View Full Version : Jumped in with both feet! Pics inside!

05-04-13, 08:37 PM
Hello all, I'm new to the forum, but I've spent a ridiculous amount of time on regalgs.org, so I'm not new to forums (I've read the rules for this forum, but feel free to slap me back into line if I forget one!). I'll be the first to admit that I didn't do a boatload of research before buying my new (to me) car, but I'll start by saying that I'm comfortable with what I paid for it and with the potential maintenance issues I may run into with it. That, and it's a little late now! After owning a 2001 Buick Regal GS for five and a half years, modifying it far more than I should have, and putting 100k miles on it (bought the car with 90k, sold it with 190k), I decided it was time for something different. Basically, I wanted something with four doors, RWD, and an interior at least as nice as the Regal... for $12k or less. There really aren't a whole lot of options that fulfill all of those requirements, so I ended up looking for a first-gen SRX. I really wanted an 07+ with the refreshed interior, but when I realized that I most likely would have had to spend another $5k to get one with similar mileage, I couldn't walk away from the 2005 I ended up buying. As you may notice in the pictures, I bought a nearly stripped down 2005 V6 RWD with just under 66k miles on it, with almost literally NO options. Sure, I might miss some of the nifty features that some of you have, but I'm comforting myself by keeping in mind that I have less things to break! Hell, even the passenger seat is manual. My favorite feature of the car... lifetime powertrain warranty as long as I let the dealership do the oil changes and the scheduled maintenance. I usually do my own, but I'm willing to let them if that means I won't have to foot the bill if the timing chains go!

I haven't done much with it so far, and I don't really intend to get crazy with it. I added an input (iSimple IS32), replaced a belt tensioner (new ACDelco replacement), replaced both outer tie rod ends (again, ACDelco replacements), and bought a set of Lloyd's mats for all four seats and the cargo area. I was going to get Weathertechs, but apparently they don't make them for the RWD models (trans tunnel is narrower up front) or for models without the third row. Since mine falls into BOTH of those categories, I went with Lloyd's... and they fit pretty much perfectly. Hopefully the rubber smell fades soon! I'll take pictures of the mats soon, if there's interest on here. I'm looking forward to reading and learning with you guys!

Sorry for the ridiculously long intro... Now for the good stuff. I think it shines up pretty well!


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Inside (input is in the ashtray):

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Engine bay and cargo bay:

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05-04-13, 10:16 PM
Welcome to this forum. She looks clean. Really like the way these things look from the rear 3/4 view. How much did you have to remove to get the Input in there?

05-04-13, 10:20 PM
Welcome to the site! Car does look clean.
I'm also a member of regalgs.org but I haven't been on there since they moved/changed layout years ago.

05-04-13, 10:21 PM
Congrats and welcome! Wow, she looks brand new. We have an 08 in the same color and love it. Hope you have many miles of trouble free fun.

05-05-13, 09:10 AM
Welcome to this forum. She looks clean. Really like the way these things look from the rear 3/4 view. How much did you have to remove to get the Input in there?

Thanks! I rubbed the whole thing down with a clay bar and gave it a coat of wax the weekend after I took it home... it's amazing what a difference that makes. I'll have to agree, I think the rear 3/4 view is my favorite. What's funny, I think the rear 3/4 view of my Regal was my favorite, too. I've attached a picture of the Regal, as well as a couple more of the SRX.

As far as the input, I dug up a thread on how to remove the radio (somebody was converting to a NAV system). If I were doing it again, I would exercise a little more patience and not run out to the car and install it in the dark on a rainy night! I imagine it would have been even easier if I had been able to see what I was doing! Overall, I'm pretty happy with the result. The sound isn't AMAZING, but it works well enough. I've got the absolute base stereo (no cd changer, nothing), so this was the easiest way to add an input. I do sometimes miss the silly stereo I had in the Buick, but I'm really not planning to try to duplicate it!

Basic steps are below:

1) Flip open the ashtray and take out the screw (I think it's a 6mm) you have access through a hole in the back of it

2) After you've removed the screw, move the shifter as far back as you can (yes, you have to turn the key) and pry the HVAC controls out of the dashboard (this takes a bit of force). I would recommend shifting back into park and turning the key off before you disconnect any of the wiring harnesses, so you don't confuse the car or fry something. You'll see that the ashtray and everything comes out with the HVAC controls. If I were doing it again, I'd try a little harder to route the wiring through the holes in the ashtray without removing it from its mounts, because it was a pain to put back in and get the spring and the little control wheel back into place correctly. It's doable, but aggravating. I'm not sure if it would have been possible to get the wires through, but I'd try.

3) To get the radio out (which you need to do to connect to the antenna), carefully pry around the edges of the vent housing above the radio... it seems like it would be fairly easy to scratch, but once you get underneath the lip, it'll take some force to pull it out of the dash. The clips are TIGHT.

4) You should be able to see the four bolts (I think they were 10mm) that hold the radio in place, take those out, and you can take the radio out and get to the antenna connection. My 05 (and I assume at least the 04-06 models, possibly 07-09) used the same antenna adapter as most VWs (it's not just the standard GM antenna adapter). I used a Metra 40VW30.

5) For power, I tapped into wiring for the 12V plug that's to the right of the ashtray (it's convenient, and kept things easy). There may be a better way, but I just cut the wires going to the plug and used heat-shrinking butt splices.... should be a permanent solution.

6) Once it's all wired up, tuck everything back in the dash and re-assemble!


Thanks! Do you still have a Regal? I sold mine to a guy a couple hours south of me, so I'll be able to go visit it periodically. I'm also still helping him tune it, so I get to remain involved a little bit. :-) The group of people on there has changed a bit, but there are still a good number of "old-timers" on there, and it's a great group. You should check back in!


Thanks! I'm hoping so!

I was underneath the car on Friday and saw that there is a brace (or possibly just something there to catch the driveshaft if it falls?) that goes from one side of the tunnel to the other. Mine is really rusty for some reason, and I'd like to replace it. Anybody know what that thing is called? I'm not sure if that's a structural brace, but it's rusty enough that if it is, I'm sure it's not doing its job. Even if it's not, I hate having rusty things on my cars. I've also got a bit of a clunk over bumps coming from somewhere in the suspension on the driver front corner. Replacing the tie rod ends took care of the little bit of looseness in the steering, but the clunk is definitely still there. Are there any common problems I should look for? I suppose I should start a new thread about that so it doesn't get buried in here!

Here are a few more pics!

Rear 3/4 of the Regal:


Front of the SRX:


Back of the SRX:


05-05-13, 01:01 PM
Congrats, very nice. Good Luck