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Getting newer Pontiac CD Radio to fit? by 86.4SPD.GT
Started on: 03-20-2018 09:19 PM
Replies: 12 (474 views)
Last post by: 86.4SPD.GT on 03-25-2018 09:04 PM
86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-20-2018 09:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, I am a new member here, but I am not exactly new to car forums. I realize that there may be 20 threads here somewhere(?) that already explain this, but after searching for quite some time I can't seem to find the answer to my question:
What has to be done to get one of the 'newer' Pontiac CD radios to actually fit?
I have one of the models like what Fiero Tom sells (with the 7 band EQ), but it doesn't have the audio input jack and I didn't buy it from him. I am using the same adapters for the antenna and radio wiring.
When everything is installed and I try to slide the radio in, it won't go completely in flush. I'm sure that it is probably because of the little triangle bracket in the back (which is riveted in, and seems impossible to remove unless I cut it out?). I've seen two videos on YouTube. One with the radio hanging out like mine is and the other is just a same style(stock Fiero) radio swap where the guy says just to PUSH on the bracket. I don't see that as my answer since bending the bracket will smash it right into wiring behind the radio in the dash. I don't want to do that.
I know there are several Fieros now with one of these radios installed. What is the secret to getting one of these radios to fit correctly?

Or even if someone could link me to the correct thread and I will read it to find my answer.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can help!
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fierofool
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Report this Post03-20-2018 09:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Do you have the small cone-shaped piece on the back of the radio? If you do and it doesn't line up with the support hole in the metal bracket, remove the cone. Be sure all your wiring is out from between the radio and the bracket. Sometimes because of the additional adapter wiring, you have to just give a hard push on each edge of the radio to get it seated. You may even have to reach around back of the radio surround and arrange wiring while you insert the radio. I've done probably a half dozen conversions and none of them would initially go all the way in. They needed a little pressure to get the mounting bracket to seat against the skeleton.
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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-20-2018 09:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I do still have the black 'nipple' on the back of the radio. I will try removing that and strategically situate the wiring to give it another try tomorrow after work. I was wondering if that triangle bracket HAD to be removed, but it seems by your description that I should be fine leaving it in there.
I figured I would ask before I got too invasive with a cutting device!
I don't really like removing things if it isn't necessary.

Thank you for the reply!
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Patrick
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Report this Post03-21-2018 12:14 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 86.4SPD.GT:

I realize that there may be 20 threads here somewhere(?) that already explain this, but after searching for quite some time I can't seem to find the answer to my question


Here's 46 threads you can look over.

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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-21-2018 04:21 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Patrick!
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larafan
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Report this Post03-21-2018 07:26 AM Click Here to See the Profile for larafanClick Here to Email larafanSend a Private Message to larafanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I found that the real issue is the alignment of the rear support lug with the hole in the bracket that it goes into at the back. I had my console skeleton out during my engine swap and with it where I could see all of it realized I needed to slot the hole a bit for it to go in straight. I also ground down the rubber flange of the lug to make it a straight pin and give a little more clearance. Then the radio went in with very little pressure and was square in the opening as well. You also can not have any wiring behind the radio. The plugs need to come in directly from the back and not across the bracket. This will avoid pressure on the mounting holes in the skeleton making them crack later. The rear support is there to keep the weight of the radio from making it bounce and also cracking the front mounting holes. It is tight plugging everything in this way so be careful. With everything square it fits well and is a great upgrade.
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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-21-2018 07:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks larafan for your in dept description. It did give me hope to try again!
I went down to work on it for a little bit tonight, but I still am not going to be able to get mine to fit quite yet.
My 86 GT has a larger 12 pin connector (I believe it was 12 pin anyway) mounted in the middle of the plastic ducting behind the radio. The top/back portion of the radio sticks out like a step and is hitting that plug way before the black nipple ever comes into contact with the triangle bracket. That plug is securely mounted to the ducting somehow and isn't able to be just slid out of the way. I'll have to spend some more time later seeing if I can somehow move that plug, but it sure seems to be securely mounted somehow to the ducting(?). It's too damn cold right now in NW Pennsylvania to be messing around 'comfortably' trying to shoehorn this radio to fit.
I have read a few posts where people say "I had it installed in 15 minutes" or "It went right in" so I'm guessing there is something different about my car than anyone else has experienced yet and wrote about it on here.
My car has air conditioning, so maybe that is why I'm having trouble(?). Maybe all Fieros had a/c(?), I don't know.
I do know what I'm running into would be something that someone would have remembered when installing one of these radios and I would think it would have been mentioned somewhere.
I read all 46 threads that Patrick posted for me, and all of those threads were no help except for one. In that thread, someone mentioned that the triangle bracket HAD to be removed first thing with a larger flat head screwdriver before the radio would even fit. Then something else had to be done. I'm going to have to go back through and try to find that thread again and see what else I may have to do. I really didn't want to pop that bracket out if I didn't have to. My car is a fairly unmolested 1986 GT with 65K miles.
I believe some people were lucky enough to not have to remove that bracket. I don't think that is the case for me in this situation.

I purchased some Kenwood KFC-415C dash speakers that were said to "go right in" which they did for the most part other than the one corner of the factory dash/speaker cover sticking up ever so slightly. I'm may pop the cover off/speaker out and try to shave some of the lip sticking up off the speaker face and reinstall. If not, I can live with it.
I purchased the speaker baffles that a few others have claimed to use, but again that seemed to be a disappointment. The driver's side speaker hole has no room for the baffle to even come close to fitting without cutting it down to almost nothing which defeats the purpose of even having a baffle in there. I didn't cut it up or even try to install it. Maybe I'll try that again later when the weather gets a little more comfortable. The passenger side seemed to fit fairly well though.

I don't want to seem ungrateful, thanks to those who tried to help me thus far. I will admit that I was just trying to take the easy route by asking here since it seemed like this was such a popular radio swap. I posted this novel so maybe someone else might see what may happen instead of it being a "fifteen minute" job. I will add to this later if I ever get these snags figured out.
I will just have to wait for temperatures to be out of the 30's and give it another try when I'm not half frozen
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Patrick
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Report this Post03-21-2018 08:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 86.4SPD.GT:

I read all 46 threads that Patrick posted for me, and all of those threads were no help except for one.


Those 46 threads were just a start for you. They were simply the result of searching for "Monsoon" in the subject heading of all current and archived threads. Use that term (as well as a few others like maybe "support" to narrow the field) and search entire threads instead. You'll probably find dozens (hundreds?) more threads to check out.
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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-21-2018 09:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Patrick. I figured you were only trying to get me started in the right direction. I'm sorry if I made it sound as if I didn't appreciate it. I had a feeling I wasn't using the correct search words. Within my initial search results, I did find a thread entitled "Girls without Fieros" or something like that. That thread had me sidetracked for a little while......Damn you Photobucket!
I didn't use the word "monsoon" which obviously would have given me a lot more results that actually had something to do with a radio install.

I'll keep trying and I'm sure I'll come across something more relevant.


Oh, one more thing I noticed that I forgot to complain about above: The mounting tabs on the newer pontiac radio are definitely WIDER than the old radio by almost 1/4". If anyone reads this and would care to comment what is done about that. I didn't do anything yet, but it sure looks as if I would have to trim the mounting tabs with some tin snips to get it fit inside the Fiero's stock dash/radio surround and drill new mounting holes on one side or oval the holes evenly on both sides(?)

[This message has been edited by 86.4SPD.GT (edited 03-21-2018).]

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Report this Post03-21-2018 09:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The side mounting brackets may need a little 'push' to get them to slide into position, depending upon how good your radio surround may be. You don't need to trim anything. I think every car I've installed these radios into have had AC except my 88 base coupe.

I'm thinking that the wiring harness you speak of is held in place by a small barbed expander that's pushed into something. You may have to remove the shift surround then the soft vinyl radio surround to see how it's attached. You can usually squeeze the two barbed retainers with a pair of needle nose and pull it out of it's insertion point. That will allow you to move the harness out of the way.
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Report this Post03-21-2018 10:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok fierofool, thanks again for your help.
I don't want to have to remove the entire shift plate/radio surround if I don't have to. The GT also has the 2 gauge pod which I'm assuming would also need removed.
I have decided that I am going to just pop that darn triangle bracket out from behind the radio. If I have to place something under the radio to help shim it up and support it better to prevent it from sagging, I will.
I read a post here where someone claimed they could pull the entire dash in 15 minutes, but I'm guessing that might be a slight exaggeration
I should just put the darn stock delco radio back in and try to find some cassette tapes. My car did come with a Celine Dion cassette tucked under the seat
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Report this Post03-21-2018 10:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for larafanClick Here to Email larafanSend a Private Message to larafanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I got my radio from FieroTom for my 84 Fiero and 2 more for my 84 Turbo Sunbird and 86 Sunbird convertibles. If you are having that issue you must have a deeper unit than the ones he sell to fit. The Fiero worked fine with the brackets it came with and the Sunbirds I had to transfer the original brackets to the radios. You might get him to give you a depth measurement to compare to your unit. And all 3 are A/C cars.

[This message has been edited by larafan (edited 03-21-2018).]

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86.4SPD.GT
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Report this Post03-25-2018 09:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 86.4SPD.GTSend a Private Message to 86.4SPD.GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well it was about 40 degrees here today, so I finally spent some more time working on the radio install.
I do realize that many have installed one of these radios WITHOUT removing the triangle shaped bracket at the rear of the radio opening but I finally did end up popping it out with a larger flat head screwdriver. IMO it was completely necessary for my own sanity.
At first, I did get the radio to fit as it should with the black nipple on the back of the radio inserted where it should be into the triangle bracket BUT the left hand side of the bracket definitely was smashing into the wires coming out of the back of the radio. I didn't feel comfortable with leaving it this way thinking that eventually this could wear through the wires and cause a short. People have left the bracket in place with no problems, but I just didn't want to chance it.
In the back/center of the radio hole, there is a wire harness for the radio wires that has one screw in it that I pulled out to allow the plug to be shifted out of the way to create more room. I just put the screw back in the hole after moving the plug/harness.
To make things easier on myself, I did end up pulling the shifter surround(removing the shifter ball and the 4 screws; 2 under each ashtray) and the padded radio surround(5 screws; 3 under the shifter surround and 1 screw on each side of the heater controls). The radio surround will just slide out(carefully) even with the 2 gauges still in place above it.
Once I removed those 2 items, I was able to get a better view of what was going on behind the radio and also how the radio was sitting compared to the stock radio. I slid the stock radio temporarily back in and put marks with a black sharpie at all 4 corners to see how the 'new' radio fit compared to the old one.
IMO, you have to take a small round file and slot the 3 holes on the radio's mounting flanges since the 4th(bottom/right hole) is basically useless(IMO) being that there is only a thin tab of metal where the 4th mounting hole is located in relation to the 'new' radio's mounting flanges. I realize that many have mounted the radio just fine(somehow?) without modifying the 'new' radio's mounting flanges, but this is what I feel needed to be done to put the 'new' radio in the exact location as the stock fiero's radio.

I installed Kenwood KFC-415C speakers in the dash without much trouble. I noticed(in my case) I had to persuade them to fit a little by pushing down on them before installing the screws. I ended up not even using the 4x10 speaker baffles since they seemed to be useless considering how much the driver's side one would have needed to be cut up to fit.

I'll admit that this is a fairly long winded reply considering many have gotten away with just sliding their radio in with little/no effort, but unfortunately that wasn't the case for me.
I took the time to write all of this in the hopes that it may help someone else.

Thank you to all that have replied. I probably would have given up without knowing that this radio does in fact fit.........eventually

[This message has been edited by 86.4SPD.GT (edited 03-25-2018).]

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