Allpar Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My stock radio (and its built in clock) have just stopped working, and my troubleshooting so far has been unsuccessful. I'd be very grateful for any advice.

Fuses are visually fine, and I've confirmed that by switching them around and found no change in the radio. I've also used a 12v test light to check for power, results below.

My biggest problem seems to be in knowing for certain which fuse panel receptacle corresponds to which printed label on the panel. If the labeling pattern is the same all the way across the panel, as I suspect it is, then I DO have 12v at the radio fuse slot. But I'm not absolutely convinced of that. Here's why:

There seems to be a discrepancy between fuse slots on one side of the fuse panel to the slots on the other side - that is, the hot terminal is the LOWER one on the left side (horn for example), while on the right, the only terminal where I found 12v is UPPER terminal. So if that's different left to right, maybe the labeling is different too? I doubt it, but I'm just not certain, and that makes all the difference in my troubleshooting.

So, what I really need to know is if anyone is SURE which slot corresponds to the label saying "Radio".

I tried to solve this by checking another fuse, I picked the horn for convenience. The horn works. When I pull the yellow 20a fuse to the RIGHT of the label, the horn does not work. OK, that was easy. Again, the hot side is is the lower terminal. Of the three fuse slots on the right side of the panel, only one of them has power supplied to it according to my test light.

I made a clear closeup photograph of the fuse panel, but don't yet see how to attach a file here so I'm out of luck on that.

What I found is that of the three fuse slots on the right side of the panel, only two are labeled, and the slot which is to the RIGHT of the label indicating "radio" (like the one for horn) is the one with 12v. Again, the test light showed the hot terminal to be the upper, unlike for the horn fuse slot. The other labeled slot is for "HT MIR", no power there according to my light. As far as I know this car is not equipped with heated mirrors.

Most likely the label scheme is consistent all the way across the panel, and thus the slot where I get 12v (the one to the RIGHT of the label "radio") is indeed for the radio. And if that's the case, my problem is somewhere between the fuse and the radio, possibly the radio itself. But if the labeling is also reversed as is the hot terminal, then my problem is lack of power at the radio fuse slot. You can see how fundamental this is for troubleshooting.

As far as I can tell there are no other electrical problems. So if I have power to the fuse, are there any other possible causes for the dead radio other than the unit itself? Bad ground I suppose is one, I'll check that next.

Thanks very much for any help!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
The radio is switched through the ignition, so if the ignition is off, there is no power. The horn, on the other hand, always has power. Turn the key to the ON position and check the fuse terminals for the radio again with the test light.

The other simple test for a fuse is to measure the voltage across the fuse with a multimeter. For a good fuse, there should be zero or near-zero volts across it, whereas a blown fuse will show 12V across the fuse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bob. I did have the key in the "on" position...so that's not the issue. I thought I'd written that in my post but apparently deleted it when I made other changes.

Any other ideas before I pull the radio?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
31,983 Posts
When you pull the radio, you can probe the harness connector and see if you get 12V from the power and the backup memory wires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Hi. I have a Grand Voyager LE which is the Canadian Plymouth version of your van. It has the Infinity 10 speaker system. I'm having difficulty following your description of your fuses. I'm using the Chrysler Corp. illustration of the fuse panel mounted above the driver's feet. The radio fuse should be in slot 11 and is a red 10 amp fuse. You should be able to interchange it with the left headlight low beam fuse which is in the next slot to the right - slot 12 - and is also red 10 amp.

If you're going to take the radio out of your van to test the wiring - and it's a relatively easy process to remove - I advise going to a wrecker and getting one from a '97 or later which has the cd player, if you don't have that already.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,355 Posts
The center dash bezel is held in by 2 screws hidden under a trim strip below the Climate control and spring clips around the bezel. Pop off the lower trim strip to access the 2 screws underneath and get your fingernails under a top corner of the bezel and pull gently to lift the bezel off. See page 8 here: https://metradealer.com/files/products/INST99-6501.pdf
Pulling the radio to test for both powers (ign and batt) as well as ground will also test the wiring right up to the radio itself. The 2 terminals labelled 'H' and 'I' in the gray connector should be power into the radio. The radio needs both powers on in order to operate. The radio chassis to body is ground. You should have a secure flat, braided ground strap bolted to the radio chassis for this. See the radio pinout here: http://www.installdr.com/harnesses/dcp-wiring.pdf
If the radio is dead, remove and reconnect power to it and see if it comes back to life. If not, try to find a good used radio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the help thus far. I was hoping for some simple alternative to pulling the radio. Even though that's apparently relatively easy, the higher priority now is drying out the carpet resulting from a plugged cowl drain. Cleared the drain but there's about 40 acre feet of water in the passenger side carpet underlayment. Yuck.

Anyway, thanks especially to Imperial Crown for the detail info on radio removal...the factory manual was not quite so helpful.

I had been edging closer to this anyway, the cassette player needed work (or replacement with cd player). Fortunately I have a friend who does audio repair professionally, for decent prices, so I may just fix what I've got.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,355 Posts
Cowl drains plug easily around trees. The best method is to remove the wiper arms and cowl screen and clear the wiper box of junk and debris.
The jute backing behind the carpet dries best when completely removed from the vehicle and hung in a warm, dry area. The carpet on top may appear dry, but if the jute underneath stays wet, it will stink like wet dogs and fish. I've had to throw the backing away and just re-install the carpet on cars before. You won't really miss the backing.
High humidity inside the vehicle will cause window fogging and interior electrical problems as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Once again, thanks ImperialCrown. I had no problem cleaning the cowl drains on both sides, it was easier after I improvised an extension for the blow gun on my compressor hose. I had the wipers and cowl screen removed, easy job on this car. When I was done I tested the drains with water from the garden hose...all clear. We have rain coming tonight so now I'll get to see if this really was the problem, or if there's a weather strip or windshield seal issue....but the drain is much more likely.

I have the carpet pulled up but the pad is really holding the water in spite of two days of open doors and sunny weather. I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and pull the pad out to dry. THEN, maybe I'll get to the radio!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Don't forget the other cowl drain on the driver's side, although it's the one on the passenger side that usually cause the leaks. And I've had a lot of success with drying carpets in this weather by using a hairdryer left to run for a couple of hours, or overnight, aimed at where the carpet is still damp.

You may find it easier to remove the radio if you remove the ashtray first. If you go looking for a 'newer' player at the wrecker you may be lucky and find one with the cd/cassette combo. Just make sure that the gray and black plugs match. and that it's got square corners and not rounded ones. The re and re shouldn't take more than about 5 minutes, which means that you can test it before you pay for it. Same radio is in Jeeps of the same era, and some others as well. I got mine for $35.00 and it works excellently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
5 minutes to exchange radios? Now that changes everything. Last time I dove into a radio, it was in my older Caravan. It had the Infinitiy system. That was an ordeal, or at least I made it that way by lack of experience. Then the junkyard replacement failed shortly, so I bought a base model Pioneer which still works, but adapting it to the larger opening was tedious. So I'd prefer to swap in a stock replacement I think.

As far as buying a replacement, are units from 1996-2000 all interchangeable (except Infinity)? Our local wrecking yard is small and sparse, so I may not have many good choices until I head down to Sacramento.

Regarding the cowl drains, as I wrote, I did clear both sides, and it was definitely the passenger side where the water came in, but that may be explained by the slope of the spot I'd parked in....we had a monster storm - rain and wind - and I'd deliberately parked the car away from the bigger trees on my property, that spot caused it to be leaning to the right.

So why would the passenger side generally be more apt to have a clogged drain? I didn't detect any major difference in the debris in the two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I don't know what year the radio changed and therefore won't fit but if you do a search there's a couple of contributors who have done extensive research into this and you'll find a lot of information about both the various radios and speaker systems. And I don't think it has (or has not) to be Infinity. As long as the power/speaker connectors are the same size. They don't have to be in the same place on the radio. The mounting lugs do have to be in the same place. Also, there are four screws holding the bezel in place. Two behind the small trim strip above the ashtray and two more at the top. Then two bolts which hold the radio in place, the antenna wire, the ground, sometimes an extra ground, and two or three connectors for the climate control system. Everything is colour-coded and of a different size so it's very easy to put it back together correctly.

Both sides can clog but the right hand side of the cowling is where the air intake for the climate control is so when the cowling fills with water it goes into the fan assembly and then spills onto the floor as the fan outlet is not water-tight. You may have heard a gurgling sound if you had the fan running.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
36,920 Posts
Your interchange range is 1983 or 1984 (whichever year the clock became part of the radio) up until around 1999 or 2000. Any of those radios will work, doesn't matter if it's an Infinity or not. Depending on the car line for the exact year of changeover, around 2000 the radio got rounded corners so you can visually see that it won't fit your opening.

You will want to avoid some cars like the Sebring, Cirrus and Stratus if at all possible because one of the mounting lugs was moved for those cars. You can make it work, but you end up with only one mounting bolt instead of 2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Valiant. It's helpful to know the range of years which should be usable.

But I'm surprised by the inclusion of the Infinity radio. From one previous experience, I though that the Infinity radio was quite different electronically. My older GC (LE) had the Infinity system, while the van in question, 1996 GC (SE), is the base model van, so no Infinity. I vaguely remember that the Infinity speakers are wired differently, among other things I believe they have direct 12V power right to the speakers. Thus I would imagine that the harness connector would be different, or else I'd need some kind of adaptor, or the swap could turn into a can of worms turned loose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
the connectors are exactly the same, except for, like you mentioned, wiring differences. the only difference between the two connector wise is the dark green and red wire on the black connector

Hope that helps ya a bit :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
36,920 Posts
The infinity head unit will send the output power to the connector, but it won't go any where. The speaker + and - output are the same so it all works fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Great, thanks thanks for the clarification AJ and Valiant. This is very helpful.

I may get to the Pick and Pull next week, so I guess I'd better pull that radio out on Saturday.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
got a stupid question. When my wife and I ordered or 99 grand caravan, we were able to get the head unit with both the CD and tape players. The salesman told us it only came with the infinity option, but he found a way to omit the speakers?

So, today at he junk yard I was pulling out the rear vent window actuators (tested with my daughter's Barbie Jeep battery first) from a van with speakers in the rear posts. I went ahead and got them as I had noticed on a previous van I looked at that a plug was there for something...

I installed these two speakers while in my car. They don't work. Why? Not a big deal in any way, I am just curious what else I would need to make them work...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
Hmm... our '97 GC SE has factory tape and CD without Infinity anything. I don't know if there are speakers in the rear pillars.

Sixto
97 GC SE 3.3 248K miles
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
36,920 Posts
Most likely the speaker leads are there but not connected to anything. The speakers probably are Infinity speakers in that location and there should be four things necessary for them to work: 12+, 12-, speaker feed + and speaker feed -. You are probably at least missing the poer feeds as it goes though a choke, I think, which won't be there on your van without Infinity.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top