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Cliff96
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PostSubject: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptySat Oct 17, 2020 10:11 am

My 96 project car has an aftermarket radio I want to replace with an oem radio that retains the steering wheel controls. I know I will need to unlock a radio from a different car. My question is what other years and models of other GM cars with steering wheel controls are compatible with my car?

Thanks in advance
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptySat Oct 17, 2020 4:05 pm

This is the 1-1/2 DIN sized radio, right?  Check any one of the several refurbished radio resellers. They usually list all the cars that a certain radio will fit/function in.  I have not seen one of the 1-1/2 DIN GM radios on the reseller market for quite some time.
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Cliff96
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptySat Oct 17, 2020 7:16 pm

The original radio isn't in it anymore. It has a Pioneer touch screen that's not working in it that looks like a double din to me.
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Cliff96
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptySat Oct 17, 2020 7:19 pm

There are plenty of other Buick models at the lkq salvage yard I go to with the same radio im just wondering if the wiring harness is the same
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptySat Oct 17, 2020 9:35 pm

Cliff96 wrote:
There are plenty of other Buick models at the lkq salvage yard I go to with the same radio im just wondering if the wiring harness is the same

First thing you would do is pull the radio that is in there, and see what you have for a wiring harness. If the PO used an adapter (and the old harness is intact) you're in luck. If the dash was not modified you're in luck (the factory radio is easy to install). Radios from LeSabre and Park avenue, similar years, will work; look at the web sites for reconditioned factory radios and you'll see the various radios that will fit. There are several part numbers for the same AM FM Cassete CD stereo radio -- they do differ in manufacture (US or Mexico), and subcontractors for the CD and cassette drives (otherwise are Delco designed/made); parts are generally interchangeable among them.

But yes first thing to do is open the dash and see what's actually in there.

The '95 used this radio: https://www.ebay.com/i/392966176870

The 96 and later used this one and its antecedents: https://www.ebay.com/itm/1996-2003-Buick-Regal-LeSabre-Century-AM-FM-Radio-CD-Cassette-Player-PN-09373354/293742578303
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Cliff96
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptySun Oct 18, 2020 6:36 am

Yeah, from an ad for one on eBay it looks like radios from 1996 thru 2003 from Lesabre, Century, Regal and Park Avenue will all fit. I do need to take out the one in the car and see if the harness is intact or if the p.o. did a hack job on it. If he did I will also need the harness from the donor car. I'm still deciding if I will go with the oem radio for $31 or an aftermarket. The oem would retain steering wheel controls but need to be unlocked. An aftermarket would require the steering wheel controls to be hard wired and according to the crutchfield.com website there are no wiring instructions available

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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptySun Oct 18, 2020 2:17 pm

Cliff96 wrote:
Yeah, from an ad for one on eBay it looks like radios from 1996 thru 2003 from Lesabre, Century, Regal and Park Avenue will all fit. I do need to take out the one in the car and see if the harness is intact or if the p.o. did a hack job on it. If he did I will also need the harness from the donor car. I'm still deciding if I will go with the oem radio for $31 or an aftermarket. The oem would retain steering wheel controls but need to be unlocked. An aftermarket would require the steering wheel controls to be hard wired and according to the crutchfield.com website there are no wiring instructions available


Unlocking instructions for the OE radios are somewhere on this site. It's not difficult and you don't really have to know the lock code. But you'll need to do a little searching to find the instuructions.

Aftermarket radios, some of them could use an adapter box to interface with steering wheel controls. You want to do that instead of wiring in anyway, less wire hacking, reliability, easier trouble tracing... Crutchfield shows the Axxess ASWC-1 Steering Wheel Control Adapter for $60.- and they also show the Metra ASWC-1 that connects to different radios and costs a little less.

Cliff96 likes this post

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jbird
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptyThu Oct 22, 2020 12:47 pm

My original radio was randomly sensing a cassette and switching whatever mode you were in to cassette. Since i didnt have any cassettes it was just silence until it decided to let me control it.
So when I changed my head unit with another GM part I looked for one that did NOT have a cassette deck, it has a small plate with "BUICK" on it where the opening was. I had heard others having the same issue so you may want to consider that.
My .02

Jbird
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptyThu Oct 22, 2020 3:54 pm

jbird wrote:
My original radio was randomly sensing a cassette and switching whatever mode you were in to cassette. Since i didnt have any cassettes it was just silence until it decided to let me control it.
So when I changed my head unit with another GM part I looked for one that did NOT have a cassette deck, it has a small plate with "BUICK" on it where the opening was. I had heard others having the same issue so you may want to consider that.
My .02

Jbird

That would have been a broken microswitch in the cassette mechanism... One way around this with the OE radio is to get a junkyard radio that works, but maybe has a damaged face plate - it'll sell cheap like that -- then take 20-30 minutes and swap your good face plate onto the good radio. You may want to replace the bulbs while you are at it, it's another hour or so, instructions are elsewhere on this site.
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Cliff96
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptyThu Oct 22, 2020 5:49 pm

That's an idea. How did you unlock it and does the does the harness match up?
Thanks
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptyThu Oct 22, 2020 9:21 pm

Cliff96 wrote:
That's an idea. How did you unlock it and does the does the harness match up?
Thanks

I doubt most people locked their radios in the first place (they do not lock automatically) and if they did, instructions are available on the web and on this site for unlocking. Really.  Don't sweat it.  

In the junkyards "damaged face plate" usually means some of the buttons are worn.

You will have to remove your radio from the dash to see the state of your harness.  If the factory harness is in place, then of course the correct factory radio will plug in.  

Your post said you had a line on an working OEM radio/cassette/CD for $31.-   That sounds okay, if it was me I'd be preparing to replace the lights in the dial. What happens is they will work in the junkyard and some will break from the natural bump and rumble of being shipped. This is not junkyard's fault.

Basically, the face plate snaps off by tabs around the edges; the lid has a few screws holding it in; the edge connectors holding wires to the front panel then detach in more or less the obvious way.  With the face plate out, the bulbs are on a circuit board that's screwed to the front panel, just remove the screws and it separates.  Then you can desolder the bulbs, replacing them with 12v miniature bulbs with wire leads. (other bulbs, say 14v instead of 12v, will work fine) I used #7219 bulbs (this is the generic industry number for a 12v bulb about 0.1" wide, 0.25" long, around one watt).  To color the bulbs green, after install clean them with dry gas (isopropyl alcohol) and give them one coat of Vitrea 160 paint (paint pen), color 116084 Turquoise.
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jbird
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptyThu Oct 22, 2020 11:06 pm

Cliff96 wrote:
That's an idea. How did you unlock it and does the does the harness match up?
Thanks

Like Albert stated, most likely will not be locked.
I bought on Ebay and belive they said, "unlocked".
It was plug and play for me.

Albert, as always good advice.
I didn't care to repair or even have a cassette player so it was win win for me to get one without.

Jbird
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Cliff96
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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptyFri Oct 23, 2020 7:53 am

So the steering wheel radio controls still worked after the switch?
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jbird
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jbird

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PostSubject: Re: Radio compatibility    Radio compatibility  EmptyFri Oct 23, 2020 7:58 am

yes they did, and do now with my Pioneer stereo because I added the Metra steering wheel control adapter.

Jbird
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