How to Install a Radio in Chevrolet Carsby Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017
The Chevrolet car has a single-DIN factory stereo. Single-DIN is the stereo size that will fit into the mounting dock of the Chevrolet car without modifying the dashboard of the vehicle. When replacing the Chevrolet car stereo, you need to first take precaution against shorting the vehicle's electrical system by disconnecting the grounding cable. You should also check the new stereo to make sure the output is acceptable for the Chevrolet car speakers. You can have an audio professional perform the installation, or you can do it yourself and save the cost of labor.
Under The Hood:
- How to Install a Radio in a 1988-1992 Chevrolet Silverado
- How to Install a Radio in an Astro Van
- How to Install a Radio in a 1994 Camaro
- How to Install a Radio in a Chevy
Removing the Radio
Open the Silverado's hood and loosen the negative battery cable with a combination wrench. Pull the negative battery cable from the battery.
Remove the screws on the instrument panel bezel -- the plastic trim around the radio and the instrument cluster -- using a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the bezel from the dashboard.
Remove the four bolts holding the radio in the dashboard, using a ratchet and socket.
Pull the radio from the dashboard until you can reach the wires on the rear. Press the locking button on the radio wiring harness and pull the harness from the rear of the radio. Pull the antenna wire from the rear of the radio. Remove the radio.
Installing the Radio
Plug the wiring harness into the rear of the radio until the harness clicks into place. Push the antenna wire into the rear of radio.
Slide the radio into the dashboard and tighten the four bolts, using a ratchet and socket.
Set the instrument panel bezel back in place on the dashboard and tighten its retaining screws with a Phillips screwdriver.
Reinstall the negative battery cable back on the battery and tighten it with a combination wrench.
Items you will need
Disconnect the negative battery cable (or grounding cable) from the Astro's negative battery lead. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the grounding cable's clamp. Remove the clamp from the negative lead post and rest it away from the battery until the installation is complete.
Remove the dash trim panel from the center console of the vehicle. The trim panel snaps away from the dash by hand. Grab the panel at the bottom edge and work your hands around the perimeter until the panel is completely free from the dash.
Disengage the four clips around the stereo. The four clips can be pried open by a trim panel tool or flat-head screwdriver.
Pull the stereo from the mounting dock far enough to access the wiring connections in the back. Pull the wiring from the stereo. The antenna and power supply cables are single wires, and the speaker wires are bundled together by a plastic wire binder. Pull the speaker wiring by the binders, not the wires themselves.
Connect the stereo wiring from the Astro to a wiring harness adapter. Connect the wiring harness adapter leads to the new stereo. The wiring harness leads will be clearly marked (by abbreviation or color code) to show where the appropriate connections are to be made.
Insert the new stereo deck into the mounting dock of the vehicle. Fasten the four clips surrounding the stereo by hand. They will snap back into place, securing the new stereo into the Astro's dock.
Replace the dash trim panel that surrounds the stereo. Align the top edge of the panel and press the panel around the edges to lock it back into place.
Place the grounding cable clamp around the negative battery lead. Tighten the clamp with a Phillips-head screwdriver.
Items you will need
Trim panel removal tool
Wiring harness adapter
Pull the hood release lever in the foot well of the driver's side of the Camaro. Move to the engine compartment.
Place the 10 mm wrench around the nut on the negative battery clamp. Loosen the nut until the negative battery cable's clamp can be removed from the negative battery lead post. Pull the cable from the post and rest it away from the battery. Return to the inside of the Camaro.
Open the glove compartment and remove the two screws on the left side of the opening with a 7 mm socket and drive screwdriver. Remove the screw below the left corner glove compartment with the socket and drive.
Remove the four screws in the dash panel below the steering column with the socket and drive. Grab the lower dash panel on the driver's side of the vehicle and pull it away from the dashboard.
Remove the two bolts on the left side of the stereo assembly panel with the socket and drive. Pull the panel from the dashboard to reveal the Camaro's stereo mounting bracket.
Remove the two bolts on the left side of the stereo and the one bolt on the right side with the socket and drive. Pull the stereo from the dock and pull the wiring connectors from the sockets on the rear panel of the stereo.
Slide the GM aftermarket stereo installation faceplate adapter into the empty dock in the Camaro's dashboard. Replace the three bolts on the outside of the adapter. Pull the stereo wiring from inside the dock to outside of the faceplate adapter.
Plug the Camaro's plastic stereo wiring connectors into the leads of the wiring harness adapter. Plug the wiring harness adapter leads into the corresponding outlets on the left side of the rear panel of the new stereo.
Place the GM antenna adapter over the black antenna cable's lead. Plug the adapted antenna cable into the outlet labeled "FM antenna" on the right side of the new stereo's rear panel.
Slide the stereo into the faceplate adapter until it snaps into place.
Place the dash trim panel that surrounds the stereo and conceals the stereo bracket back onto the dashboard. Screw in the two bolts on either side of the dash panel.
Replace the lower dash panel on the driver's side and screw in the four bolts to secure the panel to the dashboard.
Replace the 7 mm bolt below the left corner of the glove compartment. Move to the Camaro's battery.
Replace the negative battery cable onto the negative battery terminal lead post. Tighten the cable to the post with the wrench. Close the Camaro's hood.
Items you will need
10 mm wrench
7 mm socket and drive
Wring harness adapter
GM aftermarket stereo installation kit (with GM antenna adapter)
Installing a radio in a Chevrolet vehicle
Remove the stock radio from the vehicle. On most Chevrolets, the dashboard's front panel can be removed by unscrewing a couple of bolts from the bottom of the panel, then pulling it free from the retainer clips. The radio is held in with two screws on either side, and can be unplugged from the wiring harness at the white adapter in the rear of the unit. The antenna is connected to the bottom right rear of most Chevrolet Delco radios.
Wire the new radio wiring harness adapter to the new radio. The colors of the wires will vary, but will be set up to be wired to two front audio channels, two rear audio channels, a remote power lead (for power antennas) and polarized primary power. Once the wires are cut, stripped, and spliced to the adapter, cover the naked copper with a liberal amount of electrical tape.
Install the plastic mounting harness adapter to the front of the new radio. Chevrolets typically have oversized, 1.5 DIN radio openings that will require an adapter. This is a black, plastic cover that surrounds the new radio and fits it into the dashboard opening. This "adapter ring" will slide up the rear of the radio until it is stopped by the plastic housing at the front. Once in place, the adapter's metal section will have tabs that need to be bent into place to secure the ring to the radio. This adapter will have bolt holes on the sides that should match the dashboard's mount points perfectly.
Install the new radio. Plug in the wiring adapter to the GM wiring harness, and plug the antenna wire into its socket on the radio. Bolt the radio into place with the existing screws. Replace the dashboard front panel, and secure it with the original screws.
Test the radio. Power the radio and check all four speaker channels for sound.
Items you will need
Screwdrivers Socket set Electrical tape Radio wiring harness adapter Radio mount adapter