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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I finally found time to take the dash apart a bit. I'm a little disappointed in what I found out, but not that surprised.

We know that the warning chimes and turn signal noises play through the driver's front speaker. One thing I wanted to find out was if they go through the stereo first, or if the BCM sends signals straight to the speaker. This determines how easy it will be to replace the head unit. Well, it seems they go to the speaker THROUGH the head unit (and/or I would assume through the amp in the Monsoon system). With the head unit disconnected, the warning chimes and turn signal/hazard "clicks" go away. Look for a wiring adaptor to hit the market soon, if it hasn't already.

Another thing I was looking into was the possibility of moving the climate control panel down below a single-DIN aftermarket head unit in order to free up the space where the climate controls normally reside for additional gauges. No can do, at least not without way more fiberglass work than I care to do.

I DID have success with taming the airbag lights though. I'll start another thread on that.

Taking apart the dash is not for the faint-of-heart or those lacking the right tools/experience. The IP trim piece is somewhat of a headache to get loose, especially to the left of the stereo head unit. Once it is loose, the headache isn't over, because you have to unplug all of the switchgear from the backside, and get the shift boot and trim ring free (and free from each other, too) before you can take the IP trim out of the car.

Here are the some pics. If anyone has any questions, fire away. I have a few other pictures I took as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More pictures

Here's some more
 

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Discussion Starter #3
More pictures

All of the dash lights are actually LEDs, as far as I can tell. I wanted to look into dimming the high beam indicator a bit from the backside. I was hoping I could just put a dimmer bulb in there. No such luck (since it's not even a bulb). I couldn't even use the same trick as I used to tame the airbag lights, because I didn't want to mess with taking the needles off of the gauges.

I took apart the climate control panel as well, just to be sure it was one big circuit board in there. To my dismay, it is. I can't simply narrow it down to squeeze it in lower in the dash.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Stereo pics

Head unit and wire connectors
 

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2KWK4U said:
All of the dash lights are actually LEDs, as far as I can tell. I wanted to look into dimming the high beam indicator a bit from the backside. I was hoping I could just put a dimmer bulb in there. No such luck (since it's not even a bulb).
A bright hi-beam indicator was an issue on the 2004 GTOs also. Pontiac/GM eventually came out with a BCM reprogram to dim it. Perhaps, Perhaps, that might be possible for the Solstice.



NEVER MIND. MY BAD. :brentil:

The GTO issue was with the "MPH" indicator on the speedometer face. :blush: :blush:

Guess I should double check some times and not always try to go from memory.

But on the plus side, it gives me a chance to use a couple "Cricket" smileys.
 

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2KWK4U; Man...nice work! Your either real brave, real crazy, or just have way too much time on your hands. If I tried something like this... Well let's just say the results would not be pretty. Anytime I fool with something that isn't broke, I break it. :( :lol: How long did your exploratory surgery take and did the patient survive? Any scars?
 

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I love checking out your pictures. Great information. How do you get all those plastic panels off without breaking plastic or clips? When you put it back together, no squeeks or rattles? Next, could you attack the trunk? I'd love to see for sure what is under the Mayan Temple.
 

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I would never in a gazillion years even try to attempt that. I would bust things, short out things, forget to attach things, etc...........There would probably be left over parts as well!!!!!!!!!!

Signed,
Faint at Heart :eek:
 

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Nice work.....now that you're in there, what's your take on how stuffs Engineered/Assembled. [i.e.] did you find things were put together in a logical well thought out way...no unneccessary parts....all the fasteners torqued down correctly...quality bits and pieces....etc etc............
 

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As for the aftermarket head unit replacment and keeping the chimes.. there is a unit out there by Metra and I believe at least one other company to keep the chimes. Cost is around $60... Metra part number GMRC-01. Crutchfield and I think CircuitCity can get them (among your favorite online aftermarket stereo company).

I had one in a previous car. All the box does in plug inbetween the head unit and the factory wiring to "hear" the Data Bus signal. The box (which contains a speaker) then makes the correct sound for the signal. Problem is the box is buried inside your dash and can be harder to hear, or much louder and is no longer volume controlable. I know my Olds Alero I could control the volume of the "dings" with the stereo... I'm guessing you can still do the same.

Data Bus connections are standard on the radios... remember, it's a worldwide radio system now, so don't get too nervous if something doesn't like Solstice on the packaging just yet.
 

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Small Dealer said:
A bright hi-beam indicator was an issue on the 2004 GTOs also. Pontiac/GM eventually came out with a BCM reprogram to dim it. Perhaps, Perhaps, that might be possible for the Solstice.
If this issue had already been seen and addressed before, why is it appearing again?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Chip said:
2KWK4U; Man...nice work! Your either real brave, real crazy, or just have way too much time on your hands. If I tried something like this... Well let's just say the results would not be pretty. Anytime I fool with something that isn't broke, I break it. :( :lol: How long did your exploratory surgery take and did the patient survive? Any scars?
Thanks! I'm all three (brave, crazy, 4-day weekend). This is pretty much standard practice for me. I take apart every new car I own within weeks of taking over the keys. I probably spent about 3 hours in total pulling things apart and poking around.
 

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2KWK4U said:
Thanks! I'm all three (brave, crazy, 4-day weekend). This is pretty much standard practice for me. I take apart every new car I own within weeks of taking over the keys. I probably spent about 3 hours in total pulling things apart and poking around.
It's all good unless you end up with extra parts. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ralph_on_me said:
Thanks 2KW! Did you take any measurements of the base unit or "apparent" empty spaces while you were in there?
Aw crap! :cuss: I KNEW I forgot to do something. Here's a couple more pictures of the head unit. The cavity it goes into is pretty much an exact fit (a little play, of course), but open at the top for ventilation. There's not even any more allowance on the left side for the internal amp's heat sink!

As for dimensions, I'd look at what crutchfield gives for other newer GM cars with the same head unit. I'd bet a paycheck they all use the same style recess in the dashboard.

In one of the above pics, you can see a white post on the back of of the head unit case. That post engages a hole in the back of the bay, and I think the head unit might bottom out in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
stang said:
That's just too cool. :thumbs:

In your dashboard adventures, did it look possible to move the airbag indicator to below the stereo?
I'm going to say "maybe." Anything is possible, but I don't know how easy it would be. In "dash3.jpg" (above) you can see that you would probably have to cut a web out of the dash carcass to put it there. Also you'll have to extend the wire harness, and fabricate a way to get the flat panel to fit the curved part of the IP trim (see IPtrim3.jpg).

I considered it briefly, because I thought the hole left behind from the airbag light unit would be a nice fit for a radar detector remote display. I might just eliminate the airbag light panel all together, though. Alot of GM cars put it in the rearview mirror. If I can find a self-dimming rearview mirror with map lights, compass, temp display, and passenger airbag light in a salvage yard, then I'll grab it and free up the space for my V1 remote display.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
AeroDave said:
I love checking out your pictures. Great information. How do you get all those plastic panels off without breaking plastic or clips? When you put it back together, no squeeks or rattles? Next, could you attack the trunk? I'd love to see for sure what is under the Mayan Temple.
Very carefully! I have a panel-popper tool that I bought from the snap-on man ages ago when I worked as a stereo/alarm installer. I put a cotton wrag over the business end of that, and put it between the panel gaps, then hunt for the locations of the clips. When I find one, I say a little prayer and squeeze away :lol:

No squeeks or rattles upon reassembly! Needless to say I'm happy for that. Believe it or not, the trunk/Mayan Temple IS next up. I might get around to that one today.
 
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