Yes it's totally separate, besides the unnecessary amount of screws, in my opinion its very simple. There is a small red & black plug and a 4 wire ribbon plug that connects the CD Changer to the unit (I didn't take any pics). I will try it because I'm surprised I can't find anyone who's done it when it seems to be such a easy and cheap fix, I'm going to VA for the holidays to get the radio (that I know works) and I will post pics and the outcome. I would go aftermarket if I were keeping the car (I never keep the stock stuff) but I bought the 2006 G6 GTP 130,000 miles, no machanical issue at all, interior is almost flawless, and all it needs is the hood/front bumper painted, a few scratchs repaired, and a good sanding & buff which I can do all that at home myself. (Paid $2,500 for the car, clean title. Which is a 1/3 of KBB). So I just want to get everything working, make some money on it and let the new owner make the decision to go aftermarket.