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  1. #1
    Tammy
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    Question car stereo distorted - but only when playing the radio.

    I have a 1989 Eddie Bauer Bronco II. The original factory stereo is installed. I don't want to change this if I don't have to. The first thing that happened is both of my right side speakers quit working. The stereo would sometimes play and sometimes not, sometimes it had a lot of static, then it would be clear, sometimes the singing would be muffled. The right side speakers tried to start working again, but never quite could get the sound all of the way. The weird thing is that when I played a tape the stereo would play fine. (except for the right side speakers)
    I know the answer that you want to give me is buy a new stereo, but if there is any hope in salvaging the original stereo, I would like to keep it.

  2. #2

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    buy a new stereo...
    j/k
    umm
    it could be a lot of things
    as far as the radio, check the antenna wire
    take the ground off, make sure the screw/ bolt is not rusted, clean off any paint/rust that it was screwed into
    make sure the wires arent pinched, in fact, it probably wouldnt be a horrible idea to go to radio shack and replace the wire
    same thing goes with the speakers, the first thing i would do is go to radio shack and get the same size speaker wire and run it to all your speakers
    if that doesnt work, go to your local pawn shop, buy the cheapest speakers you can find and hook them up, if they still sound messed up, youre probably going to have to buy a new radio
    -Cody

  3. #3

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    I don't know if there is any hope. Some things to try out though will help you narrow down the problem.

    First things first, when an entire side of a stereo in a car stops working, I have a very hard time blaming the speakers. Mainly because 2 completely different speakers do not just quit working and it isn't coincidence that the left side sounds like crap now either.

    Older car stereos were wired funny. They do not have 4 discrete outputs like modern 4 channel stereos do. Most of the time they had front and rear speakers wired in series off of a pair of stereo outputs. Now, this causes a problem because if one little bitty thing goes wrong, the whole side is screwed up. It doesn't do any service towards sound quality either.

    So to check what your problem could be, first thing is to check all the wires in the system that you can find. If any are frayed or corroded, find the closest spot to the end that is not corroded and splice in a new wire.

    Next thing to do is pull the speakers from the right side and test each one and see if it is working right. You can do the battery test but that is only going to verify that the magnet/motor is working to move teh cone. If you can hook it up to a cheap old boom box, that will do just fine to see if it is playing sound. Also, do a physical inspection of them. Look at the wires, surrounds and spider and see if any of them are loose or show signs of deterioration. Also check the electrical connections to see if they are loose.

    You can get into more advanced stuff and start testing the leads for the speakers coming out of the stereo. That will tell you if both sides are working equally well. If not then you found your problem.

    Personally, I am leaning towards a junk radio. It's probably lost a diode somewhere in the right side output stage. You can fix it if you feel like doing circuit diagnostics on it and then pulling the old diode and finding a new one that matches the specs. Good luck though, that can be beyond impossible especially if the diode markings are in Japanese.

    What I would start doing after tracing down the problem is scouring junkyards for Broncos or any other Ford from '89 that has the same stereo. It'll be rough finding a Ford truck in a junkyard. Out of all the places I see Ford trucks, junkyards are not one of the places they are prevolent. That's not any kind of bias talking, just experience. You could also check old thrift shops/pawn shops, flea markets, used stereo stores, garage sales and even eBay. But your chances of finding a working stock stereo are better than finding a shop willing to fix the stock stereo.

    If you do want to take the stock stereo to a shop to fix it, I recommend staying away from automotive shops because they will not help much. Mechanics don't like having to sit thorugh circuit tracing and most of them are pretty ham-fisted at soldering skills too. I'd take it to a TV/VCR repair shop. Those guys are circuit junkies and have all kinds of equipment for testing, fixing and calibrating electronics. Most CRT based TV's require the use of an oscillscope (sp?) to aim the electron guns properly. They will have the fine test equipment needed to trace a circuit and they will have access to electronics parts supplies that the average joe can't always get to.

    Otherwise, good luck with it and I hope something works out for you. If I see anything for an 89 Ford that might help you out, I'll let you know.

  4. #4

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    well.... if the speakers do work and its the radio that's to blame, and u end up with two choices...

    1- get a boneyard 89 ford radio
    2- get your radio fixed

    i would then suggest option 3.... get a cheapo walmart 50 dollar radio... or spend 100 and get the cheapest cd player you can find...
    "With your own attitude it is hard to survive here... But who gives a damn, we are here to change the world, and we dont need a password for that."
    - Anurag

  5. #5

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    My 2 cents worth....

    Considering how cheap a quality CD player is now and with Circuit City and Best Buy offering free installation plus stock radios are the essence of evil, I see no reason not to just get a $100 CD player at your local CC or BB.

    Its like "my 34 year old, 13", black and white Curtis Mathis TV with no remote and turn knobs broke but I dont want to get a new one, I want to fix this one!"

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