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Radio Swap

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 13 Jun 2008, 10:46 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Default Radio Swap

So here's a dumb question. I have 06 Convert GT, just purchased as dealer holdover (got real nice deal It has 6 disc with no aux for Ipod. I've found single disc on ebay for that year, several in fact, with aux input for around 50bucks. I really don't need anything too fancy, and when I check around, between dash kits, special wiring to sync up the dash readout, etc, adding after market stereo is min 200-250. Here's the rub... I called Chrysler dealers and cust service to check if just swapping out stock radios is that simple. No one would tell me definitively yes or no. "it may work, it may not" I'm trying to figure out if I bought a single disc stock radio for 40-50 bucks, pulled off the bezel, yanked the harnesses out of my 6 disc and connected to the single, would I have liftoff or a 50 dollar paperweight. Thanks, Joe (new to the crew, glad to be here!)
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Old 14 Jun 2008, 04:48 pm
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Nebraska
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Default Re: Radio Swap

Well, I'm doing the exact opposite to what you're doing. I'm taking the single CD out of my 06 4-dr and putting a 6-disk unit in that I bought on eBay. I wanted the MP3 CD compatibility but still keep the AUX port for my XM radio and when I want to use other audio. In order to do that, I bought a P.I.E. AUX converter unit that plugs in where the Sirius hookup is and provides a AUX port for the radio.

I haven't installed everything yet as I am still making sure I have all of the steps to taking the console apart. There's a lot of help out there for pre-06 dashes, but some steps aren't mentioned when people talk about working on their 2006+ dashes.

I tstarted to remove my console last weekend and got as far as removing the hidden screws in the air vents and pulling the console away from the dash by releasing the press fittings. I unplugged the clock and the defroster but didn't manage to get the power windows unplugged before we got some bad weather and I had to put it all back together. Since then I haven't had a chance to work on it as our bad weather has continued this week.
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Old 15 Jun 2008, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Radio Swap

Did you get any confirmation that the radio would work when switched out? Did you receive "unlocked" from a theft code standpoint?? I'd really be curious to hear if you know it will work, and/or when you've installed to prove that it indeed did work... joe
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Old 15 Jun 2008, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: Radio Swap

Well, the bad weather here in eastern Nebraska kept me from doing the install until today.

Step 1: Remove The Negative Cable From The Battery. The air cleaner enclosure must be unlatched and moved to gain access to the terminals on the battery.

Step 2: Remove The Center Console Bezel. There are two screws, one in each A/C vent. Rotate the vent until the vanes are exactly horizontal. You should be able to see a notch in the bottom center inside the vent. If you can't see it, rotate the vent around 180 degrees. The screw is a black standard phillips head and isn't the easiest thing to see in the dark. A flashlight can help. I worked on my car in the bright sunshine and still needed a light to help. The screws are really tight, so use a screwdriver with some grip to get them started. A magnetic screwdriver helps to get them out of the vents. Once the screws are out, then there are 9 press fittings holding the bezel in place. There are two at the top, above the vents, two on the sides even with the vents, two on the sides even with the radio, two on the sides below the heater controls, and one centered at the bottom. I started at the bottom and using a slow steady force pulled the bezel loose, working my way up the bezel to the top. Now only the various cables hold the bezel on. Start at the top. Remove the clock cable by pressing down on the release on the plug on the bottom side and pulling the plug out. Next is the power windows cable. There is a red plastic lock on this plug. The lock is pushed upward (not away!) from the bottom side of the plug to release it. Once unlocked, the release tab on the right side is pressed and the plug can be pulled out. The defroster-hazard cluster cable comes out the same way as the clock cable. At this point, if you are working on the radio, you don't have to remove the heater cables. I didn't remove them so if you need to get the bezel completely out of the way, you will have to figure that part out yourself.

Step 3: Remove The Old Radio. The four torx screws on the corners hold the radio in place. Use a T-15 torx head driver. The radio comes right out. There are three cables on the back: the antenna wire and the two radio harness plugs. The harness plugs each have a press release on the top while the antenna wire just pulls out.

Step 4: Mount The New Radio. If you are putting in an aftermarket radio, you have to install your harness and get power from an unswitched source. Since I put in another Mopar radio, I didn't have to do anything.

Step 5: Install The P.I.E. AUX box. I got the P.I.E. AUX box out of the packaging and plugged it into the wiring harness. That went easy. Then I plugged the cable into the back of the new radio. That didn't. The P.I.E. cables required so much pressure to lock down I was afraid that I would break the connector solder points on the circuit board. To reduce the flexing, I stuck a flathead screwdriver blade into the gap between the connector and the radio case to prevent the insertion pressure from flexing the board. Run the AUX connector and cable down behind the plastic beam at the back of the radio compartment and fold the harness and P.I.E. cables side to side to allow the radio to fit in the space. Attach the antenna cable. Screw the new radio into place. At this point I found that the part of the cable that goes to the P.I.E. AUX box was too short to go out the bottom of the center console like I had planned. Since there is a big molex connector on the end of the cable, cutting a lareg enough acess out the side of the console didn't appeal to me. I looked it over and instead decided to make my cuts in the cubby shelf insert (kudos to the guy that put the Mac Mini in his, it gave me the idea). It is just press-fitted one on each side - with the console open you just push the insert towards you and it pops out. Then comes the surgery. The plastic is very soft and cuts easily. I started with a hobby knife and sawed a rough oblong which I slowly widened using a whittling motion. I did make a mistake since I cut the hole in the top of the insert, and only then realized that I couldn't get my hand in there to plug in the connector. So I continued the hole down around the corner of the insert to the back. That gave me the room I needed to plug in the unit. If I hadn't already installed the harness I might have been able to get by with the top hole only but I didnt' think of that until later. I mounted the P.I.E. unit to the inside of the insert using some self-tapping PC fan screws I had lying around. They cut through the plastic of the insert and into the holes on the side of the unit.

Then I simply pushed the insert back into place, reconnected all of the cables on the bezel, snapped the bezel back on, and hooked the battery back up. I added the RCA to mini-din cable, hooked up my XM radio stowed the excess line in the cubby.

Everything works great. There were no issues with anti-theft codes and the new radio works and sounds better than the single unit ever did. The EVIC still works great, and the RDS shows radio station call letters and the names of the songs. MP3 CDs play without a hitch.

Now, for the P.I.E. unit. There is a screw adjustment to level the signal from the device to the radio. To use the unit, you select satellite radio. It shows satellite for a moment and then shows the P.I.E. name. The sound through the unit has a bit of background hiss, which can be reduced (but didn't seem to go completely away) by turning down the adjustment level. I'll have to play with it some more before I pass judgement on if the unit was worth the cost and effort.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 16 Jun 2008, 07:33 am
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Default Re: Radio Swap

http://www.discountcarstereo.com/pdf/chry04pc-pod2.pdf

this is the pie unit I was looking at to retain my 6 disc radio and get control/direct connect for my ipod. does it look familiar, do the same thing? thanks for the detailed instructions. you made me believe its worth the 40-50 bucks to have best buy take on the risk/responsibility of taking it apart and putting it all back together...joe
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 16 Jun 2008, 11:12 pm
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 33
Default Re: Radio Swap

My P.I.E. unit is the CHRY04-AUXS. Mine has only the dual RCA jacks for hooking up any audio out (usually after adding a mini-din adapter cable). I can't use the radio buttons to control devices attached via the AUX port. Since I have an XM RoadyXT, a Creative Nomad Jukebox3, a Dell DJ-30 or a Sandisk C250 that I can attach to the port, that functionality isn't missed. If I owned an Ipod, I'd be looking at the same model you're eyeing.

If you do take your PT to a stereo installer, make sure they know about the screws in the vents. I've heard of more than one case of damaged bezels when the guy tried more leverage because no screws were visible so he assumed it was all just press fitted.



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