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Handy's Stereo Upgrade Plans for His PT Vert!

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Old 06 Nov 2019, 09:00 am
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Smile Handy's Stereo Upgrade Plans for His PT Vert!

Okay. I've got some tentative plans to upgrade the stereo in my little PT Cruiser Vert.

The setup I have now is the OEM stereo out of my 2006 Charger Daytona. It has a dedicated Bluetooth adapter. Normally when me and my sweetie go for a joy ride, we listen to Pandora through my phone over Bluetooth.

The goal of this upgrade is to add SiriusXM and to add RDS for both Pandora and SiriusXM so the names of the songs, artist and album art are shown on the screen. I'm not going to worry about an amp and speakers at this time. That will come later and will likely just be some low end marine-grade boat stuff to handle the elements since this car is mostly for "top-down" only driving.

My current plan is to obtain a SiriusXM receiver that has a Lifetime subscription already on it like I had in my 2005 PT GT that I currently have in my Dodge Quadcab truck. I also have one from my daughter's car.

The issue is that these Lifetime subscriptions are mainly on the "older" hardware, both OEM and aftermarket. So to get both the features we want and to get the lifetime subscription, there's only a narrow window of time that available and reasonably priced hardware has both. This time period is about 2005 to 2010.

I have found a used stereo with most features I want for around $200. This has the RDS features for both SiriusXM and Pandora. And most importantly, it has the earlier style bus for the older SiriusXM receiver. This stereo was about $800 when new. I'm not sure if I will get album art on SiriusXM with this stereo head. But I will get RDS and will likely get album art on Pandora.

Next, I will need an adapter. This will adapt the old proprietary Pioneer bus to the 8-pin DIN plug found on older SiriusXM receivers. Price for a used one is about $30. They are fairly common and easy to find.

And lastly, I will need a SiriusXM receiver with a Lifetime subscription already on it. These run about $20 with no subscription. For one with an existing lifetime subscription, the price is between $150 and $200 from a trusted seller. It should be noted that many of these "lifetime" subscription are not real subscriptions. In many cases, they are simply older receivers that were fully activated then never deactivated by SiriusXM. Everyone has their theories on how this happens. But I've found nothing definitive. One guy I know finds salvage receivers that are still active. He then puts them in a closet for a year. If they work after a year, he then sells them. This only seems to hold true on the older-style receivers.

Of course, I will need a double DIN stereo bezel which I already have. And I will likely replace the Chrysler clock with an Auto Meter clock that matches my boost gauge. I already have this as well.

I welcome your comments and advice. Please note what my goal is on this. The goal of this upgrade is to add SiriusXM and to add RDS for both Pandora and SiriusXM so the names of the songs, artist and album art are shown on the screen. I'm not going to worry about an amp and speakers at this time.
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File Type: jpg VertStereo_1.jpg (60.0 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg VertStereo_2.jpg (86.7 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg VertStereo_3.jpg (57.3 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg VertStereo_4.jpg (96.4 KB, 49 views)

Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 06 Nov 2019 at 12:02 pm.
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Old 09 Nov 2019, 10:25 am
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Default Re: Handy's Stereo Upgrade Plans for His PT Vert!


I have to do some upgrade myself. I love the stock system as no one will ever touch it, and it just looks right. I really want Bluetooth. And I hate how aftermarket looks in the stock dash.

And the simplicity of the stock system is nice.

I was thinking about a using a Pioneer deck, using the display that seem it would fit in the same space as the VFD in the radio, and just electrically mapping the buttons from the OEM radio to the aftermarket pioneer one.

That way, I get past all the fitment issues, and everything looks stock from the front end.
Handy_Cruiser likes this.
2001 PT cruiser.
49,000 miles
Custom Dealer installed aftermarket sunroof
worst car I have ever owned from a reliability standpoint.
Canadian spec car imported to the states.
Wish I could just rewire everything and use a Minivans ROCK SOLID electrical system in this car.
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