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Install Garage & Help Desk You've got the radio, now which cable goes where? Got questions about factory installed radios in your car? Ask any installation or help questions here and someone will get to you soon.

 
 
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Old 07-31-2005, 03:24 PM   #1
Nitrousbird
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Default 1994 Firebird Formula Sportster IR Quality Install w/ Pics

I've seen too many ghetto looking installs lately w/ units slapped on top of a dash w/ wires hanging everywhere. It doesn't take that much longer to do it right:











- For power, I purchased a 12V socket and wired it behind the head unit

- For the mount, I purchased the Panavise bracket. I'm kind of disappointed in this bracket. It cost and arm and a leg for a small piece of metal, which sucks to begin with. Where it is supposed to mount (directly next to the head unit in the mounting screws) didn't work, because the trim ring wouldn't snap back into place. I had to place it lower, drill an extra hole in the bracket, and then it fit. It "MIGHT" have worked if I still had a stock head unit in there. Might.

To top it off, because of how tightly the bracket fits next to the dash, you can't use all the mounting holes for the cradle; could only use 2 of the screws, but luckily that seems to be enough to hold it solidly. Also had to grind the lock down on the cradle so it would clear the Panavise mount.

- Currenty just using the FM modulator until I get around to purchasing an aux. adapter for my head unit.

- Antenna is under the hood. No way in hell was I going to put an external antenna on this car (I mostly just toy around w/ this car and race it, so I could live w/out the Sirius in there). Well, I heard you could put an antenna under a fiberglass hood, and this would work. Before the install, I tested antenna strenght. Though not as strong as out in the open, there is still decent enough signal getting to the unit. I mounted the unit under the thinest part of fiberglass on the hood.

**NOTE: Applying to all 4th Gen F-body owners** This antenna install will only work on cars with fiberglass aftermarket hoods, or those owning cars with the SS, WS6, or Firehawk packages. All other factory hoods are steel and won't allow you to put the antenna under the hood.**

For the cars guys: 1994 Firebird Formula, stock shortblock, stock intake and throttle body, Comp CC306 cam, ported stock heads, NX 150 wet shot, loaded Moser 12-bolt, SPEC Stage III Carbon clutch, suspension goodies, 6 point rollbar w/ harness, Hooker LT's w/ custom 3" true duals dumping at the axle, Pioneer HU, Eclipse 4-channel, broken Memphis 1000D, and 12" Audiobahn sub.

11.292 @ 121.52, 1.61 60'

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Old 07-31-2005, 05:35 PM   #2
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Great looking install! It's nice to see that Sirius is moving away from the adhesive pads in their car kits, I always thought that a PNP taped to the dash looked like crap.
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Old 07-31-2005, 08:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1994 Firebird Formula Sportster IR Quality Install w/ Pi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrousbird
To top it off, because of how tightly the bracket fits next to the dash, you can't use all the mounting holes for the cradle; could only use 2 of the screws, but luckily that seems to be enough to hold it solidly. Also had to grind the lock down on the cradle so it would clear the Panavise mount.
talk about ghetto...shoulda just got a ProFit swivel which would have extended the Sportster out enough to use all 4 screws and eliminate the need to grind the cradle lock down.

Otherwise, nice install!
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Old 07-31-2005, 08:49 PM   #4
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I've seen too many ghetto looking installs lately w/ units slapped on top of a dash w/ wires hanging everywhere. It doesn't take that much longer to do it right:

i 2nd that, way too many installs on this forum slapped on with
double-sided tape, combined with multiple wire ties for a truly half-assed effort. and to everyone out there, you know who you are.

shoulda just got a ProFit swivel which would have extended the Sportster out enough to use all 4 screws and eliminate the need to grind the cradle lock down.

i agree, you should have bought either a ProFit Easy Swivel:


or a Panavise Tipper:


and attached one of these to the mounting bracket, then your Sportster to the swivel attachment, not only will it give you the added clearance you need, it also allows minor tilt, angle adjustments to the attached unit.

the Panavise Tipper has a machined ball joint in it that makes it a smooth movement, whereas the Pro-Fit has a nylon nut with plastic retainer ring around a bolt, but both are well made.

in any event, the finished product looks clean and nice, couldn't get any better if you had paid for the install. the antenna placement is the nicest in recent memory.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:49 AM   #5
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The screw thing isn't a big deal; 2 is more than enough to hold one of these units on. In my work van, the design of the bracket I bought for it allows only 2 to be used, and it has never been a problem after several months of heavy use.

Grinding down the lock doesn't bother me one bit either; I ground it down right so it doesn't look all nasty, and you don't notice it. I never use the lock anyway, and especially wouldn't in this car, where the unit will spend minimal time in.

I might consider a swivel mount for this thing, but at the same time I don't want the unit to stick out too far either. Had Panavise made the bracket stick out 1/4" - 1/2" further, it would have been perfect in that regard. Had I not been lazy and made my own bracket, it would have been fine too, and I'd probably suggest anyone w/ the correct tools to do that instead.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrousbird
Grinding down the lock doesn't bother me one bit either; I ground it down right so it doesn't look all nasty, and you don't notice it. I never use the lock anyway, and especially wouldn't in this car, where the unit will spend minimal time in.
same here...mine is only in the cradle when I'm in it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitrousbird
Had Panavise made the bracket stick out 1/4" - 1/2" further, it would have been perfect in that regard.
same with the Pro-fit brackets I used.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:02 PM   #7
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Default Must be something with F-Body Guys

Nice, clean install. I guess F-body guys think alike, but some people can get touchy about their handmade mounts. Check out my thread:

http://www.siriusbackstage.com/forum...ic.php?t=23112

I mounted my Panavise little higher, but your install looks identical to what I did in my Camaro. Mounting it higher allowed me to route the power, antenna and output wires through the glovebox, which resulted in cleaner look. I tried the swivel mount, but I didn't like the way it flopped around and like you, I didn't like how far it stuck out. Rather than grinding off the end of the mount, I just added a few spacers (i.e., "washers") until the mount fit over the antenna plug in. A side benefit is that it helps prevent the dreaded "no antenna detected" signal which seems to be a problem with the Sportster.

Your antenna install is a good idea, but like you said, it won't work with my steel hood. Too bad because the lumpy antenna I kept from my first Audiovox PNP2 is starting to wear on me.

P.S. Nice mods. Maybe one day GM will get smart and bring back the F-Body.
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:27 PM   #8
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Why did you run anything through your glove box?

Everything should go behind the head unit. I ran my antenna wire through the grommet behind the PCM (2 bolts are all it takes to pull it out of the way) The wire sits under the top of the carpet; you'd never know it's there unless you got up under the dash and pulled the carpet up.
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Why did you run anything through your glove box?
It is hooked up to the back of the HU but the wiring was initially run through the glove box because that was the only place to put my original (large) Audiovox PNP2 (this was before I heard of Panavise/Profit) - it was actually mounted INSIDE the glovebox because I didn't want it stuck/taped/glued/drilled to the dash/window/console, etc. Also, I thought at the time it would keep it out of view from the Midnight Auto Supply folks. When I got my new Sportster a few months ago, I just used the existing wiring. Although it's still neat and clean looking with no holes through the glove box door, the wiring is thin enough for it to close properly.

I plan on rewiring when I put on a smaller antenna, but it's boating time in western Michigan and I've got to get my water time in before it starts snowing in October!
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:29 PM   #10
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Old school F-body guy checking in here. 1973 Trans Am. 455, 4-speed, rare 1973 only Brewster Green paint. No Sirius yet as the lighter socket doesn't work right now but soon I'll be taking the Starmate with me.
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:34 PM   #11
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Don't use the lighter socket on the car; just splice into power/ground under the dash. Much cleaner look that way.

My old roomate has a 69 Firebird 400, punched to a 406, RAIV heads, full exhaust, decent cam, 400 w/ a 12-bolt. Fun toy, even louder than my Formula, no stereo though. He bought a 99 30th Anv. WS6 T/A (the white w/ blue stripes cars w/ the blue wheels) to go along with the 69. I'm not sure if he ever got his Sirius installed in his 99 yet.
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:43 AM   #12
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Update:

I have been able to do some good driving on Sunday since my car club had its poker run that day. Backroad driving all over the place, and not a single signal cut out. Seems under the hood is a great place for the antenna. I'd say the signal is better than behind the glass on my Mustang. I'd highly suggest this antenna location for anyone w/ a fiberglass hood.
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