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You love the OEM phone but not the OEM radio?
 

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I have to agree with Mr. Useless (is that a contradictory statement?).

While the internal electronics may not be superior to new model head units, the user interface was the most appealing of all years.

Bob. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #84 (Edited)
A bit of good and bad news.

Good news: I finally have the rest of the parts to complete my phone install!

Adapter needed to connect the phone to the factory vehicle power connector:

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Hands-free module for the steering column, complete with the upper steering column cover!

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And the hands-free controller that mounts in the trunk and integrates everything together:

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Now for the bad news: That hands-free controller unit is completely unusable because of severe water damage/corrosion :(

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So I'm still looking for a hands-free controller module. I may also look into whether this is repairable.

In the meantime, I can still mount the phone transceiver in the trunk and connect it up to vehicle power and the handset. I already did a quick test run, and it's pretty cool. When connected to vehicle power, the phone automatically turns on and off with the ignition, and the display back-light stays on continuously while the phone is on. With battery power, the back-light only stays on for about 10 seconds after the last button press.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Here's some details of installing the hands free module on the steering column.

First, you need to remove the dashboard knee panel and a couple HVAC ducts so that you can drop the steering column down onto the seat and remove the steering column cover. I referenced this video to do this without breaking anything:

The video doesn't go into removing the steering column, but there's 4 screws in the bottom. The 2 toward the front hold the bottom cover to the steering column. The two toward the rear hold the two halves of the cover together. They also snap together in two places on the front, and two places on the side toward the rear.

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If you're not lucky enough to get an upper steering column cover with the hands free module pre-installed, then you'll have to make some holes and mount it yourself:

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The vehicle-side connector for this module is tucked up to the left of the steering column. The wiring is folded up and taped with blue tape. You need to un-tape it so it can be straightened and routed.

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Discussion Starter #86
Here's how I installed the phone transceiver in the trunk...

First the final result for reference:

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The phone may seem "upside down" in this orientation when looking in the trunk at it, but this orientation is important for routing of wires, especially when also making use of the hands-free controller that I don't have installed (I'll show examples of how that would be setup later).

I test fitted with the wiring to decide where to position the phone, then drilled holes and installed the phone mounting plate to the plastic storage tray:

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I used some M6x12 pan-head screws and M6 flange nuts:

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With the storage tray back in the trunk, you can then clip the phone into the mounting plate and connect wires.There's an adapter/extension wire that provides power to the phone:

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Notice that I left the jumper connector on the one factory connector (white one on the left) because I am NOT yet installing the hands-free controller it connects to. The black connector next to it will also be unused with this setup.

The vehicle-side phone cable is also supposed to connect to the hands-free controller, but I'm bypassing that and plugging it directly into the phone. It luckily just barely reaches. I tucked other parts of the wiring under the corner of the phone to hold the wiring in place:

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And finally fold up the excess power cable adapter/extension and tuck it in the tray:

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This configuration is sufficient to power the phone from the factory wiring, and connect the handset with the factory wiring. The phone will automatically power on/off with the ignition switch. But the hands-free module on the steering column does nothing with this configuration; it's just eye candy.
 

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Discussion Starter #87
And here's how the hands-free controller fits in. I can only physically demonstrate the layout/connections, but I cannot leave my hands-free controller installed because it is damaged and makes the phone inoperable.

Starting similar to the previous post, except that I've now removed the jumper from the one factory connector. The three connectors in this photo will all plug into the the hands-free controller:

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Hands-free controller would go about here with the 3 connectors plugged into it. The pair of wires coming out of the hands-free controller need to be routed over to the phone transceiver. That's the phone/handset cable and microphone cable:

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And plug those two wires into the phone:

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What makes you think that? The 93 VR4/SL OEM radio is my favorite OEM 3/s radio, and I really like how mine is close to perfect condition. Most others I've seen have button labels worn off. (just a bit dusty in this picture)

O sorry.......I forgot about one, OEM.
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What makes you think that? The 93 VR4/SL OEM radio is my favorite OEM 3/s radio, and I really like how mine is close to perfect condition. Most others I've seen have button labels worn off. (just a bit dusty in this picture)

View attachment 287418
Sorry, forgot about that one. OEM,

I don’t think the stealths had them OEM. I love 1991 OEM , but it lacks a phone jack connection.
 

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As I was skimming through this thread I was wondering if this was the same person I was talking to on Facebook.
Nice thread sir ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #90
I got a hold of the connector used for the jumper connector that plugs into one of the phone connectors in the trunk. This is what comes plugged into the connector from the factory to keep the front right speakers connected to the radio. When installing the phone system, you remove this jumper connector and plug in the hands free controller, which allows the phone system to play conversation audio through the front right speakers.

If your car previously had the phone system installed, then removed, you are probably missing this jumper connector and have no radio audio coming out of the front right speakers.

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Factory jumper on the left, my "replica" on the right.

The connector used to make the jumper is TE part# 174931: AMP : 1-174931-1 MULTILOCK, CONNECTOR HOUSING | TE Connectivity

I got mine (with terminals included) through Sheridan Engineering. You probably won't find this connector on the website, but should be able to get one if send an email asking for that manufacturer and part number.
 

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Here's some more information about how the old AMPS cellular systems worked, which will probably be useful when I get around to trying to emulate an old AMPS cellular base station: Experimental AMPS Micro Base Station
Getting around to emulate a amps base station?

Just swap the internals with one of these retro phones that use a head jack or one of these retro phones that is Bluetooth. Push button to Dial out by Bluetooth voice commands ( you have to say the contact name or number),,,,,receive calls by Bluetooth push button.

Even get a spare burner phone and give out your car phone number to your buddies.....like your zack Morris all grown up


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Discussion Starter #93
Getting around to emulate a amps base station?
Not yet. Too many other things are taking priority. I may start more seriously working on that over the winter.

I won't be gutting/replacing the internals of the phone. My primary goal is not to have the car phone handset appear to work, but to actually have it fully work as intended (all original functionality of the phone, its display, buttons, features, etc). I'd rather have the phone power up without any service (as it does now) than hack a simple bluetooth handset into it.
 
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