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95' C3500 Radio illumination repair

dbrannon79

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Hey guys, not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I am wanting to pull my OEM radio from the dash on my 1995 Chevy C3500 and repair the lights inside for the illumination to work with the headlights. all the bulbs inside are brunt out! Ive got the process on how to go about fixing it but my issue is that I don't have the theftlock code to unlock it once I finish the repair. I would just replace the unit with an aftermarket radio, but I'd really like to keep the OEM in place. at the moment it works fine just won't light up with the headlights. is there any way to get the code from the radio while it isn't locked or somehow prevent it from locking up on me when I attempt the repairs?

Thanks
 

dbrannon79

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I don't remember if the older radios are the same. But we do this on the 00s radios

https://www.gmpartsonline.net/blog/how-to-unlock-your-chevy-or-gmc-radio-without-paying-a-dime

Also you can remove the theft lock chip in the circuit board and it permanently disables theft lock. There are a few you tube videos in that.
I will have to do some googling on removing the chip. I did try that phone number the other day and it's been disconnected :( I haven't tried calling the local Chevy house here to see what they would charge. if it's just a small fee it might be worth it.
 

dbrannon79

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I was just doing some reading online about removing the chip and apparently there are some ill side effect to this. doing this would cause the radio to not keep the preset stations or audio settings in memory! I believe it was referring to the class 2 radios from 2000 and up though. depending on when I get to it, if the harness has enough slack in the dash I may attempt the bulb repair without disconnecting the radio from the truck! since the bulbs are soldered onto the front board so this could be a fun interesting project! I may have to take photos to post!
 

WarWagon

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There are many shops out there that can repair your radio or sell you a rebuilt one. The ultimate cool is to go LED. I have repaired my 1993 many times, but, with so many night hours the lamps would burn out again. Thus LED suggestion. FWIW Replace every single lamp if you are doing this because any that remain have a very short life left.
 

dbrannon79

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well there wont be a repair on this one! after pulling the radio this weekend I discovered the front circuit board was cracked and modified to work again. someone had been in it before. so I decided to bite the bullet and replace the head unit with a fancy touch screen radio with a backup camera! with this long bed crew cab beast I figured the camera would come in handy :D I had to modify the bezel for the double din radio to fit, but since it was already cracked I'll add that to the list of parts to replace in the future. Ill keep the old radio around, who knows one day I may get the wild hair to repair it and put it all back to OEM. when I pulled it I found a hand written four digit number on the top of the radio which might be the unlock code.
 

WarWagon

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That's always a tough call to replace the OEM "Big Easy Button" look with a aftermarket unit's small buttons.
 
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