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Trouble in understanding installation of after market radio

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  • 2 Post By VsandFords
  • 3 Post By Handy_Cruiser
  • 2 Post By ShakeMyShifter99
  • 1 Post By ptprice

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 26 Dec 2017, 11:50 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2017
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Default Trouble in understanding installation of after market radio

I recently pulled out factory stereo and installed a new fancy radio with all the bells and whistles. I foolishly cut the car harness off because I figured I couldn't get a proper harness to fit new radio. Now I am thoroughly confused of the color codes of car wiring vs new radio harness. I hooked up the power ok and all front speakers work meaning doors and dash work but the rear speakers nothing. The speaker wiring to the car is so confusing because of the color codes but I followed the schematic of what I could find online and the wiring schematic on the new radio. So, the problem is I still have 2 remaining wires in the car of which I have no clue what they go to and 2 wires one for the optional bluetooth and the orange wire for antenna. Plus recently after hooking the radio up I had all of in dash lights come on that normally come on when starting the car but they were coming on after car was running around Plus the tach and speedometer was acting up. I had some previous issues with the rpm being a bit low for idle speed. Its normally around 900 but now it wavers to 600 rpm. I was concerned if I effected any kind of module such as the Idle control valve module. How can the wiring of the radio effect the overall idle of a car?
Currently speedometer and tach work fine now after reset with ignition.
I am planning to take it in to have my mechanic look at everything. Overall, the lights work turn signals work. I read that by turning on/off the ignition a few times the computers can reset so I tried that and dash lights stopped lighting up but I still have the idle problem wavering a bit. I still have no rear speakers working and before I tried this insane idea everything worked fine.
I have a bad feeling I made things worse over a $100 radio and probably caused $300 worth of damage elsewhere unless the car was about to do this anyhow without installing a radio. I have a 2005 PT cruiser. A nice car overall so far with only 119,000 on it. I think perhaps the sparkplugs need changing I am assuming they may have not been changed since it was built. It could explain the idle issue. Yet, still the rear speakers do not work and they did before I attempted fiddling with the new radio. I should have got a harness connector to fit and none of this would have happened. Any suggestions? Sorry for the book on this but I know I can be a bit verbose in explaining things.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 16 Feb 2018, 02:17 am
KalebSikora's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 75
Default Re: Trouble in understanding installation of after market radio

When installing new audio components to your vehicle you should always disconnect the negative terminal battery to prevent shorts. I don't know how messing with the wires in your radio harness would have affected your dash cluster, but I suppose it is possible. Go ahead and take it to a mechanic to be safe.

As for the color codes, this too confused the hell out of me when I installed my radio. Do you still have the original harness piece that actually plugged into the factory radio? You could try matching up the colors, splice them and crimp them back together.

Then you could buy a radio harness adapter for an aftermarket radio. Some of the wires that are there aren't necessary for an aftermarket radio. The ignition wire is red, and is actually wired to the outlet above your cup holders. You'll want to t-tap into that and run it up to your harness and crimp that together with the red wire of the harness you'll buy. I'd say this is probably the most confusing part about installing the radio. The adapter is this I believe.

I have a 2008 cruiser so some of the steps I had to go through may be different.
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Old 16 Feb 2018, 10:25 am
VsandFords's Avatar
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Default Re: Trouble in understanding installation of after market radio

Welcome to the forum from East Texas.

Please go to the new members section and introduce yourself.

If it were me, I would reattach the factory plug and buy the $10 adapter to connect the stereo. This should eliminate your problems. Well, maybe not the idle, that could be unrelated.

When I installed my Pioneer, I bought it and the adapter plug/harness at the same time. Then got the wiring diagram for my Cruiser and had a no problem install.
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Old 16 Feb 2018, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Trouble in understanding installation of after market radio


I agree with VSandFords, never cut the factory harness. The exception is the PCI bus wire (purple with white stripe) if installing a different factory radio with nav or when adding a aux input to a factory stereo. For an aftermarket stereo, you should not need to cut anything.

The adapters for the factory plug and antenna are some of the most common types. They fit almost all Mopars (Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, etc.) from 2002 thru 2005. Together they are under $10 on Amazon and only slightly more at Best Buy. Just get the plug adapter and then splice to the little plug harness that came with the aftermarket stereo. I usually do this inside at my desk when a soldering iron. Then when I go to the car, it's all plug and play.

The exception to this is if you have a factory amp. These are rare in PT Cruisers, but some do have them. You should be able to download the build sheet on your PT if you don't know if you have one or not.
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Old 27 Feb 2018, 01:12 am
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 34
Thumbs up Re: Trouble in understanding installation of after market radio

I know it's a little late now but it's almost ALWAYS well worth getting the appropriate harness adapter. There are tons of tutorials out there but, in short, you'd just have to buy the radio and adapter, crimp/solder and heat shrink the harness together and just clip 'er in. I replaced my head unit with one with just about every option out there and I was able to have it up and running in 20-25 minutes. I'm no car audio wizard either, just did my research. I troll these forums a LOT and have notes on most things related to car audio so don't hesitate to shoot me a message should you have any future questions.
Have a great day!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 27 Feb 2018, 07:00 am
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Default Re: Trouble in understanding installation of after market radio

Originally Posted by fenghuangxin View Post
I foolishly cut the car harness off because I figured I couldn't get a proper harness to fit new radio.
Welcome to the Forum.
As already suggested, cutting the original harness off wasn't necessary. Your best solution is to reconnect and sheath all wires of your original harness and install the proper harness adapter for your new radio.
Happy PTin', ptprice
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Last edited by ptprice; 27 Feb 2018 at 09:47 am.
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