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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This will be a guide of what I did to my 2011 GMC Acadia FWD Denali edition. This guide can apply to Lambda-platform cars (2007-2016 and 2017 Acadia Limited) and may not work with the new C1XX-platform models (2017 and newer). You may find better or different ways to do it yourself. Before I start this guide, I am going to let you know that I'm far from being a professional nor will I ever claim to be one. You will expect to cuss a lot, sweat, and bleed if you plan to do what I did to my vehicle. That being said: Let's get to it.

This guide will be updated through out the span of the build. I simply don't have the time to write this all at once. So there will be a lot of edits to this post. I hope you learn from my experiences!

My vehicle upgrade consists of the following:
Upgrading the double din headunit. Replacing all speakers (except the factory subwoofer), including the center and 3rd row seat 3.5" speakers. Adding a 4 channel amplifier and a monoblock amplifier. Upgrading (adding) new wire for the power.

Before you start installing anything, you will want to remove the seats. I chose to remove my front passenger seat, the 2nd row passenger seat and both 3rd row passenger seats. You will need the following tools:
13mm impact socket
15mm impact socket
18mm impact socket
Impact gun (air or battery)
Ratchet with a breaker bar
Trim removal tool (plastic to avoid possible damage)
WD 40, incase your bolts are hard to get off

Front Passenger Seat:
The front passenger seat is pretty simple to remove. It only has (2) 15 mm bolts, located behind the seat next to the battery. They both have trim pieces covering them. The right trim cover you can simply pop off with your trim tool. The left trim cover, located near the center console, you may need a small flat head screw driver or a pick. Just be careful not to slip off the edge and scratch your trim cover. Once your trim cover pieces are removed, you can visibly see the bolts. The easiest way to remove the bolts is to put the seat all the way forward. Once that is done, you can easily remove both bolts. Once the bolts are removed, move the seat back a little bit to the point you can comfortably access underneath the front seat. You will see 2 CPA plugs. One is a wide (24 pin?) plug attached to the seat by 2 christmas trees or rosebuds (whatever you'd like to call them). The other 4 pin CPA plug will be held by a single rose bud on the right side (or your left if your looking directly below the seat). You will need to disconnect both CPA plugs and detach the rosebuds from the seat. For safe keeping, push the CPA plugs underneath the carpet opening to ensure you do not damage it during the removable of the seat. Once you have the CPA plugs out of the way, removing the seat is easy. All you have to do is go behind the seat, lift it up slightly and pull back. This will free the seat out of the metal rail that the hooks secure it down to. You will then need a T-30 star bit (I think, will confirm and correct later) to remove the seat belt secure bolt. Once the bolt is removed, you can simply squeeze the trim covers on the side and it will come apart. You can tilt the seat back and lift it up slightly and carry it forward to avoid the metal hooks from the seat from latching into the metal rails connected to the frame. You can then remove the seat out the front passenger door, but be careful that the metal rails do not scrap against your trim pieces.
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Second Row Passenger Seat:
This seat is the most difficult seat to remove in my opinion. It's located in the middle of the vehicle where the secure bolts are exposed to a lot of outside weather conditions which cause the bolts to rust and seize up...ultimately becoming really difficult to remove. This seat contains (7) 15mm bolts. How you access these bolts...is another fun memory. Remove the trim covers (or floor covers). Remove it in this order:
Front left floor cover piece (located in the isle way)
Front right floor cover piece (located near the door)
Rear right floor cover piece (located near the door)
Rear left floor cover piece (located near the isle way)
Once you have the 4 floor cover pieces removed, you will gain access to (3) 15 mm bolts up in the front and (4) 15 mm bolts in the back of the seat. I used an impact gun to remove these bolts. You can use an impact gun on (3) 15 mm bolts in the back of the seat as well, but there is one bolt you may need a sideways torque gun for. I simply used a ratchet with a small breaker bar and sat in the third row seat and push it with my foot (my bolts were really seized up). It's best to have the seat all the way flat before removing all the bolts. Once all bolts are removed, you can remove the seat out the passenger rear door. Be careful...If I'm not mistaken that one seat is over 100lbs...or near it. The best way I learned to remove the seat row seat is by having it flat down, turning it where the rails are facing the back of the vehicle. Flip it sideways, having the arm rest facing up towards the ceiling, then removing it slowly to prevent any damage to your door panel or your trim pillar.
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Third Row Seats:
These seats are the easiest considering they're the lightest (in my opinion). In order to gain access to the (4) 18mm bolts. You must remove your false floor cover piece. This is quite simple. Push your 3rd row seats down to where they are flat and lift up your false floor. You will notice 3 holes on the back side of your false floor. Those holes contain (3) 13mm bolts. You will want to remove those in order to remove the whole piece. It's hard plastic so it shouldn't do any damage to your rear side trim..but an easy way to remove it is to simply remove the 3 bolts, pull back slightly on one end and remove it. Once the false floor is removed, you will see your bolts. Unfasten those bolts with your impact gun and push the seats forward a tad then you are able to remove them since the front end is secured by a hook similar to your front passenger seat.
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It's getting late, I will add more tomorrow if the time allows. Pictures will be added in the future. I did not take many since I was just a big ball of anger, but I will research and find pictures to help support my words.

Before I start the wiring, headunit installation and bypassing the bose amplifier..I am putting a link for beginners to audio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I unfortunately don't have time to add on tonight. I'm hoping everything will be up and running by Sunday. All I have to do is put in the false floor, subwoofers in the box and get the amps tuned. After that is all finished, I will be solely working on getting this guide completed. Have a great day everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Continuing the guide. This next part will explain how to bypass the Bose amplifier. If you are not keen to scratching the hell out of your arm, cursing over a million times and splicing wiring in very small spaces...don't even bother. However, if you are installing a 4 channel amplifier...you will probably be forced to do this unless you want to clip out and have your music sound like utter crap since your speakers will be amplified twice. When removing the Bose amplifier you will lose some functions, mainly the chime noises, which I hate and it annoys the crap out of me...so that was a win. So lets get to it.

Tools you will need:
7mm deep socket
7mm regular socket
7mm flat ratchet wrench (for the screw by the firewall)
A ratchet
A plastic "prong" trim removal tool
A lot of dang patience

Removing the Bose amplifier:
(You may ask why don't you just wire the door speakers from the boot? You can easily do so for the 2 rear doors...however, thanks to the wonderful design of the Acadia engineers, the put the front door boots so **** far up the IP deck...you cannot access them. You may be able to locate the wires by cutting open the fabric tape and figuring out what wire goes to what..if so..then you can avoid removing the amplifier. You can also run your own wire to each speaker individually by drilling into the door connectors, but good luck with the front door boot)

The location of the Bose amplifier is on the driver's side, beneath the steering column, off to the right. You will need to remove (3) push nuts with a prong trim removal tool. Just pop out the smaller tab and the come right out. You will need to twist the dome light to release it from the trim piece. Once the light is free, you can then remove the trim piece. Part of it is tucked behind the center console carpet. Just remove it at an angle and it will come out. Below is a diagram on where the amplifier is located. As you can see..it's in a very tight place.
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There are youtube videos that may guide you on how to remove it..in case you're a visual learner. The plugs are all the way on the top of the amplifier and is very difficult to reach, but if you can..you can probably avoid the hassle of trying to remove the amplifier itself and just unplug the 3 plugs and pull them away from the black harness box (has about 5-6 wire connectors in it. Sorry, I don't know the specific name of the box. The black box itself, I believe controls the door functions)
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Pushing the emergency brake pedal down all the way will make your life so much easier.
  • If you take a look at the diagram above, you will notice (3) 7 mm bolts. The first one (closest to you) is visible and easy to remove with a ratchet and a 7mm regular socket. The one that's all the way on the top (that you will not be able to see) you would want to use a 7mm deep socket. I found that by feeling for the screw itself with one finger while holding the ratchet with the rest of my fingers was the easiest way. I did drop the ratchet several times and cursed the world. At the end, I ended up loosening the bolt enough to just take it out by hand. The last bolt will be literally kissing the firewall. You will see what I mean by kissing. You cannot get a ratchet in the tiny spot unless you want to remove the firewall rubber carpet...which you have to remove the center console for...so good luck with that. ? You will want to have a 7mm ratchet wrench to help you with that screw...saves a ton of time (trust me, I friggin know by experience).

  • Once you have all (3) 7mm bolts removed..here comes the fun part. You cannot remove the amplifier until you have unplugged all the connectors. There will be 3 connectors, you will not be able to see them, but the grey connect will have 8 pins, the green connector will have 16 pins and the black connector will have 16 pins. You will have to "feel" for the latch releases on those connectors. Easy way to is have one finger on the connector and 2 fingers on the cord. Push the connector release in (center of the connector), pull back on the wire and attempt to push with your thumb. Repeat on the other 2 connectors.

  • Once all (3) connectors have been detached from the amplifier, you can then guide it out past the wires and remove it from the IP deck. I smashed mine on the pavement because I was extremely angry. My arm was full of blood from the emergency brake pedal spring and my fingers were cramped up (thanks arthritis)
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What do to after the Bose amplifier is removed:
There will be (3) connectors that you will want to pull through from the back towards the brake pedal. I found by take the connector end and pushing them through the opening all the way on top of the black control box...was the easiest way to do this. Do them one by one, not all at once...else have fun. Once they're pulled through the small spot you'll be able to actually see the colors of the connectors.
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You will not touch the black connector. Those are all the "inputs" for amplifier itself. You are going to want to cut all the "output wires" to connect to your 4 channel amplifier. Unless you're doing a big build 150 rms per speaker or more...then the stock wiring will do just fine for now.

So what wires go where. To avoid typing a bunch of stuff, I will attach simple diagrams that tell you specifically what each wire does. Please see below.

The easiest connector to do is the grey one. We only need 2 wires...and those wires are the front left door speaker.
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The second connector that we need is the green one. You will need all those wires. I suggest cut them by pairs...since GMC actually "organized" the wire accordingly.
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If you look at the diagram..you will ask yourself...where is the right rear mid range speaker? (ps these speakers are the 3.5" third row speakers) Your guess is as good as mine. That one connection controls both 3rd row seat speakers. (Amazing, right?)

To avoid blowing the 3.5" speakers (your 3rd row seats and center dash speaker). You may want to add a resistor on it...or do what I did, connect them directly to the headunit. You will lose your time alignment, but I never really cared for that anyways.

Best way to connect the wires is do it by pairs. Know which one is negative and positive for each speaker. Cut the wires one by one off the connector and connect each to the proper wire going to the speakers accordingly.

I used a 12 pair wire for mine so I could color code each speaker wire. Please see pictures below for example:
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I cut a hole on the side of headunit hostelry so I could fish the 12 pair wires to the speaker wires going to my 4 channel amplifier. I did it the difficult way since I forgot to remove the Bose amplifier until I already ran all my wiring, so you can easily learn from my mistake and do it a much easier way by just going directly from the connectors and running wire on the left side of your vehicle underneath the floor trim.

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If you buy 12 pair wire. You really only need about 2 feet of it..I over killed it and bought 5 feet. It only cost me ~$10

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Self explanatory. I used a knife to cut the outside protective coating of the 12 pair wire

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Will continue this on another post because I'm maxxed out on the amount of photos I can attach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I decided to use crimp, heat shrink style connectors. You can really do whatever way you like...just there are certain ways that will be more "secure and safe" more than others. Heck you may just want to twist wires and electrical tape it. I normally do that myself.

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You may not be able to crimp how I did. I didn't realize the wire for stock was roughly 22awg. Where I used 14 awg for my "jumper" wires to the headunit.

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Once you have finished splicing the wires and connecting them, you will notice that there's almost not spot to ziptie the wires to...so use whatever you can that will not cause damage to the wiring...
  • PLEASE DO NOT ZIP TIE TO THE STEERING COLUMN.

I zip tied the wires to a wiring harness of the black box and a wire harness that was underneath the steering column.
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These are the push fasteners I was talking about in the previous post

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Make sure you twist your dome light back into the trim panel piece and when putting the push fasteners back in, make sure the pins are all the way out before pressing them in. Once you've pressed them in, they're locked.

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Next post will be discussing how to install a headunit and what you need to keep your steering controls and other functions. Will update if I have time tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry for such a long delay in adding to this guide. I sprained my left wrist at work, thus not allowing me to type properly...lots of fun.

I will be covering headunits and harness in this thread.

You will want to do some research for yourself on what headunit to buy and what to buy specifically to keep certain functions/add functions. Unless you want to no longer have a touch screen, your best bet will do buy a double din touch screen.

Crutchfield is a really good website that will show reviews, what fits and description of everything you'd want to know. Once again, research and see which best fits your needs/wants. My personal preference is Pioneer, but you may prefer something else. One thing that may factor into it is the voltage that the rca outputs on the headunit. The higher the rca output is, the less stress it is on your amplifier. 4 volts is commonly the average you'd want to look for. Quality is another thing to pay attention to. You don't want a crappy signal going to your amplifiers...so best to look into that as well.

Once you've picked your headunit, you're gonna need a harness for all your wiring and an installation kit for your headunit. Metra is the perfect place to look for it all. They literally have everything you will need for your new headunit. Once you've located your part numbers, you can easily go amazon and type it in and buy it there. (cheaper).

Here is a list of links that will be useful to you below:
Rear speaker adapters [You will need these adapters to put in speakers in the rear doors]
Metra wire harness (complete set) [Retains steering controls, back up camera, dvd functions, etc]
Metra speaker harness wiring [May say it does not fit according to amazon, but it does]
Metra double din headunit install kit [Needed to install an aftermarket radio]
Pioneer 3.5" speakers [If you're looking to replace the center and 3rd row seat speakers]

The front speakers do not need adapters, just remove the old speakers and you can screw the new speakers into the factory adapters.

For your door speakers you will need to look and research the best brand you would like to have in your vehicle. 6.5" and 6.75" speakers will fit. I've tried them both. With 6.5" speakers you have to have the screw go in at an angle to firmly brace the hole and secure the speaker. Be careful not to slip and damage the speaker.

Good brands to look for is Rockford Fosgate, Pioneer, Alpine, Hertz, Focal, Crossfire, there's so many I can list. Just research and see which ones have the best reviews. Just remember that your front door speakers are hooked into your tweeters, so you may need to but a component set with external crossovers to prevent damage to the tweeters. Installing them into the pillars...is another ballpark.

Will cover how to remove door panels and remove the pillars to access the tweeters in my next post
 

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Thanks for this detailed guide write up - its a lot of work you put in!

Where did you get the wiring harness diagrams?

I am super interested in accessing the third harness connector, the black one, for the amplifier inputs.
Could you please post the diagram for that, or guide me on how to find the harness diagram myself? Thanks a ton
 

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Where did you order the 12 wire bundle from? Also thank you for posting the wire pin descriptions. This is the only place I could find them.
 

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Man I've got a soundstream high low converter hooked up to the subwoofer wire ,coming out the factory amp. Hooked up my amp n box and called it a day sounds amazing! Easiest best sounding ,quickest hookup, most efficient ,the lowest cost sound system ever sounds the best too. 10.3 surround .
 

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Sorry for such a long delay in adding to this guide. I sprained my left wrist at work, thus not allowing me to type properly...lots of fun.

I will be covering headunits and harness in this thread.

You will want to do some research for yourself on what headunit to buy and what to buy specifically to keep certain functions/add functions. Unless you want to no longer have a touch screen, your best bet will do buy a double din touch screen.

Crutchfield is a really good website that will show reviews, what fits and description of everything you'd want to know. Once again, research and see which best fits your needs/wants. My personal preference is Pioneer, but you may prefer something else. One thing that may factor into it is the voltage that the rca outputs on the headunit. The higher the rca output is, the less stress it is on your amplifier. 4 volts is commonly the average you'd want to look for. Quality is another thing to pay attention to. You don't want a crappy signal going to your amplifiers...so best to look into that as well.

Once you've picked your headunit, you're gonna need a harness for all your wiring and an installation kit for your headunit. Metra is the perfect place to look for it all. They literally have everything you will need for your new headunit. Once you've located your part numbers, you can easily go amazon and type it in and buy it there. (cheaper).

Here is a list of links that will be useful to you below:
Rear speaker adapters [You will need these adapters to put in speakers in the rear doors]
Metra wire harness (complete set) [Retains steering controls, back up camera, dvd functions, etc]
Metra speaker harness wiring [May say it does not fit according to amazon, but it does]
Metra double din headunit install kit [Needed to install an aftermarket radio]
Pioneer 3.5" speakers [If you're looking to replace the center and 3rd row seat speakers]

The front speakers do not need adapters, just remove the old speakers and you can screw the new speakers into the factory adapters.

For your door speakers you will need to look and research the best brand you would like to have in your vehicle. 6.5" and 6.75" speakers will fit. I've tried them both. With 6.5" speakers you have to have the screw go in at an angle to firmly brace the hole and secure the speaker. Be careful not to slip and damage the speaker.

Good brands to look for is Rockford Fosgate, Pioneer, Alpine, Hertz, Focal, Crossfire, there's so many I can list. Just research and see which ones have the best reviews. Just remember that your front door speakers are hooked into your tweeters, so you may need to but a component set with external crossovers to prevent damage to the tweeters. Installing them into the pillars...is another ballpark.

Will cover how to remove door panels and remove the pillars to access the tweeters in my next post
You mentioned that front door soeakers are tied in with tweeters i already replaced speakers with some pioneer ones from amazon before i saw this post about component speakers ,since im replacing tweeters too if they have the part you mentioned on them would that be enough protection so they dont burn out
 
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