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I just traded in my 97 Dodge Grand Caravan for a 05 Kia Sedona LX. I drove the EX, but I just couldn't justify paying $2,000 for a few nominal extras. I would have loved to have been able to get the radio from the EX in my LX for the cassette deck alone.

See, I can't live without my XM Radio and I got great sound out of my Caravan with the XM cassette adapter, but with no cassette, I was forced to use the FM modulator which sounds like crap on my Kia radio. I went to a local hifi shop to inquire about replacing the Kia factory radio with something that was "XM ready". I thought that meant that my XM could hook right into the back of the radio, but the guy said I would still be using a modulator. He said if I was happy with the sound I got from XM through the cassette adapter that maybe I should try and locate one of the radios that may have been pulled from an EX with the cassette included. I found one on Ebay last night for $79, but I wasn't sure it used the same wiring harness. I would assume it does, but stranger things have happened. I called Kia today and the dealership where I bought it from and both said they thought the radio from the EX would go right into the LX with no problems. Same radio and supposedly the same wiring harness.

Has anyone here had any experience with this situation that they can offer some insight? I love my new Kia, but it's not the same without my XM radio. Any advice on how I can make it work or on EX radio fitting would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :liebe011:

Sorry if I posted this in the wrong forum...I see there is a stereo forum as well.
 

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2003 Kia Sedona
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XM ready radios don't require shouldn't require modulators. I have a two XM tuners. I have an add on Terk XM commander used with an older (non-XM ready) Kenwood in a Subaru. I love that setup. The audio goes to RCA inputs on the Kenwood, so I didn't use an FM modulator. This has much better sound. The add-on can't be controlled by the radio obviously, but the XM commander control unit is nice. I also have a Pioneer DEH-7700 (XM ready) with the Terk XM direct tuner and the Pioneer smart adapter. This also connects directly through auxilary input, so no FM modulator. The Pioneer adaptor connects to the Pbus connector on the Pioneer head unit. I had this in my Xterra (currently trying to sell). I'm getting ready to put it in my Sedona; ordered dash kit and wire harness from Crutchfield on Monday.

I like both setups. The Pioneer/XM direct allows me to control everything through the head unit, but has no special features. Basically works the same way as tuning FM stations. The Kenwood/XM commander setup is nice. I have to select aux on the head unit, then use the commander control unit for tuning, but I have it mounted right below the head unit, so it's convenient. The XM commander controller is much smaller than the stand alone units from Delphi. The controller is very similar to add-on CD changer controllers. It's nice, because it has extra features like direct tuning (being able to type in the station # you want), preview scrolling (has a knob to tune stations, turning the know lets you see what's on other stations, but doesn't change stations until you press the knob in), also there is some deal that searches for your favorite songs (haven't used that yet).


ANYWAY..... You can get an XM ready headunit and not have to use an FM modulator. Also, there are companies that make devices/connectors to allow auxiliary inputs to factory radios. Though, the factory radio aux option is often more expensive than a new headunit.

Your other question..... Yes, the LX and EX have the same radio connector. It's standard on most Kia models, if not all. Also, I will have an Sedona EX - CD/cassette radio available soon if you're interested (But I think you'll be happier with an aftermarket headunit).

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Update:

I missed the point that you already have an XM tuner. What kind is it? I'm guessing it's one of the add-on units, like Delphi or Terk. In that case, an XM ready radio won't help you, but it won't hurt you either. You'll still have to control it through your XM tuner, but it should have aux input on the headunit. You could buy any headunit with an AUX input and your sound quality would be greatly improved.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for all the info. I actually have 3 XM radios. A Delphi Skyfi, a Delphi Roady, and a Delphi MyFi.

I tried the MyFi yesterday, and it has a built in modulator and it sounded pretty good, but I want something a little more permanent in my new Sedona. I really want a WIRED connection between my XM and my in dash unit, whatever it is.

So since you are ordering a new unit, I am assuming the factory radio in the Sedonas don't have an auxiliary input anywhere on the unit? So is my factory radio pretty much worthless to me?

Also, what kind of unit are you putting in yours? How and where are you going to mount your XM in your Sedona? Also, what kind of antenna do you use and where do you put it?

Sorry for so many questions, but I'm pretty clueless about this. Thanks!
 

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I didn't order new equipment, just the dash kit and wire harness. The Kia radio does not have an auxilary input. I'm not sure if an adapter is available or not. I read another post on here about the aftermarket auxilary adapters. That post seemed to indicate that one isn't available for Kias. I think you're going to want a new headunit.

I took my setup out of my Xterra and will be putting in the Sedona. I have a Pioneer DEH7700 headunit and an Terk XM direct tuner with smart adapter (allows Pioneer radio control). The XM direct unit came with the Terk mini antenna. I haven't picked a location for the tuner yet. I was hoping to get some feedback (see this post: http://www.kia-forums.com/index.php?showtopic=5407&hl= ).

I'll probably put the tuner box under the driver's seat (as the control is done through my headunit). For the delphi units, there is a company that makes mounts for them. I can't recall the name right now. Basically it's just a metal bracket that will bolt to one of the factory dash bolts, then holds the XM unit at a slight angle so it's more accessible to the driver. These seem expensive to me. I think the one I saw was about $50.

For my antenna, I'll go about it the same way I did with my other 2 vehicles. run it under the carpet to the front of the door step plate. Then under the step plate, I make a small notch in the weld lip with a dremel tool. I'll run the wire through this notch and then put silicone around it. I then route it under the door weather stripping up to the the area where the door, hood, and front quarter panel meet. There, I'll take it under the edge of the quarter panel and into the front windshield weather stripping. I route it under the front window trim up to the top/middle of the window. Then I mount the antenna a few inches back from the window. The Terk antenna is magnetic, so this all requires no drilling.

Hopefully I'll get the chance to install everything this weekend. I'll take some pics while I'm at it.

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UPDATE:

Found the mounting bracket company I was thinking of. Pro-Fit. Unfortunately the only Kia VSM (vehicle specific mount) is for the sportage. Here's info on it anyway (maybe it'll give you some ideas): http://www.pro-fit-intl.com/Adobe/KA-70-99.pdf

They also have some universal mounts. I don't know if those would do any better than what comes with the delphi car kits or not.
 
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