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  1. #1
    Neil Richardson
    Fly By Night Saabhat93's Avatar
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    10 Mar 2011
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
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    85
    Saab(s)
    '88 c900T, '88 c900 SPG, '94 9000 Aero
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    Radio to lower DIN: How to

    [Additional: This is a copy of my guide from SC on how move the radio from the upper DIN slot to the lower DIN in the centre console with some minor edits. This can be an addition to euromobile's extra gauges tutorial if you want your gauges in the upper DIN slot for line of sight reasons. I much prefer the radio in the lower DIN because if you're like me and had to buy an aftermarket stereo, they're normally extremely bright and annoying when driving at night. Having it in the lower DIN a) reduces the glare from the lights and b) is conveniently located next to the shifter for quick shifting after changing the radio/song.

    Tools you will need for this job: Pretty much anything you would find in a normal mechanics tool set.
    - Patience
    - 10mm, 12mm, 13mm sockets
    - An assortment of 6"+ extensions and maybe a swivel joint (couldn't hurt)
    - A torx set and driver
    - Soldering iron/solder (lead free )
    - 14-16 gauge wire. 5+ feet for shiggles. You'll need it for something else. I promise.

    I give this job a good 1/5 if you've lowered the kick panel before and a 2/5 if not. It will take about an hour to two hours depending on how much pizza you eat and/or how irritating the kick panel decides to be.]


    I started this project with limited information based on searches here, and of course since I didn't have a real guide to this process, I started tearing stuff apart and figured out what went where. At any rate, I hope this helps someone else who wants to move their radio for gauges or cupholders in the upper DIN slot.

    Step one is to take out your centre console and lower kick panel. Very easy process. You need a torx screwdriver and some patience as it can be kind of flustering trying to figure out how to wiggle everything in and out. The centre console itself is attached via torx screws near the shift lever (pull out that weird bumpy thing right in front of the sunroof/vert switch) and there they are. 4 torx screws also attach to the dash behind the ashtray, behind that plate is a 10 mm nut that needs to be removed, which reveals a 13mm bolt type thing that will also need to be removed to get the lower kick panel down. It's kind of like a giant puzzle.

    Step two is removal of the lower kick panel. Two 10mm bolts and the 13mm bolt you removed earlier hold it in place. The 10mm bolts are found near the door hinges in the engine bay and may be behind a bunch of wires. You will need a few extensions to get them out and DON'T lose them.



    Off they go and down she comes! [this is the easy part..]



    Now I found out the hard way that the wires from the harnesses that run to power power and speakers are too short, so after a maddening 45 minutes of trying to figure out a way to get the wires down to where the radio would be, I gave up and did this:



    [Additional: To get to the wire harnesses your DIN slot needs to be sans radio. You will be able to push them down through the DIN slot, then further down through the driver's side speaker grill (you all know how to do that.. ), then once they both plastic harnesses are facing downward, assume the position and reach up and nab them from underneath and pull them towards your target destination.]

    Went to OSH and soldered up some 7" extensions onto the harnesses. Just do one at a time and it's pretty easy. Took about 45 minutes including pizza breaks. Good soldering practice for those of us who are inexperienced. (This is the video I used to learn how to solder) Got some cool macro shots as well. At any rate, these are now long enough to run from here under the steering column.



    to here: behind everything else




    Test fit without kick panel in place:



    [Additional: Be sure to make sure everything works and remember to plug in your antenna before putting the kick panel back in. Also be sure to check to make sure you haven't knocked off any of your HVAC wires/hoses if you plan to fill the upper DIN slot (please do).

    Hints for removing/installing the kick panel:

    Find a helper. If you can't find one, be prepared to do some acrobatics. I found that stretching out across the seats and using your feet in conjunction with your hands to really push that sucker back up where it belongs helps. The even application of force will seat it correctly, otherwise you'll just be playing this weird game where you push one side up, then the other falls down. You won't win.

    ...Ask me how I know.

    Once it's wedged in place you'll have to find the sweet spot by wiggling it around and keep going in and out of the cabin to see if you can see the holes. A flashlight helps a lot here for seeing the threads in the foam stuff of the panel.]

    Hope this helps.

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  2. #2
    Sam Carlson
    Tutorial Bot euromobile900's Avatar
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    14 Aug 2010
    Location
    Medford, MA
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    683
    Saab(s)
    '90 900 LPT with a flat-nose conversion
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    Nice tutorial. It's cataloged in the links directory! Too bad that damn kick panel (knee bolster) is so hard to remove on my car, or I'd go in there and do more stuff. And I never thought of modern radios being too bright! That's an excellent reason to relocate, which I never considered because my radio is from 1984.

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  3. #3
    Neil Richardson
    Fly By Night Saabhat93's Avatar
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    10 Mar 2011
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    Santa Clara, CA
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    85
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    '88 c900T, '88 c900 SPG, '94 9000 Aero
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    Yeah, I hate a lot of aftermarket head units because they can't be dimmed with the rheostat. Whenever I drive my SPG the radio blinds me and it drives me bonkers. I dunno when I'll get around to taking it apart and finding the hack job the PO did. I originally moved the radio for gauges, then found out how expensive they were and went to pick n pull and got a cup holder instead.

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  4. #4
    john clary
    under the radar n1nes's Avatar
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    19 Mar 2011
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    boulder colorado
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    Saab(s)
    '85 900T16
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    Nice write-up!
    I never could figure out where the outer fasteners were on my '85's knee board. Up behind the ash tray next to the 13mm bolt is a hole that I assume is intended for pass-thru for the lower DIN slot in the center console. That's what I ended up using when I moved my radio down for gauges in the upper DIN slot. I was unable to find this pass-thru from the top (too many vacuum lines from the HVAC right there) so I passed a bundle of new wires up from the bottom that I used for extensions as you did. Care has to be taken to leave enough slack so the bundle can be spread flat behind the ash tray and the lower center console when re-installed.

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  5. #5
    Neil Richardson
    Fly By Night Saabhat93's Avatar
    Join Date
    10 Mar 2011
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    85
    Saab(s)
    '88 c900T, '88 c900 SPG, '94 9000 Aero
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    Good to note. It's been many moons since I did this, so when I do it again I'll be sure to remember that.

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