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Starflare5

Some Delco/Delphi audio system tips:

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Hello there all,

I just thought I’d share some of my “useless knowledge” that you might want to consider when changing or upgrading your Delco Audio System in your W-body vehicle. First of all, the basics: From the 80s on up, GM/Delco/Delphi Audio System wiring has hardly changed, especially for the speakers. Each speaker is wired with it’s own positive and negative like a traditional home stereo system. This is an important fact to keep in mind when installing a new head-unit, amp, subwoofer, or crossover.

 

Secondly, almost 80% of all Delco/Delphi head-units from the 90s on up have a full wattage output of 200 watts, or, 50 watts per channel. This is especially true for any logic control cassette, or, all CD player systems. However, with a system with this much supposed output, you may be wondering why the sound maybe, quite frankly, a bit crappy.

 

The answer is no further than at the other end of those speaker wires and is in the speakers themselves. Since the mid 90s, GM has been installing 10 ohm rear speakers in almost 90% of it’s vehicles, including most of the W-body. Remember, ohms are a measure of resistance to the power that the object is receiving. The higher the number, the higher the resistance, and in this case, the less sound you’re going to get out of those speakers.

 

Note: The “Monsoon” systems have all 4 or 2 ohm speakers. Also, a “Monsoon” system is simply a modified amplified system which also means that some “Monsoon” systems did not seem to have a traditional amp in the head-unit plus an external amp. However, you are certainly welcome to add a pre-amped head-unit instead and get twice the boom.

 

The key difference between a "Monsoon" head unit and a traditional Delco/Delphi head unit was a signal called "Amp Sense." Some head units without the "Monsoon" label were designed with this feature disconnected inside the unit. RDS head units all have this feature connected by default. What this feature actually does is disable the head unit's internal amp whenever the external amp is connected along with this signal wire. Here's a really cool trick; If you have a "Monsoon" head unit or have this feature connected anyway, cut the amp sense wire. You'll notice that your system will get alot louder.

 

Now, onto the lesson: You maybe wondering if there is an alternative factory solution to this speaker problem other than going “Monsoon,” and, as it turns out, there is with no cutting or splicing of wires required. Remember those old Delco Sound 4 ohm, 2 way, 6X9 speakers of the 80’s that made the cars go boom out of a factory system? Well, as it turns out, there is a viable, plug n play, slightly updated version of those speakers. They were the rear speakers commonly used in 1988-1993 Grand Prixs. The model number is 16051790.

 

Thirdly, you know that little 9 pin AUX port on the back of a newer 90's Delco/Delphi head unit? It turns out that this little port makes your audio system expandable for a multitude of accessories. Also, there are a lot more accessories for the 9 pin port than there are for the newer 12 pin thus far.

 

A quick note about this port also is that all Pontiac and Chevrolet -Delco Cassette head - units with this port are CD changer compatible, however, only about a few standard CD player head-units are fully compatible with a CD changer.

 

Also, want to update your system and get the newer features like a 6 disc in dash MP3/CD and RDS, keep the wattage, keep it factory, but do not want to have to update to Class II Data bus, or GM LAN? Look no further than Saturn, or, should I say, Panasonic. All GM Saturn Audio Systems from the mid 90s to 2006 were made by Panasonic. Even though these systems appeared to use the newer GM plugs, they did not use Class II data bus due to the fact that this bus type was a Delphi exclusive and not really released to any third party companies (like Panasonic). True, you may have to find a way to change the Saturn Yellow match your vehicle, but, at least you can have the newer features of the GM Audio systems without having to get a whole new car.

 

These systems also have the 12 pin AUX port which more and more accessories are being made for.

 

Here is a Saturn/Panasonic in action in my vehicle: http://www.w-body.com/showthread.php/51334-Installed-a-2004-2005-Saturn-radio-in-a-1989-Cutlass-Supreme-Yes-it-can-be-done...?p=1019348#post1019348

 

Well, I hope this helps you all when considering changing that factory system, or, ripping it out because you don’t think that there is enough boom.

 

*Update hot off the press: Did you know that the Class II radio locking feature can be disabled and the 12V ignition on can be re-enabled? All you have to do is de-solder a pin on an EEprom inside the head unit. Here are the deets:

 

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=899623

 

Great info if you want to give your older W-body vehicle and even a newer one an updated factory head unit.*

 

Thank you,

Starflare5. :mrgreen:

Edited by Starflare5
updated info.

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Since you seem to know a lot, let me run this by you. I have Bose systems in both my Intrigue and Aurora. I put an aftermarket Kenwood iPod headunit in the Aurora. I've hooked up the amp turn-on wire to the harness and this results in the factory Bose amp turning on. This also results in noticeable distortion when I try to crank the volume beyond a certain level, obviously clipping on cymbal taps.

 

A) How does the wiring differ from a 4-speaker system on the Bose 8-speaker and 6-speaker systems? The hi-pass and lo-pass filters don't work as they should on the Kenwood unit.

 

B) Is there any way to bypass the amp other than totally splicing all of the wiring going through the amp?

 

I still have the stock unit in the Intrigue, but I'd assume since they're Bose that the Aurora would be similar, if not the same.

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Hello,

I enjoyed your post, but I noticed one error. The mid- to late-90s Monsoon head units were not similar to Bose systems. These units *did* have an amplifier and heat sink located in the head unit. Bose systems are not amplified at all by the head unit, and thus do not have heat sinks on the head unit. As a matter of fact, the "family" style (1.5 DIN, 94 to early 00s) Pontiac radios were identical in their composition, Monsoon or not. The Monsoon systems were different in the fact that they included a 300 watt amplifier. I am not 100% certain of this in the later "Class 2" radios that were put in the newer Pontiac cars ('01 Grand Ams, for example), however, but I believe that those too are no different from non-Monsoon head units. I confirmed this information with Delphi Delco's techincal support line.

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Crazy K:

 

I have a '95 Cutlass Convertible, there are tons of the Olds 99/98/LeSabre/Bonnevilles in the junkyards around here. Do those speakers make a big difference? One of my door speakers rattle, and I'd like better sound without cutting up the car.

 

in the 95-97 CS i have been using front 6"ish rounds taken from mid 90s Olds 88/98s/leabres/bonnevilles with performance sound, and tweeters from 95+riverias.

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Crazy K:

 

I have a '95 Cutlass Convertible, there are tons of the Olds 99/98/LeSabre/Bonnevilles in the junkyards around here. Do those speakers make a big difference? One of my door speakers rattle, and I'd like better sound without cutting up the car.

 

in the 95-97 CS i have been using front 6"ish rounds taken from mid 90s Olds 88/98s/leabres/bonnevilles with performance sound, and tweeters from 95+riverias.

 

 

they are a near perfect fit. the round 5-6" round speakers bolt in without an issue. You will have to alter the wiring on the speaker to make them work.

 

for the tweeters, I had to fab a bracket, since they are a different size.

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Hey guys,

 

I know this an old thread, but, I thought I'd let you know of another option I have found if you still want a factory audio system with RDS in an older vehicle. I decided to do this myself in order to have my radio control my factory compatible CD changer instead of using an FM modulator. First of all, you can actually make a newer Delco/Delphi head unit work without class 2 data buss and/or without programming by unlocking, or, technically "jailbreaking" the unit. All newer Delco/Delphi newer head units with a "Band" button and/or the multi-disc symbol are both CD changer and/or XM radio compatible which can give you a few more options. They are also all pretty backwards compatible with a few exceptions.

 

How to make the head unit work is rather simple. As described in a link I previously posted, You can de-solder pin 8 on the security chip marked 9355093, however, I have dug deeper than that and thought I'd share with all of you my findings. First of all, I recommend simply removing the chip completely. After you de-solder pin 8, the head unit becomes automatically compatible with every GM class 2 vehicle out there, and, in some casses, even E&C and non data bus vehicles, and, there is basically no point to leaving the chip in otherwise. This chip is also what causes a GM tech 2 scan tool to free and restrict certain features of the radio as well such as XM and others. If you're wanting a head unit that is going to be compatible with all vehicles, and, will power on via 12 volt ignition, you want a Delco/Delphi unit made prior to 2004 with a date code sticker on the top panel, and, no Delphi part number on the side sticker. Inside the head unit, you will find the security chip located close to a front corner of the main board. For example; On a Chevrolet head unit, the chip should be located on the underside of the board toward the front inside opposite the audio adjustment knob. On Pontiac head units, you'll find it in the same corner toward the front opposite the Traf, Prog/Type, and HR/MN buttons. Before removing the chip, remove the faceplate, front metal panel, and, if applicable, the cassette drive for easy access to the chip.

 

Class 2 head units made from 2004 to around 2006 and some newer, have the date code and a Delphi part number on the side panel. These units are designed to power on by data bus only and will not power on by 12 volt ignition power. These units also have the chip directly in the middle underside of the main board.

 

For either type, I recommend removing the chip instead of taking it to a dealer for programming where as in some cases, programming may cause features to be restricted such as a CD changer or XM radio tuner.

 

Precautionary note: On vehicles older than 1995 with an early E&C data buss, I do not recommend connecting it to the unit due to it will prevent the unit from accessing any external add-ons or devices, however, will help it to retain it's preset and audio settings if it is connected. On vehicles made 1995 or newer with E&C 1.5 and/or Class 2, connecting the unit to the data buss

should not cause any issues. Also, remember, in this case, "Calibrate" and/or "Cal Error" is a good thing.

 

Some head units may have a memory loss issue with presets, last function used, and EQ position when they are not connected to a data buss.

 

Remember, all newer units have a delayed power off sequence even when RAP is not involved. This is residual power leaving the capacitors of the unit, and, if you have an amp connected, it is normal to hear a bass pop from the speakers a few seconds after you have turned off the unit or vehicle.

 

The part numbers of at least the MP3 head units compatible with all vehicles Class 2 or not (12 volt ignition) are;

10348717 (Chevrolet Head Unit)

10348716 (Pontiac Head Unit)

15216905 Series 1 (Chevrolet/GMC Truck head unit)

 

 

For newer vehcles with E&C 1.5 or class 2:

 

15216905 Series 2 (Chevrolet/GMC Truck head unit)

28016697 (Pontiac Head Unit)

 

Please take note that this can apply to almost all Delco/Delphi class 2 head units. Just to let you all know, I have the Pontiac unit in my CS, however, it has the memory issues.

 

*Possible exceptions to the above rules (please note that these are only possible, and not confirmed exceptions as of yet): Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix; These units found in these vehicles in particular seemed to have been designed very peculuarly different from the rest of the Delphi/Delco RDS head units even though they may look and operate much in the same way and were also made by Delphi. First is the notation that they all seem to have removable and changable side mount brackets to have them operate in multiple vehicles much likethe Saturn/Panasonic head units. Secondly, data buss integration appears to be a secondary means of operation for as these units in particular appear to missing Speed Control Volume (A GM/Delphi vehicle standard), and, by all accounts, seem to always be listed as something that is "Unlocked" even if it's been in a vehicle before, which, by default, with other GM head units, we know, before the chip is removed, they must be programmed to that vehicle in order to be unlocked. One other thing to keep in mind is that both vehicles were produced by Toyota often on the same line for both GM and Toyota, and, both seem to follow the foreign wiring standard in wire colors at least which normally did not include a data buss. I plan on obtaining the MP3 version of one of these rare animals and will let you all know my findings.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Starflare5.

Edited by Starflare5
research

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So mp3 Saturn head units (from the years you gave) are a direct swap?

 

Pretty much. You just have to make sure that you have the right plug for them known as the GM "blue plug" harness because the wire locations and keying are different. This plug was used on 2004 - 2005 select GM vehicles such as the Saturn ION, Vue, and Chevrolet Cobalt.

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Here's the actual head unit installed and operating:

post-4720-143689088297_thumb.jpg

 

I admit that I need to get some plastic putty and fill in the holes, however, for those of you that plan on doing something similar, keep in mind a couple of minor things:

 

1. The Delphi/Delco head units are at least an inch and a half shorter in depth than the Panasonic/Saturn Units which make the Delphi units a better fit for this console modification.

 

2. Once you find the dash and console, you may possibly be able to get it to this point in the mod in about an hour.

 

3. Do not modify your own console that came in your car. Find one from a junk yard to do this to in case you ever want to put your old head unit and console back.

post-4720-143689088285_thumb.jpg

Edited by Starflare5
additional notes

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