: 97 - 99 Deville Upgrade Base Audio to Active Audio

07-22-09, 05:08 AM
HI, I am new here and apologize if this topic was already covered specific to the 97-99 active audio system. I have a basic understanding of the system and had it in the 99 Deville 50th Ed. I no longer own. I now have a base car with the standard tape radio and the Delco 12 disc changer in the trunk. (easily added that first day of ownership, YES, even the base cars are pre-wired for the changer all 3 years)

I read similar posts about upgrading Eldo's to Bose and it looks like this is pretty much the same deal. So far I took 3 head units and plugged them into the car. I used a friends TECH 2 and did the VIN relearn. The Seville radio WILL NOT relearn in a Deville / Eldo I discovered. Be careful buying used head units off ebay. They all look alike out of the car. The radios now programmed for my car work great BUT NO SOUND of course. I tried every possible test and configuration option within the Tech 2 but the Cd / tape radios I was working with MUST HAVE THE TRUNK AMP.

My goal is the have the factory RDS/Tape/Cd combo in the dash and possibly convert the changer to an I-pod interface. Either way, the 11 speaker system I am trying to graft in from a wrecked 1998 Delegance sounds way better than this standard system ever will.

I removed all speakers from the donor car and was in process of following the radio wires back to the RIM (amp module in trunk the base system is lacking). I noted that the audio wires are all integrated into the body harness to the point I am not willing to do a complete swap out. My plan is to isolate and cut out the needed parts of the harness to use in my 99 base car. I understand I will need to tap into the trunk fuse panel to power the amp and replace any wires I choose to cut from the parts car. For example, I will be running new pairs of wires to the rear doors and the center dash instead of chasing miles of harness from the parts car to avoid cutting.

Fortunately I have access to the factory wiring diagrams of both cars, both years. I have a great knowledge of Cadillac electrical systems on older models but still have a lot to learn about this body style.

Has anyone had success doing this upgrade the way I am planning or am I in for a big mess when I start playing with the body harnesses under the seats? The less "new harness" I have to make the better. I hope to at least get everything from the radio to the RIM from the donor car then tap in replacement wires to the "add on" speakers that my 99 base wont already be wired for. I also plan to leave the factory connector for the base system still intact for in case I want to reverse this upgrade and go aftermarket.

Sounds like a mess I know, but hopefully someone has tried this and it worked like I hope it will? What a great system when it works right and the RDS tape / cd head unit looks so much better than the primitive tape only head found on base cars.