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Old 02-05-2006   #1
ZZ4GTAMan
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Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Hey Guys, I purchased a newer Cd Stereo for my 1989 GTA. The deck came out of a 1998 Pontiac. It has the red lights, 7 band equalizer, it fits in the dash great, looks factory, and sounds a hell of a lot better than the stock GTA tape deck. But the steering wheel controls do not work. (there is no where to plug the seperate steering wheel plug from my stock deck). There is actually one area on the main plug area of the new deck that when I plug my main wires in my wiring does not fill all the places up. My original deck has a seperate plug area for the wheel control plug. There is a seperate plug area on the new deck, but it is for an auxillary item (tape, disc changer etc). I know the newer stereo's like I purchased did have steering controls. Is there any way to get this to work? I hate to lose the steering wheel controls. Someone out there has got to be able to figure this out. I do not want an aftermarket deck. Will the Pac adapter work with a later model stock Pontiac deck, or is it only for aftermarket? Thanks!!
Mike
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Old 02-08-2006   #2
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

I am looking into doing the exact same thing to my GTA this fall. So I would love an accurate answer to this as well. However I will say this. I believe in order for your current (1989) controls to work, you would of had to purchase a newer Pontiac stereo that was also equipped with steering wheel controls. Because I believe it is the same idea on the newer models, a separate plug for the radio controls. If I am wrong, someone please correct me!
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Old 02-08-2006   #3
ZZ4GTAMan
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Hey man, you are correct. You do need a stock deck that is compatible with the steering whee.l The later decks with the 7 band equalizers, are equipped for steering controls. On our stock GTA decks, there is a plug outlet for the main stereo wiring, and a seperate outlet for the steering wheel control wiring. On the newer Pontiac decks there is only one main outlet plug for the main stereo wiring and that is all. There is actually another plug outlet, but that is only for plugging in an 10 disc changer,or tape deck, etc. But when I plug my Stock stereo wiring into the back of the newer deck, there is one open space like that something else would fit in (probably an extra plug that is on the newer radio harness plug) I hope I didn't lose you! LOL My stock radio control plug wont fit into that area. So what I am going to do is go to the bone yard, and clip the wiring radio harness out of a late model and see if I can use the section that will fit into that empty area. I will first try jumping the wires to see if I can get the controls to work. If they work, then I will splice that section into my stock steering control plug. Hopefully this will work. The sad thing is, I do not know much about wiring. For someone who does, this would be a breeze. I think this will work. If it does, that would be great, and end all this crap with the steering controls not working. I hope you can understand all this, I know it is confusing trying to write down what I am talking about. LOL
Later Bro
Mike
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Old 02-09-2006   #4
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

If you can't get that to work you might consider buying a new deck with IR control. Then you'll need a PAC SWI-X interface to get the controls to work your new deck. I have done this to mine and works great. Plus the sound is unmatched by any factory one you can put on there and get the controls to work.

PAC Website (Interface Controls)
My Pioneer DEH-P47DH Installed

-Ozzy
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Old 02-09-2006   #5
ZZ4GTAMan
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Thanks Ozzy, there is something about the Factory Pontiac Decks I like. I just do not like the way the aftermarket ones look. Plus I am not looking for a killer stereo system. I just want to have some decent quality sound, and be able to play Cd's. If I end up not being able to get the wheel controls to work, then I might go aftermarket down the road.
Later Bro
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Old 02-09-2006   #6
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Hey Ozzy, thanks for the PAC site. And the picture of your aftermarket deck. Your deck actually looks great. It doesn't stick out like the aftermarket decks usually do, and it fits the whole area like the stock deck. I didn't see those links on your post before, so thats why I am replying again.
Later
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Old 02-10-2006   #7
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Humm i have never tried to get the controls to work with a diff factory radio but i know for a fact it will work with an aftermarket radio because i have the Pac on mine and i had one Alpine radio and I bought another one and hooked it up and I didnt even have to reprogram it for the new Alpine radio. It is pretty cool it will run everything on the radio my radio will run 4 12 disc changers and my radio controls will run it. I would have to research and see if you can do it with a different factory radio. you could put a different column in it i have done that and made that work. I took a column with wheel controls out of an 89 and put it in an 87 and made that work. you could try that. If i figure out anything i will let you know. good luck Tommy
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Old 02-10-2006   #8
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Thanks Tommy. Sounds good. If you figure anything out let me know.

Later
Mike
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Old 04-11-2006   #9
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Mike,
I was curious if you ever figured out how to make the 98 factory unit work with your controls. I am actually considering trying to do the same thing and really don't want to go aftermarket myself. There has to be a way to accomplish this. I did talk with a person that claims he can add a line input and output to the current factory radio so that an external changer and amp could be added but I didn't like his price... or his attitude for that matter. Thanks.

Darrell
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Old 04-11-2006   #10
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Hi Darrell, I have not figured it out yet. I just haven't had too much time to mess with it. I have too many other projects going especially with the car. But I will get this figured out one way or the other. Or, I will put the factory deck back in, with an amp and a CD changer. I do believe you are correct about what that guy said. I think you can add a line input and output to the current factory radio so that an external changer and amp could be added. What I am going to do to try and get these controls to work, is go to the salvage yard and find a later model pontiac/GM with a deck like I have that had the steering wheel controls. I am going to cut the harness, find the area of the plug that controls the wheel controls on the new deck (I will cut that part off, make some jumper wires to my factory wheel control plug) and see if this works. If it does, then I will splice that into my two wire wheel control harness. I probably lost you. LOL But I think this will work. I just hate cutting any wires or splicing anything on my car. I haven't killed myself to do this right now since I only drive 5 miles to work, and 5 miles home everyday, and being able to pop a CD in right now is great. Plus the deck looks factory, only better since it just looks updated. Red lights and all. It also sounds better than the stock deck. But if I can't figure it out, I will put the stock deck back in. The problem with our stock decks is (you may know this, so if you do I am sorry) but if you ever hook an amp up to our stock decks, the stock deck has some sort of cut out. When you turn up the volume too loud or the bass is too high, it cuts the bass out. You can tell with this even without an amp if you crank it up. I know this from having an amp installed in my previous 88 GTA with the stock deck and an amp. I will keep you informed if I figure this out bro. If you do first man, let me know. Thanks Bro!
Take care
Mike
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Old 04-12-2006   #11
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Mike,
That's some good information about the radio that I wasn't aware of. I didn't know about the radio loosing bass tone as it got louder and that may well influence my decision as to whether or not I want to use the original unit or not. I do have a local shop here in Atlanta researching whether or not we can make a later model factory unit work with the original steering wheel controls. They seamed somewhat confused as the why I cared so much about keeping the original unit in the first place. I guess it's just personal preference but I wanted to keep my car as original as possible. I can appreciate what you are saying about other projects taking precedence over the radio ... in fact my wife keeps asking me why I care about the radio when there is some much else I want and need to do to the car. I guess it's just a guy thing ... lol ... I will certainly let you know if I find out anything else about the controls. Thanks again. Take it easy.

Darrell
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Old 04-12-2006   #12
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Sounds good Darrell. Maybe your shop can find something out. LOL at your wife. My wife is the same way. Except she wants to know why I am so worried about projects on my car, when there are plenty of projects to do around the house. I mean I have soo much free time. LOL
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Old 04-16-2006   #13
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Guys,

Being anal about retaining the factory radio, or at least the factory look.... it won't be understood by many folks other than us right here on this forum.

I have looked into this for mounting a 2002 Delco head unit with the amber lights into my '89 GTA. What I'm being told is no way. Change the steering wheel to a Pontiac wheel that came with the unit. I trust this source... so I'm probably going to forgo the use of the steering wheel controls just so I have a better deck and a CD!! If I get anal while at a car show, I'll slip the stock unit back in... Right now its the way I'm going.

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Old 04-16-2006   #14
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

I hear you Gerry. I think you are most likely right. There are a few (very few) in my opinion aftermarket decks that do look good in our cars. And with the pac adapter, the wheels work. So this may be the route I take. Ozzy88GTA's looks good. Or I can always get a disc changer and an amp. The only prob going that route is the stock deck has that bass cut out. I am not to worried about it right now. Too many other car projects.
Later man
Mike
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Old 04-16-2006   #15
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

So mike, did you figure it out? I'm too lazy to read through ALL the posts. If not, just find out which pin it is on the new deck, and splice your factory steering wheel control wire into that pin, and it should work. The reason I feel confident on this, is because the PAC adapter you can get can be used on pretty much ALL GM vehicles... so it should work
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Old 04-17-2006   #16
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Hey Nathan, no man I haven't figured anything out yet. I don't know what I am going to do right now. I wish it could just be simple. LOL
Later Bro
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Old 04-18-2006   #17
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Do you have any pics of the connections at the back of the deck? Also, any pics showing the factory steering wheel plug. I think mine is missing(removed).

thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzy88GTA
If you can't get that to work you might consider buying a new deck with IR control. Then you'll need a PAC SWI-X interface to get the controls to work your new deck. I have done this to mine and works great. Plus the sound is unmatched by any factory one you can put on there and get the controls to work.

PAC Website (Interface Controls)
My Pioneer DEH-P47DH Installed

-Ozzy
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Old 04-18-2006   #18
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Mike,

The news from my local shop isn't good. They are telling me that that our steering wheels send completely different signals to the cassette units and it is impossible for the later model factory CD unit to read them. So even with a wire splice, it won't work. It is possible (in theory) to redesign the control console to be compatible with the later model but man would it be expensive and even finding someone capable would be difficult. So needless to say, I am giving up on this idea. For now the original unit is fine with me. I may consider using a later model factory CD unit like you have done and just forgoing the controls because I just can't embrace the look of aftermarket models. So I just thought I would pass that info along. Thanks again my friend.

Darrell
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Old 04-18-2006   #19
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

the steering wheel controls are integrated in the main deck harness for the 1997 Sunfire CD Player w/EQ... so al lI would do is cut a harness from a pontiac with steering wheel controls bring it home and figure out which one is the control wire (process of elimination comparing to YOUR factory harness in your T/A) then do either of these; splice in the complete harness from the pontiac donor car... OR try and shove the pin and wire from the new harness, and just solder your original control wire to the new harness... or splice it temporarily to see if it'll work... it sounds complicated but I could have it done for ya in minutes
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Old 04-18-2006   #20
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Re: Help, Trying to get Steeering wheel controls to work with 1998 Pontiac Deck.

Hi darrelll and Nathan, Darrell, I heard the same thing. Something about "signals being different" So I am not sure Nathan if wiring it would even work. Although, it makes a lot of sense what you talking about, and almost seems like it would have to work. I think for right now, I am just going to keep the Late model Trans Am deck I have installed now for a little while, and enjoy some Cd's. Although I am so used to using the wheel controls when driving, so I still keep hitting the buttons and they don't work LOL I still have the factory deck if I want to install it, plus an extra factory deck incase anything happens to the first factory deck LOL. Down the road I still am not sure what I want to. I hate the fact of cutting the factory harness, so most likely I will live with the factory deck, or get a nice aftermarket with the pac like Ozzy88GTA has. That looks pretty good. I probably will go that route down the road. Plus no splicing this way either. I will always keep the stock decks. Right now, I only drive 50 miles per week, so it isn't all that important. Thanks for the input/info guys!
Take care P.S. Hey Ozzy88GTA, how much was that deck you have, all together with the pac, deck, and plug? Thanks!
Take care
Mike
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