Earlier this year, I bought a 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera from my
friend. It's a nice old car; low mileage, previously owned by the
proverbial old lady who only drove it on Sundays.
And who, incidentally, enjoyed AM talk radio programs.
The car had a factory AM radio in it. So I bought a new stereo for it, and foolishly neglected to spend 15 bucks on the aftermarket wire harness adapter kit, because I figured, "Well, it's just speaker wire and power, how hard can it be to figure out?"
So I remove the dash (no mean feat), finally pull the old radio, and I discover that there are more wires back there. And that 3 of them classify as "power" wires. After nearly frying my new speakers, I grabbed my Web browser and searched madly for any reference to "radio wiring GM harness" and so forth, on all the search engines I could find.
No dice. Only a million other requests for radio wiring tips, from other frustrated do-it-yourselfers.
So, in the interest of saving a few people from ulcers, here's how it works:
(DISCLAIMER: Now, I'm going to assume you're not stupid. I'm even going to go waaaay out on a limb and assume you're not a stereotypical American, hyper-litigous and anxious to blame anyone but yourself for your shortcomings. But you're not the only one reading this page. So, in the interest of my own amusement, here ya go: This is what MY CAR looked like. Unless you're replacing the radio in MY CAR, your wiring may not look or work like my wiring. Follow my advice at your own risk, and always remove the negative battery cable from the battery before mucking about with car wiring. And wash those hands, Laura; look, there's dirt way up under that fingernail. Okay, here's the advice.)
I hope this does someone some good. Ask me nicely and I might even send you instructions on removing the dash. Just 'cause I'm nice.
Okay, since a few people have asked, I'll give you a hint. The secret is to GENTLY pry the 2 outer air vent doohickeys out of the front of the dash (just the vents on each end) and locate the mounting screws inside the vent holes. These screws hold the ends of the dashboard front panel on (there are others above the ashtray and behind the rubber ring around the steering column, but those are easier to find) and gave me a hell of a time until I found them.
With the front panel finally removed, it's a piece of cake to unscrew and remove the instrument panel bezel (which, incidentally, covers the radio mounting screws too). Voila.
That is all.