This thread helped answer a lot of questions. I just finished painting my radio bezel and other dash pieces with blue airbrushed flames. After i used about 7 coats of clear top coat, it was ready to go back on. Before it went back on though, i connected speaker wire and a remote wire (for my future stereo) to the factory head unit and wire harness. Instead of cutting and splicing the wires for the harness (which you want to avoid), i used a splitter and sodering gun to attach the speaker wire. I went straight to the speaker wires instead of an LOC because sometimes the LOC gives a choppy signal and has sound interference. I used this site to find the 12v power wire going to the head unit, and used that for my remote wire to the amp.
I hope this helps someone else looking to do this in the future!