Truck Trend Garage: 1987 Chevy Scottsdale Crossed Wires
Question: I just purchased a 1987 Chevy Scottsdale in mint condition, but there is no radio. I was wondering if I could purchase a Wal-Mart radio from the automotive section and install it. How do I match the wires with those of the new radio? All the old radio wires are there, and I don't need anything fancy.
Answer: I don't know what kind of car stereos they sell at Wal-Mart, but typical aftermarket sound systems come with decent wiring instructions. You can also get a matching electrical connector adapter. Some adapters will plug into the radio (or radio connector), and the other end fits right into the existing connector for the original factory radio. But sometimes you do have to splice the wires from the new radio into the vehicle's wiring harness. On your older truck, it shouldn't be a big deal. You'll have a main power feed (hot in accessory and run), power for clock/preset station memory (hot at all times), illumination/dimmer (power from the instrument panel illumination circuit), a ground, and possibly a power output wire for an electric antenna (if equipped). The new radio or connector kit should supply a wire color/connector terminal matchup chart to help with the wiring.
If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at email@example.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.
Can't wait for help with a problem you're having with your Truck or SUV? Ask the expert we trust here at Truck Trend Garage — visit Alex Steele at www.RealWorldAutomotive.com.