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Old 12-17-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
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Radio upgrade

I would like to replace the old am/fm 8 track in my 74 with a new automotive type that has a cd player and a usb port. After checking around with places like Radio Shack and Best Buy it seems as if new units come with a plug in wire harness that is specific to the auto it will be installed in. Also the installer at Best Buy said that unless my origional speakers have a ground wire run back to the new radio the will not work.

Not being a electronics type guy is there a simple way to change out the radio without getting into all sorts of rewiring of the new radio?

Thanks for the help. Paul.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Flynavy View Post
I would like to replace the old am/fm 8 track in my 74 with a new automotive type that has a cd player and a usb port. After checking around with places like Radio Shack and Best Buy it seems as if new units come with a plug in wire harness that is specific to the auto it will be installed in. Also the installer at Best Buy said that unless my origional speakers have a ground wire run back to the new radio the will not work.

Not being a electronics type guy is there a simple way to change out the radio without getting into all sorts of rewiring of the new radio?

Thanks for the help. Paul.
I'm not going to be much help but I had to chuckle because I put the original 8 track stero am fm radio BACK into our '71 Buick convertible. It works pretty good but not with the after market radio CD player. I now understand that I will have to install separate speakers for the 8 track.
Neil
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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There's a ton of wires going from the fader off to to speakers. My old radio has lost the left/right balance and I'm not sure if the 8 track works at all. If I can figure out how to relace it my old one can go to someone who could use it.
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:01 AM   #4
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If your trailer is wired like our '71, there are two wires going to each speaker, so no worries there....

In the end, a radio/tape deck in an Airstream is a pretty easy install.

You have a +12, ground, four pairs of speaker wires, and an antenna.

In our trailer, the speaker wires seem to have lost any indication of which wire is + and which is -; this matters because it sounds better if the speakers are in phase. If you want to figure this out, have someone watch the speaker while you briefly connect a 1.5 v battery to the two wires; whichever wire makes the speaker cone move out when connected to the + terminal on the battery is the + wire from the speaker. Label the speaker wires when you're done, of course, for
the next person who has to do this :-).

If the stereo has an 'enable' line, connect that to +12 since there's no ignition switch here :-).

- Bart
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
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The problem is all the new radios I look at come with a wire harness adapter that is plug and play for the specific auto that it is being installed in. What I have now is two plugs which control left and right balance and a set of 8 or 10 wires that are hard wired to the fader switch.
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:27 PM   #6
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I would imagine that the new radio comes with a diagram of the colour coded wires that are connected to the plugs it has on it.

Also, most newer auto radios have their own built-in fader.

If this is true, snip off the player's connectors, bypass the fader, and, using barts means of confirming polarity, just put it all together using those little Marr connectors.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:27 PM   #7
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This is a very "do-able" project. Pick the radio you want. (The specific car model setup doesn't matter as you will cut off the plug) The radio will come with a wiring diagram. It is just a matter of matching the same items together.....Left front speaker to left front speaker, etc.
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Old 12-17-2011, 05:39 PM   #8
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Crutchfields is your friend when it comes to car stereos etc. They have great customer service/tech help that might aid you in answering your questions.
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:28 PM   #9
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Funny story...
We ordered a new Class C Moho on a Ford chassis back in 1977...
The 'Stereo' option at the time was an 8-track or Cassette Tape - in my wisdom of the day, I opted for the 8-track, knowing it was the future - right!

Well, I had a box full of old 70's 8-tracks to play in our 'new' 78 AS with it's 'futuristic' 8-track stereo system...

I use our XMradio coupled to the stereo system with an antenna coupler for all the latest tunes...
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:42 PM   #10
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Satellit radio

We just used our old radio and went to SiriusXM satellite radio.
Works real well when Boondocking out where there is NO radio and NO phone service.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:51 AM   #11
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Ordered a new am/fm/cd player from Crutchfield today. They have a harness to deal with the negative ground. The tech said I will not have to run new speaker wires which would be next to impossable. We'll see how it goes. I think I will also install a side mount am antenna while I have things apart. Then if I decide to change out the tv antenna in the future I won't have to deal with that.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #12
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Me too

I'm also upgrading to a am/fm/cd streo. I have my brother over, as he is much better than I at these things. We still could not get it going. The radio we took out was an old Kraco, am/fm caasset. It had a 4 way plug on it, with a red, black, green, and grey wire. A ground (white) and the antanna. The front street speaker is blue/black, the rear was green/black, and the curb side were both red/black. They are original AS speakers, not sure about the radio. Can anyone offer insight to getting it hooked up? We can get power/tuner on and change controls. No Sound!! MPJ
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:39 PM   #13
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I have hooked up two used Toyota radios (AM, FM, CD, cassette) in my trailers. I could not figure out the multitude of wires and plugs from the radio, so I took the radio to Stereo King. The nice folks there tested the radio and then labeled all the wires for me no charge. After that it was a simple matter to do the hook-up. If you are dealing with a used radio that has an amp make sure to hard wire a ground between the amp and radio. It will not work without this. I found this out the hard way.
Sam
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:50 PM   #14
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Radio

It's a new radio, I'm sure on the radio end of it. It's the Airstream wires that I'm not sure on. Thanks MPJ
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