1 year into the pandemic I found driving the 2000 Trans Am to be a great distraction. The single DIN CD in dash player that the previous owner added in 2010 was less than desired. It did have Bluetooth, but it was one of the first in-dash receivers with Bluetooth and the only physical phone connection it provided was for the older wide 30 pin iPhone/iPod connector, not the newer lightning connection. It was time to replace the receiver with something newer.
Doing some research I found that for less than $400 I can get a double DIN receiver that would include Bluetooth, Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and a backup camera! I decided to purchase the Sony XAV-AX150, and I am glad I did.
Parts necessary for installation
- Receiver, equivalent for 2023 to what I purchased in 2021 is the Sony XAV-AX3200
- Metra 95−3312G mounting kit
- Metra 70−1858 Wire Harness
- Metra 40-GM10 GM Antenna Adapter
If you have radio steering wheel controls and you want them to work with the new receiver, you will also need:
- Axxess ASWC−1 (for translating steering wheel controls to receiver)
- Metra 70−1858 Wire Harness (yes a 2nd one for wiring in the steering wheel controls)
Double Din Receiver in a 4th Gen Firebird / Camaro
The Sony double din receivers are ideal for the 4th gen because the guts are in the upper section of the double din space where-as most other aftermarket receivers put the guts in the bottom or in both top and bottom of the double din area. This means that the typical cutting plastic modifications of the factory dashboard within the radio area is not necessary for this receiver.
To install without modifying the factory dashboard you will need to slightly modify the Metra 95−3312G mounting tabs. You want to cut about 1/2″ on the bottom of the 2 mounting tabs in the Metra kit, this can be achieved with a hacksaw. This allows us to keep the factory reinforcement plastic between the receiver and the HVAC controls, we will not have to modify any of the factory dashboard reinforcements. If you get a double din receiver that locates the guts om the bottom area of the double din you will most likely have to cut and remove some of the factory reinforcement which is not desirable if you are like me and want to be able to put the factory radio back into the car someday.
With a 2000 (and I assume all 4th gen Firebirds and Camaros) using the Metra 70−1858 wire harness means you will not have to cut your factory wiring.
I added a parking brake bypass adapter that way I did not have to cut up the wiring going to the parking brake. You can search the web for one of these bypass adapters if you want to achieve the same. It is a good idea to splice into the parking brake wire if you are suspectable to distracted driving. The only 2 features I use with Android Auto is Google Maps and Amazon Music, I was not concerned with the possibility of distractions. If your usage of Android Auto / Apple Carplay could distract your driving you may want to wire this into your parking brakes so distracting features do not work unless you are in park.
Keep your steering wheel controls
If you have steering wheel controls and want to use them with your receiver, you will need the Axxess ASWC−1 adapter. In addition you will need an extra wire from a 2nd Metra 70−1858 wire harness. You will be using a wire from the 2nd harness, this harness is essentially a doner for the first harness. You want to use a wire pin removal tool to remove 1 wire from the 2nd kit, it does not matter what wire or color. You are not cutting off a wire, you are literally removing the entire wire with the metal connector for use on the harness you will use.
You will add this new wire into spot #14 of the 70-1858 harness you are wiring for your receiver. This wire connects to the Axxess (I believe to the Axxess yellow with green stripe wire). The Axxess red and black wires tap into the same red and black wires that go into the receiver (for power and ground). Once done, all of the connections should be sealed with heat shrink.
Handsfree Microphone and Backup Camera
The receiver should include a handsfree microphone with plenty of length allowing you to run the wire under the dashboard and window panels to mount the included microphone at or near your rear view mirror.
With this type of receiver you can add a backup camera as I did. I purchased the HD eRapta ERT01 backup camera that mounts to the license plate. The backup camera plugs into its own RCA jack in the back of the receiver. Unfortunately this mounts at the license plate on a 4th gen Firebird, placing the camera low to the ground. Though it works and is very useful, it would be more ideal to have the camera mounted a bit higher to get a better rear view.
At the rear of the car you will have 2 additional wires. One gets power from the reverse lights, and the other needs to be grounded to the car. Anytime the car is in reverse the camera will be powered and appear in the receiver screen.
Double DID receiver installed
The end result, an awesome double din smart receiver that can be controlled from the steering wheel with none of the factory under-dash wiring or dash plastic being modified.