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I'm probably going to get a stereo head unit for my truck for my upcoming birthday. I'm wondering what I need to do to get it hooked up. My truck has steering wheel controls and the Bose speaker system. I want to retain full functionality of both. My understanding is I'll need separate items to get the head unit hooked up correctly. What do I need besides the head unit to get it installed?

EDIT: I also have satellite radio (Sirius/XM) ... I would be curious about hooking up to the antenna as well (with a satellite capable head unit, of course).

NOTE: I'm not asking a purchasing question here, what I'm asking is what are the names of the parts I'll need. Pictures, description, and a how-to about how it's put together would be bonus. This should also be head-unit agnostic as it could work for any Silverado with the same options.

Vehicle info: 2006 Chevy Silverado 3LT L33 Bose stereo with steering wheel controls.

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  • I want a Bose stereo with speaker controls. – DucatiKiller Dec 27 '15 at 23:35
  • This is rather simple for this vehicle. It has full aftermarket support. A quick search on Crutchfield's website netted the answers: crutchfield.com/Car/outfitmycar/car.aspx I searched for a 2006 Silverado standard cab/bed. If different layout just search their website again. – race fever Dec 31 '15 at 16:46
  • @racefever - Then please answer the question with the details and get your reward!! :D – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 31 '15 at 16:53
  • I was going to but you mentioned parts being head unit agnostic. Some parts are not. Didn't want to post an incomplete answer. It ended up sounding like me telling you to google it. :P But not on purpose! – race fever Dec 31 '15 at 16:55
  • I understand. Please post up what you have ... when I say "head unit agnostic" I mean in general what do I need to do to continue to utilize all of the features I currently have. Shows you what a newb I am to car audio. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 31 '15 at 17:02
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+100

Things you will need:

  1. Head unit
  2. Steering wheel audio control adapter compatible with the head unit. Example for your truck
  3. Dash kit. It allows for the radio to fit in the non-standard opening.Link to kits
  4. Factory system adapter. Allows you to plug in the head unit harness into the factory one and keep the current speaker system in place without splicing in. It also allows for chimes to be heard through the audio system as with the factory unit. Link to adapters

There are kits that include the steering wheel controls and the factory system adapter in one bundle. Link to bundle

In general, you are looking for the right plug-in adapters to keep things working as factory equipment. Your vehicle has full aftermarket support and it makes it simpler. All of the functionality can be maintained.

The website linked to is Crutchfield. They are a good source for the parts. I've been buying from them since the 90s (phew!). Their support is top notch. Much better than what this answer can provide.

Random tips from past experience:

  • Get some small zip ties. They are handy to keep things secure with the new install.
  • Have some good 3M electrical tape available in case you break a cable. It happens. Betters safe than sorry. Don't cheap out on the tape!
  • Don't solder unless you have to. This is a bit out there, but I prefer to only solder those connections I know for sure will be permanent.
  • Have a boombox playing in the background to keep you entertained. This is boring and sometimes back breaking work.
  • Have a small towel to dry your sweat. Trust me.
  • Have a fan if in a warm location. You can't have the trucks A/C running.
  • This will take no less than four hours. Plan accordingly.
  • Don't rush it with the dash parts. They break easily and can turn a simple job into a multiple-trips-to-the-junkyard type of thing.

Good luck.

PS. Start here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWm7gceAsGo

  • Hit my vote limit +1 when the clock resets them. Nice answer. – DucatiKiller Dec 31 '15 at 20:45
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    Do you have to worry about the impedance of the Bose factory speakers? I had a Bose system in a '99 VW Jetta and the speakers were basically unusable with a aftermarket head unit (HU). – JPhi1618 Dec 31 '15 at 21:21
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    @JPhi1618 Thats a great question to which I dont have an answer. Thanks for the comment because it might help avoid issues. – race fever Dec 31 '15 at 21:40
  • I think one difference is that the Jetta had a Bose branded head unit and amp, but I don' think the Silverado has either of those, so it might not be an issue here. – JPhi1618 Dec 31 '15 at 21:49

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