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Chevrolet Impala Accessories & Modifications

bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
edited June 2014 in Chevrolet
Greetings all,
At the end of May I will be taking delivery of a 2001 Impala LS, Navy Blue, all options except sunroof, leather, and on-star. I can't wait!

My questions are regarding the stereo. I have a complete Alpine system in my '98 Lumina. I plan to leave it in when I turn that car in. Of course, I want to do upgrades to the factory system in the Impala. So here are my questions.

1)Am I correct in assuming that I'm pretty much stuck with the factory head unit due to the "vehicle customization" feature?
2)Has anyone upgraded the factory speakers or amp? If so, what works well?
3)Has anyone installed a sub? I don't want "boom boom" as I drive down the street, but rounding out the low end makes a big difference to my listening pleasure.
4)Is there a way to direct wire a CD changer into the factory head unit, or will I be limited to FM modulated?

Any other pointers or advice would be helpful.



  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    I think you are petty much "Stuck" with the Head unit, You said you are getting an LS with the 1SB package, that includes the AM/FM Cassette Radio, also standard on the LS, But you can get option WX9 that is a Remote CD Changer Harness, it includes the wiring into the Head unit and wires to the Trunk for the Trunk mounted CD Changer, It does not include the Changer, although I would think you would have to buy and use a GM Changer, I'm not sure if they accept 6 or 10 CD's, The Factory option you would need is WX9 Invoice $71.20 and Retail $80.00 This harness Wiring is only available with the UL0 Radio (AM/FM Cass) and not available with the Cassette and CD in the Dash Radio, But that radio includes the AMP that you are better off without, I don't know much about Sub Woofers so I cannot comment. Hope this helps you out Don
  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    IF you get the CD Cassette and Amp Radio you would have to get an FM Modulator to add a Changer to that, I read your post wrong, are you getting the AMP Radio? OR the Standard Cassette Radio, I would Avoid the AMP Radio Option and go with the standard radio and the Harness if I were to do it again, I by passed my AMP so it is worthless to me, and the radio sounds as good as I assume the radio with out the AMP Does But I have the in dash CD and cassette that is good enough for me. If I had just Cassette I too would want to add a CD Changer and the safest way would be to get that Option from the start and a General Motors Changer. Don
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    Thanks for the input Don. I'm in Canada so the options are a little different.

    I was planning to get the "dual playback" CD/Cassette (option UPO) with the upgraded performance speaker system with amplifier (option UQ3). But I still want a CD changer. I've had one for the last 10 years and I refuse to go back.

    Here in Canada there's no option for the Remote CD Wiring Harness, so I'm in a bit of a quandry. It would be an easy decision if there was that option. I'll check with the dealer when I go to order the car next week. I'd rather not do the FM modulated route - I've done it before with only moderate success. I was much happier with a proper direct wired changer. Then again, if I go with the CD/Cassette and an FM modulated changer I would have the capabiltiy to play single CDs in-dash and a bunch more in the changer. Maybe that's not such a bad thing.

    Before someone says it, yes I really am a freak about my music!
  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    Yea, Either way the process is not as simple as it would be with other cars, Having to forgo the In Dash CD to get a changer, I guess for all intents and purposes the In dash CD/Cassette is Nice! I like it alot, hardy ever use the Cassette, but a few times it was there! I had a FM Modulated Sony 10 CD Changer a few years ago in my Mercury Sable and it worked fine. Strange that they do not offer that Harness, Oh Well, you get a free Engine Warmer plug Standard that we do not. Good luck in your endeavors of aquiring your New Impala! Don
  • I've been hearing that the exhaust systems for the 2000 Grand Prix GT and Monte Carlo are the same. Does this mean I can order an aftermarket dual exhaust system for the Grand Prix or Monte Carlo and bolt it on? E-mail me any advice on this, it would be really appreciated. Thanks! Matt Jones
  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    Yes - that head unit in the dash seems integral to the car.

    There is a whole board on the IMPALA RADIO here at edmunds.

    Most of your questions can be answered there.

    Since you are a self-acknowledged "freak" about your music,
    Take a CD and a cassette that you know well to a dealer.
    Play them both in various IMPALA radio- tape -CD combinations and see what you like.

    Some people have been very happy with their factory systems - untouched.
    I was not.

    I have the US version with radio-CD-tape. It came with a CD harness for a trunk
    changer as well. It's still hanging in there just behind and above the right rear wheel well.
    I'll bet that CD harness could be ordered on the net if nort already installed.

    I bypassed my trunk amp in June 2000 and have been very happy with the results.
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    Thanks duraflex!

    I didn't realize there was an Impala Radio board. I've read a bunch from there and I'll re-post my (revised) questions over there.
  • night_owl1night_owl1 Posts: 760
    Dura, how do you know that plug is for the CD changer? I have been wondering what that plug is for and I hope you have the answer.

    I also have the radio/tape/cd setup and wanted to add in a CD changer. I didn't want to go to the FM modulator route. I like my steering wheel controls too much. =)

    I am away from home at the moment in Texas and have been calling around looking for a connector that will fit the amp harness. Hopefully I can find one so we can replace the factory amp with something better.
  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    I do not know for certain that it is for a CD changer but if not what else would it be for?
    Tail and Brake lights for a trailer hitch - not likely.
    Power antenna? Too many wires.

    My plug appears to have 7 wires running into it. That would seem about right for a changer.
    power(1) controls(2) and L & R audio out(4). NOTE: THIS IS A GUESS.
  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    If you go to the Kelly Blue Book Site and look under 2000 or 2001 Impala, The list of Options reads that the $80.00 Option Harness for the CD Changer is "Only" Available with the UL0 Radio, AM/FM Cassette only, Not Available with the Cassette and CD Upgraded Stereo with the AMP... Why I do not know? Where exactly are these wires so I can look for them myself in my LS? Thanks Don
  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    There is a multi-pin connector with about 7 wires hanging high in the trunk just behind and above the right rear wheel well, in back of the trunk liner.

    As I wrote in post # 10, my best GUESS is that it's for a CD changer.
  • platourplatour Posts: 252
    Is the black connector in the middle what you are referring to? If yes, I do not know what it is for but thought that a pic (unfocussed) would at least locate it.

  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    Yes- that wide thin black connector is what I'm referring to. Does yours also have 7 wires going into it?
    What's your best guess?
  • platourplatour Posts: 252
    Yes, seven wires. I do not know what it is but someone must have a shop manual and can tell us from a wiring diagram. It seems somewhat distant from the amp but perhaps the CD player is located at that right-side area. Hopefully, someone with a CD trunk unit can post a pic for us.
  • mediumfrymediumfry Posts: 239
    I have the helm manual and looked up the connector you show in your picture, duraflex. You are right, it is the right one. It's a 10-pin connector with 7 slots populated. Looking at the end of the plug with the six slots on the left you have:

    (Far left) pin 10 Gray wire Audio Class 2 Serial Data. (moving right) pin 9 and 8 unused. Pin 7 black wire ground. Pin 6 not used. Pin 5 orange Battery positive. (break) Pin 4 bare drain wire. Pin 3 Lt Blue Remote playback device audio common signal. Pin 2 lt green remote playback device right audio signal. Pin 1 orange/black remote playback device left audio signal.

    Hope that helps.
  • mediumfrymediumfry Posts: 239
    Sorry Platour. I wrongly gave Duraflex credit for the photo. First one I didn't proofread and I botched it. I did find the connector in my car too, and it is the one I just described in post 16. Thank you for posting the photo - that helps a ton.

    Duraflex are you a gasket guy?
  • duraflexduraflex Posts: 358
    I'm the poster who first speculated that the CD harness was already in there (posts7-10-12).
    Thanks for posting the wiring info.

    FYI: You can revise (EDIT) anything you write here within 30 minutes of posting it.
    Number 17 was in that window of opportunity.

    What is a "helm manual"?
  • night_owl1night_owl1 Posts: 760
    Thanks Dura and Mediumfry! That solves the question about one of the connectors. Now to see how much the dealer wants to install a CD changer into my car. =) I have a few leads on online suppliers of the unit, but I wanna see what it will cost to have the dealer do it. If it's pretty close, might be worth it to have them do it.

    Still wonder what the other one is for. Mediumfry, can you look it up?

  • mediumfrymediumfry Posts: 239
    I had forgotten I had 30 minutes. I'll remember that one. I try not to look like a dork in public whenever possible...

    The Helm Manual is the "GM Shop Manual" that the dealers use. I'm a firm believer in getting that book (the one for the Impala is actually three volumes and covers the Monte Carlo too, over 2000 pages). It's better than Haynes or Chilton, for instance, because it's for one model and one year only. It has specific info like pin-outs and placements of all plugs, wire colors, harness locations, component replacement instructions, component rebuild instructions, trouble code definitions and diagnostic flow charts, everything imagineable. It also costs a hair more ($120 for the latest one) but over the life of the car it pays itself off over and over again. Plus, I got the dealer to buy it for me when I bought the car...bonus! Anyway, Helm inc is (I believe) the publisher that prints manuals for all manufacturers. They definitely handled the book for my Plymouth mini-van and I haven't tried to buy a Ford book.

    Night Owl, I'll look in my manual and see if I can figure out what the connector "B" does. Hopefully I can post that information this evening (I'm in the eastern time zone).
  • mediumfrymediumfry Posts: 239
    I found connector B in the helm manual. I also found it in my car. I was puzzled that there would be an un-used connector because my car has every option available except a sunroof. Sunroof?

    Sure enough, the connector "B" in your trunk near the front of the passenger side wheelhouse under the package shelf is your sunroof power connections, for which I would guess you don't have a sunroof. Specifically:

    The four connectors on top of your diagram are labeled A thru D left to right. E thru H are across the bottom left to right.

    A is yellow and is accessory voltage. B is Black and is Ground. C is Black (may have appeared brown) and is Sunroof Switch open signal. D is Dark Blue and is Sunroof Switch Low Reference. E is Orange and is Sunroof Switch Open Signal. F-H are not used.

    I think we nailed it.
  • night_owl1night_owl1 Posts: 760
    Thank you Mediumfry! I never would have guessed it was for the sun roof. I would have thought that feed would be up the A pillar. Wonder if that means we can use the yellow wire for a remote power hookup. I'm going to have to to find my multimeter and check this out.

    Is this the manual you can order using the form in the Impala owner's manual?
  • mediumfrymediumfry Posts: 239
    I'm sure that's the book that's in the owner's manual. It costs $120 (US). Also, you can get it via the web at and follow the obvious path to your model/year.

    If you order through the owner's manual or the web, you get gig'd for about $7.00 S&H. The dealers usually won't order it in for you, they just reference you to a 800 number to call to get it. I don't remember the number or I'd provide that too.

    There is a TON of information in that book(s). The challenge is to understand how the heck they organized it so you can find what you're looking for. That was a particular challenge a few years ago when I got my first one. However, I've now had one for an '86 Grand Am, '90 Dodge Caravan, and '93 Plymouth Voyager. I'm starting to get the hang of it.

    Good luck.
  • hunter39hunter39 Posts: 375
    Ok, let me get this straight... this plug for the cd changer already comes installed if you have the package that includes the amp, am/fm and cd with 8 speakers? Is that why it's not available because it's already there?
  • night_owl1night_owl1 Posts: 760
    That's what it looks like. I would think that maybe it was cheaper to make two harnesses, one for the standard setup and one for the premium stereo. If you wanted a CD changer without the premium stereo, you would have to pay the extra $$ for the harness. The strange thing was that I was told by the dealer that a CD changer was not an option if I wanted the CD/tape head unit.
  • mediumfrymediumfry Posts: 239
    I was also led to believe that the CD changer plug was not an option with the "premium" tape/CD radio. I had actually double-checked the sticker and it is not on there so I assumed I didn't have the option. Since I'm not planning on adding a changer I didn't really care, but I have been known to change my mind so I thought it'd be nice to have the option. I guess I do. I wonder why dealers don't seem to know ?????

    I'm glad I visited and got involved with these bulletin boards. I've helped others learn things and gotten some good from it myself too. Can't beat that.
  • bdimebdime Posts: 130
    Anyone have any clue if the dealer (who installed by aftermarket remote start)
    can integrate the remote start& alarm with the factory installed alarm (included
    with the driver info center add on)- not the passlock theft det.? wondering if I can't
    get them to streamline these key fobs and manually lock my doors without car factory alarm
    being set off if I use the unlock on the add-on fob (does any of that make sense?) Means
    I have to use 2 sets of key fobs-( like to let spouse keep the spare.)
    If I park in the street at home so my kid can pull in the driveway- I do not want to arm
    the alarm but just manually lock the doors. Crawling underneath to put it into
    valet mode is a bit impractical. Suggestions for a better plan?
  • I ordered my LS with the base radio with the ULO option (it provides wiring harness for CD-changer, amp., and upgraded speakers).
    I have had a CD-changer in my trunk since May of 2000---it works GREAT!!!!!
    However, it took me about 3 months to finally get the correct changer
    parts. Aftermarket changers would not work. Of course I by-passed the amp.
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    PLEASE tell us more! What's the model number, how do you control it (i.e. select which disk you want, skip tracks etc.). What "correct changer parts" were so difficult to find? Did the changer simply plug into the harness and work, or did you need to do something to the radio?

    If I'm correct, the ULO radio is the cassette-only radio. Did you investigate if the UPO radio (CD/Cassette) can control the changer? Do you have steering wheel mounted radio controls? If so, do they control the changer as well?

    Obviously I'm VERY interested in this since I'll only have a limited amount of time to change my factory order if the changer won't work with the UPO radio. Thanks for your help!
  • etcarrolletcarroll Posts: 87
    Yes, please tell. I have the radio/CD combo, assume the button marked AUX. would run a trunk mounted changer if present.
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    Here's what I've found out so far.

    According to both MNR and Radios & More, the CD changer can be controlled by ALL the available Impala radios (including UPO). However, MNR says that the harness that comes with the system won't work because it doesn't go all the way to the radio. He says that you have to purchase the harness that's listed on the web site and run the new wire from the trunk all the way up to the radio and attach the plug into "the open plug at the radio". He also said that if you have On-Star some additional modificaitons are needed.

    Aquaknot, I'm still very interested in hearing your story!
This discussion has been closed.