Author Topic: New radio, speakers, and their wiring  (Read 16355 times)

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Offline Grand73Am

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 07:59:09 PM »
Angelo replied and gave a good answer, but I already wrote this, so here it is  :) .
I can tell you the rear speakers are mounted from underneath the package tray metal panel, with the grilles on top. The original grilles have threaded studs that go through holes in the package tray panel, the speakers are put up over the studs, and nuts installed to hold them. Aftermarket speakers can be installed the same way with the original grilles, if the centers of the speakers aren't so tall that they hit the grilles. If you use the aftermarket grilles that come with the speakers, they come with long screws that go through the speaker grilles and hang down under the panel, where you hang the speakers on them with some nuts. Here's a pic of an original car:

Steve F.

Offline Schroeder

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2012, 08:26:56 AM »
So I don't think my car has the in glass antenna.  Can I put an antenna in the trunk or something?  I don't really want to replace the windshield and I don't wanna cut my fenders up or anything.  Anyone have any ideas?

Offline Elz

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2012, 09:14:03 AM »
You could use a hidden antenna. I put something like this in the fairing of my motorcycle. It's amplified and designed to be hidden. I am probably going to use this on my car since I need to replace the windshield and probably won't go back to the antenna in the windshield.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/15748798227056802684?q=hidden%20antenna&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bpcl=39468505&biw=1045&bih=459&sa=X&ei=41W_UN3TNIXe2AXy4IHIAg&ved=0CIMBEPMCMAI#ps-sellers

Offline Grand73Am

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2012, 09:18:28 AM »
Elz beat me to it.

For when you don't have or don't want an exterior antenna, you can buy an antenna that you place inside the car where it can receive a signal, like on the package tray. It's about the size of a candy bar. I've used them and they work fine. Here's an expample:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_12044UA20/Universal-Antenna.html?tp=3449&kw=&org=pla&nw=g&crv=15802862185
Steve F.

Offline Angelo

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2012, 09:22:02 AM »
Any FM antenna under metal is not going to be very effective. AM will be a complete loss, it would be like being under a bridge all the time. If you can hide it under glass/plastic it may be more effective though. Under the package tray would work, that may work better than the factory windshield actually.

If the car has/had a working radio chances are there's an antenna in the windshield (if there's no hole in the fender).

By the way, I got new front windshield for my car for $180 installed in my garage. It's a lot of money but if it's old glass and/or if you want to repaint your dash while the glass is out, that's an inexpensive upgrade. If your car wasn't wired for a windshield antenna, you will still have a problem getting the antenna routed into your car. So if your car doesn't have an antenna windshield, check the outside bottom center of your windshield for a lead, should be on/under your cowl to plug a windshield antenna into. If no lead, that Crutchfield bar is your best option.

81' ex-Turbo Trans Am - Resto-mod

Offline Grand73Am

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2012, 09:46:01 AM »
Like Angelo said, it would be interesting to look for an antenna lead on your cowl, just to see if you have one. It's where the antenna from the windshield would plug into, if you had a windshield antenna. It's in the center of your cowl, just below the center of your windshield. You have to remove the plastic screen to check for it. Here's a good thread with pics that shows its location and what it looks like: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=54709.0
Steve F.

Offline 73Formula

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2012, 03:28:29 PM »
Are you sure you want a CD player? As we speak, I am having the original stereo in my car modified to accept Ipod/mp3. No cutting needed. Better Tech/More convenient?

Offline Angelo

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2012, 04:14:07 PM »
73Formula has a point. I was looking at some head units last month that are considered non-mech (non mechanical), they have units with bluetooth so you can connect your phone/tablet and play music through it that way, AUX input jack is a popular option, and some even have USB/SD/MicroSD slots on them. The factory radio with an input jack is the best way to go if your dash is uncut, kind of a "sleeper" radio.
81' ex-Turbo Trans Am - Resto-mod

Offline Grand73Am

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2012, 11:48:12 PM »
I like the look of an original radio and the idea of adding an aux jack installed to allow use of an mp3 player, if you want to keep the original look. Only problem is that an original radio still won't have the power and sound quality of a modern radio, and the speakers aren't as good as what you can use with the modern radio. 

« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 11:53:28 PM by Grand73Am »
Steve F.

Offline 73Formula

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2012, 12:50:19 AM »
The radios can be modified for this also. I will ask what all is being done to mine and post tomorrow

Offline Schroeder

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2012, 09:06:33 AM »
Any FM antenna under metal is not going to be very effective. AM will be a complete loss, it would be like being under a bridge all the time. If you can hide it under glass/plastic it may be more effective though. Under the package tray would work, that may work better than the factory windshield actually.

If the car has/had a working radio chances are there's an antenna in the windshield (if there's no hole in the fender).

By the way, I got new front windshield for my car for $180 installed in my garage. It's a lot of money but if it's old glass and/or if you want to repaint your dash while the glass is out, that's an inexpensive upgrade. If your car wasn't wired for a windshield antenna, you will still have a problem getting the antenna routed into your car. So if your car doesn't have an antenna windshield, check the outside bottom center of your windshield for a lead, should be on/under your cowl to plug a windshield antenna into. If no lead, that Crutchfield bar is your best option.



I would like to paint the front half of my dash, speaking of which is it supposed to be a dull matte black on black interior cars?  Mine seems awful dull like it was painted with some crap spraybomb. 

Elz beat me to it.

For when you don't have or don't want an exterior antenna, you can buy an antenna that you place inside the car where it can receive a signal, like on the package tray. It's about the size of a candy bar. I've used them and they work fine. Here's an expample:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_12044UA20/Universal-Antenna.html?tp=3449&kw=&org=pla&nw=g&crv=15802862185

Elz and Grand, I like this option.  I could lay the thing on my package tray and I don't think it'd bother me.

Are you sure you want a CD player? As we speak, I am having the original stereo in my car modified to accept Ipod/mp3. No cutting needed. Better Tech/More convenient?

73, I LOVE this option, but I do not want to sacrifice sound quality.  This also sounds expensive.  If you could make sure to post back like you said with all the gory details I would appreciate it.  I'm assuming you are having this done at a car radio installation place?   Or did you take it to even a more specialized business to handle the modifications?


GREAT posts guys, thanks to all of you.  GREAT information and an ABUNDANCE of it!!

Offline 73Formula

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2012, 03:15:14 AM »
I live in Miami, ta specialties does all the work on my car. I am getting it back on Monday. I BELIEVE that to modify the stereo, plus the speakers and amp was around 600 in parts. I know that they send the radio out somewhere to the Midwest. Will let you know specifics in a few days.

Offline Schroeder

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2012, 11:15:07 AM »
I live in Miami, ta specialties does all the work on my car. I am getting it back on Monday. I BELIEVE that to modify the stereo, plus the speakers and amp was around 600 in parts. I know that they send the radio out somewhere to the Midwest. Will let you know specifics in a few days.

Yes, please do.  I might send my radio to the same place.  I am not spending $600 though.  What was the radio mod costs without the speakers and such?

Offline Angelo

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2012, 12:17:15 PM »
As for the metal portion of the dash, I read somewhere that GM used a flat paint color that matched the interior color. The flat color was to prevent any sun from reflecting from it. When I had my glass out of the car I painted mine with SEM Landau black followed by some SEM Low Luster Clear, I had no rust to deal with so I just scuffed the surface with gray 3m scuff pads (I think that's ultra fine), cleaned with paint thinner, then laid a lot of very light thin coats 7 minutes apart, with 2 medium coats of the clear on top. It came out great as you can see in the pics on my blog: http://www.modsandrods.tv/2012/11/05/project-trans-am-month-30-interior-and-wiring/ The window certainly has to come out to paint it right, there's a good 3-4" of dash that's angled with the glass that you otherwise would not be able to reach if the window remained in the car.
81' ex-Turbo Trans Am - Resto-mod

Offline 73Formula

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Re: New radio, speakers, and their wiring
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2012, 07:11:04 PM »
Hey guys haven't forgotten about this thread. Some personnel has been out sick at my shop. Should get car back tomorrow's. Will post all details then.