IMPORTANT:

This type of deck will NOT fit without modification to the center console vant ducts.

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 http://www.installer.com.

Here 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.

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

 

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.

We 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.

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.

Compare the old deck and the new, you can see that the peg is pretty much in the same spot.

Because 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.

Using 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.

The 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.

Measure 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.

X 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.

I 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.

Drill 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!

I 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.