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Old 04-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #1
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Default New stereo receiver installed

There have been a few topics lately about upgrading the stock radio in Class B Vans. New stereo decks have feature like USB input, auxiliary source input and iPod connectivity. Those posts got my interest so I looked into it. The cost of a new stereo isn't too bad. I saw a Pioneer unit with aux input and USB for $79. When I went to the store yesterday it wasn't in stock so a bought the $99 unit so that I could install it today and not have to wait to order it.



Nice remote control included.



The size of the old radio in my 1997 GMC Savana is 1.5 DIN. New radios are mostly 1 DIN or 2 Din in size so I need a dash kit to fill the empty space because the stereo I bought is 1 DIN in size. Walmart sells the dash kit for 1/2 of what the stereo store does so I went to Walmart.







I also needed a wire harness to plug into the van wiring. I got that at Walmart and again it was half of the stereo shop price - same brand parts too. The kit comes with an antenna plug adapter which was also needed.





So roughly $150 taxes in. Not too bad
Attached Images
File Type: jpg new radio.JPG (233.8 KB, 1752 views)
File Type: jpg new radio remote.JPG (232.8 KB, 1750 views)
File Type: jpg dash kit.JPG (275.6 KB, 1751 views)
File Type: jpg dash kit main.JPG (232.9 KB, 1749 views)
File Type: jpg dash kit parts.JPG (266.9 KB, 1749 views)
File Type: jpg wiring kit.JPG (329.8 KB, 1749 views)
File Type: jpg wire kit plug.JPG (287.1 KB, 1750 views)
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

I assembled everything in the comfort of my kitchen. It's cold and windy outside today.
I did not need the snap off bits and pieces that were included in the kit. I used the main frame and the two side rails.

I removed the mounting sleeve from the new radio and slid it into the frame from the dash kit. I bent the tabs to hold the sleeve in place.





Then I slid the new radio into the sleeve. It was surprisingly secure but I still went ahead and screwed the frame to the radio using the screw holes meant for that on the radio body.



The screws included with the new radio were too short because of the thick plastic dash kit so I used longer screws after cutting them to the right length.



Then I joined the two wiring harnesses wires together. The wires were all correctly color coded and the instructions included with the stereo and the wiring kit were very easily understood. I used butt connectors and then wrapped it up in tape. You could solder the wires but the stereo shop uses butt connectors so I did the same.





My van is a 1997 but the radio has a date of 1992 on it. The van was originally ordered without a radio.



Attached Images
File Type: jpg bend mounting sleeve tabs.JPG (246.9 KB, 1738 views)
File Type: jpg cut new screw.JPG (97.2 KB, 1738 views)
File Type: jpg mounting sleeve installed in dash kit.JPG (181.6 KB, 1738 views)
File Type: jpg new radio upper.JPG (199.2 KB, 1738 views)
File Type: jpg old on left new on right.JPG (137.8 KB, 1740 views)
File Type: jpg stereo in dash kit.JPG (227.6 KB, 1738 views)
File Type: jpg joined wires.JPG (230.0 KB, 1738 views)
File Type: jpg wiring taped up.JPG (159.0 KB, 1738 views)
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

The dash trim popped off easily. I removed the small piece of trim under the steering wheel first.





I was able to remove the old radio and install the new one without have to completely remove the dash trim. The dash trim bent forward enough to slip the old radio out and the new one in.





It is a nice improvement with better sound and more features.



When my van is plugged into grid power and being powered by the converter/charger I can combine the house and engine battery banks via a manual battery selector switch and use this new stereo when we are camping. That's when the remote control include with the new radio will be very handy to have. I can also do this when off-grid but getting charged by the solar panels on the van roof. the new inverter shows the battery voltage so I just have to monitor that when on solar power.

I place a sign on my steering wheel whenever I place the manually battery switch in the "Both" position. I'd only ever start the van with the switch in the "Both" position in an emergency.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg dash trim pops off.JPG (229.9 KB, 1741 views)
File Type: jpg new radio installed.JPG (256.9 KB, 1740 views)
File Type: jpg new stereo works great.JPG (248.6 KB, 1740 views)
File Type: jpg old radio out.JPG (244.6 KB, 1739 views)
File Type: jpg under steering wheel.JPG (255.8 KB, 1741 views)
File Type: jpg both on reminder.JPG (235.4 KB, 1741 views)
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

nice write up...right now i have an aftermarket tape deck+ a whole bunch of tapes dating all the way back to '70.black sabbath sure does sound alot more interesting in my "vintage" van.i sit there,and its like im in another time.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

I unloaded a couple of tapes from my van today



I probably can replace them on iTunes.........

The new Pioneer deck sounds good. Played James Blunt mp3's off a USB stick just now. I can fill my van and my garage with sound

Attached Images
File Type: jpg tapes.JPG (188.9 KB, 1707 views)
File Type: jpg 086.JPG (145.5 KB, 1707 views)
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

Nice install, and placement of the ScanGauge and a back up camera? Where did that come from?
Nice taste in music, too. Aerosmith and G&R are 2 of my more common choices.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

Thanks Mike. The back up camera was in the van when I bought it.
The switch to the left of the ScanGauge and above the back up display turns the camera on or off. That way it can be on even when you are moving forward.
It's handy to take a look at bikes on a rack back there once and a while.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

That's how I'd do it. I almost bought one, but we were considering our future RV options going
forward and didn't want to spend the money at that point. After we get a better idea of what
we're going to do, we may revisit the idea of a rear facing wireless cam on whatever we're
traveling in.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: New stereo receiver installed

Was at my cousin's place last weekend, and we were comparing truck stuff. Our standard equipment
and options are pretty similar with two exceptions. He hauls a travel trailer with his F150 with the
6 cylinder Ecoboost engine, and has been pretty successful so far. One little toy he showed me was
a backup camera, located in the tailgate just below the blue oval. Very cool, and very useful when
backing up to the trailer hitch.
I one upped him with my tailgate step. He was impressed. No scuffed knees and shins to climb up
into the truck bed.
If/when we switch to a trailer, I plan on adding a wireless portable camera, if they exist, so I can
use it to target the hitch as well as to back up the trailer in inclement weather, without a spotter.
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