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Old 06-25-2003, 05:23 PM
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Question '85 GMC Sierra-factory stereo wiring?

The schematic in my Chilton's is barely legible. After discussing how the new stereo was installed in the truck with the previous owner, I need help to clear up his stupidity. Can anyone tell me how the factory installed stereo's wires hooked up? From the schematic, I can tell that black, grey, & yellow power the radio. What I can't tell is if the yellow or grey is high or low. Then there are the eight other wires. Lt. blue, lt & dk blue stripe, yellow, yellow & brown stripe, lt green, green, tan, & grey. What does these wires connect to? I so need help. The new stereo (an old Clarion) isn't connected to most of the old wires. Can anyone help me?? Please!!! I can't stand lugging the boombox around to have tunes in the truck any longer.

Much appreciative,

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Old 06-25-2003, 08:16 PM
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Do you have a multimeter or 12V test light? If so ground it to a good ground and with the positve end test the yellow and grey wires. one should have power all the time and the other should only have power when the key is turned over (this one is called the switched power). The switched power usually hookes up to the red wire on the stereo, and the constant normaly goes to the yellow wire on the stereo.

As for the other wires they are probably the speaker wires and you might have to fiddle around with them a bit to find out which set goes to each speaker. Or you could always take each speaker out and observe what set of wires is connected to each.

It may take a little time. But you can work it out. Just be patient and watch those hot wires or else you'll be going through lots of fuses.

Good Luck,
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Old 06-26-2003, 01:23 AM
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Something I know inside out. I new I had a purpose on this web site. Here we go Amie LOL. BTW is it the way is it the older style radio (you know has the needle for the tuner)?

Step by step ( because I do not remember the colour codes for the '85 Sierra). Get yourself a 9volt battery and a cheap test light, or a good one, but for this a cheap one will do. Clip the ground lead to a clean metal spot under the dash somewhere (the antenna plug should do fine if you can't reach a good spot). Test to make sure it works by checking out a few fuses in the fuse block. It should light up if properly grounded.

Black wire: Should be ground, but to make sure connect the test light to it. Turn the ignition on and off, the TL should remain unlit. Now turn your parking lights on and turn your dimmer switch to dim then back to bright then turn off your P lights, again the TL should remain off. If the TL remained off through out all these tests then black is your ground wire

Yellow wire: Should be your Accessory power. Let's test it to make sure. Turn the ignition to the ACC. position or IGN. The test should turn on when you do this and turn back off when you put your key to OFF.

Gray wire: Should be your Park light/Dimmer wire. To test it turn your Parking lights on and switch your dimmer switch from dim to bright, the TL should come on and be doing the exact same thing that your dash lights are doing. And when you turn the Park lights off the TL should turn off as well.

Lt. Blue(+) & Lt. Blue/Dk. Blue: Should be Right Rear speaker
Yellow(+) & Yellow/Brown: Should be Left Rear speaker
Lt. Green & Green(+): Should be Right Front speaker
Tan(+) & Grey: Should be Left Front speaker

To test the speaker wires take each pair of wires (e.g. Lt. Blue(+) & Lt. Blue/Dk. Blue) and momentarily connect them to 9v battery. You should hear a popping sound from the speaker that the wires are connected to. So in this case the Right Rear speaker should "pop". I think the rear speakers on that truck were optional, so you may not have any speakers in the back, check to make sure.

Do you have the wiring diagram for the clarion deck?

Here it is:

Black: Ground
Red: Accessory power (aka switched ignition)
Yellow: 12v constant (on your truck you can just "splice" in to the cigarette lighter power wire {it's either red or orange in colour})
White(+) & White/Black: Left Front Spkr.
Gray(+) & Gray/Black: Right Front Spkr.
Green(+) & Green/Black: Left Rear Spkr.
Purple(+) & Purple/Black: Right Rear Spkr.
Blue: Remote turn on (for turning on an amplifier)
Blue/White: Power antenna wire (rare on most decks)
Note: You won't need the blue wires (if the deck even has them), so make sure they are well taped up so they do not short out against anything.

This should be pretty accurate, if it's not, or you still need more help let me know.

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Old 06-26-2003, 10:53 AM
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I think Forklift has it covered, but I'll add that I've seen the wiring diagram stamped on the factory stereo itself. You have to be looking for it to see it, it's right next to the connectors.
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:55 PM
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Thumbs up

I did get the schematic for the Clarion deck...thanks so much. As for the factory unit, it's in Austin, but I can surely find out if the info is there [I'd have to make a trip or try explaining it via phone to an elderly grandmother (think I'll just drive...ha!)].

Guys, thanks for the input. I knew this wouldn't be a difficult thing, I just needed a kick in the head. Now, if only my garage was empty or it wasn't raining... :p

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