ahead and remove the center console and custom

fit the deck in the shop.  See below.



I used a Dremel to cut out the vents to allow room for the new deck to

fit.  I figured, it would help … especially down here in south

Florida, the A/C can add to keeping the deck cool … hehe …


is the test fit.  So far so good.  Notice the notch on the

left hand side (opposite of the fan) so the antenna will fit.


decided (because I had it) to hot glue some foam around the

openings.  I really don’t know what this will do, but I figured

it would help with vibrations as well as kind of "seal in"

the deck.  Don’t ask.  I really don’t think this is

necessary.  ;)


installed the deck before putting in the top part of the center

console.  This was because I wanted to get a good fit and

direction of all of the wiring in the back.  With the climate

control out of the way, I was able to stick my hand back there and

direct all of the wiring as I was installing the radio.  This

shot was after I installed the top part of the center console.


deck installed.  Fits very nice now.  And works!  I

didn’t take many pictures, as I wanted to.  I wanted to

demonstrate how to remove your center console, but documenting that

and doing it … I was kind of strapped for time so I just did it!


Allan Reinike

If you would like to

contribute your projects to, e-mail us at!


4 Responses to “Installing a Late 90′s Delco CD Player”

  1. ben says:

    did the same thing in my 92 RS, I think the original cassette one sounds better though.
    seemed to have better treble and bass and much cleaner and clearer on the fm sound, possibly a better tuner.

  2. bambino says:

    ehh, too much work and many mods you might regreat later and still you have a stock type stereo, I have a pioneer in my car and looks very nice and the sound is incredible next to a gm stereo.

  3. Strong Roc says:

    I done them, best choice ever with that stock look and great sound. Easy money.

  4. Strong Roc says:

    I think, I think! I’m gonna do another one just because…

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