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1997 Firebird Radio and Windows Not Functional?


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#61 GaryDoug

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Posted 2 weeks ago

 

This is interesting. I have never heard of or experienced this issue with my 93.  Weak motors, sure.  Replacing the replacement motors about every 2 years, check. Dry tracks stressing the regulator, that was an issue too.  ...but once I got the "improved" motors, no more slow roll up, and it's been almost a decade since I had a motor fail. I have equal operation on both sides. Same today as the day the motors were installed.   Guess I got lucky or the wiring was changed to save a couple pennies per harness.   Just more proof that even when things seem equal, our experiences always differ.   Glad I'm not on the short end of that difference for once.

The wire sizes, switches and connectors are identical on the 93 and 96. There are just two differences between the 93 and 96. The 93 has a 35 amp circuit breaker while the 96 has a 30 amp breaker. Also, a splice for one side of the driver side wiring is in the door on a 93 and behind the instrument panel on a 96, presumably to help the express down module work better.

 

The passenger side wiring is weaker because it goes all the way through the driver side door window switch to reach the ground. That is so the driver side switches work the passenger side window.


gallery_14511_2130_2884.jpg
1998 Trans Am - LS1/A4 - all stock - one owner - driven daily - Scan9495 author


#62 TheFoxRocks

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Posted 2 weeks ago

So update time.

 

1.) There appears to be some type of short between that I am not looking forward to. It is when trying to use the drivers side controls to use the passengers side window. 

 

As Gary suggested I unplugged the coupler from the presently installed motor and place it on the new motor. The new motor worked from the passengers side controls but not from the drivers side. I removed the coupler, plugged it back in and then the drivers side controls then worked. The good news is I unplugged the coupler several more times, moved the wires around a little bit and was not able to recreate this issue. 

 

2.) I accessed the passengers side window motor today and it looks like it has definitely been replaced previously.

 

This is because it has nuts and bolts much like what I just used to replace the drivers side window motor. However, they are slightly different, the ones from AutoZone are like a 'hybrid' head which you can use a philips or flat head to install. The ones installed now are a different material/color and only have flat head connections. Also the holes on the inner door panel were not drilled out. What was also weird was the screw head was facing out away from the car and the nut was facing inside the vehicle. It would have been nearly impossible for me to install them this way on my side. To get them off I am using an open ended wrench and a small handled flat head screwdriver I found to hold them. 

 

I ran out of daylight so this will have to wait for another day. Also do you guys think I should use Loctite on these nuts and bolts? For the drivers side I would have to back them off a tiny bit and place some on. I have some blue (removable) Loctite. However, since these are in such an awkward position it could make it very difficult to remove them later if I ever have to replace the motor again. Then again... I don't want them getting loose when I am driving down the road and cause some catastrophic damage. Because in all reality these three tiny bolts support the entire weight of the window when it is up right? 



#63 GaryDoug

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Posted 2 weeks ago

1) I suspect the contacts on the driver side became conditioned by repeated operation with current now flowing again. I don't see how unplugging the motor and plugging it back again would fix anything specific to the driver side switch. Coincidence?

 

2) Regarding the orientation of the motor bolts, there are two possibilities. First, if they are too long, you don't want the ends away from the head protruding into the window glass space. Second, this may have been changed while the regulator was removed, and the person doing the work did not realize the bolts would be better installed the other way for future work. This is likely since there were no access holes.

 

If the bolts do not already have self-locking nuts (or at least split lock washers), I would use them instead of any locking liquid. Of course, drill the access holes.


Edited by GaryDoug, 2 weeks ago.

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gallery_14511_2130_2884.jpg
1998 Trans Am - LS1/A4 - all stock - one owner - driven daily - Scan9495 author


#64 TheFoxRocks

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Posted 2 weeks ago

1) I suspect the contacts on the driver side became conditioned by repeated operation with current now flowing again. I don't see how unplugging the motor and plugging it back again would fix anything specific to the driver side switch. Coincidence?

 

2) Regarding the orientation of the motor bolts, there are two possibilities. First, if they are too long, you don't want the ends away from the head protruding into the window glass space. Second, this may have been changed while the regulator was removed, and the person doing the work did not realize the bolts would be better installed the other way for future work. This is likely since there were no access holes.

 

If the bolts do not already have self-locking nuts (or at least split lock washers), I would use them instead of any locking liquid. Of course, drill the access holes.

 

Yep I drilled the access holes before I even noticed the nuts and bolts. Yeah I am pretty sure the bolts have split lock washers. The thing that concerns me is when you use the window motor to raise the window you can really see the motor pulling on the inner door panel. I am sure you guys know what I am talking about, but man it really moves the inner plastic. I guess the door trim will make it slightly more rigid. A lot of this tape that was holding the bundled wires together is falling off. So I am trying this "wire loom tape" to wrap some of these bundles back up. 

 

So question, I can add a little Dielectric Silicone Paste to the back side of these connections right? It couldn't hurt?


Edited by TheFoxRocks, 2 weeks ago.


#65 GaryDoug

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Sure, the paste is a good idea.

 

Here is a short video of my car's window operation to compare:


gallery_14511_2130_2884.jpg
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#66 TheFoxRocks

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Posted 2 weeks ago

Sure, the paste is a good idea.

 

Here is a short video of my car's window operation to compare:

 

Gary,

 

Thank you for everything, you and many others on here but especially you have been ridiculously helpful. Unfortunately I just learned today that I have a greater issue with this car that will hopefully turn out to be nothing. Anyway I got the motor replaced and torqued down to the mounting bracket today. So I am glad to say that both windows (with some resistance) are working properly. I am going to lube up the tracks and regulator teeth tomorrow. Also put a tiny bit of grease on the wiring connections and put everything back together. Then I guess I will move onto the radio.

 

That is, as soon as I figure out why the car will not back up when in reverse....

 

Also Gary if you would like to PM me your email address and I will shoot a little compensation your way for your time and effort helping me. 


Edited by TheFoxRocks, 2 weeks ago.


#67 TheFoxRocks

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Posted 2 weeks ago

So I was just doing a little research on the radio and it looks like the Pioneer one I was looking at is no longer being manufactured. It also required a lot of soldering wires so that the connections would fit directly into the Firebird. I did not really mind giving it a shot, I thought it might give a modern touch to this older car. 

 

So any advice on how I should start troubleshooting the radio and any recommendations on what replacement radio I should get? 



#68 ZumpTA

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Posted 2 weeks ago

There are adapter harnesses out there for under $20 that connect directly to the plugs that go into the radio.  The harness wires will be labeled.  The aftermarket radio's harness will be labeled.  You simply match them up. Some  crimp the connections, some twist the copper together and use electrical tape to hold the connection, some solder and tape or use shrink tubeing.  It's not a lot of work, especially to avoid cutting into the factory wires, and technically you don't need to solder.  What you did with the BCM was more complicated than connecting 2 harnesses together.

 

If there is power at the radio but it's not powering up, it would probably be easier to replace it with another working radio than find someone who can diagnose and repair this one.  If you want aftermarket, it's whatever you want.  The single height units are easiest to accommodate with a $20 installation adapter.  The double height units require a little modification to fit and a custom trim piece if it's to look right.


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We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
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#69 TheFoxRocks

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Posted A week ago

There are adapter harnesses out there for under $20 that connect directly to the plugs that go into the radio.  The harness wires will be labeled.  The aftermarket radio's harness will be labeled.  You simply match them up. Some  crimp the connections, some twist the copper together and use electrical tape to hold the connection, some solder and tape or use shrink tubeing.  It's not a lot of work, especially to avoid cutting into the factory wires, and technically you don't need to solder.  What you did with the BCM was more complicated than connecting 2 harnesses together.

 

If there is power at the radio but it's not powering up, it would probably be easier to replace it with another working radio than find someone who can diagnose and repair this one.  If you want aftermarket, it's whatever you want.  The single height units are easiest to accommodate with a $20 installation adapter.  The double height units require a little modification to fit and a custom trim piece if it's to look right.

 

Hey Tony,

 

Yeah the install of the radio I was looking at had that coupler. You buy the correct adapter and then solder (or crimp) the new radio to that adapter and then plug it directly into the Firebirds existing coupler. So there is no direct modification to the cars wiring and if done correctly you retain steering wheel controls and other stuff as well. So is there an easy way to figure out which radios are compatible with this car and what adapter would work with both the new radio and go into the cars factory coupler? 

 

UPDATE:

 

Also basically finished getting the door panels back on and ready to start messing with the transmission and radio next. I have been using this Tesla Tape to cover up some of these wires and it looks great and I am certain it will help protect them better as well. 

 

I was wondering if someone could also tell me if there is a way to fix plastic mounting holes. Specifically, when getting the BCM out there is a flat piece of plastic below the glove compartment held in with two plastic retaining clips. I noticed one was missing and I think I know why. The actual piece of plastic where you put the retaining clip is about to break off from the plastic panel. I was thinking about trying to glue it as best as I could to reinforce it but second guessing that idea. 

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Edited by TheFoxRocks, A week ago.


#70 ZumpTA

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Posted A week ago

All aftermarket radios are compatible.  SIZE is the biggest issue and can be worked around, all sizes fit, but as mentioned previously the double height decks require not only the installation kit but also some minor modification to the car and a custom trim bezel if you expect it to not look modified.  If you must have a touchscreen, a single height unit with a screen that slides out (like a CD or drawer) then flips up would be my recommendation. Not all aftermarket radios have a method to tie in to the steering wheel controls, and those that do usually sell a seperate kit to accomplish it.

 

To be honest, I wouldn't worry about steering wheel controls.  First, you have no way to  verify your buttons are any good.  Second,  they probably won't be for much longer if they are.  

 

Features such as Android Auto, Apple Car Play, Bluetooth, Aux inputs,  equalization,  internal (adjustable) crossover, subwoofer output, etc. are up to you.  Personally, I find the Apple and Android interfaces garbage that gets in my way.  I can hear the loss in volume and quality over bluetooth.  So those 3 things which are very important to today's youth mean nothing to me.  I do like when I hop into my wife's Hyundai my phone automatically connects and begins playing my music if the bassdrive app or some other streaming app is open, and ya, when listening to Slacker Radio (liveXlive now) I can use the steering wheel controls to skip tracks....   ...but the difference in audio quality and loudness between bluetooth and a physical AUX cable is enough for me to take the extra 3 seconds to plug in the cable and manually press the play button.  Let's say the difference is between feeling the bass and feeling like a bull is bucking on your chest.  Bluetooth I can run the volume to 98% and wish for more, aux cable anything above 85% volume is actually painful.   ...competition level stereo.

 

 

Radios are easy to install.  Selecting one, not so much.


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We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
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#71 TheFoxRocks

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Posted A week ago

So I was putting the drivers door panel and rocker switches back in place today and I noticed that a lot of the plastic clips are broken. The door panel and rocker switches and housing was already removed by my mothers friend so she could try and diagnose the problem herself. The clips on the door panel are the ones at the bottom, when you lift up on it and slide it down into the four or five holes. A couple of them still seem to be okay and after getting the screws into the door it seems to be holding up pretty well. 

 

However, all the clips on the plastic housing that holds the rocker switches is broken. The window controls will not stay in the housing. 

 

So can you guys tell me how I would go about finding one of these vehicles for salvage? I have never really had to look for a salvage yard and not sure what I would have to pay. I have heard of people buying these cars for a few hundred dollars and having them delivered to their property and then salvaging as much as they can from it and then scraping whatever is leftover. I saw some of these plastic housing things for the rocker switches but they are ridiculously expensive. I was trying to find them on Rock Auto or somewhere else but does not help I do not know their actual name. 



#72 Mr98firebird

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Posted A week ago

BCM problems. I have the same issue. Recently bought a 98 Firebird V6. I noticed the radio and windows would stop working a different times. I truly appreciate the detail and passion you have. I am currently replacing all the non-monsoon radio components. I will look into the BCM board issues as well. I have all the interior out now so now is the time.

I do have a question. The factory radio has a set of wires that show up nowhere I can find. I will try to attach a picture. I just plan on not attaching these wires. Maybe alarm system. Also after inspecting the vehicle I noticed the door locks do not work. Someone spliced in some speaker wire to the power in locks. Very odd. Speaker wire went no where.
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#73 TheFoxRocks

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Posted A week ago

BCM problems. I have the same issue. Recently bought a 98 Firebird V6. I noticed the radio and windows would stop working a different times. I truly appreciate the detail and passion you have. I am currently replacing all the non-monsoon radio components. I will look into the BCM board issues as well. I have all the interior out now so now is the time.

I do have a question. The factory radio has a set of wires that show up nowhere I can find. I will try to attach a picture. I just plan on not attaching these wires. Maybe alarm system. Also after inspecting the vehicle I noticed the door locks do not work. Someone spliced in some speaker wire to the power in locks. Very odd. Speaker wire went no where.

 

Hey Michael,

 

You might want to go back and read some of the exchanges. For me it actually was not the BCM, it seems it was a weird coincidence. It looks like it is mostly agreed that when you have problems with the windows and radio (potentially other components as well) it seems there is a high probability it is your BCM. I finally got the window motors replaced so both of those seem to be working pretty well now. 

 

I have not gotten around to trouble shooting the radio yet either but fairly certain it is not going to be related to the BCM in my case. 

 

Also I apologize if I already mentioned this as I believe I did but no one mentioned anything. Could my radio not working be related to the car missing the antenna? I was assured that the radio was working partially without the antenna. Could not having the antenna just over strained the radio somehow and burned it out? I would think something like that would be unlikely. 

 

Yeah it sucks when people modify factory components, especially wiring. Mostly because of the simple fact that it will be difficult for someone to offer you advice because they cannot see it and it is not factory. That is why when I work on cars I do my very best not to modify anything that could make things complicated, especially wires. I hope you get it figured out. 


Edited by TheFoxRocks, A week ago.


#74 ZumpTA

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Posted A week ago

No antenna means no over-the-air music unless you have a powerful station transmitter very close by.  Tape/CD/Clock still function.  Maybe if you have a power antenna, the fuse to the radio could be blown IF it's on the same circuit, but I have a feeling you checked fuses already at least once.   ...and no, in every use case there is for antennas that only receive, disconnecting one will not harm the equipment in any way.  Only a concern on high-power transmitting systems and even then there are protections.


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"There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
-- Jeremy S. Anderson

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and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor."
-- Wernher von Braun


#75 TheFoxRocks

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Posted 6 days ago

 

Gary suggested that you download the 1996 (virtually the same as 1997) factory service manual (FSM)?  Do it NOW:

 

http://www.mediafire.../?40mfgeoe4ctti

 

There are wiring diagrams for every circuit in the car.  That will allow you to determine which wires should have 12 volts, which wires are grounds, and show you how to systematically trace that circuit from the load back to the source, allowing you to determine where the circuit is interrupted.  The power windows  get tricky, because the polarity has to be reversed based on whether you want the windows to go up or down.  Note also that there is a circuit breaker internal to each power window motor that can fail.

 

Take a look at page 8A-120-0 in the FSM.

 

You should also download a free copy of the 1997 Owner's Manual if you don't have one.  They are available at the GM website.  Used to be easy to download, but now they appear to require you to sign up for an account.

 

https://my.gm.com/ho...support/manuals

 

There is a chart in the manual and in the FSM (8A-11-1) that shows you what each fuse and circuit breaker controls.  In 1997, per the FSM, the COURTESY fuse supplies the BCM.

 

On the end of dash panel, there are two slots with spade lugs.  One (to the left of fuse #13) is labeled "IGN" - that's where you can pick up ignition switched 12 V power, protected by fuse #9 (10A).  The other (to the left of breaker #15) is labeled "BATT", and that is where you can pick up direct battery power, protected by fuse #11 (25A).  When using the FSM for the fuses, make sure you are looking at the "PONTIAC" diagram.  In  the Camaro, the fuse panel is "upside down".

 

And, finally - you keep indicating you hate to add yet another new topic, but you continue to do it.  You really need to start a new topic for each distinct problem.  You are hurting yourself by continuing to add new topics.  It just adds confusion, and discourages or hampers the efforts of people trying to help you, by having to read through a long thread that jumps all over the place. Just trying to give you the benefits of 20+ years experience trying to help people on sites like this.

 

Before anyone says anything the next thing I am going to do is try to locate some information in the manual. I always second check things before going through with any kind of installation or the like. So I checked out fuse #9 and it checked out as only having accessory power like it is suppose to. Then I like to check to see what is not working when I have the fuse pulled. So I immediately noticed the car would turn the starter but the car would not start without this fuse installed. I am not sure how comfortable I am personally piggy backing off something I could consider 'critical' for the car. 

 

Also could someone confirm I am understanding this correctly also? If that single spaded slot to the left of fuse #13 is in fact protected by fuse #9, then can I assumed it shares the same wiring/circuit? Therefore, making it fine to piggy back off of like I have done in the picture below? I have another 10 amp fuse connected  for the dash camera as well but only think it calls for 5 amp. 

 

I noticed that a lot of these screws around this area are not good grounding screws either. As I cannot get them to read with the multimeter. I am not sure if it is they are not connected to the frame or there is just too much coating on the bolts or what. I found a couple that are right under where the fuse block and above the pedals where I could potentially install the ground for the dash camera that seem like they are good grounds. 

 

Also just noticed this dash light was on as well. It is the one in the top left and the service engine light is on too but guessing that just needs to be reset. At first glance it looks like it is saying some type of fluid is low so will  check them tomorrow. The car is going to get inspected in the next day or so as well so fingers crossed. Thanks for all the help in advance guys. 

Attached Files


Edited by TheFoxRocks, 6 days ago.


#76 ZumpTA

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Posted 6 days ago

You should correct the condition causing the warning lamp immediately. I haven't had to deal with inspections in over 20 years, but when I did, warning lamps were an automatic FAIL.
  • TheFoxRocks likes this

"There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX.
We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
-- Jeremy S. Anderson

"Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft...
and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor."
-- Wernher von Braun


#77 Mr98firebird

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Posted 3 days ago

The stereo is complete and windows work. Now to fix the door locks that dont work. I found that the power door lock wires where cut in both doors and speaker wire tied to them. Followed the speaker wire and just went under the dash and stopped. It did have showing of an aftermarket alarm system. Im downloading a large fine from here for a wiring diagram. Anyone know the best place for a power door lock wiring diagram only. Not the whole car diagram.

#78 Injuneer

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Posted 3 days ago

The stereo is complete and windows work. Now to fix the door locks that dont work. I found that the power door lock wires where cut in both doors and speaker wire tied to them. Followed the speaker wire and just went under the dash and stopped. It did have showing of an aftermarket alarm system. Im downloading a large fine from here for a wiring diagram. Anyone know the best place for a power door lock wiring diagram only. Not the whole car diagram.

 

 

You need to start your own thread on these problems.  Not fair to the original poster to “highjack” his thread.  Just causes confusion.

 

Free down load of 1998 factory service manual, courtesy of GaryDoug:

 

https://www.mediafir.../?40mfgeoe4ctti

 

All system wiring diagrams are there in full detail.

 

Power door locks diagram is on page 8-774

 

 

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