Welcome to the SR20 Community Forum - The Dash.
SR20 forum logo

Thread: Aftermarket Radio Head Unit question/s??

+ Reply To Thread
Posts: 11-17 of 17
2016-05-15 20:11:03
Does the factory antenna or wire have a chassis ground anywhere?
2016-05-16 12:31:17
Originally Posted by TimRogers
I'd like to bring up an FM noise problem I have in my '93 NX with a '90's or early 00's Kenwood head unit (KDC-S2009).
- The CD works fine with no noise; if I pause it with the key at "accessory" or "on", there is no noise.
- With middle strength to weak FM stations, they come in clearly with the key at "accessory" but when the key is turned to "on", noise drowns out the FM program, even without the engine running. The noise continues with the key in "on" after the fuel pump has shut off and if I disconnect the ignition coil.
I've had this issue ever since I got rid of the stock radio in the late 90's with another Kenwood that had this same issue.

The ground wire from the radio is connected to a bracket that holds the airbag computer.
The rear ground port on the radio and the mounting bracket (chassis) are each grounded to separate bolts that hold the shifter assembly to the chassis of the car.
All three locations show good grounds (multi-meter run between the hot lead to the power port and ground shows 12.xx volts).
I recently had the antenna off when I was doing bodywork and made sure the mounting points for it were corrosion free.

So, who has ideas?

It is most likely RF (radio frequency) interference generated by the ECU. I had this exact same problem with my '92 SE-R. Coincidentally I also had a Kenwood head unit, but the vintage Alpine deck that was in the car when I bought it also suffered from interference.

In my case I took a small, portable FM radio tuned to a weak FM station and walked around the car to isolate the culprit. With the key "ON", car not running, the noise was very high against the firewall, down low behind the engine and you guessed it, inside the car down around the ECU. There's no power to the ECU until you turn the key to "ON" and boom, that's when it happens. You probably get it to some degree on the AM band as well.

Do you know if the ECU has ever been removed from the car? In my case the previous owner had an upgraded Stillen/JWT ECU and may not have reinstalled it properly or the internal shielding was compromised when it was modified. Can't say for sure. I was going to swap in another ECU but sold the car.

See here and good luck... http://www.sr20-forum.com/car-entertainment-general-electronics/43684-bad-radio-reception-only-key.html#post575682
2016-05-20 00:58:45
I have a JWT ECU so I might be SOL.

I did get a new ignition switch this evening, we'll see if that improves anything when I install it.
2016-05-20 22:22:07
Originally Posted by TimRogers
I have a JWT ECU so I might be SOL.

I did get a new ignition switch this evening, we'll see if that improves anything when I install it.

Interesting. I wonder if cracking open the ECU has something to do with it, sheiding gets compromised? Let us know if the new ignition switch has any effect.
2016-06-02 12:22:59
2016-06-04 22:28:15
I was just able to jump back on to this problem today. I tested the source of the noise with a small FM radio and got the same noise issue when I turned the ignition switch from ACC to ON.

I replaced the ignition switch and that cured it! The biggest change I noticed was that with the old ignition switch, the radio would cut off momentarily as I turned from ACC to ON. With the new switch, the radio stays on (and still sounds good.)
2016-06-06 12:08:34
Originally Posted by TimRogers
... I replaced the ignition switch and that cured it!

Glad to hear it, and this may be a mystery solved. I'm guessing maybe contacts in the ignition switch (possibly a ground) wear over time and fail. Hopefully this will help others who are having the same issue.
+ Reply To Thread
  • [Type to search users.]
  • Quick Reply
    Thread Information
    There are currently ? users browsing this thread. (? members & ? guests)

    Back to top