GM OEM nav unit install

NOTE: I would not have been able to do this write-up without the initial research and knowledge-sharing of Chevy Avalanche Fan Club forum member Steve Perry (sperry). I cant thank him enough for pioneering this mod and teaching the world about this. Steve passed away a few years ago, and this big install-DIY that I have written up is dedicated to him, RIP.

-Will my steering wheel controls work as they did before? YES
-Will XM radio work as before with no programming/activation needed? YES
-Will OnStar still work as before? YES
-Will the RSE/factory DVD player work as before? YES
-Will the RSA (rear seat audio) controls work as before? YES
-Can I add the 6-disc Escalade/Denali CD changer to both LUX and NON-Lux nav units? YES
-Can I reprogram non-lux nav units to lux and vice versa? YES, contact DP member MachoMachoDan for information
-Does the Nav unit use the OnStar antenna? NO, it uses a separate antenna as stated

Now for a shopping list, part numbers, etc…

Nav part numbers:

Newest revision LUX TNR-------15800001
Second Revision LUX TNR-------15230099
First Revision LUX TNR---------10377531

Newest revision non-lux TNR-----15800000
second Revision non-lux TNR---10379287
First Revision non-lux TNR-------10377287
Alt. Revision non-lux TNR---------15120706

Newest Revision LUX INR--------15204335
First Revision LUX INR------------15204334
Newest Revision non-lux INR----15108241

NON-BOSE TNR (trucks with UQ3/UQ5 non-Bose audio)-----15811289

Lux Amplifier numbers: (all are identical in function, they just have different part numbers)

2003-early 2004 Escalade amp--15199992
2005 Escalade amp-----------------15114445
2003-2005 Denali amp-------------15114454
2003 Hummer H2 amp-------------xxxxx044 (I forget the first numbers)
Early 2004 Hummer H2 amp-----15191601
(unknown application) amp-------15112662
(unknown application) amp-------15199884
I have this amp on my list as a "bad amp" but Im not sure why-----------15054675
it is confirmed as working with the nav unit; its the amp im running in my truck
GPS antenna:

First revision antenna--------------15207447
Latest revision antenna------------15135178

“AudioPilot” Noise Compensation Microphone:

Noise compensation mic----------25705367
Wiring connector on mic----------12052833
Mating connector for mic----------12085481

Denali/Escalade style CD changer and assoc. parts

6-disc slot load CD changer------15055250
Alternate part # CD changer------15122617
Alternate part # CD changer------15207055
CD changer wiring harness-------15312903

Where to buy different parts…

The nav unit you can get anywhere. I got mine on ebay for 1000 dollars including the separate external GPS antenna. If you want to save a lot of money, you could go for the “INR” (Integrated Navigation Radio…non-touchscreen). These can be had for about 600 dollars or less. If you don’t want to go thru the hassle of doing the luxury sound upgrade, you can also keep your stock non-lux Bose amplifier and get a different part number nav unit that is compatible with that. The two are NOT interchangeable!! They look identical, but are different inside.
The amp I highly recommend buying on ebay. Two reasons... the Lux
amps, when new, need to get an initial programming with a Tech II
diagnostics/program tool. (BTW, the amplifiers, both lux and Premium,
are located in the center console underneath the main storage bin)
This initial programming tells the amp what model/size vehicle its in
so it can adjust the DSP (digital signal/sound processor) to make the
sound correct for the size cabin its in. For example, an Escalade EXT
cabin is much smaller than an Escalade ESV cabin, so the amp needs to
be adjusted for best sound. This programmig can be tricky if the
vehicle that the amp is being programmed into is not a factory LUX
vehicle. Understand? Like the amp will say to itself "hey...somebody
is trying to program me into a not meant to go into a
Silverado...something is wrong here..." For this reason, people
sometimes have difficulty in programming the amps. H2 lux amps are
particularly picky, no one knows why. After reprogramming they just
tend to randomly go dead after a little while. Denali and Escalade
amps seem to be OK but then theres the problem of convincing your
dealer to actually program and do something thats not in his magic
instruction manual from GM. I have been close frineds with my dealer
forever, so for me it wasnt a big deal to convince them "yes it will
work even though GM says it wont". However, other people have had
trouble convincing their dealers to perform the programming. BUT if
you buy an amp used on ebay for example, it has already been
initialized and programmed so its plug and play (besides rewiring the
connectors...). So my advice is to buy the amp on ebay. Much much
cheaper and you wont have to deal with the [potential] hassle of
porgramming it. As for warentee, beleive it or not, GM parts direct
really has no warentee i dont think. So you are no better off than if
you bought it on ebay.

OK now onto the actual installation instructions...

Some pictures are mine, other pics are courtesy of DP member Diesel Breath. Many thanks Diesel Breath! Some documents you may not need, like the
Theftlock clear procedure (if the Nav you are buying is brand new)
and the amp setup procedure (because the amps on ebay are used
and wont have to be programmed...its actually best NOT to program the
amp because for some odd reason, the amps can go dead after
programming). The ONLY situation where you should program an amp is if it is unprogrammed. You will know if it is unprogrammed because audio will only come from the RIGHT FRONT speaker. Otherwise, leave the amp alone!! (as I described before) There are two different docs that describe the same
rewiring procedure... Some people that I have helped find the first
doc more helpful...some find the second doc more helpful. Its just preference as to which doc you use. The first document is credited to the mastermind behind this whole install, an incredibly smart Chevy Avalanche Fan Club of North America member named Sperry. He is the fellow that figured out this whole install/conversion from SCRATCH back in January of 2004. This was back when the navigation units were quite rare and NO ONE knew how they or the Lux amps worked. He figured it all out and because of him, we are all happily and easily converting our trucks today.

(first disconnect the battery and remove the old 6-disc
radio before starting the amp install)

Basically you need to take the
console apart by removing the lid, inner storage bucket (don’t forget the screws on the bottom under the little rubber mat) and cupholders. Also take the "rear end" off so you can see the amp and
the amp connectors. Its just a lot of screws and thats it! Once you
get everything apart, unplug the amp and unscrew the two rear bolts. (all the hex-head bolts for the radio and amp are 9/32”)
Then, this is the only tricky part... Look carefully at the pictures I
took of mine... The front two amp bolts are under the metal
plate...unless you have a perfect little 9/32” wrench or soemthing that can sneak
in and unscrew those bolts, you will need to drill two 1/2" holes in
the metal plate right above the bolts. Once you drill these holes, you can fit a nutdriver
or something thru and unbolt the amp. Pull the amp out towards the
rear. You will have to bend a sheet metal bracket a bit to squeeze the
amp out. Now you can work on the connectors. I did the amp C2
connector (the smaller one with 8 pins) first. First use a small
screwdriver to pry off the plastic retaining clips (on both rows of
pins). Then look closely at the connector and you will see how the
pins are held in place. There is like a little plastic tab that snaps
and locks them in. This next part can get frustrating, but be patient!! Use a paper clip, safety pin or something small to insert into the holes on the connector. When you look at it ull understand. Push the wire into the connector to relieve pressure on the locking tab and then press the
little tab out of the way and then carefully pull the pin and wire
out. Dont pull hard!!! The pins should come out easilly. Once all the
pins that need to be moved are out, check the sheet for where they go,
and push them into their new places. They will kind of click into
place and then once you are all done, put the retaining clips back on
the connectors. Then do the larger C1 connector. Work on one row at a
time because I think there are some color duplicates between rows.
These smaller pins are trickier to release. Remove the retaining
clips. Then insert the paper clip or, even better, a small
screwdriver, into the OUTER rows of holes to release the pins. (the
holes that are closest to the edge of the connector) Once you have
confirmed the pins are correct, you have to take the "drain wire" that
you removed from the C2 connector and put it into the C1 connecctor
(as shown in the charts). You are going to need to cut off the large
pin because it wont fit into the smaller 24 pin connector. Since there
are about 6 wires/pins that you completely cut off because they are
not needed (the ones from the RSA and the amp turn on wire and the
radio mute wire) with the lux amp, use one of those pins and splice it
onto the end of the drain wire (i used a crimp butt-splice). Now you
can stick the drain wire into its new position in the 24 pin C1
connector! Dont throw away any of the other wires that you cut off
either... One IMPORTANT wire that the amp needs that was not there
previously is of course the Class II data wire (becuase the amp is
totally interactive with the head unit and BCM)!! You can use a
plastic wire tap (also called a ScotchLoc connector) and tap into the
Class II wire that goes to the RSA (rear seat audio...the audio
controls for the back passengers). It is the easiest Class II source
to tap into just because it is closest to the amp; theoretically you
could use any Class II wire in the truck. It is a light blue wire that
goes into the RSA connector. You may also want to make a second tap on this light blue Class II wire if you intend to add a CD changer as well…cause the CDX needs Class II data too. First get some extra 18 or 20 gauge wire
(about a foot or so). Then crimp on one of those extra pins to the end
of the wire. Put the pin into the correct position in the amp C1
connector (position B10). Then, using the plastic wire tap/Scotchloc
connector, take the other end of that wire and tap into the LIGHT BLUE
wire of the RSA. Dont cut the wire going to the RSA though!! You are
basically just making a little 3 way splitter, so Class II data can
get to the RSA and to the amp. Now put the TNR in and plug it in normally.
Screw it in but dont put the instrument panel bezel back on. Now you
need to mount the GPS antenna. Most people just kind of stuff it as
far towards the front of the vehicle as possible. However, I just
wanted to be sure it was not going to move around so I bolted it in
the factory position. (see pic). You will have to take the whole dash
top off for this. Its really not as complicated as it seems. First
unscrew all the screws that you can see that hold it on. Then, on both
sides of the truck, there are screws under the fuse panel covers.
Then, use a screwdriver to pry out the two passenger side vents. There is also a screw behind each vent holding the dash cover on. Kinda
up inside the vents there are two white plastic buttons (one on each
side or the passenger airbag inflator module). Press these two buttons and this releases the passenger side
grab handle. Once you have all screws out, pull off the two A-pillar
covers. Be careful not to pull too hard cause the Bose tweeters have
pretty short cables and dont give you much slack to reach in there and
unplug them. Unplug them and remove the A-pillar covers. Then work the
dash top cover off (kinda slide it towards you then up and out). Its a little tricky. ONE NOTE OF CAUTION... Be
careful of the ambient light sensor (the little black bulb sticking up
on the front center of the dash top), the cord is really short and it is easy to break.
Bolt the GPS antenna in using an existing bolt under the dash. (see picture for mounting location) Now you will have to
wire up a VSS (vehicle speed sensor) wire for the Nav. This wire
basically helps out the nav if it loses the GPS signal for a little
bit. (like if you go in a tunnel) With speed info from the car, it can
still make a good estimation of where you are going until it regains the GPS

***NOTE*** You MAY or MAY NOT have to do this step (wire the VSS wire).
For 2005, im 99% sure all of the GMT-800 vehicles already have the
VSS wire in place as standard. My '05 Duramax LT Crew Cab already had
it… If your truck is a 2005 there is no
reason it shouldnt have it. 2004.5 MAY or may not have it. 2003 and
early 2004 definetly wont have it; only the Escalades and Denali's had
it back then because the Nav was an option that was exclusive to
those two vehicles... You can check for it
by looking at the radio C2 connector (the smaller one). Check if there
is a DARK GREEN wire going into pin "E". If its there, the VSS wire is
already in place and you dont have to worry about wiring it.
Alternatively, you can temporarrily plug in the TNR and start driving
forward...if the "destination programming screen/section" gets grayed
out as you go above 10 mph or so, then the VSS wire is working


You will have to remove the instrument cluster. Unbolt the 4
bolts that hold it in and pull it forward and unplug it. Find the wire
that goes into the A4 pin of the gauges connector. It will be a green
with white stripe wire. This is the VSS wire. Use a plastic wire
tap/Scotchloc connector and tap into this wire. Run the wire and make
sure it is long enough to reach the "radio C2" connector (the smaller
radio connector). Now take another of those "unused" pins that you cut
off of the amp harness. Splice it onto the end of the "new" VSS wire.
Then, pry off the pin retaining clip from the radio C2 connector. Then
push the pin into the "E" position. (see diagrams for which position
is E...its also in tiny tiny letters on the plastic connector) Snap
the retaining clip back on.

Now You can plug in the TNR. Dont screw it
in yet in case something doesnt work. Plug the amp in at this time
too. dont mount it yet either... Now reconnect the battery. Put the
key in and you should hear [door]
chimes!!! If you don’t hear chimes, you probably have a bad Class II data connection (check the wire you spliced).Start the truck. The new radio will take a second to
initialize as it learns your trucks VIN so it can become "married" to
your VIN incase someone steals the radio (it will now only work with
your VIN). IF you bought a USED radio, a "theftlock engaged" screen
will come up. You can temporarrily bypass this for testing purposes by
turning off the truck, then put the key in the ACC position, and pull the
radio fuse for 5 seconds (with the key
still in ACC). Then put the fuse back in and the radio will have full
functionality until you
turn the key off or try to start the truck. If you do either of those,
the radio will lock up again. Alternatively you can simply unplug the large 24-pin radio connector for 5 seconds instead of pulling the fuse. Now that the Theftlock is "bypassed,
fire up the radio and test out that LUXURY sound!!! I
personally find it sounds best with the bass 1 notch below maximum,
treble 1 notch below maximum, and the mid-range right at the middle.
(I know on a "normal" stereo system this sounds like a dumb EQ
setting, but on Bose equipment, its what makes it sound NORMAL!! The
amp's internal EQ does wierd things and in order for it to sound good,
you have to crank the bass and crank the treble and leave the mid
range at the default setting). You will find all the audio settings by
pressing the "Audio (musical note)" button. Along the bottom of the
screen are the various DSP modes. Cycle thru them (like SPACIOUS,
DRIVER, REAR, PASSENGER) to find out what sounds best to you. I personally like
"SPACIOUS" the best. Also, press the "page down (arrow)" button and
make sure the auto-volume (AudioPilot) is set to OFF if you did not install the microphone (IMO its not worth it…it’s a waste of money). Lastly, check
out to make sure all the speakers are working correctly and everything
sounds good.

Now put everything back together and enjoy.

Various wiring documents in PDF format. Click to download:

TheftLock clear procedure

Radio harness (1)

Radio harness (2)

Radio harness (3)

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