The advent of the “Car Audio,” “Communications and Navigation” (C&N) radio class in our modern cars has made it necessary for the original car radio tuners to be updated. This article will discuss how to update a 1965 Cadillac by replacing the old-style wired receiver with a newer wiring harness and Bluetooth transmitter, as well as teaching you how to use your new radio features.


The advent of vehicle-specific electronics in the late 1990s has made updating outdated car equipment more possible. The old-fashioned “car radio” tuners in many older cars have become dated and need to be replaced with more highly-tuned modern devices. It is possible to update your old-style car radio with newer equipment that has been made for the vehicle’s year, make, and model. If you have a Cadillac that was built from 1965 to 1970, you can use this procedure:

1. Wireless Bluetooth adapter:
Several different types of devices are available for this purpose, including several models from XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRIUS also offers a plug-in version). There are three things you need to look for when looking for a Bluetooth adapter:

*. Uses about the same power as your car’s factory radio:
Most new Bluetooth devices use about the same power as your factory radio, so this is not a problem.

*. Is compatible with your car’s stereo:
Ensure your new Bluetooth device is compatible with the factory-installed radio in your car.

*. Is Bluetooth enabled:
Ensure the Bluetooth device has some function that allows you to make hands-free phone calls and play music from flash drives (audio files). You can usually do both of these things on most devices. If this is not possible, look for another Bluetooth device.

2. Bluetooth receiver:
First, you need a Bluetooth receiver to connect your head unit to the car’s stereo. There are several models to choose from, but of all of them, I prefer the XM-1BT by Navman. This device is lightweight and only needs one “RJ-45” Connector and one “Mini Serial” connector to connect with your car’s wiring system.

3. A power amplifier to increase the car stereo’s wattage:
After you have connected the XM-1BT to your car’s stereo, you need a way to amplify the signal. The XM-1BT has a maximum wattage of 5 watts, which is not enough for stereos requiring more. For example, if your factory stereo has about 5 watts of output power, you will need a receiver with at least 6 or 7 watts. You should also be able to turn up the volume louder without losing sound quality.

After updating your car’s stereo, you can listen to satellite radio or MP3 files on your new receiver. You can also make hands-free phone calls with the Bluetooth adapter you choose. If your car’s stereo has USB ports and SD card readers, you can play music directly from flash drives or memory cards using your new receiver’s controls. In some cases, updates can make your stereo interface with off-the-shelf GPS navigation systems from other manufacturers.