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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I received my Nav unit today from OEM Auto Parts Co. on Ebay. Very professional guy, and very straightforward. He sells them for a little more than the going rate, but he includes a 2010 map disc, an antenna and most importantly, saves you the trip to the dealer by sending them pre-unlocked.

Unfortunately, the antenna that is included is NOT the OEM version that clips in, but rather a knockoff that appears to work just as well, but has to be put in place with double sided adhesive OR magnetically stuck to metal somewhere. And this stupid antenna is the source of all my frustration because removing the defroster panel, under which the factory location for the OEM antenna resides, is a royal pain in the ass.

Thanks to Chris (rippypartsdept) I discovered that the A-pillar trim must be removed to access pry points to begin lifting up on the panel. Unfortunately, even with this information in hand, I STILL managed to crack the panel in two places because it is attached so well, and because the sun (my truck came from FL) tends to make it brittle. My advice? Don't bother making it factory perfect. There are PLENTY of other hidey holes where you can get the antenna up close to the surface of the dash. Unfortunately, I didn't realize until after I removed the panel that I wasn't getting signal because I was directly in the shadow of an apartment building. Once I moved out in the open, it didn't really seem to matter where I held the antenna, so long as it wasn't too deep in the dash. For the magnetic antennas, you can even get away with just letting it magnetically adhere to the back of the center channel speaker grill, toward the windshield side, which allows you to snake the cable in through the defroster opening and down toward the radio. This arrangement also gives the antenna the most unobstructed access to the sky.

If you MUST put this antenna in its proper location, I recommend going to stereo shop to purchase some kind of hooked tool and pulling up carefully from the center outward. The thing is a bitch no matter how you slice it. Also, the ambient light sensor will pop right out of its perch as soon as you pull up on this panel, and getting it back in there is also a pain. Again, my recommendation is just to stick the antenna outside the car (it looks just like an XM antenna), on the speaker grill, or tucked up in the dash close to the surface.

Now, a couple of observations between the base radio and the nav radio...

Sound quality: Believe it or not, despite being attached to the same amplifier and speakers, the sound quality of the Navigation head unit is MARKEDLY superior to the base unit. It's a little clearer and what makes it PARTICULARLY nicer is the Surround function which to my ear, provides far better separation and soundstage than the "Centerpoint" function on the base radio. I don't know if they are supposed to be the identical function (isn't this sound system called the Bose Centerpoint 5.1 Channel system?), but the surround in the Nav unit is MUCH better.

CD/DVD/MP3 Changer: One of the most frustrating annoyances of the base radio in case no one has noticed, is that if you use the included CD changer, the idiotic piece of crap doesn't recall your playback setting after you turn off the car. So if I had "RANDOM TRACK" selected before I shut off the car with the base radio, it goes right back to linear playback when you restart. Completely poorly engineered idiocy. The Nav headunit remembers all previously selected playback selections even after you turn the car off.

Nav unit dialpad: A great deal has been made out of the fact that the Nav unit shows some kind of dial pad when you have a bluetooth phone paired. Well, given the slow response of the nav screen, this is more of a novelty than anything. In fact, with voice dialing available, I may not even use it. And as a result of that, I may not even bother to install my lockpick and just get a SimpleTech iPod connection instead.

XM: You will not need to change Radio IDs. The XM module is elsewhere in the car.

Rearview Camera: If you do not have a rearview camera (why would you, you had a base radio that doesn't support it), and do not PLAN to ADD the rearview camera, make sure to have the seller or the dealership disable the rearview camera functionality. I only remembered about this AFTER he shipped it, so I didn't have the opportunity to ask and so now I get to stare at "SERVICE CAMERA SYSTEM" every time I back up. Guess I have to install a camera somewhere now, or have the dealer disable it.

That's all I can think of for now. If for any reason anyone wants the worthless base radio I pulled out, cover my shipping and I'll gladly send it to you.
 

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2007 Cadillac Escalade
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36 Posts
Hey thanks for the post,

I plan on doing this exact install this weekend.

My first question is : without pictures it is hard for me to understand where you recommend I hang the antenna. To be more clear, you recommend I leave the "A-Pillar Trim" and hang the antenna behind the Nav/GPS unit before bolting the Nav/GPS unit in place?

My second question : did you keep the car ON (obviously without engine running) while you did the install? I will have to visit the dealership to have my unit unlocked so I fear if I hang the antenna somewhere unconventional and do not get a clear signal, I will not know until the NAV/GPS unit is unlocked.

Third question : what instructions/pictures/video did you reference in order to start this install? Do you have any info you could supply me with in order to help this process be more smooth for me?

Also, I am interested in installing the reverse camera. From my research I have discovered it is not as simple/plug-n-play as the NAV/GPS unit install is. Let me know if you decide to do the reverse camera install.

Thanks bud, this was extremely helpful.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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11,694 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hey thanks for the post,

I plan on doing this exact install this weekend.

My first question is : without pictures it is hard for me to understand where you recommend I hang the antenna. To be more clear, you recommend I leave the "A-Pillar Trim" and hang the antenna behind the Nav/GPS unit before bolting the Nav/GPS unit in place?

My second question : did you keep the car ON (obviously without engine running) while you did the install? I will have to visit the dealership to have my unit unlocked so I fear if I hang the antenna somewhere unconventional and do not get a clear signal, I will not know until the NAV/GPS unit is unlocked.

Third question : what instructions/pictures/video did you reference in order to start this install? Do you have any info you could supply me with in order to help this process be more smooth for me?

Also, I am interested in installing the reverse camera. From my research I have discovered it is not as simple/plug-n-play as the NAV/GPS unit install is. Let me know if you decide to do the reverse camera install.

Thanks bud, this was extremely helpful.
I am a horrible forum helper when it comes to taking pics, I always forget until AFTER I finish something that I should have documented my progress, so I apologize for that.

As for the antenna, it depends on what antenna you end up getting. If you go to the trouble of actually buying the factory antenna, it has a flat metal base with clips and theres really only one place it can go, and that's the spot under the defroster panel. However if you have an aftermarket antenna that looks like this (mine is black, not gold colored):



Then it has a magnetic base which can aid you in finding a convenient spot for it. This is why I said that the first place that came to mind for me was your center channel speaker grill (which is made of metal). It's that big square right above your radio on the flat part of the dash. You can place the antenna on the back edge of that square and it will be secured by the magnetism on the base of the antenna latching on to the speaker grill. It's also far enough away that it neither affects the sound from the speaker, nor does the speaker affect the antenna reception in any way. Then, since the back edge of the center channel speaker is so close to the defroster vent, you can snake your antenna cable down inside the defroster vent and eventually to the back of the radio.

Here's a factory photo where you can see the center channel speaker I'm talking about (btw, I find it hilarious that in a GM TRADE photo the aluminum cupholder panel and the climate/nav panel are MISALIGNED so badly you can see it from a mile away) :



This obviously means that you'll be able to see the antenna all the time, so ultimately you have to decide if you care about that or not. If you don't want it there, then you will just have to experiment with placement as close to the top of the dash as possible in a concealed location.

I did not have to keep the car running because my unit came unlocked from the seller. So I can put it in any vehicle I want to and it will never do the VIN check with the BCM. Essentially, theftlock has been disabled. If you are concerned about this, then your best option is to put the antenna on the dash (on the speaker grill location) or you won't know until later whether it is going to work or not. Your other option is to leave the dash disassembled and just leave the radio connected so they can program it. This could of course lead to problems with your warranty later if they remember you had things taken apart. Remember that once the radio is programmed to your truck, you can go back in and disconnect it as many times as you want, the VIN is permanently "etched" into that radio until the next time someone goes in with a scan tool and changes it.

I had almost nothing to go on with this, I actually remembered most of it from the VCIM (bluetooth module) thread which has some detailed photos about how to disassemble everything around the radio to get to the VCIM module. Thread here, all of the pictures of the disassembly are around page 11 or 12: http://www.cadillacforums.com/forum...111-who-knows-where-find-part-20783877-a.html

The factory rear camera is something I was hoping not to have to tackle, as it requires replacement of the entire chrome panel the Cadillac wreath is attached to (different part number that includes the rear camera with it, whereas the non camera version has NO opening for the camera). In addition, even if you find the camera and panel, you will also need a LONG harness that goes from the rear of the truck to the passenger's side kick panel. I believe some people have gotten aftermarket rearview cams to work, OR if you have a lockpick, it is compatible with any aftermarket camera as well.

Good luck, don't break anything like I did.
 

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80 Posts
good info, thank you. Im in the process of finding the NAV unit myself. I have a 2008! How much did you pay for your NAV unlocked? You have the ebay member name as well?
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
good info, thank you. Im in the process of finding the NAV unit myself. I have a 2008! How much did you pay for your NAV unlocked? You have the ebay member name as well?
Hi, it was 899 and right now Ebay has a 10 percent off coupon on auto parts. The 899 includes the unlocked nav unit, the antenna, and a 2010 Map disc. The ebay member name is oemautopartsco-gm. I think he has about 9 of them left right now. You can find locked Navs with no antenna and no disc for between 600-675, but then you have to go the trouble of getting a dealer to unlock it, and tracking down a disc and antenna.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update: I'm an idiot...

For those who install the Nav unit and do not have a backup camera, you do *NOT* have to have the feature disabled by the dealer. I just discovered while adjusting my brightness that the same Config screen also has a selection for "Rear Camera Settings". Once in there you can select or deselect "Video" and an option for visual cues attached to the backup sensors. When you deselect "Video", the other option goes blank, and they both disable. In GM's infinite wisdom, I still figured the camera would report a fault and the nav screen would still display the error anyway... NOPE! Now when I throw it in reverse I get NO warning, and my current screen isn't interrupted! I won't have to get a camera after all, but I'll still have the capability if I ever do!
 
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