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Old 09-24-2015, 01:47 PM   #9
carangil has a spectacular aura aboutcarangil has a spectacular aura about
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Leandro, CA
Posts: 54

1996 SL1
Default Re: kenwood radio hardwired

Check your fuses. I recently wired in a Pioneer radio into my SL1. To avoid blowing and fuses, I first disconnected the wiring harness between the car and the old radio.

I cut off the wires from the old radio, and carefully matched the wires on the Pioneer harness with the correct positions on the harvested Saturn connector. Beware, the wire colors on the car's connector, and the original radio's connector are NOT the same. You need to look at the car's wire colors, note the position on the connector, and use that position on the radio side. It is all much easier if you bring the old radio, new radio, and a photo of the car's side of the connector inside and work at a table. I wrote down on a piece of paper 4 columns: Function, Car Wire Color, Harness Wire Position, Pioneer Wire Color. It would be nice if everyone used the same standard Maybe everyone does now.. I have not owned a car newer than 2001, and that toyota was equally annoying with its radio wiring.

I did a test run with power only, with electrical tape. After I was satisfied with the results, I brought the spliced connector inside and did a clean job with solder and heat shrink. (I am an electronics DIY'er and have all this stuff on hand). I know most people on this forum recommend buy a harness, but many of the harnesses are slightly wrong and need some fadangling to get it correct, plus I don't think the connector on the back on my pioneer radio is standard... it just terminates to a bunch of loose wires with instructions saying to splice it into a harness that mates to your car. If I'm going to be cutting stuff up anyway, I may as well do the whole thing myself.

EDIT: About extra power: I looked, and it seems that the SL1 has 5 amps for the radio constant power, and 10 amps for radio IGN power. There are two schools of thought with radios, and they seem to be designed two ways:

Radio Power Strategy 1:
constant: just for memory and the clock.
ignition: Runs the amplifier. This seems to be what Saturn does, with a 10amp fuse here.

Radio Power Strategy 2:
constant: Does memory and the clock. Also runs the amplifier.
ignition: Just a signal to turn on. This seems to be what the Pioneer unit does: the ignition wire is thin, and the constant wire is thicker than the others.

For some high power head units, 5 amps may not be enough. I think on later models, they did increase that circuit to 10 amps. (I have the 1996 SL1)

I'm not worrying about that at the moment, since at a comfortable listening level, I'm not near 5 amps. But some people like it loud, and some people like bass. If you blow the 5 amp fuse, just run a wire to the battery with a 10A fuse, as close to the battery as possible. (If the wire frays, and shorts to ground, you want it to pop. If the fuse is near the radio, and the wire shorts to ground, the battery WILL melt the wire and start a fire.

Last edited by carangil; 09-24-2015 at 01:56 PM.
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