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Bluetooth And/or Onstar Vcim Exchange


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#1 Cruisin Newfie

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 09:15 PM

Hello all... new member here and I must say I am impressed with the amount of knowledge you guys have with everything/anything to do with GM trucks!
I just got my 2007 Silverado CrewCab and I was wanting to have bluetooth capability without the ear candy anymore. Its law here in NS that you can only use a "hands free device" while driving.

So, I have been doing a lot of reading here on this and many other forums with regards to having BlueTooth in a GM vehicle and the options currently available. Correct me if I am wrong but as I see it, there are three (3) avenues available to have bluetooth connection to your phone to allow hands free phone communications while driving:
1) Non-OEM, Non-integrated Aftermarket third party bluetooth connection stand alone unit with all external devices: system specific mic, speaker, etc. such as Parrot, On* stays intact and usable Approx cost: $400+
2) Non-OEM, almost integrated Aftermarket bluetooth that replaces On* but allows use of existing On* mic and audio thru the vehicle stereo system such as BlueSTAR (Blue Star is also a beer brewed in Newfoundland) BUT On* is de-activated Approx $275
3) OEM, fully integrated system that is now available in newer GM products which allows bluetooth connection thru the On* module. For us users of older GM vehicles, we "upgrade" whereby you replace the existing On* VCIM module with a newer version BUT you MAY or MAYNOT loose On*, seams 50/50.

OK... so I am willing to "loose" On* to gain bluetooth. Again, correct me if I am wrong but currently there are two VCIM modules that support bluetooth and work in GM trucks as tested by users: (GM part numbers)
20783877 (WORKS)
25984444 (was replaced by xxx77 WORKS)
Others with BT:
20833261 (replaces 25817241 Maybe cars only?)
20833349
20827036 (?maybe cars only?)
Also, you may need the bluetooth antenna (GM part# 15938939) which plugs directly into the third male connector on the VCIM, top BNC connector, and also if you want the buttons on your steering wheel to match the newer icons for dialing and hang-up (GM part#25851951)

My question is this: if I am willing to "loose" OnStar, why wouldn't a bluetooth enabled VCIM from any GM vehicle work in my truck as opposed to a VCIM that CAME from a GM truck? Why must it be from a truck/SUV and not a car?

Bluetooth or similar hands free devices are becoming mandatory in many states/provinces. If Ford and Dodge can offer basic standard options such as bluetooth and heated tail gates, why won't GM offer them as well, even if not everyone needs them!

Again, I am just a newbie here but am very interested in what you guys have done!

Thanks again and all the best!
Duane

Edited by Cruisin Newfie, 08 May 2010 - 07:05 AM.


#2 Jeremy Savoy

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:29 AM

I have a follow-on question to this post. I have only seen posts detailing that the On* VCIM update will allow you to use your phone hands free via Bluetooth -- but what about a bluetooth audio device?

I haven't see this mentioned anywhere, so I'm assuming you only get the hands free phone profile (HFP) and not the streaming audio device profile (A2DP) in the VCIM with bt support - can anyone comment on this?

#3 RayGMC

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:06 AM

I have a follow-on question to this post. I have only seen posts detailing that the On* VCIM update will allow you to use your phone hands free via Bluetooth -- but what about a bluetooth audio device?

I haven't see this mentioned anywhere, so I'm assuming you only get the hands free phone profile (HFP) and not the streaming audio device profile (A2DP) in the VCIM with bt support - can anyone comment on this?



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#4 Jeremy Savoy

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 10:44 AM

And I just got of the phone with Scosche and it looks like even though BlueFusion does A2DP, you do not get any control of the bluetooth audio device nor any information from it to be displayed on the GM head unit ... basically the same as plugging in your iPhone to the AUX port but without wires.

Is there any integrated solution that uses bluetooth to allow you to use your phone hands free with information on the head unit (call info, address book, etc) using the On* mic and your bluetooth audio device with controls and song info displayed on the head unit? Some combination of techonolgies, lockpicks, etc ?

#5 C. Charles Hahn

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:01 PM

My question is this: if I am willing to "loose" OnStar, why wouldn't a bluetooth enabled VCIM from any GM vehicle work in my truck as opposed to a VCIM that CAME from a GM truck? Why must it be from a truck/SUV and not a car?


The main reason that using a module not specifically intended for GMT900 interchange is not recommended is that the hardware may not physically fit into the vehicle without modification, and the software cannot be guaranteed to work with the vehicle as intended. Not all GM vehicles are completely the same in terms of their software and data networking.

Bluetooth or similar hands free devices are becoming mandatory in many states/provinces. If Ford and Dodge can offer basic standard options such as bluetooth and heated tail gates, why won't GM offer them as well, even if not everyone needs them!


GM does offer bluetooth..... in new vehicles. Just like Ford and Dodge. Just because we happen to have bought vehicles before that option became available, does not mean GM is obligated to provide us with a vehicle-integrated solution or completely support those of us who choose to integrate their newer technologies into our older vehicles.

With the multitude of aftermarket options out there, several trouble free ways to keep ourselves legal are readily available. We just happen to be choosing the harder road of retrofitting new OE telematics into older vehicles.
2008 GMC Sierra CC SLT "All Terrain" Z71 4x4
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#6 Cruisin Newfie

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:23 AM

Is there any integrated solution that uses bluetooth to allow you to use your phone hands free with information on the head unit (call info, address book, etc) using the On* mic and your bluetooth audio device with controls and song info displayed on the head unit? Some combination of techonolgies, lockpicks, etc ?


To date, the only solution (or PARTIAL SOLUTION) is to replace the VCIM with a newer one with bluetooth, it shows caller ID on the DIC and can store 30 voice labels (stored in VCIM) and uses the On* mic/audio interface. Otherwise, you have to pick and choose which options you want/can do without and start swapping parts/stereo/interface to get the combination you are happy with.

As stated earlier, you can remove the VCIM and install BlueStar to simulate On* using existing components. You can pull the stereo system and replace it with aftermarket that has BT included.

Lots on here to read...

#7 Jeremy Savoy

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:02 AM

As stated earlier, you can remove the VCIM and install BlueStar to simulate On* using existing components. You can pull the stereo system and replace it with aftermarket that has BT included.


The problem I have with replacing the radio head unit itself with an aftermarket unit is that I will then lose integration with things such as backup camera, rear DVD entertainment screen, rear radio controls, etc. I emailed crutchfield about the Pioneer AVIC X920BT unit and crutchfield said it could be integrated with the OnStar system and steering wheel controls, but prolly not the backup cam or rear DVD screen or radio controls -- which is not really a good option for me.

So as of now, bluefusion seems to be a decent option OR GMX-322 + some aftermarket HFP + A2DP + AVRCP device (any recommendations here? motorolla T605 ?) -- of course I just realized that my wife's iPhone 3GS doesn't actually have AVRCP, which is quite disappointing all in itself - perhaps iPhone OS 4.0 will add this support, not sure if my BlackBerry Bold supports it or not.

Thanks for all the input.

#8 Cruisin Newfie

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 11:19 AM

Just got my VCIM with BT (originally from an Acadia I think) from Hickman Motors in KY ($100USD). Removed the front dash panel as per video ( http://www.coastalet...gmlockpick1.htm ) but also removed the stereo because there wasn't enough room for my big hands in the small area the VCIM is located. Cables weren't very long but I managed to get the old VCIM out and my 'new' one installed. Re-assembled everything and away we go.....

Powered up and I have a GREEN LED on my mirror! So, BT functions well, clear and easily programmed to connect to the crackberry and accepts my voice commands so-so, Newfie accent throws it for a loop sometimes but I expected that with a voice recognition. Made a couple calls, works great! Numbers displayed on the DIC and all....

Next, I ask what 'my number' is and I get a 500-791-xxxx phone number! I don't think KY has any 500 area codes do they? Anyhow, I am not too worried about this as all I wanted was the BT function and I won't be purchasing On* minutes or anything.

Anyhooooo.... I have BT and it works and I have a green LED in the mirror (for no apparent reason!) IMO, I am a winner and WON'T be calling On* to change the number/vehicle ID or anything... UNLESS I hear otherwise from this forum that it has been completed 100%

Tks all for all the info you provided and assistance in my VCIM inter-change!

#9 Cruisin Newfie

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 06:16 AM

EDIT: Confirmation of module #3 byV8GMT:

So, I have been doing a lot of reading here on this and many other forums with regards to having BlueTooth in a GM vehicle and the options currently available. Correct me if I am wrong but as I see it, there are three (3) avenues available to have bluetooth connection to your phone to allow hands free phone communications while driving:
1) Non-OEM, Non-integrated Aftermarket third party bluetooth connection stand alone unit with all external devices: system specific mic, speaker, etc. such as Parrot, On* stays intact and usable Approx cost: $400+
2) Non-OEM, almost integrated Aftermarket bluetooth that replaces On* but allows use of existing On* mic and audio thru the vehicle stereo system such as BlueSTAR BUT On* is de-activated/removed Approx $275
3) OEM, fully integrated system that is now available in newer GM products which allows bluetooth connection thru the On* module. For us users of older GM vehicles, we "upgrade" whereby you replace the existing On* VCIM module with a newer version BUT you MAY or MAYNOT loose On*, seams 50/50. Approx cost $100- ++++ (Who has paid the most for this module????)

OK... Again, correct me if I am wrong but currently there are three (3) VCIM modules that support bluetooth and work in GM trucks as tested by users: (GM part numbers)
20827036 (Unable to get On* to work!)
20783877 (WORKS and some with On*)
25984444 (Original BT VCIM, was replaced by xxx77 but it WORKS)
Others with BT:
20833261 ( Maybe cars only?)
20833349
25817241
Also, you may need the bluetooth antenna (GM part# 15938939) which plugs directly into the third male connector on the VCIM, top BNC connector, and also if you want the buttons on your steering wheel to match the newer icons for dialing and hang-up (GM part#25851951)

To date, some of us who swapped the VCIM modules have had the mirror LED stay green, usually with the help of Chris White by reprogramming the VCIM.
Others have had the LED turn RED indicating an error. Numerous people have gone to the dealer , but to date, only a couple have gained FULL functionality of On* with their 'upgraded' VCIM c/w BT

Again, this forum will keep you updated with any progress/info the users find on this long but prosperous journey!

All the best......

#10 Cruisin Newfie

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 08:47 AM

Well, well, well..... Guess what? I was the A-hole bragging that I had Free XM and the LED on the mirror was green, not RED like everyone else who swapped their VCIM for one with BT! Then I read that XM is free 'til June... OK, so I got a freebie! Today, I get in my truck and there she be... RED LED on the mirror!

So, I hit Blue and call On*: "Good morning, Mr. XXXXX, this is Pat with On*, how may I help you today?" So I go thru the jigs and reels and On* is seeing a 2009 Silver Acadia, possibly what my VCIM was pulled from. I tell him I am not Mr. XXX and I just bought this truck, its a 2007 Silverado. I give him my VIN# and he says I will have to call back later today to have a tech rep resolve my issues since he thinks my VCIM battery went dead and may need to be replaced!

BUT... my LED keeps changing from green to red and then back to green! Never got a chance to call back but I'll try tomorrow and see what happens...

Edited by Cruisin Newfie, 31 May 2010 - 08:47 PM.


#11 C. Charles Hahn

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 06:03 PM

he thinks my VCIM battery went dead and may need to be replaced!


Interesting. That's a new one.
2008 GMC Sierra CC SLT "All Terrain" Z71 4x4
Stealth Gray Metallic | Ebony UltraSoft Leather | 5.3L FlexFuel AFM-Delete V8 | 3.73 Locking Differential (G80)
Airaid MIT | K&N Drop-In | HP Tuners | Line-X Over-the-Rail | Fold-a-Cover G4 Elite | Spencer's 6K HID Conversion Low Beams and Fogs | OEM Navigation | OEM OnStar Bluetooth | Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars

2009 GMC Envoy Denali 4WD
Quicksilver Metallic | Ebony Leather | 5.3L AFM V8 | 3.42 Locking Differential (G80)
"IEATSRT8'S" CAI | Hotchkis Rear Sway Bar | HP Tuners

#12 Royal Vader

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:51 PM

That is a new one!
I would be surprised if there was a battery in there. I'm pretty sure someone took apart a new and old VCIM to see if he could hack the BT board to his old VCIM. He had no luck, but also did not say a thing about a battery if there was one.
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#13 C. Charles Hahn

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 01:10 AM

That is a new one!
I would be surprised if there was a battery in there. I'm pretty sure someone took apart a new and old VCIM to see if he could hack the BT board to his old VCIM. He had no luck, but also did not say a thing about a battery if there was one.


It wouldn't shock me to find a watch battery on one of the logic boards much like there's one on a PC's motherboard.... the VCIM has an EPROM it uses to store vehicle data, voice tags, bluetooth paired device information, etc. much like the CMOS stores BIOS settings in a PC.

What I don't get is why the representative would say that the battery dying would cause OnStar to see his vehicle as a different year/make/model instead of just sending "ERROR" or "NULL VALUE" through the system if anything. Usually when you have a dead CMOS battery, the data that was on the chip is just gone, and resets to default values instead of changing to random values at next power-up.

Edited by V8GMT Guy, 01 June 2010 - 01:11 AM.

2008 GMC Sierra CC SLT "All Terrain" Z71 4x4
Stealth Gray Metallic | Ebony UltraSoft Leather | 5.3L FlexFuel AFM-Delete V8 | 3.73 Locking Differential (G80)
Airaid MIT | K&N Drop-In | HP Tuners | Line-X Over-the-Rail | Fold-a-Cover G4 Elite | Spencer's 6K HID Conversion Low Beams and Fogs | OEM Navigation | OEM OnStar Bluetooth | Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars

2009 GMC Envoy Denali 4WD
Quicksilver Metallic | Ebony Leather | 5.3L AFM V8 | 3.42 Locking Differential (G80)
"IEATSRT8'S" CAI | Hotchkis Rear Sway Bar | HP Tuners

#14 Cruisin Newfie

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 06:09 AM

I was thinking similar... On* stored the system ID#/ESN#/whatever which their system 'pairs' to a VIN and displayed the original owner name/info. When the On* actually tried to connected to my vehicle, maybe he got an error and just didn't say so over the open phone line.

I do get the 500 phone number I have read online here, so maybe some how my VCIM has been reset to default? My LED is still changing from RED to GREEN, but not within a set time frame or key cycle, appears to be random.

#15 C. Charles Hahn

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:08 PM

When the On* actually tried to connected to my vehicle, maybe he got an error and just didn't say so over the open phone line.


Possibly, but I don't see why he wouldn't tell you an error came up if it did. Not like there's anything illegal about an OnStar swap.

I do get the 500 phone number I have read online here, so maybe some how my VCIM has been reset to default? My LED is still changing from RED to GREEN, but not within a set time frame or key cycle, appears to be random.


Usually the red LED is an indicator that a DTC is being set; only a dealer with a Tech2 can tell you exactly what DTC that is.
2008 GMC Sierra CC SLT "All Terrain" Z71 4x4
Stealth Gray Metallic | Ebony UltraSoft Leather | 5.3L FlexFuel AFM-Delete V8 | 3.73 Locking Differential (G80)
Airaid MIT | K&N Drop-In | HP Tuners | Line-X Over-the-Rail | Fold-a-Cover G4 Elite | Spencer's 6K HID Conversion Low Beams and Fogs | OEM Navigation | OEM OnStar Bluetooth | Addco Front & Rear Sway Bars

2009 GMC Envoy Denali 4WD
Quicksilver Metallic | Ebony Leather | 5.3L AFM V8 | 3.42 Locking Differential (G80)
"IEATSRT8'S" CAI | Hotchkis Rear Sway Bar | HP Tuners




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