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5/29/13 6:29pm - Original Message: '79 Radio Upgrade'
JimmyS5600
Former Member
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Clarence, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1979 L82 1991 Roadster 1996 Collector Edition

Joined: 11/10/2001
Posts: 10
Hi All, Looking to upgrade the radio w/8trac lol in my 79 Nothing fancy needed just something that sounds decent and would. like a cassette player (have a bunch of cassettes) Hope to find something that fits in the original location without changing bezels etc. Appreciate your opinions.
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5/30/13 12:04pm - Reply: 'Re: 79 Radio Upgrade'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
There are a number of radios even with bezels offered by the parts houses. Other issues you need to be aware of.
1. The old speakers are different resistance from the original speakers
2. Most current radios are designed to fit into a hole that includes the on/off and tuning knob.

If you purchase a radio from a corvette catalog make sure it matches the old resistance or you will have less volume.  It will work but the volume will be a lot less.

You can get your radio rebuild and put in an after market CD changer I have seen them.  Or you can do what I did (only because I was taking the dash out for other reasons).

I replaced the speakers both front and back (should have gone with higher wattage speakers than I did).  Found a radio I liked and purchased a new bezel which I cut a new radio slot into.  That was easy to do as I just drilled small holes along the cut line then used a file to smooth it out the radio fit in and the speakers matched.  

Issues I found:
1. The interior of a C3 is bright and it make the radio dial hard to see.  Be mindful of this as I'm looking at replacing my radio with one easier to see.
2.  Got to low wattage speakers (should have gotten higher end speakers and may do that yet).
3.  Rear speaker brackets did not survive the trauma of being removed.  Be ready to may new ones as nothing you will find will be in better shape than yours. they were easy enough to manufacture.



|UPDATED|5/30/2013 9:04:28 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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5/30/13 4:29pm - Reply: 'Re: 79 Radio Upgrade'
Gunslinger
Former Member
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Frederick, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1969 convertible L71 427/435 4-speed black interior

Joined: 9/8/2003
Posts: 3398
You may have have trouble finding a radio of any decent quality to fit without a different bezel...especially if you want a cassette player in it.  They're just plain obsolete now.  Custom Auto Sound mades what you want but I've heard way too many negative comments about them.

It's getting tough to find stereos now with CD players except on the low end of the quality scale as everything seems to be going to MP3 type players with lots of options.

You may decide it's time to upgrade to a new bezel that takes a DIN-type slide-in radio...lots of choices there though fewer are coming with CD players as I said.  Save the original bezel and radio if that's important to you.  

Also, buy speakers that compatible with the impedance with whatever radio you buy plus of the quality that can handle the output power of that radio.  Install speakers that can't handle the output and you'll get lots of distortion at even low volumes...and C3's aren't noted for quiet interiors and any radio needs volume to be heard.


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Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, c o c k y and in general a malcontent.

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5/30/13 11:36pm - Reply: 'Re: 79 Radio Upgrade'
daveo76
Standard Member
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 830
This probably won't apply to you (no cassette) but you never know.  This is my radio story for my '76.   


Feel free to PM me if you want more info.  


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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5/31/13 9:49am - Reply: 'Re: 79 Radio Upgrade'
JimmyS5600
Former Member
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Clarence, NY - USA

Vette(s):
1979 L82 1991 Roadster 1996 Collector Edition

Joined: 11/10/2001
Posts: 10
Thanks for the advise guys. Gunslinger I heard complaints about Custom Auto Sound too. Daveo76 thanks for the link to your system. Appeciate all the help! This forum is very good,a bunch of helpful people.
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6/1/13 10:15am - Reply: 'Re: 79 Radio Upgrade'
mymach5
Former Member
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Belleville, MI - USA

Vette(s):
1979 - Modified ZZ4 Crate Engine; Dynatech Coated Headers; Custom Dual Exhaust; 17" American Racing Hopster Rims; Kumho Ecsta SPT Tires; Kenwood Sound System

Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 3
I also just finished buying all of the components to upgrade my 79's sound system.  Here are some of my research results:
 
Modern In-Dash AM/FM Cassette Decks
Kenwood KRC-2007 Cassette
Pioneer KEH-2030 Cassette
Sony XRCA300 Cassette
Pyle PLRCS20U Cassette
Pyramid 2706D Cassette
 
If you choose not to cut/modify or purchase a new bezel, RetroSounds introduced a new headunit that will fit into your existing bezel - looks original, but has all modern features including Bluetooth and a color changing faceplate:
 
 
What I ended up doing was upgrade to an entire Kenwood matching sound system:
 
KDC-352U Headunit - purchased new DIN bezel & wiring harness adapter
KFC-4675C 4x6 Front Speakers - fit perfect into original location; no modification
KAC-1502S Amplifier - to power rear speakers; mounted behind driver's seat
KFC-6950S 6x9 Rear Speakers - fit perfect into original location, no modification
KSC-KW10 Amplified Subwoofer - mounted on rear wall
 
The headunit, speakers, amp & subwoofer all match and meet power requirements.  Placement of all the items leave room to store my T-tops in the rear compartment, and I didn't have to modify any of the original speaker locations.
 
 
Hope this helps...good luck, I hope you find the perfect sound system that you're looking for.
 
 


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6/1/13 3:30pm - Reply: 'Re: 79 Radio Upgrade'
N0JRS
Limited Member
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STERLING, CO - USA

Vette(s):
My Corvette is a 1978 L-82 Coupe with an automatic transmission. It has a Silver Anniversary paint scheme with an Oyster interior.

Joined: 1/10/2013
Posts: 43
I saw an AM-FM 8 Track on E-Bay last night. You might check it out.
Lynn
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6/2/13 12:48am - Reply: 'Re: 79 Radio Upgrade'
tb2k82ce Lifetime Member
Lifetime Member
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Lemon Grove, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1982 C3 Collectors Edition 44000 miles, sat in the sun most of it's life, My wife purchased it for me for fathers day in 2007 from her girl friend that had it for 19 years. It is on the road again. I'm retired but it is now my daily driver.

Joined: 10/17/2007
Posts: 2007
Jim

You actually have some 8 track cassette?  


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