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Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/6/20 7:01 p.m.

Hey guys, 

 

You are all very smart with this sort of stuff. 

 

I've owned my 74 Mazda REPU for almost 18 years. In this time the cigarette lighter has never worked. The crap Concord stereo worked for about a minute or so. Last Sunday I decided I was finally going to dig into the cigarette lighter not working. I took apart the center piece of the dashboard to gain access. What I found was the cigarette lighter wiring was utilized for the hack stereo system wiring. I decided that the stereo had to go. Turns out it had a separate amplifier mounted down behind the HVAC system. I removed it all. 

 

I haven't put anything back together as now I'm thinking about maybe installing a new vintage looking stereo with Bluetooth, installing the old crap stereo to fill the hole, or perhaps figuring out some sort of blanking plate. 

 

The dash opening has been cut as you can see here:

 

 

This plate is for the stereo, but covers the cut up panel 

 

It has been suggested that I could buy a stereo from retro manufacturing and I both looked at their website and called them because my truck isn't listed. I think I can probably make something from them work, but my biggest concern is the cut dash panel. Perhaps this is an advantage though, but I'm drawing a blank as to what I should do. 

 

Any thoughts? 

BFH_Garage
BFH_Garage New Reader
5/6/20 7:19 p.m.

Install a blank panel where the radio went and get an amp with Bluetooth capability or a separate Bluetooth adaptor. 

That’s what I did in my mini, works well and is hidden so it doesn’t distract from the car. 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/6/20 7:23 p.m.
BFH_Garage said:

Install a blank panel where the radio went and get an amp with Bluetooth capability or a separate Bluetooth adaptor. 

That’s what I did in my mini, works well and is hidden so it doesn’t distract from the car. 

A friend of mine said the same thing, but I really don't understand what he meant. Can you elaborate on how this would work? 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
5/6/20 7:34 p.m.

Depending on how "retro" you want, you could find something like this JVC I put in the Power Wagon:



My old radio had knobs, and this one has a knob, so that's "retro" enough for me! Sounds good, works well, and it has variable color illuminaton so I could match the dash lighting perfectly. 

This also had no useable wiring to power it, so I had to run all new stuff. It wasn't too bad. 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/6/20 7:37 p.m.
Tony Sestito said:

Depending on how "retro" you want, you could find something like this JVC I put in the Power Wagon:



My old radio had knobs, and this one has a knob, so that's "retro" enough for me! Sounds good, works well, and it has variable color illuminaton so I could match the dash lighting perfectly. 

This also had no useable wiring to power it, so I had to run all new stuff. It wasn't too bad. 

I have an old removable face stereo like that somewhere in my stash, but I sorta want something more vintage looking, or nothing at all. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
5/6/20 7:45 p.m.

In reply to Mazdax605 :


Kenwood EZ-500, if you can find one. No Bluetooth, but it does have an Aux port. I know where one is, but it's home is sitting in my driveway on jackstands. cheeky

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/6/20 7:46 p.m.
Tony Sestito said:

In reply to Mazdax605 :


Kenwood EZ-500, if you can find one. No Bluetooth, but it does have an Aux port. I know where one is, but it's home is sitting in my driveway on jackstands. cheeky

I don't even need Bluetooth, or aux, but a working stereo might be nice. 

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
5/6/20 8:30 p.m.

Not sure if you have the pull-out ashtray, a few courier guys have gone through and added a bluetooth receiver in the ashtray linked to an amplifier somewhere else. You can either put the factory radio back in as a placeholder, or find something else to fill the slots. I will look back through my screenshots and see if I can find what I had grabbed before.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/6/20 8:36 p.m.
classicJackets (FS) said:

Not sure if you have the pull-out ashtray, a few courier guys have gone through and added a bluetooth receiver in the ashtray linked to an amplifier somewhere else. You can either put the factory radio back in as a placeholder, or find something else to fill the slots. I will look back through my screenshots and see if I can find what I had grabbed before.

I do have the pull out ashtray. 

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/6/20 8:55 p.m.

I don't know how much you want to spend, but Crutchfield has a line of radios called RetroSound.

Here is one for a 1967 Mustang.  Crutchfield also has decals to make the front look like an old radio.

Specs?  Yep.

  • built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS/40 watts peak x 4 channels)
  • rear-mounted aux input for smartphones, satellite radios, portable music players, and other devices
  • InfiniMount shaft/bracket system fits a variety of vintage car dash openings

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
5/6/20 8:57 p.m.

I pulled out 40lbs of factory audio and nav equipment and now only have this bluetooth amp.  This is all I have, no receiver.

Works great and is so simple.  It runs both front and rear speaker no problem. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/6/20 9:18 p.m.

RetroSound got their start in the business doing old-school American stuff.  They could take the AM radio from a 61 Cadillac, stuff it with some modern guts, and it would look like the original radio.  Looked stock-ish, but had aux outs, an FM tuner, and 4 speaker outputs instead of one or two.

You might reach out to them and see if that's something they still do.  You could find a Mazda radio from the 70s and have them re-do it.  Of course, that would only work if it fits that faceplate you have.  Also, not cheap.

I don't really know of any vintage-looking head unit other than an actual vintage head unit.  The good news is, old radios are somewhat universal.  Most of them fit the same holes regardless of the application.  For a while I had an 80s Nissan Stanza radio installed in a Mercury Tracer just to get tunes.

I hate to say it, but I think you're looking at either a junkyard 80s radio, or maybe something inexpensive from Crutchfield.  You can get an in-dash radio with a CD player and minimal bells or whistles for under $100.  It will turn on, play music, and not suck. 

In case you haven't encountered this, there are three basic sizes of radio, all based on the DIN standard (stands for Deutsches Institut fur Normung, or German institute of Standards).  Yours is a "single DIN" opening.  You'll find a lot of the OEMs went to 1.5 DIN or "DIN and a half" which is 50% taller.  GM and Chrysler did this in the 80s.  There is also Double-DIN which (you guessed it) is twice the height.  When you look at the pictures above that folks have posted, those are all single DIN.  For those, you would cut the rest of the hole out to a full rectangle and slide in a sleeve that accepts the new radio.  Many Japanese and German manufacturers kept the single DIN later on into the 90s and some 00s.

Do you have the original radio perhaps?  It isn't outside the realm of possibility for you to take a swing at fixing it.  Often times a couple strategic squirts of DeOxit can revive an old radio.

BFH_Garage
BFH_Garage New Reader
5/6/20 9:21 p.m.

The amp that is posted above connects to your phone via Bluetooth and plays the music from your phone. Volume control from your phone. No head unit needed. 

I used a similar amp and the jl audio blue tooth adaptor. Under the back seat, out of sight, out of mind.

 

phone syncs up everytime I’m in the car, no extra steps needed. 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/6/20 9:21 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

RetroSound got their start in the business doing old-school American stuff.  They could take the AM radio from a 61 Cadillac, stuff it with some modern guts, and it would look like the original radio.  Looked stock-ish, but had aux outs, an FM tuner, and 4 speaker outputs instead of one or two.

You might reach out to them and see if that's something they still do.  You could find a Mazda radio from the 70s and have them re-do it.  Of course, that would only work if it fits that faceplate you have.  Also, not cheap.

I don't really know of any vintage-looking head unit other than an actual vintage head unit.  The good news is, old radios are somewhat universal.  Most of them fit the same holes regardless of the application.  For a while I had an 80s Nissan Stanza radio installed in a Mercury Tracer just to get tunes.

I hate to say it, but I think you're looking at either a junkyard 80s radio, or maybe something inexpensive from Crutchfield.  You can get an in-dash radio with a CD player and minimal bells or whistles for under $100.  It will turn on, play music, and not suck. 

In case you haven't encountered this, there are three basic sizes of radio, all based on the DIN standard (stands for Deutsches Institut fur Normung, or German institute of Standards).  Yours is a "single DIN" opening.  You'll find a lot of the OEMs went to 1.5 DIN or "DIN and a half" which is 50% taller.  GM and Chrysler did this in the 80s.  There is also Double-DIN which (you guessed it) is twice the height.  When you look at the pictures above that folks have posted, those are all single DIN.  For those, you would cut the rest of the hole out to a full rectangle and slide in a sleeve that accepts the new radio.  Many Japanese and German manufacturers kept the single DIN later on into the 90s and some 00s.

Do you have the original radio perhaps?  It isn't outside the realm of possibility for you to take a swing at fixing it.  Often times a couple strategic squirts of DeOxit can revive an old radio.

I spoke with the people at retro sound and I think we can make something work, but I just don't know what to do with the oddly cut hole in the panel. I don't have the factory stereo. 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
5/6/20 9:23 p.m.
noddaz said:

I don't know how much you want to spend, but Crutchfield has a line of radios called RetroSound.

Here is one for a 1967 Mustang.  Crutchfield also has decals to make the front look like an old radio.

Specs?  Yep.

  • built-in amplifier (18 watts RMS/40 watts peak x 4 channels)
  • rear-mounted aux input for smartphones, satellite radios, portable music players, and other devices
  • InfiniMount shaft/bracket system fits a variety of vintage car dash openings

This was my thought.  You can make a faceplate that will allow this to mount in that dash, or maybe make the one you have work.  Note how you can relocate the dials as needed on the radio pictured.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
5/6/20 9:24 p.m.
BFH_Garage said:

Volume control from your phone.

While driving?  This sounds like a special kind of hell. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/6/20 9:25 p.m.

Oh, other possibilities for "vintage" stuff that has been reworked:  Custom Auto Sound, Custom Classic Car Radio, and Scott Drake (of Custom AutoSound).  Again, not cheap, but they look the part.

 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/6/20 9:27 p.m.
ProDarwin said:
BFH_Garage said:

Volume control from your phone.

While driving?  This sounds like a special kind of hell. 

Yeah I don't own a phone either. I have a smart phone from work and use it for personal use, but I don't have any music loaded on it. I know I could stream music, but the plan only has 2 gigs of data and I don't want to abuse that. I'm fine with a modern stereo with AM/FM/aux. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/6/20 9:28 p.m.
Mazdax605 said:
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

RetroSound got their start in the business doing old-school American stuff.  They could take the AM radio from a 61 Cadillac, stuff it with some modern guts, and it would look like the original radio.  Looked stock-ish, but had aux outs, an FM tuner, and 4 speaker outputs instead of one or two.

You might reach out to them and see if that's something they still do.  You could find a Mazda radio from the 70s and have them re-do it.  Of course, that would only work if it fits that faceplate you have.  Also, not cheap.

I don't really know of any vintage-looking head unit other than an actual vintage head unit.  The good news is, old radios are somewhat universal.  Most of them fit the same holes regardless of the application.  For a while I had an 80s Nissan Stanza radio installed in a Mercury Tracer just to get tunes.

I hate to say it, but I think you're looking at either a junkyard 80s radio, or maybe something inexpensive from Crutchfield.  You can get an in-dash radio with a CD player and minimal bells or whistles for under $100.  It will turn on, play music, and not suck. 

In case you haven't encountered this, there are three basic sizes of radio, all based on the DIN standard (stands for Deutsches Institut fur Normung, or German institute of Standards).  Yours is a "single DIN" opening.  You'll find a lot of the OEMs went to 1.5 DIN or "DIN and a half" which is 50% taller.  GM and Chrysler did this in the 80s.  There is also Double-DIN which (you guessed it) is twice the height.  When you look at the pictures above that folks have posted, those are all single DIN.  For those, you would cut the rest of the hole out to a full rectangle and slide in a sleeve that accepts the new radio.  Many Japanese and German manufacturers kept the single DIN later on into the 90s and some 00s.

Do you have the original radio perhaps?  It isn't outside the realm of possibility for you to take a swing at fixing it.  Often times a couple strategic squirts of DeOxit can revive an old radio.

I spoke with the people at retro sound and I think we can make something work, but I just don't know what to do with the oddly cut hole in the panel. I don't have the factory stereo. 

twin-shaft radio faceplates are relatively easy to come by.  For instance, if you buy from Crutchfield you can likely get a free kit that includes a faceplate which could be glued to your opening to return it to an old 2-shaft radio design.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/6/20 9:30 p.m.

For instance... in this adapter kit for a random car I googled, notice that one of the faceplates in the kit is the 2-shaft style.  You could take that plate and mount it in the oddly-cut hole in your dash.  Millions of universal kits like that get sold every day and I'm sure 99% aren't used.  My guess is you'll be able to find a stereo shop that throws away 15 of them a day.

Amazon.com: Metra 99-7578 Nissan Hardbody Quick 2-Shaft to DIN ...

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
5/7/20 12:27 a.m.

This might fit the bill. They do a couple different variations with Bluetooth and cd slots, etc.

jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter)
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) New Reader
5/7/20 5:14 a.m.

What is the measurements for the opening in your dash? Does the square plate (from the old stereo) fit right in the recessed portion of the dash?

Given how hacked up the dash panel is, and how simple you want to keep things, and standard DIN sized stereo similar to what others have posted would be the easy button here, assuming it would fit in the available space.

They do look kind of “modern” though. My two cents here if you really want to keep it simple and don’t need to place CDs is to go full vintage, with an older (but working) Alpine or Pioneer twin shaft head unit. That and a pair of 6x9’s or whatever speakers you can get to fit, and you are all set, and doing it in style!

BFH_Garage
BFH_Garage New Reader
5/7/20 6:30 a.m.
ProDarwin said:
BFH_Garage said:

Volume control from your phone.

While driving?  This sounds like a special kind of hell. 

Not really. My old iPhone has volume buttons on the side and it is mounted to a windshield mount. No worse than a traditional automotive radio. 

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/7/20 6:35 a.m.

It sounds like you just want cheap and easy FM radio with a vintage look. If I were you I'd buy one of the basic retro radios from Crutchfield and see what it comes with for mounting stuff. Use the plate you are holding in the shot above (or one from the kit) and put 4 tiny black screws right through the face of it into the 4 exiting holes in the corner of your dash piece. Tiny exposed screws will be near invisible, and exposed trim screws were pretty common back then anyway.  Also, most twin knob radios use some sort of rear support in the dash so you aren't counting on your front plate to bear the entire cantilevered weight of the radio.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
5/7/20 9:23 a.m.
jerrysarcastic (Forum Supporter) said:

What is the measurements for the opening in your dash? Does the square plate (from the old stereo) fit right in the recessed portion of the dash?

Given how hacked up the dash panel is, and how simple you want to keep things, and standard DIN sized stereo similar to what others have posted would be the easy button here, assuming it would fit in the available space.

They do look kind of “modern” though. My two cents here if you really want to keep it simple and don’t need to place CDs is to go full vintage, with an older (but working) Alpine or Pioneer twin shaft head unit. That and a pair of 6x9’s or whatever speakers you can get to fit, and you are all set, and doing it in style!

Thanks for the response. The hole in the panel measures 6-3/16" and the plate does fit in it perfectly. I feel if I could mount it with screws, or glue it this might work, but then it might not fit any other aftermarket radio. In hindsight it seems that only the rear mounted to a structure in behind the dash panel was all that was really supporting the stereo, but I could be wrong. I've never been a car audio guy, but after 18 years I'm thinking maybe having a working stereo might be a good idea.

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