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Old 10-09-2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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Replacing the 'Vintage Stereo' in my '78

Yesterday I unscrewed my old Motorola Stereo with 8Track player to see how I might upgrade it with a new receiver because I am not getting any sound in half of my speakers. The wiring appears to be OK but I would like to put a CD player with a port for my iPod and add XM. Has anyone done this upgrade? I don't want to spend a ton of money but would like to know what units hook up easily to the existing wiring. Will I need an amp to power the tuner? Are any of the low end units better than the others? What about antenna hookup? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Mario
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:43 PM   #2
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I've been wanting to do the same in my 1978 Ambassador. I was thinking of installing a car radio/CD player with an MP3 outlet and tying it into the speaker wires of the A/S. The problem is so many of the new car stereo's are far from easy to use. My kids could figure them out in a few minutes but my 50 year old brain needs something simple. That way it would still be 12 volt for when we are not on shore power.
Tom
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:00 PM   #3
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I too have the 78 with an 8 track. I want to hook my speakers up to an LCD TV so I can hear it with the AC running. I just get static out of the 8 track, but I guess that means the speakers work. I'm a little electronically challanged, so I may not ever get this done, but it sounds good just talking about it. I don't know if those wires and speakers will work on 110 or just on 12V.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:49 PM   #4
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I am happy to keep it running on 12v. The existing stereo does not pull too much power. The current problem is that the volume and station selector are very scratchy and the speakers have trouble on 1 of the channels. I'm sure I could take it apart and clean the contacts but it is hardly worth it for a 30 year old system. I think that it would be more prictical to replace it.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:59 PM   #5
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How about some recomendations.

For that matter what would your best list of entertainment toys be?
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:10 PM   #6
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Mine came with a Sony AM/FM/tape that I wanted to upgrade to at least a CD player that would play MP3's. I brought the trailer to Circuit City because they has free installation if you spent something like at least $199. I ended up with a Pioneer unit that also has an XM tuner and 4 speakers. They were in shock when I puuled in with the trailer, but really embraced it and did a great job with the install. The speaker choices are somewhat limited because of the depth available in the walls if you use the original locations. Sometimes it's easier to leave it to the pro's for very little extra $$.
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
How about some recomendations.

For that matter what would your best list of entertainment toys be?
I would have the player capable of also playing DVD's so it could be hooked up to your LCD TV.
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:17 PM   #8
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Great tip...I think I can do a $200 upgrade. After all, it is an Airstream! I will keep an eye on the free installation flyers that usually end up in the recycling. Thanks
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdEspresso
Great tip...I think I can do a $200 upgrade. After all, it is an Airstream! I will keep an eye on the free installation flyers that usually end up in the recycling. Thanks
Keep a lookout for Circuit City and Best Buy, they always have deals going. The only small problem may be the way the speakers are wired, i.e. negative ground, details of which can always be worked around. May need to replace the speakers which I would recommend anyway - the originals are lousy.
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Old 10-09-2006, 06:09 PM   #10
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To those who do up grade to a new stereo , I am looking for an original Motorola AM-FM with 8-track in working condition . If you have one available send me a PM , thanks
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:33 PM   #11
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Negative ground? In the sense of 12 VDC pos + chassis ground? I don't think so, but I am often wrong. All four of my speakers have lamplike twin-lead zip wire going to them. I guess I should pull the radio (which with the 8-track player still works fine) out and see if one side of the RCA jacks is soldered to ground.

Noisy rotary controls are from scratchy rheostats. You can un-solder the bad ones and use a meter to find their bottom and wide-open resistance. Hums are from dirty DC (ie. sickly Univolt) and worn-out capacitors. Loud hums are completely dried-out old capacitors. Dial lamps dimming as the volume increases are indicative of a tired power supply.

Radio Shack still carries this stuff, and old radios are MUCH more fun to poke around in that the newer stuff. (Hmm... if it LOOKS bad in there, it probably is!)

Lamar, the sometimes singed
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Old 10-15-2006, 06:32 AM   #12
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Well folks, it is true, the speakers all have a common ground. I have been told that the newer radios will fry if I attempt to hook it up and I have to pull new wires. Is this easily accomplished without tearing out the walls? don't mind replacing the speakers but pulling wires doesn't look easy. Any ideas?
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Old 10-15-2006, 06:44 AM   #13
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I don't follow, what kind of wires are you supposed to use?
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:04 AM   #14
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I too have thought of replacing ours. However i was considering a home theater system like you would put in your house. Walmart has many variations of these. They have one that includes 5 or 6 speakers that are wireless and you would not have to run any wires. Most of these have am/fm reciever, cd, dvd, and you can hook your television into them. You would have to cut out a bigger hole, but I think it would work! If you want a car stereo, I just saw a Sony on clearance at walmart yesterday for $69.00.

John
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