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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last week I put in an Alpine H/U. My particular model does not have an internal amp, so I used the stock amp by running the preouts to the speaker level outputs of the amp (essentiailly the stock speaker wires on the harness). This also allowed me to continue to use the stock sub. I attempted a lot of tiral and error and will add all that I have learned. Excuse how dirty my car is.

To get to the radio first remove the silver trim panel above the glove box.


Open the glove box.


Pull the panel off from the bottom.


Panel Looks like this. If it doesn't match put it back haha :p



Next pop the top edge of the trim piece below the steering wheel out and then remove the trim panel with the driver control center buttons. It is on the left of the radio trim piece and right of the steering wheel.


You will have to pull on the tab, shown in the picture below, to remove the center trim panel. It is the only real place to get fingers behind and pull. It is possible to pull some on the bottom, but I was never successful. The trim piece resists strongly, but didn't break. It may need to be worked awhile, but it will come off.


Here is how it looks once the trim and radio are removed. Four screws hold the radio in. The wiring harness adaptor ($5 from a local place I have connections) is plugged in for a test look. I removed all the excess wires I didn't need after this.


I removed the Stock Reciever relocation plug (used for recievers that have driver info built in). Can't think of anything else I removed, but don't remove the power antena/remote line of the harness. They are needed to turn on the factory amp (I made this mistake, but luckily kept the wire).

Here is the factory radio removed.



Now its time to play with the wires.



This is normally straightforward, but I'm going to go over it anyway.

Yellow on the adaptor harness goes to the constant power of the h/u harness
Black on the adpator goes to the groud of the h/u harness.
Blue is a power antenae lead or as used in the Pioneer system a turn on for the factory amp. This will attach to the remote line of the h/u harness. If you need to run any other amps connect their remote lead here as well. Use a twist cap, so remote lines can be added that do not run through the harness. It makes removal and install easier.
There is no turn on/ignition lead to turn the h/u on and off with the harness. These new radios use a fancy bus system to turn on. Another member here has mentioned the only way to utilize this with an aftermarket radio is to buy a harness costing over $100. I am bypassing this system for that reason and some would consider it "ghetto", but it works. To turn the radio on and off with the car run a wire from the ignition fuse in the fuse box to the ignition lead in the h/u harness. Use a twist cap here as well.



I tried searching for a switched wire on the inside of the car, but gave up after a half hour or so and hooked it to the fuse. I plan on going back and searching some more. This would give a cleaner install.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The remote wire is run through the firewall behind the clutch pedal. Pull out the gasket/grommet and find a second grommet there. Pok a hole slightly upwards and push the wire through until it can be reached. It may be dificult due to the engine bay being cramped in this area. Just a warning.


Onto the most challenging part of the wiring: sending signal to the factory amp. Four RCA connector ends need to be purchased. They need to be soldered to each positive and negative speaker lead on the adaptor harness. Soldering them to wire and then soldering that wire to the leads is recomended. Plug the preouts into the back of the h/u. This picture should help, if it doesn't let me know and I will try to explain it better (Brown wire is the RCA's).


Essentially this will convert the preout signal to a line level signal, which is how the stock reciever communicated with the factory amp. The Pioneer system is designed to use a common wiring harness and thus both the speaker and the power antena leads are utilized to control it. I am under the impression that the stock reciever is sending a higher voltage to the amp through the speaker leads (12v most likely), but mine is sending a cleaner signal and I am thus able to turn it up louder w/o distortion than the stock setup.

A few suggestions
-Solder and heat shrink all of the harness to harness connections. Soldering provides a stronger signal transfer and higher durablity than any connector.
-Use twist connectors on the remote line out to the amps and ignition lead into the reciever. This will help if you ever have to pull the unit out. No wires will need to be cut.

Here is a shot of all the wires run. I have an extra remote and rca ran for another amp in there too. The black wire on the left comes from the ignition fuse and the blue on the right is the remote line to the non factory amp I plan on installing.


Lastly the h/u needs to be mounted in its adaptor plate and installed. Once again i picked mine up for a deal, $15 at a local place. I had to use the spacer, the cobalt does not have much mounting depth for h/u's. Something to be aware of. Mine turned out fine, but thats it. My cables all got in the way and made it dificult to get it all the way in. But it is there now. Use the original four screws to mount the new plate and assemble all the trim pieces in the oppisate order.

Here are some finished shots.




Using the Alpine deck I have been able to increase the output of both the components and my sub without distortion. I'm certain I could achieve higher SPL numbers than the stock h/u, not neccesarily huge but better. The sub is able to go louder with less distortion.

Now some interesting things I found.

I pulled the factory amp out just to look at it and how it was controlled.
It is located the lower left of the steering wheel behind the drawer with the trunk release button.


I am reaching up for it here


Here are two shots of the bracket. First has the amp still installed and the second the amp is removed.



And the amp on the floor.


It was very difficult to remove. The amp is wedged against the dash and everything else really well and i tore up the surface of the insulation pulling it out. I think it was worth it to take a look, but now you all can see, so don't do it :eek: haha. I will also note that the rear speakers read as 2 ohm. If the amps output is 270W at 4 ohm we are getting double the power claimed publically. 270W always seemed too little to be running all those components especially now that I can turn it up.

Another cool thing I found under the dash was the electronic steering controller and mechanism. Its nice to know where that is. I just think it was a cool find.


Lastly here is my trunk. I will let you guess what is going to happen.


More photos can be found here

Amy comments, corrections, questions, or criticisms are welcome. If I get good feedback I can make this how to easier to read and understand.

Thanks,
Harley
 

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Actually a pretty decent do it yourself "how to". Good job man, I was the one that mentioned that harness. Its only neccessary if it messes with your door chimes and/or dash lights. You havent noticed any of that have you? This is a decent how to and if enough members would like we could sticky it if ya want?!?!
 

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HOLY CRAP ! :eek: I have installed several H/U's in many different vehicles, and I have never seen an install so complicated. The wiring is not that difficult but the way gm crammed everything in is amazing. Just to note so everyone knows I am not a newbie at this. I have installed H/U'S on an 88 impala, 92 cutlass supreme, 96 jeep, 90-94 cavaliers (those werent fun either) 98 t-bird ( easy). As I said that was the most complicated I have ever seen. I would just fork out the $100 and have it proffessionally done. But you did a great job. As for the subs you are going to be putting in are you going to use a bandpass box or a completely sealed box ? I would think bandpass would be the best considering the make of the trunk.

Myself I probably will not go any further in the audio dept. Seems as I get older I don't really care about monstrous bass. The stock stereo sounds great. Crap I am only 25, by the time I am forty I will think everything is too loud :mad:

2005 Arrival Blue Metallic
Cobalt ss/sc
underbody blue neon kit
k&n filter
pre-ordered stage 2 ( i have friends that work in the lordstown plant :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Total cost so far is only $20. That is the harness and the adaptor plate. I had everything else I needed from my last car. One thing I forgot to mention was the antena adaptor. One of those is needed too, but install is straightforward.

The wiring was actually too simple. Having only a positve, negative, remote line, and the speaker out puts isn't normal. Generally there is an illumination or dimmer line as well as the remote turn on lead. Setting up the wiring took some thinking and some guesses on how the system worked.

The door chimes still work and the dash hasn't had any issues yet. I would prefer the other system because it would be a cleaner way to grab the turn on lead, but I saved at least $80 this way. I would love to have a sticky and the pictures shouldn't be going anywhere. They are hosted using my flickr account, which has unlimited storage.

My subs are going to be in a ported custom fiber glass box. I have all the materials, but most likely won't get to the glassing until spring. Its too cold out to do glasswork unluckily.
 

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ok im goin to refer crazy crutchfield to this sticky and make them change that... they said i gotta run completely new speaker wires just so i can bypass the factory amp...

neways i was wonderin if xm will work without anything extra... i got xm right now and im gettin a h/u that will work with xm but do i need any extra things???

thx harley,awesome how-to..(make it a sticky)
 

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So the back doesn't look like there is an auxillary connection. I.E. i can't wire my IPOD directly. That sux if its true. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Abev said:
ok im goin to refer crazy crutchfield to this sticky and make them change that... they said i gotta run completely new speaker wires just so i can bypass the factory amp...

neways i was wonderin if xm will work without anything extra... i got xm right now and im gettin a h/u that will work with xm but do i need any extra things???

thx harley,awesome how-to..(make it a sticky)
I wouldn't call what I did conventional. I don't think crutchfiled would recomend soldering on your own pre out leads.

The XM is built into the radio if I'm not mistaken. I don't have XM myself so I didn't have to worry about it. You would have to investigate how the XM works with the factory system if it wasn't fully integrated. Then think of a way to allow the stock system to work with the aftermarket. If anyone would let me take a look at a car with an XM reciever I would be willing to think about it.

dawhit99, this is an 05 h/u. I believe the 06's have an input on the front, but I am not certain. There are connectors available to accept rca as an input, but again I don't know if these are available for the cobalts systems. Try poking around crutchfield. I know they make one for the camaros.

Canada, I'm keeping the h/u for when i turn the vehicle in. Just like the wing.
 

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Did you do anything to make your steering wheel audio controls work? Ive wanted to put a new HU in my car but I dont know if I wanna give up the wheel controls, I use them a lot!
 

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06CobaltSSSedan said:
Did you do anything to make your steering wheel audio controls work? Ive wanted to put a new HU in my car but I dont know if I wanna give up the wheel controls, I use them a lot!
This can be done easily, with a ~$30 module but you have to have a radio with a remote that you can program it with...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I haven't, but would love to. Cobizzle are those available at Best Buy and do you know of any websites that sell them?
 

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Canada, I'm keeping the h/u for when i turn the vehicle in. Just like the wing.[/QUOTE]

ppriciate it...Just wonderin cause I don't want to replace my H/U just yet..But I wanted a little more power, as well as the amp pre-outs
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
the stock radio doesn't have preouts. It sends a signal through the speaker line to the amp. I just soldered on my own rca's to the speaker wire and the preouts on my aftermarket amps now send the signals to the speaker wire to the amp. Does that make sense?

I don't think you would be able to do that in reverse with a stock h/u, but with the Pioneer you might be able to. Of course you would have to tear into the harness.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I didn't touch the factory harness. I used an adpator readily available from any car audio shop/site. I soldered everything to that and all the signals are transferred through that to the stock wiring and harness. Just take a good look at the wiring pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Local audio shop. I got it for a steal. I can't even get it that cheap anymore. I've seen some on eBay, check Best Buy or Circuit City or any local audio shop. Most seem to be around $15 for the harness another $20+ for the dash adaptor. I offered to modify some like I did, but only one person is interested so far.
 
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