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Audio Plug/Play Upgrade With IPOD and Bluetooth

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Just wanted to share a virtually painless head unit upgrade I just did with my '99 C4 cab. I installed a Pioneer DEH-P9800BT unit on a plug and play basis (no modification of existing harnesses) with the addition of one wiring harness:


and, depending upon the type of antenna in your stock unit, an antenna adapter:


The unit's frame fits perfectly into the stock unit space and comes with its own removal keys. The head unit isn't cheap, and is on backorder at a number of places (Crutchfield seems to have the best inventory), but it has a Bluetooth capability that utilizes the car's speakers and is IPOD and satellite radio ready, and has separate rca plugs for a subwoofer. It also can work with a cd changer, but my car didn't have one installed. It has a remote control pad that could be easily mounted on the steering wheel or the center console. Since it is plug and play, it is easy to replace the stock unit at any time.

As to Bluetooth, a year ago I installed a Parrot Evolution Bluetooth capability on my '03 Tahoe that cost about $150 alone, including the GM harness. My experience with both Bluetooth units is that the functionality of the unit is more dependent upon your cell phone carrier's chosen limitations than anything else. The Pioneer website has a compatibility chart, but I know that many more phones are compatible than those listed. Best way to check is to go to a retail store that has a display unit and test whether it can recognize your phone. At a minimum, if it is recognized, it will work, but you may have to manually cause the unit and phone to search for each other each time you get into the car, again depending on the phone, not the head unit.

The IPOD capability has two options (both accessories are available at Crutchfield), one that involves a cable that simply connects and powers the IPOD and the other (more expensive) utilizes the head unit to control the IPOD.

Given the number of posts in the past that were somewhat challenging people's skill sets, I thought sharing this experience might be helpful and less intimidating. I truly appreciate total hands free safety that also utilizes the car's speakers.

P.S. I just installed the IPOD and the current Pioneer cable listed (CD-i200) is not compatible with this unit. I think it is compatible with the newly introduced 2007 units. Instead, you need to use an older cable that has an IP bus connection at one end and the IPOD connection at the other, and connect the separate power and ground wires. In this setup, you control the IPOD files through the IPOD and not through the head unit. The other option is to use a Pioneer box in between the head unit and the IPOD that enables control from the head unit. However, I have read that the response time is quite slow and frustrating.

Edited by rddurrett
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