FINALLY did a stereo in my SS! - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-22-2003, 05:34 PM
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Well, at almost 8 years old it was finally time to do a (somewhat serious) stereo in the SS [img]smile.gif[/img].

I probably have about 20 hours into the install (and several hours each from Tully and Trevor Gould)......did I mention I'm one meticulous dude? Came out pretty nice though.

Here is what I did :<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI> GM head unit that I already had (out of a 98 Venture Minivan) : lets my Venture rear seat radio controls and Monte Carlo steering wheel controls both still work. Also fader and balance knobs both still work as OEM. I wired it so that when the rear seat radio is activated (or, you fade it all the way to the front), it turns off the subs.

<LI> Line-level converters (lets me wire the head unit into a regular amp).

<LI> Amp : Planet Audio 5 channel amp, 50x4 (RMS) for the mid/hi, and 200x1 (RMS) for the subs. 2 ohm stable as well.

<LI> Subs : Two Pioneer 10" Freeair, firing into the backseat.

<LI> Rear Deck : Infinity 6.5" Components, mounted in stock 6x9 locations

<LI> Front Doors : Infinity 6.5" Components, mounted inside the doors. [/list]And for those curious, it added around 30 lbs total to the car. At least it's in back, where it helps cornering and traction [img]smile.gif[/img]

I took a lotta pains to hide wiring. Amp power wire is mounted INSIDE the front fender, so once it's about a foot from the battery you never see it again. I mounted the line level converters and crossovers inside the trunk, on the underside of the rear deck (I took the opportunity to relocate the RCDLR module to the left trunk hinge and hide it's wiring, as well as put the third brake light an LED light.....entirely on the top of the rear deck). Amp and subs both mounted to the Scott William's Trunk Kit Baffle Board. The crossovers (heck, the subs and amp too!) are basically hidden unless you stick your head inside the trunk. Similarly, all four component speakers are hidden inside the car under the stock speaker grilles. If you looked in the interior from the outside, the only sign that it is a "non-GM" stereo is the SkyFi XM Radio receiver on the center console (behind the T56 shifter, in front of the Bonneville seat controls).

I used the power antenna lead from the GM head unit as my amp turn-on wire. Works like a champ!

I can still (just barely) bolt in my spare tire to the stock tie-down using the WADA with stock J-hook and wingnut. It is a 17x8.5" SS wheel with 275/40R17 tire (25.7" diameter).....note that clearance is close enough that it would NOT have worked with a stock-size 255/50R17 tire (27.0" diameter) or the stock 28" diameter steel 15" rim spare!

Sound : still have a little "tweaking" to do (realizing that the stock head unit's lack of an EQ is gonna hurt me some), but it sounds LOADS better than it used to [img]smile.gif[/img]. Much crisper highs, great lows, and nice midrange.

Total cost : about $700 total in parts (some bought used...I love Ebay!). And like I said, a not-insignificant amount of labor....).
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-22-2003, 09:02 PM
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Sounds nice Ed. Can't wait to crank it up in Tulsa, . . . while I'm driving. [img]6.gif[/img] SSee ya there. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-22-2003, 10:24 PM
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30 lbs?! Good lord man... time to take out a seat or something to make up for that lol

Sounds like a nice lil setup ya got, perhaps you could snap a few pictures (head unit, trunk goodies) for us folks who might not see it.
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 12:11 AM
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I'm glad your happy with your stereo upgrade. I started the same way but after i changed my stock head unit to an aftermarket headunit it made a world of difference it sounded a million times better.
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 12:41 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>perhaps you could snap a few pictures (head unit, trunk goodies) for us folks who might not see it.

Well, the head unit is easy. It looks 100% identical to the stock CD player in a 95-96 SS.

Trunk : I'll see what I can do, once I do a little more cleanup of the wiring.

Vader : no problem

BadaSS : I know it'd sound better with another head unit, but gotta keep at least some projects waiting for next year [img]smile.gif[/img]. Also, I want to keep (at the very least) the steering wheel's doable with an aftermarket head unit, but complicates the install a little. I've pretty much accepted that I'll lose the rear seat controls though once the head unit is swapped....
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 07:15 AM
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It would be a hell of a mod, but a motivated individual might be able to mod the steering wheel controls into the electronics of a remote to a pioneer head unit. Of course the remote would be slaughtered in the process.
Ed, have you heard a similar system with the discontinued IB4's? I have the IB4's in the Impala, and a set of those pioneers waiting for the 9C1 when I get the time/motivation. Just wondering if you think the pioneers compare to the IB4's?

post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 10:08 AM
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FYI: There is a module out taht will allow you to use factory steering wheel controls with any aftermarket stereo (provided it has a remote control). The company is PAC.
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 10:25 AM
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Do you have pics on the 6.5 Install in the doors. I am thinking of doing this mod but don't know where to start.
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 01:01 PM
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Remote : yep, the PAC remote is what I know about to get the Steering Wheel controls to work with any head unit. If the stock head unit hadn't of worked, I was gonna go that route.

Only issue I see is mounting the IR part of the PAC remote so that it doesn't get blocked by my arm or the shifter.

Peter : haven't heard the IB4s

Jaymz : I used the templates that HACK put in the SS Forum Tech Tips section a long time ago. They work as advertised.
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-23-2003, 04:11 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by AutocroSSer:
I've pretty much accepted that I'll lose the rear seat controls though once the head unit is swapped....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Get a head unit with a remote control...and give it to the rear seat passenger
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