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7/25/14 12:16pm - Original Message: 'radio problems'
Former Member
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West Bend, WI - USA

1985 silver coupe & 1975 red coupe

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 46
I need help again. I have a 1981 car with a AM/FM radio with cassette. I'm not to the point where I can get rid of it and put in a killer sound system yet. My radio on FM only works if I'm close to the station and the AM doesn't work at all. The cassette player works good. I had the radio bench checked and was told it worked fine on all functions. What I'd like to know is what are the best ways to check-out the cable and antenna itself. I should mention the car has a power antenna and it works like it should. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, Darrell
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8/8/14 8:44pm - Reply: 'Re: radio problems'
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Charlottesville, VA - USA

1978 Silver Anniversary L82 Previously: 1965 300hp Coupe in 1967. 1967 435hp Coupe in 1968-70. 1969 350hp T-top w/ac and all power options.

Joined: 9/3/2010
Posts: 103
Hi Darrell,  From your description of poor FM and no AM the problem could be a short, or a break, in the antenna cable, as you suspect. FM can be picked up from a nearby station even w/o an antenna. AM reception relies on a solid wired connection to the antenna.
You can use an ohm-meter to check the cable behind the radio for a short between the tip and the outer shield. There should be no reading (infinite resistance).
You can also extend the leads of the meter to check the cable integrity from behind the radio to the antenna. There should be very little resistance (a few ohms). I hope that you find the problem!


Joe T
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8/9/14 8:40am - Reply: 'Re: radio problems'
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Frederick, MD - USA

1969 convertible L71 427/435 4-speed black interior

Joined: 9/8/2003
Posts: 3398
There's a lost art called "trimming the antenna" that no longer required due to digital radios. This may help your problem. Set your radio to AM and a distant but fairly strong station near 1400. Pull the tuning knob and it's surround off and you should see a small screw adjacent to the shaft. With a small screwdriver turn the screw until you get best reception then replace the knob. Your antenna is now "trimmed". Some radios may have the trimming screw on the side of the radio casing but most are by the tuning shaft.

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

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