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Old 04-27-2012, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Car audio?

Okay, It has been a LOOOONNNNGGGg time since I messed with car radios. Well I just purchased an old truck and it comes with a stock AM push button radio. Now I am NOT looking to pimp out the sound system or anything. As far as I know the truck has 2 speakers and I am fine with that. However, I would be interested in listening to FM, maybe CD's and/or MP3's, and actually I have been kind of interested in checking out HD radio. I am NOT looking to spend lots of money. I just want to know what good cheap options are for an easy radio install into the dash?

Anyone know about this stuff?
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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it has am and stereo? that was a rarer option late 60s.

i cant cut an old metal dash
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sure there are probably more expert opinions here than my own but, this would be my approach:
Go to Crutchfield.com to pick up a head unit and a pair of 3-way speakers that fit within your budget. The nicest thing about going there is the install instructions (for your specific vehicle car) and the harnesses.

Crutchfield took me from never installing any car audio to being able install what turned out to be a great sound system in my last car. They got me started with replacing all four speakers and installing a MiniDisc head unit. That knowledge enalbed me to leave that car with a great system: two 3-way speakers up front, two 2-way speakers in the back, a sub in the hatch, a 5-channel amp, and an iPod controlling head unit.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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in my 77 monte carlo, i put the head unit in the glovebox. there was some custom mounting that had to be done but it was pretty cool because of the completely stock appearance of the vehicle. just something else to think about
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's an '86 Ranger (mentioned in another thread. I actually don't know if it is technically "stereo," but I believe it has a speaker in each door. I checked out Churchfield and they had a $69 unit by a company called "Dual." Is this okay, or will it break in a year? I'm not too concerned with adding speakers. I'd actually rather just use what's there. I did notice the radio can have blue tooth added for my phone for like $50. That would be a neat option! Now one thing I don't understand, do I need an adapter faceplate and harness, or does the radio slide right in the dash? I'm not clear on that.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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dual stuff is pretty iffy in my experiences...
youll probably have a better experience with pioneer,alpine, or jvc. bestbuy.com has a couple of each for under $100.

depending on the mounts in the ranger, yes sometimes you do have to get aftermarket mounting brackets and/or a faceplate to hide haps and such.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Crutchfield is probably the best option for buying as they will either give you the stuff to install or a significant discount on it (if it costs a lot). There are really only two sizes...din and double din. The single is just a rectangle and double is just that double the height so it would be square.

Kenwoods you can find for around $100 and they will do what you need it to and are decent (a lot better than dual). Other than a dash kit (mounting hardware if the slot for it is too big) you would need a harness for it to connect the head unit to the cars wiring harness.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Crutchfield is probably the best option for buying as they will either give you the stuff to install or a significant discount on it (if it costs a lot). There are really only two sizes...din and double din. The single is just a rectangle and double is just that double the height so it would be square.

Kenwoods you can find for around $100 and they will do what you need it to and are decent (a lot better than dual). Other than a dash kit (mounting hardware if the slot for it is too big) you would need a harness for it to connect the head unit to the cars wiring harness.
This--^

Once youve done one you will wonder why anyone ever pays someone else to do it. Crutchfield will help you through anything your not sure about.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Crutchfield and Bestbuy can help you, and for a if you have two speakers it will be stereo once you hook up a new unit. Does the Ranger have two knobs? If it does the is what will be the best fit, but there are simple $20 or so adapters that will allow a newer DIN style unit. Its actually amazing what less then $200 will buy you, Blutooth, MP3, CD, jack input and USB ports from the name brands
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Walmart if your looking for cheap & decent stuff. Crutchfield & best Buy for the good stuff.

If you happen to have an 1986 or older Ford truck, I can help with the mounting there as I have spent more time working on 1973 & newer Fords than anything.
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