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Classic Car Radio Help Needed

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by aussieblu, Nov 2, 2004.

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  1. aussieblu

    aussieblu Guest

    Ideas please.

    The 24 odd year old Voxson Radio Cassette unit in my 24 year old
    300,000 km LC Lancer died on the weekend. The Shinwa cassette
    mechanism is very dead. The Voxson is a two hole for each knob
    and a square central hole between the two knobs style.

    The problem is that the floor consol space, even if I hack some
    more space out, isn't wide enough for a standard 180 mm Single
    Din Unit. The widest space that I can make is about 165 mm. (6 &
    1/2 "); there is a clock on one side of the radio slot (nice
    reliable Jaco unit) and me on the other side so there is no room
    to move outside the 165 mm at the facia (though, like the
    Voxson, it can be wider once it's 1.5 " and full din size after
    its 1.5 " behind the facia.)

    I would like a radio cassette at least but ideally a radio
    cassette that will also drive a CD stacker? Given it's my old
    commute car I also don't want to double the car's value by
    buying a high end unit over $400 (albeit if I was sure one would
    fit I would consider it).

    I have got the electronics working in the dead Voxson again but
    the Shinwa cassette mechanism is broken. I do see some identical
    Shinwa cassette mechanisms on the net in the US for around
    US$100 but that would be a last resort as the Voxson is really
    not in good shape (the plastic and rubber in it is all old and
    brittle and some bits fell apart and disintegrated into dust
    when I opened it and are now only bonding with help from
    Selley's Superglue and some hot melt glue. Unfortunately the
    Voxson replaced a Mitsubishi AM only radio I got after I bought
    the car (new in 1980) and I had to hack the console a bit to fit
    that so there is already a mess behind the Voxson faceplate
    (otherwise I might refit the Mitsubishi AM radio and hide a head
    unit somewhere else).

    So my options seems to be:

    a) Get a smaller unit. My number one preference But does
    anyone have any clues where I can get a narrow unit (height and
    depth isn't an issue)? My search of places like JB Hi Fi
    Strathfield SuperCheap hasn't yielded anything but a very basic
    no name $24 unit at Supercheap (and despite what my kids think,
    even I am not totally tone deaf).

    b) Somehow modify a larger unit so it fits in the smaller space
    or inside an old radio chassis. Anyone done this type of job
    successfully and if so, any tips?

    c) If I can get one, buy another old unit at Cash Converters
    that fits. Not my desired approach but if all else fails.

    d) Buy an old unit from Cash Converters with an identical
    working Shinwa cassette mechanism and fix the old Voxson.

    e) Import a Classic Style radio from the US (new radio in old
    style chassis) but their radio band range is not the same as

    f) Buy a new car. I'd love too but my last $6.60 Lotto win is
    going to do it.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Lord-Data

    Lord-Data Guest

    Why not remove the clock? 99% of aftermarket units now-a-days have a built
    in electronic clock, so you wouldn't be losing a feature .. and that should
    give you enough space to fit a standard DIN unit directly in ..
    g) try a wreckers and replace the unit as-is with another identical?

    Also, perhaps try as another useful resource ..
  3. KLR

    KLR Guest

    On Tue, 02 Nov 2004 14:02:10 GMT, "aussieblu"

    Someone must sell radio/cassetteunits that fit this old standard -
    there must be 10,000's of such cars on the road still needing them as
    aftermarket replacements, You could try going to wreckers too and
    looking for ones that will fit that space.

    I think buying other old units - you will find they all have similar
    age related problems with them, same with spending $100US on parts
    (plus shipping and import duty etc) isnt really viable, specially if
    something else in there dies.

    As for buying a decent new unit - even if it is costing $400 or so -
    you can always take it out of there when you sell the car, and put it
    in your next one - or sell it second hand on Ebay and get some of the
    price back. If you have had to drive the thing for nearly 25 years,
    and presumably will for more years yet - you may as well enjoy
  4. Hello Blue,
    try the wrecking yards. If you are in Sydney
    this is one of my favourite wrecking yards
    because you can walk around with your own
    tools. I would be surprised if you didn't find
    something to suit you at a decent price.
    Take a small 12 volt battery pack with you to
    test the radio cassette units that interest you.

    At this yard there is a $2 entrance fee per person
    so you might want to go on your own without kids
    or assistants who get bored and tired easily, and
    make a day of it. I just don't understand how
    people can get bored in a place like that. :)

    John Crighton
  5. aussieblu

    aussieblu Guest

    Thanks for the ideas.
    I am collecting bits to do a full restoration of this car (needs
    new decals and paint badly but I plan to rebuild the engine as
    well before it needs it) so I may have it for another 25 years
    and I want to keep it original as possible so the clock stays. I
    also think removing the clock may destroy the structural
    integrity of the console and it will fall apart. It is old and
    brittle plastic too. The wreckers is a good idea so I will give
    them a try this weekend. there may be a newist small car with a
    smaller than DIN 1 OEM unit fitted. All new units I have seen so
    far (except the $24 dollar cheapie at Super Cheap) are a
    standard 7" 180 cm DIN size and will not fit and I have tried
    dozen of car audio places in Perth.
  6. aussieblu

    aussieblu Guest

    Hi All

    Ended up going to a few wreckers and for $70 got three old
    Kenwood radio cassette units that would fit. The best looking,
    most powerful and most featured one, a KRC 2004, was
    unfortunately dead. The next best, a KRC 2000, works fine. I
    can't find a free manual for it on the web though. The 2000A is
    a bit different although its manual was available on the US
    Kenwood web site and was some help it working out how to set the
    clock etc. It took a while to decipher the wiring to work with
    the old Voxson graphic equaliser/ amp (and at its very low rated
    output it needed a boost). So the remaining question is, as he
    KRC 2000 claims to have automatic loudness control, how does it
    work and how do I know if it is working?
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