Yup. You fell for one of the tricks GM pulled on their unsuspecting customers. After the '94 model year, they stopped allowing us to buy their radio service manuals because they were losing too much of that lucrative repair business. Instead of paying around $450.00 to go through the dealer and their two grossly-over-priced repair centers to get a cassette-radio repaired, (I used to charge $45.00), most people went to places like Best Buy and installed a more reliable radio for half the cost. To combat that, one of their many customer-unfriendly business practices now is starting with some 2002 trucks, they built the Body Computer into the radio, so the radio can not be removed. It is also the master computer that tells all the other computers when to turn on. There are some other devious tricks they made available that a crabby mechanic can do, and you'll never know until the radio has to be replaced. Then you can find that all the other dozens of computers also have to be replaced because they were electronically locked to each other.
What you need is a "radio relocation kit". That is the aftermarket industry's attempt to fight back and allow you to install the radio you want. You mount the existing radio under a seat and run a new wiring harness to it. That allows you to keep all the functions of the Body Computer. You only cut the speaker wires and connect them to your new radio.
You also have to determine if your truck uses a separate amplifier with the original radio. Only all Chrysler radios work with or without their amplifiers. On GMs and Fords, when their radio uses an amp, it has to be used with an amp, and if it doesn't use an amp, it can't be used with an amp. If you have an amp, rather than going through the work of bypassing it, you should be able to connect the speaker wires in the dash to the RCA jacks on your new radio if it has them. The audio signals coming out of those jacks is low level and has to be amplified.
Monday, August 10th, 2015 AT 8:16 PM