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GTA NON-TECH Got a question about non-mechanical items related to your GTA.... whatever they may be? Then post it HERE!

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Old 12-18-2008   #1
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digital dash/UQ7 sub

I have a 87 gta with analog gauges and want to put a 88 digital dash in.My question is will the 88 body harness just plug in to my 87 firewall connection?The 88 harness I have goes from headlights to taillights and everything inbetween but it is cut at the taillight connectors,so can I just splice into my taillights?I heard the wires are all resistance matched and if spliced the message screen will say the taillights are out.And how do you hook up the UQ7 subwoofer option to a car that didnt come with it?I know I need the amp dash switch and wire harness but how do you splice it in to 88-89 factory gta radio/tape?Any help would be greatly appretiated.
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Old 12-18-2008   #2
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Location: Erie PA
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GTA Year: 1987
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
Re: digital dash/UQ7 sub

the connector is physically the same, but the dash harness will not match pin-out wise... as for the UQ7, it plugs inbetween the radio and dash harness and the wires run to the back for the subs. the connector for the gain switch is already in the car so all you do (i dont exactly know where it comes apart) is connect it in and it all SHOULD work.. my old 88 had all that and i had to repin the engine harness for my speed density conversion and i had to buy the sub boxes as someone at some point got rid of them.. but the wiring was there, so when i picked up the boxes it came with the entire sub harness, that how i know how it went it... oh and the easiest way to put the digi dash in is get a donor car and use EVERY bit of wiring from the donor car... there is major differences in the way simple things are ran like the fuel pump...
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Old 12-18-2008   #3
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Re: digital dash/UQ7 sub

Originally Posted by 78gagta78
I have a 87 gta with analog gauges and want to put a 88 digital dash in...Any help would be greatly appretiated.
I certainly understand your appreciation of that dash. I am a product of my favorite decade, those glorious Reagan Era '80's.
And nothing says "1980's" like cruising on a Saturday night with the t-tops off, Van Halen's 1984 or Styx's Kilroy Was Here blasting away while
a 'then-oh-so-trendy' digital dash feeds you high tech data on your hot rod's heartbeat!

Makes me think of those "Get on your Pontiac and ride, Pontiac ride!" commercials.*

Man, I miss the '80's.

Well, anyway, as a result of my 'pathetic 41 year old living in the past' syndrome, I considered the possibility of retrofitting the '87-'89 digital dash/electronic HVAC setup
in my future unlocated, unpurchased '91 GTA.

So, last July I sent an email to a fellow who runs a place that sells 3rd Gen parts seeking guidance and wisdom on the matter.
And man, I got an earful. His response was both emphatic and enlightening.
Here is is:

"Hello. You donít even want to think about it! Itís a lot more than you think!

First off is that they only come with the electronic AC. Which means that all of the ductwork is different and it uses electric motors to change the ducting rather than vacuum.

The second problem is that all of the wiring is different and is year specific and transmission specific.

In other words if you have an 89 Trans Am with a 5.0 TPI and auto trans, you can only use an 89 harness with auto trans.

Also if your car is an 88-89 car with a TBI or 86-87 with a 4bbl engine, there is not a harness to work with it.

And there are some other things that are different, radiator, windshield washer fluid reservoir, door locks, dash & trim, ac fan relays and harness.

Unless you have 2 cars of the same year sitting next to each other, itís going to be a nightmare of a swap.

Not to mention that it is almost impossible to get all of the components together that are all good.

I just received an 87 GTA with 32k mi and some of the dash and components are broken.



Like I said when I read it...'Whoa!'
But I tend to trust him because:
#1 he's a Miami Dolphins fan, and
#2 he sounds extremely knowledgeable.

Good enough for me.

So I scrapped that idea faster than my "John McCain '08" button.

BTW, here's his company info if you want to contact him yourself:

Trans Am Creations USA, Inc.
4767 East 10th Lane
Hialeah, FL 33013
(305) 769-0985, Phone
(305) 769-0932, Fax

Frankly, I decided that if I wanted the digital setup, it would be cheaper to punt the 1991 plan and just go get factory '87-'89 GTA with that option.

But that's just me.

Hope that helps, as much of downer as his answer sounds.

*Just in case you don't know what I mean....
"Get on your Pontiac and ride, Pontiac ride!"

"Just A Wild Eyed Texan On a Manhunt For The Perfect Chili Dog..."

Last edited by TexasRaider; 12-18-2008 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008   #4
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Location: Sedalia, MO
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Re: digital dash/UQ7 sub

Makes me think of those "Get on your Pontiac and ride, Pontiac ride!" commercials.*

those ads are freaking awesome, lol.

as to the original matter at hands...you want it bad enough, just get a car that already has it. not worth the hassle. well, i take that back; it is, but it's a helluva hassle. you'd be better off in time, money, and in your health to just sell your car and get oine that has it. there were more digi dashes made in 88 than analog, so you have a good chance, just have to keep looking.

oh, and any of the "top gun" soundtrack works well for the car, too. i am convinced that whole soundtrack was made for 82-92 trans am's lol
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Old 12-21-2008   #5
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Location: So. Cal
Posts: 38

Re: digital dash/UQ7 sub

It's probably better to find a GTA that has the digital dash from the factory than trying to convert one from an analog equipped car. The good thing is, most GTA's had the digital dash option back in '88 while the analog unit was rare that model year.

However, if you want to go through all the trouble to convert an analog car over to digital, why not go the whole nine yards and make it heads up display? A long time ago, I read an article on the internet about a guy who did a HUD conversion on one of his cars. Not sure if it was a Firebird or not, but he used the HUD unit out an older GTP and made it work on a different model.
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Old 12-22-2008   #6
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Re: digital dash/UQ7 sub

just to let you know about the digital AC controls...

I doubt the guy actually ripped into it to really find out what is involved.

I've dismantled 100% the digital interior and reassembled it using parts from an analog dash system.

Like the 2nd poster said, you want to get 100% of the wires from a donor car.

The electronic AC controls are just electronic till it hits the duct work. The heater core, the vac lines EVERYTHING is identical except for the harness out to the A/C box.

The wiring to the compressor is identical.

How the electronic heater core works is that when you push the button on the duct control, it sends an electronic signal to a small control box screwed to the side of the heater core. That little box directs the vac lines.
It also directs the heat and fan speed.

The resistors for the fan box is at the control panel vs at the fan box.

The heater core is controlled by the same mechanism that the cable one hooks up to. Except its an electric stepper motor that does the work instead of the cable/slider.

I have all the parts for it in the garage, but couldn't get it to work because I could not find the pin out on the fan box harness to convert my analog style over to it.
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