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1998 Chevy Camaro Stereo System - Selective Hearing

Improving The Sound Quality Of A Fourth-Gen Camaro With A Kicking Stereo System

By Frank H. Cicerale, Photography by Frank H. Cicerale

Next on the hit list was the stock head unit. Billy first removed the dash bezel, carefully disconnecting the ASR (traction control) and fog light switch connections. Once the bezel was removed, he loosened the head unit, pulled it out far enough to disconnect the wires from the back of the radio, and then pulled it out completely.

Gino started with the driver side trim piece first. After mocking up the tweeter and marking off the area that needed to be cut, he used a small Dremel to carefully cut out a hole in which the tweeter would fit through. Once he was happy with the result, he duplicated it for the passenger side. He then mounted the bracket and the tweeter onto the door, sealed its perimeter with a small amount of grille covering, and then installed the trim piece on top. The finished product looks like it was installed when the car was on the assembly line.

Once the length of the RCA cables was determined, Billy marked each wire with a Sharpie marker to indicate where it would go (i.e. front, rear, amps). Once the wires were marked, he banded them every six inches with black electrical tape to make installing them under the carpet of the Camaro easier.

Here you can see the size difference between the factory head unit (right) and the new Alpine CDA-9857 head unit (left). The Alpine unit is smaller, meaning we would have to surround it with an aftermarket bezel when installing it in the car. This is because the Alpine unit is a DIN (industry speak for sizing), while the Monsoon unit is a DIN and a half.

Next, Billy removed the center console to run the wires under the carpet straight back from the head unit area. The reason why the wires were run down the center of the car instead of along the perimeter is that you want the wires to run the shortest route for the best sound quality. In addition to the RCA wires, Billy also ran a purple remote power wire. This wire will connect to the amplifiers, and ensure that power only goes to the amps when the radio is on. Once the wires were run, he also ran the iPod cable from the future home of the Alpine head unit to inside the glovebox.

Billy then moved to the rear of the car, where, after taking out the factory jack and doughnut (like we are going to use that on a Z28), he located and removed the factory Delco amplifier.

After the stock amplifier was removed, Billy made his way back into the cabin of the Camaro to install the new 6 1/2-inch Type R coaxials. The speakers bolted in with four small screws. After they were mounted, the wires were connected and the speaker covers snapped back on. He then made his way to the doors and installed the Type-R component speakers and hooked them up along with the tweeters.

By Frank H. Cicerale
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