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Old 11-10-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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Replacement Stereo Power Woes

To make a long story short, the Pioneer AVIC N1 (or whatever the model) that was installed new with our six year old van recently died (hated the thing so glad to see it die.) I bought a Sony to replace it with and figured it'd be an easy swap despite the fact that I'm not an installer and it's been 20 years since I last did an install.

Pretty straightforward marking the connections, disconnecting the old and hooking up the new. Everything works as expected but for one fairly crucial thing. If I remove the keys for say an hour or so the stereo loses all settings that I've programmed. I've tested the stereo and it works fine direct wired to a battery so it has something to do with the van wiring.

I've got what I assume is a fairly standard install, house/van switch under the sink (EB-50). Since there's something funky with the van wiring my thought is to tap into an always on somewhere else in the vicinity of the stereo or maybe driver's foot well. Not sure what might be appropriate. I see nothing apparent there and I can't reach up to tap into a cigarette lighter. Next thought is to drill through the firewall and go straight to the battery, but that seems a bit much.

Anybody have any ideas?

TIA,

Al

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Old 11-10-2010, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

You need to check your new unit, there is usually twopower wires, one that goes to always power and one that is switched with the key. You need to make sure the always power wire is going directly to the battery. I don't know what your previous installer did to the Ford Harness but I believe this would be a Red/White wire going to fuse f2.22 , I would suspect that you have it on fuse f2.3 Yellow/Black wire. The SMB switch usually ties to the f2.3 circuit (should be hot in Run or Acc) or switched by SMB radio switch. The always power wire is the one that keeps your presets.

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Old 11-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

Greg is spot on. There is one wire dedicated to keeping the clock/presets on. Its the same wire that pulls many starting batteries down when the van sits for like 6 months in storage. It should show in the installation manual.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:10 PM   #4
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

Thanks for the replies. I definitely have always on power on the new unit connected to the red/white on the Ford harness. Something must have been done to the Ford harness beyond my range of vision that for some reason causes the always on to not always be power on. I can't figure out what the deal is, hence the post here.

The van/house switch is spliced into the Ford harness, I forget just now how it's wired, but it struck me as odd (again, not a 12V expert by any means.) The previous stereo kept presets etc so it was working right.

I'll take a fourth (or is it fifth) try again tomorrow and see what I can see. Ideas as to what may be going on or places to tap into always on in the vicinity?
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:19 PM   #5
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

Maybe you already did this but you could check the "always on" wire from the van with a voltmeter to see if it really is always on. If it is maybe something is wrong with the new stereo.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

New stereo should be good. I tested it by pulling from the dash, attached it directly to a 12V battery with ground and always on power. Temporarily connected ACC and changed some settings and presets. Removed ACC and let it sit for four hours. Came back and attached ACC and the stereo had the correct time etc, so I'm sure the stereo is okay.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:41 PM   #7
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

I don't know about your wiring but if you need to get wiring into the engine compartment, there is a route you can take without drilling the firewall. If you open the door (either side) and look carefully at the body cavity, you will see a rubber plug. Its located next to where the parking brake is on the drivers side. You can poke a wire right through the plug and from there, route the wire into the engine compartment.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:46 PM   #8
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

Probe test light and start checking everything for your hot wire, starting with the radio harness. Clip the end to any metal to get your negative (ground), and I usually test the ground by inserting it into the cigarette lighter (just careful to only touch the back center). Light comes on you have 12v.




Also, with the van off when you hit the SMB "Radio" switch, what happens? It might be a fuse in that system, popped when you were installing.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:32 AM   #9
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

First I would try checking if that wire always has 12 Volts on the red/white wire. Did you disconnect the battery before install, if not this wire might have shorted out and blew the fuse. You do need to confirm that there is 12 volts always on first, as this would lead debug efforts down an entirely different direction.

The SMB Van Radio switch is just SPDT switch, one position lets the normal Van Accessory wire go to the radio, the other setting will come from the house battery. Sometimes SMB has used a relay and a switch to perform the same thing, running the Acc wire to the Normally Connected (87A) input of the relay, the 12 volts house wire would go to the Normally Open (87) side of the relay. The Common (30) output would go to the radio. To change from the Van to House battery you would need to supply 12 volts on and a Ground to the coil (86) and (85). You could do this either switching the ground or the 12 volts.


It does not sound like your issue has anything to do with the switch. My first guess would be a blown fuse.

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Old 11-11-2010, 03:13 PM   #10
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Re: Replacement Stereo Power Woes

Just checked everything again. Fuse for always on (red/white) is good and there is definitely power to where I'm connecting to the new stereo.

The switch in the back for van/house works normally so it would appear that all is fine there.

So, it seems I'm back to my original dilemma, an always on that isn't truly always on. Something must be interrupting that wire. Can't imagine what but don't know what else it could be. Guess it'll have to be thru the firewall directly to the battery unless there additional ideas. Hate to do that but stereo is too much of a pain to use otherwise.

Thanks for all the input!
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