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So here's my latest project.

After doing some research, I've decided to attempt to install a factory navigation unit from an 09 equinox ltz into my 08 equinox LS.

First thing I did was use Pro Demand to look into the wiring harness and see if there is any huge differences between the models with the pioneer amplified system (LT and above) and the basic radio that only displays time (LS). Looking into it, there's only a few wires that are absent from the LS harness that are present on the LTZ harness, but all other wires have the exact same pin-out on the 14 and 16 pin connectors. The wires absent are:

14 pin connector;
-pins 4+5 for the box mic signal, +ve and -ve respectively (used for noise isolation)

My car is also missing the dedicated navigation unit gps antenna- these do NOT piggy back of the on star signal, as it mainly works in conjunction with the cellular system and the onstar module. The only way that the on star module, if equipped, interacts with the vehicle is strictly out-putting audio. Other then that they do not interact whatsoever, unless if you have a 2009 model. Some of them came with Bluetooth calling features so you can use your own phone and not have to pay on-stars outrageous plan costs. However, a New GPS antenna will need to be purchased. These are relatively easy to put in;

-remove the screw covers at the top of the a-pillers and unscrew the 7mm bolts.
-Remove the screw covers on the dashboard and remove the 13mm? I think? bolts that hold the dash on. Remove the gague cluster trim by gently prying at it.
-Carefully pry up the dashboard. It's held in with metal clips. It takes some effort but it does come up. Be careful of the automatic headlight sensor. The cable is short. You can just leave the dash sitting there loose, or you can twist the sensor to remove it and remove the dash completely.
-Install the gps antenna and route the cable through to the back of the stereo and plug it into the blue port.


Also, by the looks of it, there is a single 16 pin connector with one wire used for the vehicle speed sensor, my guess is for the DVD/Rear entertainment system, as most cars, and aftermarket radios w/nav and car play etc etc. have this in order to prevent you from pairing a phone while the car is in motion. Same thing with the DVD systems in most cars, you need to be stopped in order to start playing a movie.

Also, there is a whole 16 pin connector dedicated to the DVD system (separate from the connector for the VSS). My vehicle does not have this obviously, and I am a 19 year old kid and dont plan on hauling any little ones that want to watch movies anytime soon.

After looking at the harness for the pioneer equipped vehicles, the pin layout is the same for the speakers as the LS base radio. However, they just go straight to the pioneer amp located in the back by the sub woofer, if equipped, whereas the LS model just uses the built in amp. This is not um-common practice for GM. My work truck is a 2011 Silverado LS. It does not have the Bose sound system, but has the "Better" (time, radio info...etc) radio in it. All of gms dot matrix radios are the same, as they are more then likely too lazy to design a completely different radio for all their cars... come on, we're talking about the King of parts-bin cars here after all.


Recap:
My car (LS base):
2 connectors, 1x14pin and 1x16 pin. Missing the box mic wires.

Car the stereo probably came out of:
all connectors match the pinout of my car. Has 3x16 pin connectors and 1x14 pin connector. One 14 pin has the box mic that I dont have. One 16 pin has only one wire for the VSS.

My verdict?

After researching this religiously and making sure that this setup will work 100%, I came across another user on the gm-trucks forum who did the exact same conversion, but on his Torrent, with the same setup as my car. He installed it without any issues with not having the amplifier. If this guy is truthful, this setup should work with no issues, regardless of the setup you have. All of GM's Delco/Panasonic/Delphi radios have a built in amplifier. If another amplifier is detected, the stock built in amplifier is overridden and the audio signal goes to the amplifier, which then goes to the speakers in the car.

Then comes the issue of programming. Some of the Dot Matrix radios that gm has have a chip dedicated to VIN verification and theft lock. People have successfully removed this chip either forcefully or by properly de-soldering and having success. I definitely do not recommend this, as you could accidentally damage the board traces and goodbye radio. I have not seen anyone do this with the navigation radios. In my case, I will attempt to use my snap-on scanner at work which we have successfully programmed gm-lan radios of this era in the past.

Another thing to note is that I've seen people use the upgraded My Link system found in cars like the 2013 buick enclave, as they did not change the radio mounting and use the same connectors. However, I've heard mixed thoughts about this and using it with the non-pioneer setups. Attempt this at your own risk. Also, depending on which car it comes out of, you may have a different animation displayed with the car's make (i.e, you have a chevy, but displays buick) and to some, including myself, this looks kinda jenky in my opinion. Though it would be a great upgrade I'm sure, sometimes you just need to throw in the towel.

Why am I doing this? I am trying to get GPS navigation and the information display on my radio. I know it sounds stupid, but there's my OCD kicking in. My first thought was to find an aftermarket radio with GPS and all that. But after buying all your adapters to keep chimes and turn signals, which I do want, as well as adapter plates, etc. etc., it came out to about $500 taxes in. (Thanks Canada for 13% HST). I got lucky and came across an ebay listing for $100, shipped to my door, after taxes. Considering this radio has everything I need, factory, and is my interior colour (score!), I bought it. I definitely encourage you to try and buy one second hand from either a wrecker or ebay like I did. Good luck at the wreckers though, as they are hard to come by because nobody opted for this and I dont believe they were an option until 08 or 09, and only on LTZ and Sport models, at that. Also, I did factor in the cost of programming that I may potentially need to spend, in case if I do need the dealer to use the tech II tool to program.

I am currently awaiting this thing to come in the mail and I will update when it does come in along with the GPS antenna. I may also consider posting this to youtube so it can be illustrated and explained in more detail.

Stay tuned!
 
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