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Project: Volvo Radio Upgrades Are Plug-And-Play

Volvo Radio Upgrade


Rguzz: Have the basic head unit without CD but would like to swap it out for the Volvo one with CD player in dash. Is this a direct swap or do I need to alter the harness behind the unit?


Lee: Plug and play for most radios. The SC901 units require that an amp is in place but most of the others can be swapped out in about 5 minutes.

by 101 says:

“If you have a CD cable plugged into the back of your current head unit – the other end is usually found in the trunk area where an accessory CD changer would mount. It was nice of Volvo to pre-wire that for us.

AFAIK, the SC815 and SC816 is the same exact thing with different color face plates.

volvo radio

Both the SC815 and SC816 can be used without a Volvo amplifier. I believe the base power of both of those units is 25W per channel. If you add the Volvo amp, it bypasses the head unit’s internal amp and the power increases to 40W per channel or 50W per channel, depending on the amp model that is installed. The Volvo amp lives between the radio and the heater core on 850’s and S/V70’s that came without the SC900/SC901.

The SC900 / SC901 requires the external amp to operate. There is no internal amp on those models. The Dolby processor and center speaker can be added to these, but it is not required.

I rock the full SC901 / Dolby setup in my wagon and an SC816 with a 50W Volvo amp in the T5.”

The SC901 stereo units are favorites amongst volvo enthusiast. They must be activated with a 4-digit security code. First locate the the serial number on the bottom of the panel. Then find the part number located on the top of the SC901 unit. With this information, the dealer will be able to give you codes to activate your radio.

850 Volvo radio upgrade

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