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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a UUI radio from a 2009 Cobalt for under $40 CDN. Total install took less than 45 mins.

Can't come to a conclusion if the off-colour is worth the USB port. Still debating on whether I pay to have the dealer unlock it or not.

Here is a pic anyways if anyone was wondering what it may look like:

 

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Pull the faceplate off and paint it the right colour? If I remember correctly, it just snaps off.
 

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Anti-theft device, when a radio get moved from one vehicle to another, it locks. A trip to the dealer is required to have it unlocked so it will work again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My service advisor says he will do it for free if it's simple on the tech 2. I think he thinks it's like resetting the tpms, which it's not. From what I read it looks like 1/2 to one hour of labour. So looking at $60-120 CDN. All in I would be at worst case $160. That's cheaper than trying to buy and wire up an aftermarket unit. Thx sly Bob for the link to paint the face plate. That's a nice weekend job. Anyone have any idea on the paint code for the grey radio?
 

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I believe what you are looking for can be found in this colour code chart from GM.

http://www.genuinegmparts.com/pdf/touchuppaint/2008-gm-color-compatibility-guide.pdf

Looks as though the interior gray colour on the dash is Gray / WA610F but please don't take my word for it, double check on the link above. Of course if purchasing a spray bomb to match you might want to go to a local automotive paint supplier to match the gloss of the paint as well.
 

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Yeah TONS of places to get exterior paint colour codes and it's easily read on the sticker in the glovebox. Interior paint codes, not so much...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sly - thanks so much for the insight.

I googled the WA610F paint code and all I can find is a place out of QC.

I see you are out of Welland (I am originally from Hamilton, now in Burlington). Do you have any recommendations for paint shops that might carry this interior paint colour in the golden horseshoe?

My other option is to bring my old radio to CT and see if I can find a dupli-colour that is close.
 

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Any auto body supply place in the area would mix the paint and sell it to you in a spray can. There is a place in Welland and one in St.Catharines that I have dealt with. There HAS to be one and likely a lot more than that up your way. Google Hamilton auto body supplies and start calling. Take the boomerang or your original radio with the paint code so they know the colour and can match the gloss.

Rondex, Barton auto are a couple of places that pop up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Do you think I could just swap face plates?

I would have to dremel out a slot for USB or run a USB out the back. No painting then?

My only issue is that the original radio was a 6 disk unit so it has a LOAD button under the FAV. I would either leave the LOAD button on or swap it with the clock button seen on the new unit.

Thoughts?
 

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Yes, yes and yes.

I had three radios. My original non-Monsoon single CD. A used 6-CD unit that had the CD guts removed and a Monsoon UUI radio from a Sky. Originally I swapped my original faceplate onto the Sky radio (per the thread I linked) and that worked. Then I took apart and painted the 6-CD faceplate while I kept my original face pristine and just swapped the Load-Clock buttons. Then replaced the original with the painted faceplate. All combinations worked fine.

You'll find it pretty easy to check if the faceplates are physically compatible. Just a couple of screws on the side and then the unclip and compare (take the radio out of the car first).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone.

This is a tough one for me:

Option 1:
Take the new radio out and paint the face plate. If I screw it up, no biggie - the radio is only $40 and I can repaint again.

Option 2:
Swap the face plates and dremel out a slot in the old dark face plate for the new USB port and swap some buttons. If I screw this up, 6 disk radio is a loss since its face plate will have a hole in it.

Both options require me to take apart the radios and delve into the face plates.

I think I am going to go with option 1. Once its painted I can put it back into the car. If it looks good, I go to the dealer and have it reprogrammed. If it looks like crap, then I go back to the old 6 disk unit and call it a day.

Thanks for everyone's feedback.
 

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Option 3, see if you can move the USB (if on a separate board) and reroute out the back. Then swap faceplates.

Both options require me to take apart the radios and delve into the face plates.
All of that is easy, the faceplate removal especially so, but the whole radio is just held together with screws and clips.

HOWEVER, the faceplate itself is the most difficult to take apart (for paint). Lots of tiny screws and pieces that are easy to lose. Take photos/notes at every stage so you can get it back together. For instance, every button is a different molding behind, even though many look the same from the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
TomatoSoup - you're killing me ;-)

I had just convinced myself to just paint, and now you have me thinking of running the USB out the back through the glove box! I took the faceplate off my old radio (6 disk) yesterday and yes it was really easy.

If I move the USB out the back, I assume I have to solder in some wiring. If that's the case, I suck at soldering!!!!

I was hoping I could take the entire USB plug to the back of the radio and run an USB extension directly from the moved port out through the glove box. Then I can attach either my kids ipod/wife Iphone and my android phone.

I will pull the new radio out and take a closer look if the USB can be move easily. Then I will make my decision.
 

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I will pull the new radio out and take a closer look if the USB can be move easily. Then I will make my decision.
Yup, that's the best bet. And if it CAN be moved, then you can just cut a U-slot in a back/side panel so you can route an extension cable inside, then plug it into the USB socket. No soldering.

Otherwise, if the USB can't be moved (directly attached to the main board) then find someone who can solder and can remove the protruding USB socket from the board and solder wires to the board instead. That way you could route out the back but still swap the faceplates and not have to cut a hole in your original.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well it looks like I am down to only one option.

I took apart both radios and the face plates don't look to be interchangeable. The screws for holding down the board are different. The newer radio has what looks like a lighted panel between the buttuns where as my old one doesn't.

Also, the USB port is wired directly into the main board. It is not a separate unit.

So, I picked up some paint and will attempt to paint the new radio face plate. I will be doing this over the next couple of weeks. I will post pics of before and after.
 

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I bought a G6 USB radio online. It is factory refurbished and is ready to install in any car. I took it to my painter who disassembled it, painted it black to match the Sky center stack and put it all back together for me. I installed it and it works great. In fact, sadly it works better than the Sky USB radio I bought back when you could and installed in Punisher. The G6 radio is a non-Monsoon radio and as a result it has a LOT more volume range. It sounds great but it provides a lot more sound power into the cockpit than my Monsoon at the same settings. More base and more treble as well. I have considered picking up another G6 radio for my car but most of the time you cant hear it anyway so its low on the list.
 
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