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It shouldn't be that hard. There should be screws in the panel. I never removed a radio from a 96 Riv. But remove the panel that centers around the original radio. There are probably other screws that hold the radio in the dash. If you are installing an after-market radio such as Pioneer, Kenwood etc... check with a Buick dealer just to make sure that the original radio is not tide in to the computer in the car. I know later model Cadillacs such as the later 90's or 2000's and up Cadillacs are like that, and if you remove and install an after-market radio the on-board computer won't work. Hope this info helps you!!
I'm assuming that you lost elec power to the radio? If so, check fuses first. Not sure about 96, but the 2000 has a small plastic door in the side of the dash when you open the driver door. If you do have power, then try AM and FM etc...might be antenna connections. There is something strange about the electrical routing with some of these models - like the engine computer is routed through the radio? Don't quote me - keep searching -and good luck.
Sounds like there is a blown piston, to be sure have a compression test done on that #2 cylinder, if the reading is low, then you'll know.
A friend of mine had a 95 that did simular things only a little more,
it started smoking, dash lights flickered, etc. Finally, he had to get rid of it, the piston rod went through the engine block.
this got easy after a while 2 ways, i had friends who would not take the time to spend 8dollars to buy a harness connector for a new cd player and would splice everything together like takeing the red and yellow wires and connecting them all together as one. this drains ur battery unless ur cd player can completly power down by the power button not all do... but keep this in mind on GM cars the 2 wires of the same wires like purple the one with a black stripe is ground they go together stripe on stripe also there is 2 extra wires one is ORANGE and BROWN u dont need these dont even mess with them even if u have a connector block them off THESE TWO COLORS IS FOR FACTORY STEREO IF SO THESE WIRES CAN AND WILL MAKE IT SO U DONT HAVE DASH LIGHTS so always buy a connector ond dont mess with these wires block them off and dont ground them out.