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2004-2008 Chev Malibu Stereo review

Old 06-07-2009, 09:42 PM
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2004-2008 Chev Malibu Stereo review

I recently bought a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu v6 LS. It has a 6 speaker stock component system with CD which has integrated trip/mpg indicators in it.

I replaced the stock deck with my Pioneer DEH-490IB. A subwoofer, Rockford Punch P2 12" in the trunk.

The front speakers, 6.5" component were left stock. I removed the rear 6x9 speakers to improve the bass in the cabin. As well, with a sub in the truck they made the rear speakers "fart" every bass hit.The rear speakers are not worth keeping as they are not very good at all. Front speakers are being amplified by a Phoenix Gold Ryval which puts out 150w x 2 @ 4 ohm. The gain is set at 1/4.

I must say I have never heard such beautiful sound coming from a stock speaker as in this vehicle. Granted I am not comparing this to competition speakers. My previous speakers were a set of Energy 5.25 component. The stock speakers are just and nice, if not nicer than the energy's. The tweeters are a little more bright but not even close to the Infinity's. Respectable midbass output.

Originally I was sold a $150 integration harness however got a wonderful surprise when I pulled the deck to find it was not needed. I have the non on star system.

That being said I decided to relocate the stock deck as it contains much needed information such as trip odometers, avg fuel economy, est km left etc...

I was able to trim about a 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of the stock deck and a couple pieces of pointless plastic inside the centre consol. Along with a couple of trims to the lid to the centre consol the deck fit perfectly.

The only wires I had to bring over were constant power, ground and some misc wires for the sensors. I didn't bother with any speakers as they were going to the amplifier anyways.

I just wanted to post this in case anyone here has, or will be purchasing this vehicle. It's always nice to know these things before ripping the dash apart and shelling out $150 like I did. Of course I was able to return the harness so I can't bitch too much.

If anyone wants any pics of the centre console modifications pm me and I can send you some.
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:11 AM
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Sent you a PM for the pics as I have an 04 Malibu (4 cylinder, 4 speaker)
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:51 AM
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:53 AM
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Ya ya, they're coming. Darn things like work sometimes get in the way you know.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:01 PM
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haha, looks like this thread is gaining some traction. He said he will post the pics when he gets the chance to.

I talked to the dealership and they said not to remove the factory head unit as it contains "computer systems" that control the entire car, which kind of sounded like BS to me.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cspurdy View Post
I recently bought a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu v6 LS. It has a 6 speaker stock component system with CD which has integrated trip/mpg indicators in it.

I replaced the stock deck... <snip>

If anyone wants any pics of the centre console modifications pm me and I can send you some.
We need more posts like this. Share your stories. Bug thumbs up to the original poster.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:57 PM
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^^^^ What he said! I know you mean concerning to Car Audio--but man, the Malibu's are rare online for any kind of support/forums. The one that do exist are half-baked and there are no real DIY sections.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by snigma View Post
haha, looks like this thread is gaining some traction. He said he will post the pics when he gets the chance to.

I talked to the dealership and they said not to remove the factory head unit as it contains "computer systems" that control the entire car, which kind of sounded like BS to me.
No it's no BS. Some chevy stereo's control more than others. All you have to do is take a look at one of the wiring harnesses that they sell for the model year up to 2003. It's $140, has about 5 connections on it and about 30 wires.

However, on this particular malibu (2004) without onstar there are significantly less wires coming in to the stock dash.

I opted to not use a wiring harness in this case because I knew I was going to have to cut it anyways to re route the stock deck.

Finding the constant power was easy, I had to go to the fuse block to locate an accessory wire though. I got it off the fan switch which has worked flawlessly for me.

all the speaker wire was easy. The took the left positive and left negative and wrapped them around themselves. They did this with all the other speakers as well.

To re route the deck I extended about 6 wires which are used to control all the mpg/trip etc on the stock deck. The stock deck only has on power wire (constant). It's your choice where you grab it from, or whether you run a completely new line. I used the stock wire which was powering my Pioneer and a three way connector. Since I am not using the stock deck for anything audio I am not putting very much load on the system. I have had no issues with fuses.

The wires for the stock deck were run through the centre console and up in to the bottom of the centre storage bin. I had to drill a hole in order to feed the wire through.

One thing I did note when I actually went to hook up the stock deck was that I did not in fact need to do any trimming to the lid of the centre console. There are 6 screws holding the thing on and when removed provide enough clearance to close the lid.

I have attempted to attach the pics to this reply. So if it works, great, if not well I will try again.

Oh, one more thing, I am going to make up an mdf plate which I will paint black and fit around the stock deck so it doesn't look hack.
Attached Thumbnails 2004-2008 Chev Malibu Stereo review-dscf0833.jpg   2004-2008 Chev Malibu Stereo review-dscf0834.jpg   2004-2008 Chev Malibu Stereo review-dscf0835.jpg  
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:29 AM
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Nice. Although, I wish they made boring looking decks to go with the boring looking car dash. That shiny deck looks so out of place with everything else.

Good job on the relocation of the stock deck. I think that power outlet in your center console is "Always On", but I maybe wrong.

I'm thinking about upgrading just the Front and Rear speakers to some Focals (Access Series) and seeing what the stock deck can do. I'm still researching ways to hook up my iPod to the car without much fuss.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by snigma View Post
Nice. Although, I wish they made boring looking decks to go with the boring looking car dash. That shiny deck looks so out of place with everything else.

Good job on the relocation of the stock deck. I think that power outlet in your center console is "Always On", but I maybe wrong.

I'm thinking about upgrading just the Front and Rear speakers to some Focals (Access Series) and seeing what the stock deck can do. I'm still researching ways to hook up my iPod to the car without much fuss.
Well one could always buy a Sony deck, those are rather dull in comparison. On the other hand you could also go for an audiobahn deck and have it all blinged out with chrome and flames. Chrome makes it sound better, doesn't it?

I will look at upgrading my speakers as soon as my wife forgets how much money I have spent in recent weeks on car audio. On the plus side I buy so many different parts she has trouble keeping up with how much they cost.
Right now my stock fronts are being powered with 150w and the gain WAY down low. They are performing amicably though.

I am lovin the subs, they are so nice and clean compared to my other setup. Unfortunately I do need to look after the welfare of my children's hearing and thus decided I cannot be trusted when alone in the car with the children and a couple of DD or SSA subs.

On another note, if someone is interested in trading a couple of slightly used (but in perfect working order) children I would deal on a couple of DD or SSA XCON subs. If my wife answers hang up.
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