: DVD Head Unit Installed in my '96 'Wood



turbojimmy
12-01-10, 10:09 AM
And it wasn't any fun. It's a Pioneer AVH-3200DVD.

First, everyone and their brother lists the Metra 99-2003 kit as being correct for the "1990-1996" Fleetwoods. It is not. Not even close. The instructions for the 99-2003 kit show the 1990-1996 Fleetwood as having mounting brackets on the top and bottom of the stock radio, directly behind the faceplate. Not so on my '96. Unlike any other GM radio I've ever seen, the tabs on the stock unit are really far back from the face and at a funky angle. I don't know if a kit exists, but the 99-2003 isn't it.

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/3200dvd-3.jpg

The only thing I used from the Metra kit was some mounting tabs I hacked off their plates and the faceplate trim ring.

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/3200dvd-4.jpg

Also, the wiring is unlike any other '96 GM car so the adapter I got was incorrect. I chose a '96 Impala - maybe a Roadmaster or something would have worked. Dunno. All I know is that everyone lists a wiring kit for a '96 that assumes a rear-mounted amp and tuner. In doing a search here, there seems to be a lot of confusion over this. Let me tell you with 100% certainty, THE 1996 FLEETWOOD DOES NOT HAVE AN EXTERNAL TUNER OR AMP!! The radio is totally self-contained.

So, lacking an adapter, I hacked the connectors off the stock radio and soldered them to the Pioneer adapter.

There is relatively little space for an aftermarket radio. Crutchfield claims 6.16" depth, which I believe. This is why they only list one aftermarket radio option for the Fleetwoods. HOWEVER, if you hack out the support bracket for the stock radio, you gain probably another 1/2". I would not go any bigger a 6.5" depth with an aftermarket radio. The 3200DVD is 6.5" and I used every bit of it.

Here's the stock support bracket (yours may not be cracked and broken like mine :-) ):

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/3200dvd-7.jpg

Here it is with the bracket hacked away. You'll see there was a wiring harness attached to it. I also cut out the plastic thingy that the harness was attached to. I needed all the room I could get.

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/3200dvd-6.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/3200dvd-5.jpg

It took some goofing around with my "custom" mounting tabs to get the depth right, but it looks decent now. Unfortunately I have to take it out again because I didn't have an antenna adapter. Don't get me started on why GM has to use a smaller antenna plug than any other radio on the planet.

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/3200dvd-2.jpg

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/3200dvd-1.jpg

It sounds great. Like any aftermarket radio, it took some goofing around with in order to get it to sound decent. It definitely sounds better than stock. I bypassed the electronic nanny that keeps you from watching videos unless the parking brake is set. It's a simple procedure using a run-of-the-mill relay.

Next....running the aux inputs to the back of the car so I can hook up any A/V source to it. Also installing a 22" drop-down flatscreen monitor that will plug into the 3200DVD. The 3200DVD is "zoned" so I can play DVDs in the rear and music up front. I'll have to wait til after the holidays for all that.

All in all, the AVH-3200DVD is A LOT of bang for the buck. I got it on Amazon for $234.45 (it's now $264.95 for some reason).

outsider
12-01-10, 10:15 AM
this is a great write-up Jimmy! What did you use to cut the bracket? a dremmel or something?

I'm interested in putting an aftermarket system in my 95...I don't wanna do subs because I love the trunk space, but I'd like to get some more bass out of it...maybe some new composite speakers or something...

Not to hi-jack but any suggestions? :)

turbojimmy
12-01-10, 10:21 AM
this is a great write-up Jimmy! What did you use to cut the bracket? a dremmel or something?

I'm interested in putting an aftermarket system in my 95...I don't wanna do subs because I love the trunk space, but I'd like to get some more bass out of it...maybe some new composite speakers or something...

Not to hi-jack but any suggestions? :)

Yes, I used a Dremel with cut-off discs. It was a pain in the butt because that bracket is plastic. The cut-off discs melt the plastic, get all caught up in it and break. I went through 6 discs before I was done. I cut through the top and pulled it forward and it snapped off at the bottom. You should leave the top part of the bracket in place since the HVAC controls seat in it.

New speakers would go a long way if you don't want subs. I'm pretty happy with the bass out of the stock ones. I believe they're 6x9s so you can get a lot of punch out of aftermarket speakers.

The installation on your '95 *might* be easier if the aftermarket info is correct for it. You probably do have an external tuner so the aftermarket wiring kit will work. Not sure how your radio is mounted. If it's like the Metra manual describes, that will work for you too. The '96s seem to be special in a lot of ways, unfortunately.

turbojimmy
12-01-10, 10:32 AM
Oh yeah - this will help other people with a '96 Fleetwood. If you have a factory service manual, you can see the pin-outs for the factory radio connectors as they appear FROM THE WIRING HARNESS. Unfortunately, GM did not carry over the same wire colors from the harness to the pigtails on the radio. So, I had to map them myself. Again, I cut the stock connectors off the factory radio so i had two connectors with pig-tails. I then soldered the wires to the aftermarket harness so that it would plug right into the factory wiring. Here's how the plugs on my stock '96 radio mapped out:

WHITE CONNECTOR: Speaker wiring
(There are two spots on this 10-spot connector that are not used)
Left Front (-): Gray
Left Front (+): White/Orange
Right Front (-): Green/Yellow
Right Front (+): Light Green
Left Rear (+): Brown
Left Rear (-): Yellow
Right Rear (+): Dark Blue
Right Rear (-): Light Blue

BLUE CONNECTOR (Power and accessories):
Ignition 12V+ (Fuse #9, Radio): Black
Illumination: White/Purple
Park Lamps On Signal: Black/Blue (I didn't use this for anything)
Power Antenna: Purple
Aux ground: Brown/White (I didn't use this)
DLC Serial Data Link: Red/White (I didn't use this)
Right Cell phone input: Red/Yellow (I didn't use this)
Left Cell phone input: Pink (I didn't use this)
Ground: White
Constant hot (IP fuse #33, HVAC): Orange

csbuckn
12-01-10, 12:00 PM
Can you give a little more detail about bypassing the park switch for watching tv while driving? If you hooked up the park switch correctly, would you still ne able to watch tv through the rear tv?

turbojimmy
12-01-10, 01:19 PM
Can you give a little more detail about bypassing the park switch for watching tv while driving? If you hooked up the park switch correctly, would you still ne able to watch tv through the rear tv?

I found a YouTube video that shows how to bypass the parking brake feature. The way it's supposed to work is that you hook a wire from the radio to the parking brake circuit so that it sees ground when the brake is applied. So why not just connect it to ground, you say? They're too smart. The unit has to see a delay between when it sees power and when it sees ground for the parking brake. This is why the instructions say you have to release and reapply the parking brake in order for DVD playback to work.

The solution I found on YouTube is pretty clever. You hook a relay up to switch to ground. You activate the relay with the power antenna lead off of the new receiver. This way, all of your wiring is in the same place. There is a very slight delay between when the radio sees power and when it applies power to the power antenna feed. It's just enough to fool the radio into thinking the parking brake has been applied post-power on. It's ironic because you're using the head unit to fool the head unit.

Anyhow, it works okay. I can watch videos at anytime (parked or not, without messing with the parking brake) without any problem. Two features are still not available, though. One is the Auto EQ function which sets the EQ up based on a microphone placed in the driver's seat. It's a 'set it and forget it' feature that rarely gets used. It says I can't access it because it thinks the car is in motion (which is a contradiction because I can still play videos while I'm moving, which is also prohibited). The other one is strange - there's a camera icon on the lower right side of the screen that allows you to select media from USB, DVD or SD card. It works fine when the unit is powered on. The icon still appears when it's powered off, but when I select it in this mode it says that it is "Prohibited while the vehicle is in motion". I suspect if I installed a toggle to break and reapply the ground to the parking brake wire that those functions may become available. I'm going to do that later in the week.

The only potential problem with this relay-based bypass arrangement is that if you have a navigation feature in your head unit it will think the car is parked all the time. With the Pioneer AVH units, they say if you unplug and re-plug in the Navigation module after power-on it will work. Not sure because I didn't opt for the navigation.

I don't know if it would still send video signal to the rear output if it thought the parking brake wasn't set. Logic would dicate that it would. The literature is sketchy on the 2-zone functionality. Once I get the toggle set up and the rear monitor I'll report back.

Stingroo
12-01-10, 01:53 PM
The stock Fleetwood rear speakers are not 6x9's. They're some funky form of woofer. 6x9's can be made to work back there with some craftiness though.

outsider
12-01-10, 02:06 PM
crutchfield lists 5 1/4's for door and rear deck....weird

csbuckn
12-01-10, 02:09 PM
Sounds like a nice unit and a great price. All I rock are Pioneer, mainly because of the build quality. They dont seems so cheap compared to others, especailly when you press buttons. It'll be interesting to see how you get all those features working.

turbojimmy
12-01-10, 02:27 PM
crutchfield lists 5 1/4's for door and rear deck....weird

I never looked. They sound big. I guess they're not 6x9s though.

Stingroo
12-01-10, 04:23 PM
Crutchfield is wrong on the FWB's speakers. I never got into the front doors to look, but I did get the rears out of the one I had because I hoped they were 6x9's. They're not. They're 8 inch woofers. Crawl under and take a look sometime. :thumbsup:

turbojimmy
12-01-10, 05:12 PM
Crutchfield is wrong on the FWB's speakers. I never got into the front doors to look, but I did get the rears out of the one I had because I hoped they were 6x9's. They're not. They're 8 inch woofers. Crawl under and take a look sometime. :thumbsup:

8" round woofers aren't too bad. They make subs that size - can put subs there and some midrange/tweeters elsewhere. I thought it would be cool to put another set of 5 1/4" or 6" speakers in my center doors. Would round it out nicely. So many things to do, so little money....

outsider
12-01-10, 05:28 PM
^ Exactly, Jimmy...I need to win the lotto :D

Thanks for the info Sting, I will look at the back speakers when I get a chance. I haven't looked at them yet but on crutchfield it just listed 5 1/2's for door and rear deck...I will look more into it if/when the time ever comes.

turbojimmy
12-04-10, 05:13 PM
In an act of fiscal irresponsibility, I bought the rear monitor and cabling. I couldn't help it.

Luckily, there are reinforcements exactly where this thing needs installed. The best seats are in the back, but people can sit on either side of it in that middle seat if need be. Or, I can flip that middle seat around to create a rolling movie theater.

I plan to dive into the job on Monday afternoon.....it's pretty heavy and the mounting plate is pretty flimsy but I'll give it a whirl.

http://turbojimmy.4t.com/tview_monitor.jpg

Aron9000
12-05-10, 05:47 AM
Man they've really come down on price for those in dash tv screen radios. I priced some out about 3 years ago, they were all $500+

Now you're tempting me to do this on my 1991. Right now I have a single DIN JVC POS in there, looks like crap.

durrk johnson
12-05-10, 06:21 AM
Are you sure 96's dont have an external amp? Im not sure, but I think I saw a stock amp mounted in my trunk....

And that looks really good by the way, i would love to have a dvd/screen combo instead of this crappy alpine cd player.

turbojimmy
12-05-10, 08:36 AM
Are you sure 96's dont have an external amp? Im not sure, but I think I saw a stock amp mounted in my trunk....

And that looks really good by the way, i would love to have a dvd/screen combo instead of this crappy alpine cd player.

Thanks! The double-DIN opening begs to have a double-DIN head unit. The aftermarket adapters with the pockets under them are okay, but it's nice to fill the whole space like the factory did.

Yep - I'm positive. The factory service manual described the speaker wires as "feed" and "return" (rather than positive and negative), which freaked me out a little. I thought maybe there really was an amp somewhere. But, they don't show one in the manual at all. They show the wires going directly from the radio to each speaker. What looks like an amp behind the rear seat in the '96 is actually the body control module.

outsider
01-03-11, 10:50 AM
hey Jimmy...I just ordered a new head unit for my 95.

Do I need any special tools to take out the old radio? How much of the trim around there needs to come off, etc? any tips?

Thanks!

turbojimmy
01-03-11, 11:48 AM
hey Jimmy...I just ordered a new head unit for my 95.

Do I need any special tools to take out the old radio? How much of the trim around there needs to come off, etc? any tips?

Thanks!

No special tools. You can basically dismantle the entire interior with a 9/32" socket and a phillips-head screwdriver.

The radio is really easy to get out:
- Remove the "wood" trim that runs along the top of the dash. It just pries off. I started on the right and worked my way across. If you're lucky, half of the retainers won't fly off into the bowels of the dash, never to be seen again.
- Once the "wood" trim is off, you'll see 2 9/32" head screws holding the radio and HVAC trim in place. Remove those and that will swing out. It's held by 2 more of those pop-in retainers on the bottom. If those fly off, you may be able to retrieve them. One of mine found its way into the ash tray.
- You'll then see the 4 screws that hold the radio in - 9/32" as well.

See my advice above about the depth of the aftermarket units and gaining clearance.

Your wiring is going to be different so I can't help you there.

Good luck!

outsider
01-03-11, 12:02 PM
Thanks Jimmy. I've installed my share of aftermarket radios so the wiring will not be too scary for me. got the antenna adapter and the tuner amp bypass kit or something...

turbojimmy
01-03-11, 03:41 PM
Thanks Jimmy. I've installed my share of aftermarket radios so the wiring will not be too scary for me. got the antenna adapter and the tuner amp bypass kit or something...

No problem. As I think about it, your '95 may be the way it's described in the Metra instructions with their 99-2003 kit. If so, the mounting bracket for the radio would be different than what I described. Let me know - I'd be curious to see how far back the error in their instructions go. They were definitely wrong for a '96. The kit was useless to me.

outsider
01-05-11, 07:11 PM
got my radio today...haven't installed it yet.

bit of a head scratcher...the wiring harness they sent me is some 20 feet long! I know it's something to do with that tuner amp in the back or whatever...but do I really have to run all of the radio wires out back!?

If so...anyone know the best spot to run them? I usually go down along the floor like in the door sills.

axe
01-06-11, 04:15 PM
got my radio today...haven't installed it yet.

bit of a head scratcher...the wiring harness they sent me is some 20 feet long! I know it's something to do with that tuner amp in the back or whatever...but do I really have to run all of the radio wires out back!?

If so...anyone know the best spot to run them? I usually go down along the floor like in the door sills.

If they used the same system in 95 as in 94, yes. You bypass the amp in the trunk hooking up the harness with the connectors from the wiring which previously went into the amp.

I routed mine inside a channel on the passenger side. It had enough room left to fit the harness with no problem.

outsider
01-06-11, 04:50 PM
Thanks axe!

Barrister_07101
01-07-11, 11:06 PM
Do you have a commercial chassis? Cause your own pictures show "Rear Climate Control" trim and I've only seen that on a commercial chassis (usually limo). I know that some 96s are very strange, but if you have a commercial chassis ... that would throw all the "normal" discussion out of the door.

turbojimmy
01-09-11, 06:56 PM
Do you have a commercial chassis? Cause your own pictures show "Rear Climate Control" trim and I've only seen that on a commercial chassis (usually limo). I know that some 96s are very strange, but if you have a commercial chassis ... that would throw all the "normal" discussion out of the door.

I do have a commercial chassis - it's a limo. The stock stereo and wiring is all stock, though. They don't mess with it during the conversion. It's all as appears in the factory service manual.