Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 2007-2014 Discussion, Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions in Cadillac Escalade Forums; This thread will provide instructions on how to uninstall the factory Non-Nav/Radio unit from a Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 and install ...
  1. #1
    ATyson's Avatar
    ATyson is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Post Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    This thread will provide instructions on how to uninstall the factory Non-Nav/Radio unit from a Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 and install the factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation on a Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011.

    I am doing this write up because about a month ago I purchased an 08 Escalade with Non-nav radio and this was the first upgrade/install I wanted to do. Instructions were hard to come by and usually vague. I hope this helps those who are looking to do the same mod. If it is helpful please vote on my poll above.

    Keep in mind I have no electrical or audio/video education. Nor have I ever modded any of my previous vehicles. So, in my opinion, this install is more psychologically challenging than anything else. This install took me no more than an hour. The latches all need a significant amount of force to be released so don't be scared to pull hard. I used a plastic 4" putty knife to release panels and it was a critical tool. Make sure you have this tool or similar.

    Step 1:
    Remove Cup holder/Ash tray bezel. Open both the Ash tray and Cup holder. Grasp with thumbs in cup holder side and fingers in ash tray side. Firmly lift up and back (away from climate controls). There are four main latches that need to be released. Two on either side of the arm rest and two up by the climate controls on either side.




    Step 2:
    Use a firm flat-bladed plastic tool to pry off the trim plate above the glove box. Insert flat-bladed plastic tool underneath wood grain. Slide tool until you reach a latch. Use fingers to pull panel away and release latch. Continue to slide tool and release each latch until fully removed.



    Step 3:
    Use the firm flat-bladed plastic tool to pry off the trim plate from around the instrument panel. This is the panel surrounding the radio/climate controls. Start with the top right corner where you have just removed panel above glove box. Slide flat-bladed plastic tool in underneath wood grain and Once all the latches are released you will notice that there are two electrical plugs that need to be disconnected before you completely remove. Simply release the clasps with your fingers and the plugs will disconnect.



    Step 4:
    Remove passenger side assist handle from pillar. Use a screwdriver or similar to remove the two screw covers. Use a 10mm bit to unscrew nuts. Pull handle away from pillar.



    Step 5:
    Remove Pillar cover. Use fingers to pry pillar cover away. There are four main latches to release. Two up by the handle and two down by the tweeter. Disconnect tweeter by simply pressing in the latch on the connector.




    Step 5:
    Remove defroster panel at front-most dash. Use the flat-bladed firm plastic tool to pry up the panel. Again, insert the plastic flat-bladed tool under the panel and slide it toward the steering wheel. When the tool hits a latch use your fingers to pull up and release the latch. Continue to slide the tool along until all latches are released. [Note: I did not fully remove this panel. I did so just enough to slide in the GPS antenna. If you do fully remove you must disconnect electrical plug to compass]



    Step 6:
    Remove Non-nav radio. Use a 9/32 bit to unscrew nuts from around radio unit. There are six total nuts. When nuts are removed pull unit away from dash. Using fingers, unplug the audio/video cords. Also unplug the black XM/Onstar cord (I am not positive the black cord is for onstar/XM, could someone please confirm what the black cord is for).




    Step 7:
    Place GPS/Navigation antenna head in the slot provided under defrost panel. Run the cord from GPS/Navigation antenna to the back of the GPS/Navigation unit area. [Note: this is very simple. There are a couple of different ways to run the cord to the back of GPS unit.]



    Step 8:
    Plug all appropriate cords into back of GPS/Navigation unit. The cords are plugged in exactly like the Non-nav unit. Remember to plug in new GPS/Navigation antenna to appropriate port. If desired, turn vehicle on and watch GPS/Navigation unit start up. [Mine displayed the Cadillac and globe for a few seconds then read "THEFTLOCK ACTIVATED."




    Step 9:
    Screw GPS/Navigation unit into slot. Using the 9/32 bit screw all six nuts back into appropriate slots just as you removed them.



    Step 10:
    Reinstall defrost/front dash panel. Snap all appropriate latches back into place just as you removed them.

    Step 11:
    Reinstall passenger pillar cover just as you removed it. Plug tweeter back in at connector. Snap all appropriate latches back into place.

    Step 12:
    Reinstall passenger handle back into place just as you removed it. Use 10mm bit to screw nuts back into place. Replace screw covers as you removed them.

    Step 13:
    Reinstall the trim plate around the instrument panel (The panel surrounding the radio/climate controls). Plug electrical ports back into housing like you had removed them.

    Step 14:
    Reinstall trim plate above the glove box. Simply snap the trim plate back into appropriate latches.

    Step 15:
    Reinstall Cup holder/Ash tray bezel. Simply snap the bezel back into place like you had removed it.

    AFTER picture for your reference:
    toygar, toygar, Cheche and 2 others like this.

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  3. #2
    CadX6's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Excellent tutorial
    Even though I already have factory nav, your description for removing panels & the head unit will come in handy if I decide to go for a GMX-550.

    Now - after all that work, I'll be interested to see what you think of the performance of the factory nav. Mine, as well as others on the forum, tends to lead us around in circles occasionally - to the point that I routinely use my iPhone with the TomTom software running just to be sure good ol' GM doesn't take me into a part of town I don't belong in.

  4. #3
    Playdrv4me's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    The thing attached to the defroster trim panel is the light sensor for the automatic headlights, not the compass. The compass is fully self contained within the mirror. The defroster panel removal really is the most difficult part of the whole thing because it is held in very securely. You might be able to get away with just removing the driver side assist handle and A pillar trim as it's enough to get the pulling process started. That spatula thing was the only tool I didn't have, and a as a result I ended up with a cracked defroster panel and 160.00 lighter in the wallet.

  5. #4
    Playdrv4me's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Also, be aware that if you get one of the aftermarket antennas like I did, that doesn't have the metal base, There are many places you can hide it or place that do necessitate removing that defroster panel. Youll just have to get it up as close to the top of the dash as possible and experiment with what works.

  6. #5
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    This is a wonderful write up. I am thinking about pulling up my dash to move my antenna now...

  7. #6
    Playdrv4me's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    One more tip... If you do a lot of city driving like I do, and live somewhere where you know how to get around easily, take the Navigation DVD out of the DVD drive. I noticed that it tries to read that disc over and over and over and every single time you start the vehicle. On the old Escalade nav units, the DVD mechanisms would eventually wear out from all of this constant reading, even when you aren't in navigation mode. So I just take mine out and leave it in a CD case in the center console, until I actually need to use the navigation functions.

  8. #7
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    good tip for any navigation system owner - and GM's move to hard drive based nav over the next few years should make this behavior a thing of the past but for now it's a good idea for the cautious
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at
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  9. #8
    toofast4uu is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    excellent write up...this is gonna help with my lockpick and amp install this week! thanks for taking the time..

  10. #9
    matthones is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Excellent posting. Thanks

  11. #10
    Daniel10Slade is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Looks cool, thanks man.

    The nav system btw drives me crazy(sometimes going in circles)though and if anyone has a tip on resolving it please let us know.

  12. #11
    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    make sure it's 'up to date' with the latest firmware (flashed by dealer only)

    also make sure you totally understand the settings/options that you have set - i've heard instances where people have really made life hard on themselves by having weird combinations of settings set that made the nav act poorly (for instance having the nav set to route by shortest distance instead of fastest time)

    coming here for help is a good idea, but you do have other options for help with these nav units, so FYI here's a bit more info:
    the nav disc center (where you can buy new map dvd discs) is also a navigation 'help line' fo any and all questions regarding your navigation unit (and its operation)

    so if you don't understand what the nav manual is saying, or wonder about something that may not be in the manual - or if you don't even have a nav manual they can help you out

    or take it to your favorite dealership and ask them for assistance
    Chris Heath (RippyPartsDept) is an ASE Certified GM Parts Consultant at
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  13. #12
    adambombak is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Great pictures. I installed a Barracuda to allow me to change the Nav destination while driving as well as watch DVD while driving. I don't really use the DVD while driving but it comes with the package and sometime my wife likes to watch while the kids are watching a movie. I have a number of tips including how to attach the rear backup camera from black RCA to black RCA. Otherwise, the pictures posted above were great for getting the trim off of the dash, not necessary to remove the assist handle or anything else over there for the Barracuda. Let me know if you have any questions, otherwise it was a breeze.

  14. #13
    h2kool4tn is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Is installing this Barracuda device requires total removal of the Nav unit?

  15. #14
    North49's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Yes. As with the Lockpick, you must plug it into the head unit and then the factory wiring plugs into the "device" harness.

  16. #15
    Brose8972 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac Escalade 2007-2011 factory SuperNav/GPS/Navigation Install Instructions

    Just installed the Nav radio and added a back up camera. Can't get them to talk to each other. Radio seems to be responding to programing per the instructions and the camera is a brand new GM part out of the box. (radio was purchased off of E-Bay as reconditioned. 2008 Escal. Any ideas?

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