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Install CD player

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by KK, Feb 16, 2001.

  1. KK

    KK Member
    Messages: 45

    I'd like to put an in-dash CD player (Pioneer) in my '83 Chevy pickup. It looks like some cutting will be involved. Does anyone have some recommendations to do a 1st class job?
  2. gitzenlandscape

    gitzenlandscape Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Take your time. Measure twice maybe three times and cut it once. If you mess it up there are always other ways such as a BIG cover plate to hide your mistakes. Seriously though take your time and if you don't think you can do it take it to a stereo shop and pay them $20-$30 and let them do it.
  3. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176


    First, look in Crutchfield.com. They have a ton of info on stuff that will fit in your truck.

    Next, go to wall mart. They sell a lot of 'adapter kits' that are specifically designed to put a stereo into trucks.

    If the truck had a radio, you can probably also get a wiring harness that will plug directly into the factory one.
    Also, don't forget the antenna adapter (most gm's have a different size antenna plug and a adaptor is needed to hook the antenna into a new stereo)

    If wal-malt doesn't have what you need, try a car stereo store and ask them for a install kit. Wal mart will be much cheaper, but the stereo shop should have what you need, or crutchfield should definitely have what you need.

    good luck,

  4. gitzenlandscape

    gitzenlandscape Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    What KK was talking about was his 83 Chevy Truck has a shaft style radio and he will have to cut the dash to install a non-shaft style radio. I'm sorry but no one sells an adapter kit for that, the dash just needs cut very carefully. Also I don't think an older GM should need an antenae adpter, back then everybody had the same layouts. I do agree with steveair on the wiring adapter if your factory radio wiring is intact. You will still have to run some additional wires as original did not have digital, memory, etc., etc.
  5. mike reeh

    mike reeh Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    dont rule out the possibility of mounting the stereo somewhere else.. thats what I did in my '77, leaving the factory radio intact, and still operable.. i found an "under dash mount kit" for standard car decks, and i mounted mine on the roof (inside the truck hehe) right between the visors.. wiring is all hidden nicely in the pillar trim, etc.. pix available on request :) just a thought tho... you couldnt pay me to cut up my dash..

    mike reeh
  6. KK

    KK Member
    Messages: 45

    Thats right, its got a post style aftermarket radio/casette in it now. I plan to keep this truck for a long time. Once you put a CD player in it, there's no turning back (kinda like buying a Corvette). I see JC Whitney sells a headliner with 4 speakers in it for around $200. Thats more than I want to spend, but if it sounds and looks good, it might be worth it. Mine is a plain-jane truck with no headliner in it now. There are 4"dia speakers in the doors and I would need at least 2 more somewhere to balance it out. Recommendations are appreciated......Thanks.
  7. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I like a good old reliable pair of 6x9 speakers in boxes, behind the seat. I bought my boxes prebuilt and put a good heavy set of grilles on them (behind the seat is also my rigging storage!) and they sound just fine. Of course, I'm running dual exhaust with glass packs and stacks running up just behind me, so if there is any lack of sound quality I'd never notice! If your truck doesn't have a headliner in it right now, check out the headliner with speakers you mentioned and see how it mounts. You may need to get some interior trim pieces out of another truck to hold it up there. Anyone out there ever used one? I'm kind of interested in one of those too, now that I think about it. (In addition to my 6x9's, of course!)

    1975 GMC C-35
  8. jrodgers

    jrodgers Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    I put a system in my 82 C-30 and it is very easy. I put it right in the middle of the dash though( not in the original spot) I didnt like how you had look down to tune the radio , adj. the volume,etc. I cut the black peice in the middle at the very top part of the dash. The CD players come with a removable cage that you mount without the player first. Cut the hole, slid the cage in , fold back the correct tabs and that is it for the mounting. Then all you have to worry about are 3 wires(plus speakers and antena) ground, ignition wire(gives power when the ingition is turned on, and a constant power( for memory and clock) and that is it. I put 5 1/4 in. speakers in the doors and 6x9 boxes(pre-made) in the back. It sounds real good for not having a pre amp (just power out of the radio). Not like the system in my Tahoe but thats another story.....
  9. beerandcope

    beerandcope Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    i have just recently put a system in my 73 k20 and kk i had the same prob,em you did, i had the shaft style radio and was installing a cd player. let me tell you that if you dont have a good sharp set of tin snips you'll need 'em!
    my biggest problem was cutting the cover panel, not the metal, to fit the radio. i took the end of the radio and placed it on the panel traced around it and then cut it with a hacksaw. and like gitzenlandscape said "measure twiceand cut once" good luck
  10. mike reeh

    mike reeh Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    ugh. tinsnips? this is where having a cutoff wheel and a sawzall really come in handy, especially for cutting holes for speakers...

  11. beerandcope

    beerandcope Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    lol i guess im living in the stone age right?
    any way good luck
  12. MTCK

    MTCK Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Yep, gotta cut. I'd keep it in the factory location, right by your rigt knee. It's anoying for passengers when they want to fiddle with it, but if I want to let them play they can use the remote. Anyway, when you cut, be careful, but don't stress out too much because so long as you make a straight hole, the trip piece around the stereo should cover up any small imperfections with your cut job. I have 6.5 inch JL audio component speakers (seprerate tweeter and woofer with an external cross over) in the doors of my '83 and have a little word of caution for you. I had an 82 with crank down windows, and the 83 are power. I figured I could put the speakers in the same place on both, on the kick pannels of the door, near the front and bottm. The bracket for the power window motor on the driver's side is in the way, I found after I had cut the hell out of the front part, so I had to mount that speaker about half way back the door, and still put the tweeter up around knee level. Luckily I had a new pair of carpeted lower door halfs that nicely cover up my mistake. The wiring should be straight forward. Find a good ground under the dash. In your fuse box you should be able to find an ignition hot, and a constant hot. Either read the manual or get a multi tester out. There are also spots on the corners of the dash for a pair of 3.5" speakers if you want to balance your sound out a little. Lots of options behind the seat also. if you're going to add an amplifier, or plan to, it's easier to run the wires for it right when you install the deck the first time. Only two things have to go from the deck to the amp. The RCA cables (red and white) and a power turn on wire. Run both of these under your carpet or mat, to under the seat, tape the ends of them if you're not going to add it now, and you can just plug it in when you're ready. Good luck, have fun and take your time. It'll turn out good.
  13. 85w/350

    85w/350 Senior Member
    Messages: 190

    I have a CD Player also in my truck. A pair of 6X9's behind the seats and a 6.5inch preamped bass tube behind the seat. I am all about balance and quality accustics plus a 6.5 bass tube is all that would fit with the seat all the way back...anyway I didnt get a bass tube for the boom boom!...just for balance and quality. The 6 X 9's are in the factory 4 X 10 spots without any cutting just measured well and made custom boxes and stained them...I'll make pics avalible soon. Looks nice and sounds great and I can put my seat all the way back without risk of damaging anything. If you just throw the 6 X 9's behind the seat you just get a really muffled sound.
  14. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    One thing I do find helps with the 6x9's behind the seat is to have them pointing up, of course as I stated earlier sound quality does get a bit lost in translation when running glasspacks & stacks! One other minor point on the installation : make sure to brace the back of the unit itself (there should be a small threaded stud sticking out to bolt the brace to) to the dash, especially in a truck.

    1975 GMC C-35
  15. evldsl

    evldsl Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I just installed a DIN style CD player in my 83 van. I used the DIN bracket as a template and drew cut lines on the INSIDE of the adapter. The measurement had better be "tight" as there isn't much overlap / room for error. I used a Dremel tool and a small abrasive cut off wheel to cut out the hole. Man, that Dremel tool is SWEET !!!! I was lucky, as I had the dash out already to replace the heater core.

    Messages: 3

    Please allow a pro to cut the dash.... There IS a kit, more like a trim ring, that will clean up the install. NO radio will cover the factory opening completely. The kit will also give you the template to cut the hole.... WITH AN AIRSAW..... I don't know how many trucks I have seen where the ownr thought they could do it, only to find that they cut to far into the dash so the bezel won't cover.... Not to mention that bezels are not to easy to come by these days.
    As for the speakers, the 6x9 in the rear corners is a great way to get good sound and are not hard. The doors can hold whatever if not power. If power, don't bother as the GM braintrust decided to offset the motors in each door.... Also, if cutting doors, space back about 6 inches from front of door so you miss the the double steel... Look for the spot welds..... All your wires are at the dash if it had the factory unit except for constant 12volt. This can be grabbed at the lighter, ORANGE and is the same circuit as the newer madels and is fused...

    good luck steve
  17. KK

    KK Member
    Messages: 45

    It has roll up windows and the speakers that are already in the doors are 6 1/2" round. I have some 6x9 enclosures that I got from Walmart a few years ago and never used them. They are the wood things with gray carpet over them. Will they fit behind the seat? If not are there some other enclosures that fit good? I usually drive with the seat all the way back. I think I can be pretty careful with the dash opening, but remember this is an '83 truck and the plastic cover on the dash (bezel) has quite a taper to it on its face. A CD player looks like it will fill up that panel quite a bit. I'll measure the unit and the opening real good and see if they are compatible. Thanks for all the pointers so far, they are appreciated.
  18. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Your pre-fab speaker boxes might be a little tight behind the seat if you like it all the way back the way I do. Check and see. The seats in mine are out of a '79 Monte Carlo and a little higher than stock, (my own custom fabbed mounts, I find the stock seat height a little low for my liking) my 6x9 boxes (which sound just like yours, only they didn't come from Wally) just fit. Actually that's a good thing, no way they can rattle around. I am positive there is enough space in the dash, the bottom right corner of your unit's face may end up overhanging the edge of the bezel a bit due to the taper. One other possibility for speaker mounts, depending on how readily available 4x10's are: Some Chevy trucks came with speakers in the cab corners and they had a formed sheet metal piece to close off the corner and mount a speaker. Might be able to find something at a wrecker's. Just an idea.

    Messages: 3