GRAND PRIX Installing a Retrosound Laguna radio in a '83 Grand Prix

M

mikeluscher159

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 31, 2017
11
3
So I'm trying to undo the rats nest that was put into this car back in the day
My father in his infinite wisdom, ordered it with the "Radio Prep Package", so no head-unit or speakers, just wiring
It had (then top of the line) Kenwood cassette deck and speakers put in, but in a pull out sleeve (there's another name for this, can't remember it)
The speakers dry rotted, and the front's weren't put in the corners, because on the Pontiac dash you have to PULL THE ENTIRE DASH to get to the corner 3.5 inch speakers
So they reside in the center, on a metal bracket holding them together (they had there grounds tied into the rear speakers grounds for some reason?)
I pulled the sleeve (PITA), and found nothing but butchered twist and tape B.S, and all but one factory wire cut and disfigured
I ordered a setup from Crutchfield about 3 years ago, and finally got around to setting it up, I learned a few things to say the least...
I went on eBay to source the factory 3 connectors and terminals (black/white/blue) and set to crimping them onto what was left of the factory wiring
Online you'll find many wiring schematics, but most of them are wrong, colors and letter placements on connectors don't jive with reality

wrong.PNG


This one is WRONG, the letter placement and several of the colors don't jive with the factory wiring at all, so if your trying to rebuild the factory side of the harness like I am, you'll spend hours de-pinning and re-pinning plastic connectors that are 35+ years old and very brittle

correct.jpg


This one is CORRECT, the letter placements and color codes actually jive with the harness and connectors






This is the B.S that was left from the sleeve




Jumbled mess of Retrosound harness, adapter harness to factory connectors, and factory connectors with wiring


Solder it up



Some tape, now we're ready to plug into factory wiring, which we have to reinstate...


Eww...



Coming along...



It Lives!

Now, to work out the details, I need some help

I really don't want to pull the dash to install the end speakers, I'm considering one of those Dual Voice Coil units for single front dash positions

Does anyone know what size the center position is?



And is there a mounting or finishing kit/brackets for the front of the radio, because it's brackets aren't wide enough to use the stock 4 mounting holes, I gotta put something around it, right?

Because it's smaller than the dash bezel, and it'd look pretty stupid?



Anyone else been down this road?

Any and all thoughts welcome



Thanks
-Mike
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
5,582
113
Elderton, Pa
For those center speakers you might want to look at the dual speaker upgrade for the '68-'72 A-bodies for an idea or even a possible direct fit. With the face plate you might have to make one to work.
 
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M

mikeluscher159

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 31, 2017
11
3
Update, I got a 4x10 (that's the center dash opening size) Retrosound dual voice coil speaker, cut and crimped the wiring to a used factory harness I got off eBay

It fits JUST

You don't have a lot of depth to play with, because the HVAC duct is underneath

It's contacting the bottom, and the plastic grille cover is touching the plastic surrounded on the speaker, but it technically does click down and fit

Sounds more than decent too...

No weird buzzing or reverberations that I'd expect from it contacting the dash top and bottom

I do believe it's a better solution than the two 3.5 speakers on the adapter plate, although I will try that back to back for comparison

Would probably sound even better if I could figure out how to reinstall the rear speakers (that coat hanger looking contraption that retains the speakers from the bottom is a royal PITA to reinstall

I'm still on the hunt for a radio plate to tidy up the front mounting

Any ideas? I'll take anything

I can't find a Metra or Install Bay kit for this dash, shaft size radios are very tricky in this respect
 
TURNA

TURNA

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Jul 24, 2009
11,010
113
Socialist NY
All that $$ for that radio and it didnt come with a faceplate?
 
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TURNA

TURNA

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Jul 24, 2009
11,010
113
Socialist NY
Check ebay

 
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M

mikeluscher159

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 31, 2017
11
3
All that $$ for that radio and it didnt come with a faceplate?
The only reason I bought this thing was I was under the impression that I was stuck with a "small chassis" or "shaft size" radio

But now I've seen plenty of pictures showing that a standard run of the mill sub $100 Crutchfield special single DIN would've fit, with slightly less hackery

...it better look good after this is all said and done :blam:
 
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P

PBGBodyFan

Master Mechanic
Mar 3, 2009
401
63
Wisconsin
Good write up/pics. I just got my Retrosound unit yesterday for my 81' LeMans. I put it together and at first wasn't sure how it would fit but realized the stock radio I have has the face that detaches and will be used to make it bolt to the dash and act as the fit and finish part of it. I have it all together but need to do a final tightening once I'm to the point in installing it.

I plan to do a dash swap as I luckily have a crack free one in the same color waiting, will add side speakers at that time and forego the center speaker, leave that empty. In comparing the Pontiac dashes, the later years could have side speakers. The dash pad itself appears identical underneath, there is enough meat for small bolts to hold the speaker in place without bottoming out to the topside. I plan to test out the stock dash as both of mine are from 81's without side speakers. If it works as I anticipate on the old dash, I'll copy what the factory did to the new one. There are some rubber isolator thingies that the factory put in the dash between the dash and side speakers as well, not sure if needed but I have those as well.

I might have an extra one of those stock finish brackets if you still need one, I had two AM radio's and only need one of these, don't mind a spare but if someone has a use for it..


23DA3E27-1CDC-4DA0-80B0-DA7E12821C19.jpeg
 
M

mikeluscher159

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Aug 31, 2017
11
3
Good write up/pics. I just got my Retrosound unit yesterday for my 81' LeMans. I put it together and at first wasn't sure how it would fit but realized the stock radio I have has the face that detaches and will be used to make it bolt to the dash and act as the fit and finish part of it. I have it all together but need to do a final tightening once I'm to the point in installing it.

I plan to do a dash swap as I luckily have a crack free one in the same color waiting, will add side speakers at that time and forego the center speaker, leave that empty. In comparing the Pontiac dashes, the later years could have side speakers. The dash pad itself appears identical underneath, there is enough meat for small bolts to hold the speaker in place without bottoming out to the topside. I plan to test out the stock dash as both of mine are from 81's without side speakers. If it works as I anticipate on the old dash, I'll copy what the factory did to the new one. There are some rubber isolator thingies that the factory put in the dash between the dash and side speakers as well, not sure if needed but I have those as well.

I might have an extra one of those stock finish brackets if you still need one, I had two AM radio's and only need one of these, don't mind a spare but if someone has a use for it..


View attachment 144298
I might just take you up on that offer, I've been searching for one
Please PM me, I've already made a deal or two with a member on this forum, excellent people to do business with
I bought one off eBay, $20 that I can't get back
It's for some kind of GM dash, but the bolt holes don't line up for my '83
Then I bought the dash kit from Dixie's restoration to the tune of $35
It claims to work with '82 and up GM cars, but I think it's designed for the later digital 1.5 DIN openings, not the earlier shaft size units
I see no way how to make it fit without major cutting and fabricating, which kinda defeats the purpose of the install kit
Now I assume they're doing the best they can, but I'm kinda calling Dixie restoration out
See that first picture that I linked? Looks like an all metal set of brackets and face plates?
That's not what gets delivered
You'll get a Metra 99-4544 kit
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000281X60/?tag=gbody-20
I'm not mad, just kinda disappointed :confused:

I'm also taking my recommendation for that Retrosound dual voice coil speaker
TBH, it really doesn't fit the dash, it makes the grille cover bow up, and it's jammed right against the top of the HVAC duct/dash support
Retrosound does make a thinner speaker, but it's a part of there more premium line up, and it's $80
I can't justify that, so I'm going back to the 2x 3.5 inch speakers on the metal plate in the center
Some cheap Sound Ordinance jobs I got on a Crutchfield bundle, to match the 6x9's I put in the back deck with the vintage 4x10 adapters

IMG_20200428_174037.jpg
 
P

PBGBodyFan

Master Mechanic
Mar 3, 2009
401
63
Wisconsin
I'll send you a PM.
 

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