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Aftermarket Radio Installation


lancemb
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Be sure to checkout  the post by Padgett on page 2.  It is a good solution for installing an aftermarket radio Click here.

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The Reatta I am getting does not have the optional CD, which I think is great because this should just make it easier to upgrade the stereo.  This is the only modification I plan to make, BTW.

 

Question is, is there any reason why a replacement stereo will not work in this car?  Crutchfield.com showed nothing will fit it.  However, when I typed in for Riviera there were some fits.  Shouldn't these be exactly the same, dash-wise?

 

Has anybody else had issues with replacing the factory head unit, and how were they overcome?

 

Thanks

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 In my opinion both cassettes and CD's are outdated, playing through an MP3 or your phone is the future. You could send in your stereo to one of the repair shops and get a remote jack installed. This would keep the factory look and would cost about the same as buying an aftermarket unit.

 If you find you need more base then install a sub woofer. I installed a Kicker powered woofer as it was a self contained unit, easy to install and allows me to move it from car to car as I switch from one Reatta to another as each Reatta has the kicker harness installed.

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Thanks for the tips!  This won't be a daily driver so I'm not worried about getting too deluxe with the stereo.  

 

I do like the MP3 jack idea, but I really want a new stereo so I can have blue tooth for using my phone hands free.  This can also enable MP3 on some models.

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14 minutes ago, lancemb said:

Thanks for the tips!  This won't be a daily driver so I'm not worried about getting too deluxe with the stereo.  

 

I do like the MP3 jack idea, but I really want a new stereo so I can have blue tooth for using my phone hands free.  This can also enable MP3 on some models.

you can get add on bluetooth modules that will feed into aux input.i have one for my home stereo so i assume they are available for cars too.

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There was no CD player option in 88-89. Only 90 and 91. What year car do you have? If 90 and 91 and single din with GM kit will work fine. You will need the GM antenna adapter and if you want the wiring kit that will plug into the GM harness. If you have 88 or 89 its a custom ordeal. On my 88 I am using the stock radio with the amplifier gutted preamp out to small Sony amp. I have a FM modulator the plugs into the antenna connection to play my mp3 player thru a FM station.  

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I believe the opening is a 1.5 Din, common to GM and Chrysler products of the era, and that is what I installed 20 years ago. There has never been a great selection of aftermarket Din and a half units and no idea what may be available today. Good luck

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Wow that bluetooth FM transmitter gadget is interesting!

 

Yes I am buying a 90 and it is 1.5 din.  1 din radio will fit no problem with a kit too.

 

As far as I know radio works, it's just that it's tape player only.  I just thought it would be cleaner and neater to have a good head unit with more functionality.

 

As far as I expected, should be a quick and easy install with the right kit and wiring harness.  That is why I was so perplexed by Crutchfield saying nothing would work.

 

However, I'm now convinced that is BS.

 

That gadget on Amazon may be worth trying though, for $25...

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Here is the one I bought. Right now I just have it setup in the trunk and it plays thru the usb which works better than the headphone out on my mp3 player.

I can't change tracks using the usb but I don't care. I wanted a wired connection for best sound performance. I do not have a Ipod and have no bluetooth devices so this was best for my setup.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NWW5KY4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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2 hours ago, Dashmaster said:

Here is the one I bought. Right now I just have it setup in the trunk and it plays thru the usb which works better than the headphone out on my mp3 player.

I can't change tracks using the usb but I don't care. I wanted a wired connection for best sound performance. I do not have a Ipod and have no bluetooth devices so this was best for my setup.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NWW5KY4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The description confuses me.  Is this FM modulator and cable all in one or just cable, still needing FM modulator?

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Thanks for further input!  I am right now stopped for lunch on way home with car.  It's the real deal!

 

All of the speakers are garbage though so that's the first order of business. 

 

Are there any clearance issues with magnet or depth I need to worry about or will pretty much any fit?  

 

What size are they?   6x9 back and 4x6 door?

 

After I get speakers taken care of I'll decide on radio but leaning toward just some sort of 20170107_122100.jpgFM modulator option.

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AFAIR the door speakers are 5.25". I would only replace with mylar cones, not paper. That looks like a really nice 90 'vert.

 

Are lucky if do not have the CD, have been looking for a non-cd box & cover off and on for some time.

 

ps if the cassette works there is an inexpensive solution that works very well form me, have over 500 albums (64GB SD) on my cell phone and sounds better than satellite.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, padgett said:

AFAIR the door speakers are 5.25". I would only replace with mylar cones, not paper. That looks like a really nice 90 'vert.

 

Are lucky if do not have the CD, have been looking for a non-cd box & cover off and on for some time.

 

ps if the cassette works there is an inexpensive solution that works very well form me, have over 500 albums (64GB SD) on my cell phone and sounds better than satellite.

Indeed that is a very inexpensive solution!  I had one of these back in the day for a portable CD player.  Looks pretty wonky but I like the simplicity...

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Another approach to an aux input is to use the stock stereo and make a small cable to use its CD player interface.  It requires finding a GM 4-pin speaker plug for the back of the stereo, and filing off the ridge so it will plug into the low level CD audio inputs.  Then add a pin to illumination plug and, when desired, switch +12v on it to get the stereo to listen to the aux input.  If you are interested, I can post more detail.

 

Beautiful looking 'vert!

Edited by wws944 (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, lancemb said:

Thanks for further input!  I am right now stopped for lunch on way home with car.  It's the real deal!

 

All of the speakers are garbage though so that's the first order of business. 

 

Are there any clearance issues with magnet or depth I need to worry about or will pretty much any fit?  

 

What size are they?   6x9 back and 4x6 door?

 

After I get speakers taken care of I'll decide on radio but leaning toward just some sort of 20170107_122100.jpgFM modulator option.

Nice car! I thought at first you went to the Widow Schneider's and grabbed my car but I have a rear spoiler and the Buick 7 spoke chrome wheels.

 Need more pics!

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, DAVES89 said:

Nice car! I thought at first you went to the Widow Schneider's and grabbed my car but I have a rear spoiler and the Buick 7 spoke chrome wheels.

 Need more pics!

Thanks!  Just got home and dark now.  I'll post more pics soon on a separate thread and introduce it.

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  • 1 month later...

After I had many problem , I decided change my car system with Touch Screen Car StereoIt is the safest and easiest way by far to operate the car audio, built-in phone and the other entertainment in your vehicle. You can use the built-in phone, change a CD or even play a movie with a gentle touch of your fingertip. I am using Kenwood 7 '' . This is larger than most of the units . It also acts as an am/fm Bluetooth receiver and it can receive CD’s and DVD’s too. One thing we really liked about this unit was the fact it came with a backup camera that automatically turned on and displayed when you put your vehicle in reverse. That was a very nice touch. Another very good feature is the display off button. If you hold the mute button down it will turn off the lights on the display yet leave everything working.

 

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Agree, the opening on a 90-91 is what is called GM "din and a half", it is not tall enough for a double din. I used a single din Clarion (could match black with greenish display) and a Metra adapter. 

 

The only way I could see to mount a double DIN without excessive force would be in the CD space but would require quite a change in focus from the road to see.

 

Personally I use external displays and just need a way to connect (aux jack or Bluetooth) though button to answer phone is handy, amp, and speakers. The intelligence I carry with me & fits all cars.

 

Tow car is getting a bit silly though.

 

ps have now eliminated almost all (8" tab still uses clamp) clamp mounts in favor of magnetic mounts. Stopped incidents where the device popped out of the clamp on a strong shift.

 

 

 

indash.jpg

fulldashsm.jpg

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...
On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 3:14 PM, wws944 said:

Rear speakers in the 'vert are full range (whizzer cone) 4x10".  Front woofers are 5-1/4".  Seperate tweeters.

By separate tweeters, do you mean there are actually 6 speakers?  I want to replace all speakers...what size tweeters will I need?  I assume they are in the door?

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On 1/6/2017 at 5:04 PM, lancemb said:

Thanks for the tips!  This won't be a daily driver so I'm not worried about getting too deluxe with the stereo.  

 

I do like the MP3 jack idea, but I really want a new stereo so I can have blue tooth for using my phone hands free.  This can also enable MP3 on some models.

Here is another suggestion that keeps that factory stereo AND adds full Bluetooth convenience.  I installed the iSimple ISFM2351 Integrated Bluetooth Media kit.  This kit connects into the radio via the antenna connection.  When activated, it actually disconnects the power antenna from the radio and pipes in whatever is coming across from the Bluetooth connection. Sound quality is EXCELLENT!  No hiss, no static, just great sound.  The nice thing about this is that it also gives you full hands free cell phone connectivity.  I ran the microphone wire under the dash and up behind the front pillar trim which put it at a perfect location to pick up my voice.  The system also includes a small multifunction button which allows you to answer and hang up the phone.  The bottom also functions to activate Siri functionality (I think it works for the Android equivalent as well).  I installed this unit in my Reatta and my C5 over 3 years with NO issues.  Apple keeps messing with their BT stack and as a result, the auto connect feature of the ISFM2351 (i.e. connection upon detection of paired device) runs from spot on to needing me to force the issue from within my iPhone settings.  The current version of iOS falls in to the middle ground where it typically WILL autoconnect, but may take a  few minutes to do so.  You can set the radio frequency of the unit to ANYTHING you want, so I have mine set to a local station even though I typically prefer streaming from an internet station or listening to my library. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/iSimple-Hands-Free-Calling-Streaming-Smartphones/dp/B00FRU5UNA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490188468&sr=8-1&keywords=iSimple+ISFM2351

 

I forgot to mention that you will need an adapter to go between the standard motorola type antenna connector and the "mini" version that GM uses.  I got mine at Best Buy, but you can find them online cheaper.  

 

FYI, you likely will find that the speakers in your Reatta are shot.  I replaced all of mine with Alpine units that fit perfectly.  I used the Alpine SPS-610 6.5” for the two rear speakers (88/89 BUT I believe that in 90 GM went to 4X6 speakers in the rear) and Alpine SPS-510 5.25” for the front.  I did disconnect the tweeters in the front Alpine units as the GM OEM tweeters are actually quite good and even after all these years, tend to still be rock solid. I ordered these from Crutchfield.  If you go this path, be sure to remove the thick cardboard ring from the perimeter of the old speaker and reattach it to the new one to ensure that the speaker cone is protected. 

 

If your power antenna is out, Barney Eaton, here on the forum, does a bang-up great rebuild that replaces the failure prone plastic cord with a coated steel one.  I highly recommend!

Edited by drtidmore (see edit history)
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  • Ronnie changed the title to Aftermarket Radio Installation
  • Ronnie featured this topic
  • 3 years later...

It has been a number of years since this topic was active, and I am in the situation of either needing to have the radio in our 1990 Reatta repaired (snap, crackle and pop from both left and right channels, front and back).  I am torn between three options and would like some opinions.

 

Send to MRN for repair.  Will still have the same mediocre sound.  I will probably have this done anyway to keep the car original if I ever decide to sell.  Best to fix now, things are becoming more rare as time goes on.

 

RetroSound New York - They say it will work for the Riviera but not the Reatta.  I have read here the Riviera/Reatta radios are interchangable, but not certain if the bracketry and mounting is the same.  Any thoughts on this?

https://www.retromanufacturing.com/products/1990-95-buick-riviera-new-york-1-5-din-direct-fit-radio?rq=yr_1990~mk_buick~md_riviera&variant=37318650626204

 

Modern Touch Screen single DIN like the Jensen CAR910X https://www.crutchfield.com/p_110CAR910X/Jensen-CAR910X-does-not-play-discs.html?tp=72381

Has anyone used this kit?  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00029X1MI/#

 

Thanks in advance for any advice and counsel!

 

Steve

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Posted (edited)

I installed a Kicker PT250 powered subwoofers in all my Reattas [Actually have two PT250s and a harness in each of my 3 Reattas. Simple plug to swap sub woofer from car to car] with Infinity speakers. Big improvement on sound. I kept the factory tweeters in place. The sub woofer is wired to the rear speakers only. Factory stereo. I think it has great sound. 

 Marketplace has one [used] for sale. $70.00 or best offer with harness.

Edited by DAVES89 (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, DAVES89 said:

I installed a Kicker PT250 powered subwoofers in all my Reattas [Actually have two PT250s and a harness in each of my 3 Reattas. Simple plug to swap sub woofer from car to car] with Infinity speakers. Big improvement on sound. I kept the factory tweeters in place. The sub woofer is wired to the rear speakers only. Factory stereo. I think it has great sound. 

Are you still running with the factory head unit?

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Still using factory stereo, however I will be switching to a Buick factory stereo from the Buick LeSabre/Park Avenue/ Roadmaster.  Same stereo but different looking face plate as I like how those controls are set up better. This has been discussed before, for some reason it is called the "sidewinder". 

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Hi Guys, 

Thanks for all the suggestions; I think i tripped onto another.

In Home Depot, they have a magnet section by the screws and nuts. i saw a Latch Magnet kit for cabinets and tried it.  you fasten a 5/8 diameter magnet with the furnished 

small screw inside of the fabric flap so the magnet hits the metal pieces. the little screw sticks out a bit on the flap side that shows; i covered it with a 4-40 thread cap-nut. 

 

the magnets are 16 pound pull and the whole thing works great

 

Murray

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