- Swapping in a Newer Delco CD Deck
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
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
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 http://www.installer.com.
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
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.
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.
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.
Compare the old deck and the new, you can
see that the peg is pretty much in the same spot.
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.
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
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!
If you would like to
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