Hitman's Pontiac Trans Am Forum

Trans Am Information => Trans Am Tech => Interior => Topic started by: 78BlueBalls on May 05, 2006, 02:53:23 PM

Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: 78BlueBalls on May 05, 2006, 02:53:23 PM
Ok, I just purchased my '78 T/A about 2 weeks ago, so Im new to this car. But Im wondering if there is any trick to changing the factory cassette deck to a modern style stereo? Also, I havent gotten my manuals yet, but how do you get to the front dash speaker to change it, because mine is blown?

Thanks alot guys
Title: Re: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: ta78w72 on May 05, 2006, 08:01:34 PM
To pull the front speaker I found it easiest to pull out the A/C ducts under the driver and console section.  Pull the gauge bezel and pull out the center air flow deflector and pull the duct.  Then you can see the dash speaker.  It's head by one screw.  Unscrew it and pull the speaker out.  

Classic has a dual speaker that fits almost perfectly in that spot....I had to fiddle with mine to get it in, but it works great.....and I didn't have to cut anything.

The radio.....I would keep the original one in.  It looks great and it's, well original.....but it's your car and your call.  If you don't want to cut the dash (ugh!) you can install one in the map pocket.  But, don't use the original map pocket, by an aftermarket one because the original ones have silver trim...the aftermarket ones don't.
Title: changing radio
Post by: 78BlueBalls on May 08, 2006, 01:52:00 PM
Is there any trick to gettin the gauge bezel out? I noticed that the trim rings around the gauges just pop off, is there anything specific that holds the actual stainless bezel inplace or does it just pop out as well?

Thanks again
Steve Lockard
Title: Re: changing radio
Post by: ta78w72 on May 08, 2006, 03:17:36 PM
Five screws hold the bezel in place.  Three can be seen on the black trim on top part of the bezel and go straight up into the dash.  Two are at the bottom of the dash and go up through the bezel.  To get to the two bottom screws you have to take off the under column trim piece.  Then you also need to unscrew the cigarette lighter bezel ring.

You should also drop the column a little bit by lossening the nuts on either side of the column.  Then put a cloth over the column so you don't scratch when you pull it out.

I have pictures of all this if you want a copy.  Send me an email and I'll send you the pictures.....I'll even waive my normal $100 fee...this time only  :D
Title: Modern Stereo
Post by: 78BlueBalls on May 10, 2006, 02:19:23 PM
Ok, so how risky is it to cut the hole out to fit a modern 1 DIN stereo? After it is cut, are there any tricks to mounting the stereo? Has anyone done this on a 77-81? If so, any hints, tips, tricks, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks alot guys, I love this place

Steve Lockard
Terre Haute, IN
Martinique Blue '78 T/A WS6
Title: Re: Modern Stereo
Post by: ta78w72 on May 10, 2006, 02:39:25 PM
Gee Steve, if you have an uncut dash I wouldn't cut into it.  But if you want to, you have to cut the dash and figure out a bracket that will hold the radio to the dash frame.  You might be better off installing the radio in the map pocket (I don't like the glove box option because it's too hard to reach).

Brett also had some ideas about this.  I'm going to always suggest that you keep the car original...expect that from me cause that's the way I am.  Other people like to upgrade the sound system and usually they do a great job.  However, how many speakers in the door panels or console have we seen over the years....and that looks totally ugly!

Of course my T/A is not my daily driver so I'm not too concerned about tunes.....in fact, I usually listen to sports talk radio and you don't need much for that!
Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: dazeakamike on May 10, 2006, 11:03:04 PM
the cut is very complicated, once you cut you cannot go back, if you cut the opening to big.... your out of luck, if you do not cut it straight.... same deal. There are way to many options out there to cut it !! There is the Map pocket, glove box, underdash mounts and even a radio that has a big box that you can put in the trunk, and a small display to go up front


what color is you interior ? What condition is you dash in ? Hey if it is tan and in good condition... i will trade you one that is already cut..... you know to "help" you out *LOL*

And as far as the front speaker goes... it is a 4x10 and what i did was to take the speaker as a template and cut a piece of wood that size, then bought a pair of 3.5 in speakers. Mounted them to the plate, but made one side of each speaker lower to kick them on a V so that it does not sound mono and do have some seperation from the left and right channel... sounds very good.... cannot complain at all.

Also have done this on a eary 70's nova sounded very good
Title: Sorry
Post by: 78BlueBalls on May 10, 2006, 11:51:42 PM
Sorry man, my interior/dash is black. But it is in GREAT shape, no cracks, rips, tears, warps, nothin. Well, the only thing that keeps me wondering which way to go is my current stereo. Its not a factory stereo, its an old 2 post Kenwood casette deck. If i had the factory deck I may consider installing a CD player in the map pocket. And I dont want to buy a factory tape deck just for looks.  I just want to know whose crazy idea it was to mold a two post bezel into the dash at the factory...i hate that person.

Anyway, I guess Ill just pull it apart and take a look around, see what I come up with.

Oh yeah, lets say I pull the deck, will I find a factory wiring harness in there or did they have harnesses back then?

Thanks again guys
Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: 78BlueBalls on May 11, 2006, 12:01:02 AM
Oh, and to be honest, I havent pulled the deck thats in yet, and I know there is a trim face bezel that goes over the actual molded piece, so who knows, maybe ill get lucky and find its already cut.
Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: ta78w72 on May 11, 2006, 09:30:23 AM
Remember.....it is a 1978 car.  They all had the two post radio's.  In fact, 1978 was a big year....they went to the new type radio with ungrounded speakers, the same type they use today.

Try the map pocket....or Brett had posted they he knows someone that rebuilds new radio's in the old two post shell (did I recall that correctly?).  Put the CD changer in the trunk and you're all set.

An uncut dash is a much sought after item.
Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: dazeakamike on May 11, 2006, 10:14:48 PM
yes, they still used a harness back then
Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: ta78w72 on May 12, 2006, 09:46:00 AM
As far as the wiring harness goes, if they installed an after market radio they probably cut the harness.  The power for the radio was built in to the under dash harness.  The power source is a black connector that has a black wire (ground), yellow wire (power to the radio), and a gray wire (power to illuminate the radio face).  Then there are separate wiring for the speakers.  A white connector that has wires going to the under dash speaker, and a blue connector that has wires going to the rear speaker.  That's the original set up.

And, if you have an aftermarket radio installed, better hope that the installer didn't break up your A/C ducts.  Mine were all broken and put back together with electrical tape.....nice guys.
Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: Hitman on May 12, 2006, 10:50:48 AM
Yes, Custom Auto Sound does rebuild radio to give it that factory look on the outside and upgraded electronics on the inside.  Unfortunatley, when they do that, the power of the radio is still only 25 watts so it isn't much better than the original radio that comes factory.  They also charge like $300 or so to do it so to me it is not even worth it.  Also, if you are looking to buy a factory radio just for looks, I can usually get them for about $20 to $40 so will not spend alot of money to get one just for looks.
Title: Changing from 2 post radio to modern 1 DIN?
Post by: Eagle 1 on May 12, 2006, 02:04:45 PM
My son owns a 81 Camaro Z28 that has the factory cassette player that still works.  Anyhow, we got a Sony cassette adapter that has the wire that comes out and he plugged it into his MP3 Player.  Man you talk about sounding good.  I was impressed.  Of course we also installed a set of Pioneer 6X9 speakers in place of the factory ones.
Here is the cassette adapter I am talking about.