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Austin Vert's Car Radio Solution.
#1
Hi To All,

At the moment, i'm doing a step by step make over of my '73 Convert's interior. Installing a decent sound system was on my priority list. My Mussy came from the factory with the still working Philco AM radio and dash speaker. Sadly, it sounds like the music is coming through a tin can.

Over the last 8 months or so, i've been doing a lot of research into upgrading the sound system. It's been an interesting, learning experience as i've gone along. Today, there are a lot of options as to what you want to do. I was drawn to 3 basic choices...... 1. Buy a modern good quality 1 Din Radio Head. 2. Buy a 1 Din DVD Multi Media Player with 7inch flip out touchscreen. and 3.Buy a new classic style radio head that fits into your existing factory bezel.

All three choices had there pluses & minuses. Anyway, i decided to go for the modern good quality i Din radio head with all the goodies. And that's why i'm posting this thread, because my problem was how to marry up the modern look radio head into the old original Ford Radio bezel, and not having it look like a cheap add on.

The first thing i did was to buy a Ken Harrison black plastic replacement radio bezel which comes with the 1 Din letterbox cutout for the modern radio head. I paid good money for it, and tried it on for looks. It was passable, but it didn't have any chrome trim like the original has.So i decided to stick with the Ford bezel for my head.

I've seen a lot of photos on the net over the months where guys have done that very thing to their '71 -'73's.(Modern head on Ford bezels).Where they go wrong i think, is that they leave the raised chrome lines on the inner bezel face, and that spoiles the finished look. It looks like an after thought add on.

So i came up with what i thought was a clever plan,and modified the Ford bezel so the end result looks not too bad at all. Firstly, i bought a repro Ford Radio bezel to hack into so i can store and save away my original factory radio and bezel.The next step is to use a Dremel and small grinding stone and go to work grinding down the raised lettering and inner chrome surround on the face of the bezel. (Use several overlaying strips of masking tape to protect the surrounding chrome trims as your grinder can wander and cause untold damage).

Next, mark out and measure accurately, the cutout for the radio head slide in chassis. Hacksaw off the protruding volume and tuning metal knobs, then using a good jigsaw with a fine tooth metal blade carefully cut out your rectangle. File and shape as needed.

Now you have two choices. You can either refinish the black front face within the existing chrome rectangle with spray putty and matt black, or you can do what i did and make up a rectangular cut out packing bezel out of 4 ml craftwood or plastic that sits within that rectangular chrome surround. Making the bezel is fiddely and time consuming, and it will have to be sprayed with black paint anyway to finish off. The choice is yours.

I ended up making a packing bezel of craftwood, spray painted it black, and Sika flexed it to the radio bezel face.It looks good finished. That's it then. Slide the radio chassis in and secure, slide the radio in and secure and your done.Now that end result may not be everyone's cup of tea, but i think it's not such a bad compromise.

See my photos on Photo bucket to help tell the story.They are not actual real life photos, but accurate mock up ones.

http://s1295.beta.photobucket.com/user/g...o%20Bezels

Also, there is another story relating to the major install of my sound system in my '73 Vert. This covers the speaker and amp setups and choices for front and back of the Vert, as well as the choice of sub woofer/ amp combination setup. Above, ivé described the install of the Alpine radio head but the rest of the system has a interesting story.

Basically, i was up against it with my '73 Vert in regards putting in a modern sound system, as there is very little practical room for speakers, amps, subs etc, in these cars. I did not want to deface the interior of my Vert as much as possible, so i came up with some working ideas to help get around this problem. Firstly, my front speakers were mounted on the kick panels. The problem with this idea was that the driver's side speaker would interfere with the foot park brake pedal. I redesigned the foot brake by reshaping the pedal so it would be offset and then clear the speaker housing and grille. This worked out well.(see pics)

In regards the back speakers, defacing the interior, such as a quarter trim mount, was not an option for me. To get around this, i bought two Pioneer 4 inch speakers, and did a custom mount in the top center of the dashboard, replacing the old factory mono speaker.These then became my rear speakers. Again, that idea worked out well also, and sounds great as well.(see my pics) To finish off, i installed a sub woofer and it's own dedicated amp in a custom made tray style floor cabinet, that's positioned on the trunk floor just behind the rear seat upright.(see my pics), I also installed a hard wired in usb power mini cable for my sat nav machine. It sits to the far bottom left of the windscreen.

The component brands and specs should be identifiable in my pics as well. To sum up - this sound system i chose, sounds very good. I went for good quality components, with good specs, and that was a wise decision for starters. I get a good clean quality sound, with great bass and treble characteristics, and plenty of volume, which you need for a top down convertible, as a lot of your sound is lost into the atmosphere, and has to compete with traffic noises as well.

See my sound system install photos ..........................

http://s1295.photobucket.com/user/gregsladen/library/?view=recent&page=1


Thanks,

GregSmile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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#2
Good attention to detail. Enjoy your new tunes in the ragtop.

Ray

1971 Boss 351  
1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 
1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 
1973 Mach 1 (parts car)
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#3
X2. That's how I do it.
  Reply
#4
Thanks Guys for the feedback.


GregSmile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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#5
I have been going through the same process. Here is where I stand right now, not quite as tight but getting there. I used the face plate that came with the radio as well as a generic that was a bit larger behind it to hide the chrome that was around the original cutout. I also put away my original for when my tastes change (again!)

[Image: 2zz0qpj.jpg]

[Image: 1673if.png]
50 F1
73 Mach 1
86 F150
96 F150
2014 F150
Always looking
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#6
jb73Mach;111214 Wrote:I have been going through the same process. Here is where I stand right now, not quite as tight but getting there. I used the face plate that came with the radio as well as a generic that was a bit larger behind it to hide the chrome that was around the original cutout. I also put away my original for when my tastes change (again!)

[Image: 2zz0qpj.jpg]

Hi J B,

Thanks for your reply.By looking at your photo, it seems your generic backup face plate packing bezel is oversized and not quite the right size to fit snugly within the accurate confines of the inner chrome dress line. It is very important that it does. To hide part of the chrome or to leave some of it exposed, gives the whole set up an add on, dodgey look, that does not hit the mark. I think most of these new radio heads are the same size and they all come with a thin profile detachable black plastic dress bezel to finish off the installation. Mine and yours look the same in that regard.

You should find that your radio head with that black dress bezel should just fit into the chrome rectangle. (The sides i mean). If you confirm that,then you get back to my treatment where you have 2 choices, cut the metal out and refinish the inner face, or make a new face plate packing bezel that will fit within that chrome rectangle accurately.That should work for you.You are also a smart man to put away your original gear, as you get the flexability of changing without fuss down the track if you want.

Regards, GregSmile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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#7
Looks good from here. Well done. Big Grin
  Reply
#8
OpiemusRex;111247 Wrote:Looks good from here. Well done. Big Grin

Thanks Rex,

All the best,

GregSmile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
  Reply
#9
Good job!

I just went with the black Ken Harrison 1 din adaptor and got an all black face radio/cd player with no knobs, no bling,
just buttons. It blends in nice and looks like it belongs there. You notice the rest of the dash instead (which
is pretty nice being it's the deluxe interior with fake wood trim, tripple gauges and a/c vents).

1971 Mach1
351C-4v
C6 is history-->>now TKO-500
  Reply
#10
1971mach1;111255 Wrote:Good job!

I just went with the black Ken Harrison 1 din adaptor and got an all black face radio/cd player with no knobs, no bling,
just buttons. It blends in nice and looks like it belongs there. You notice the rest of the dash instead (which
is pretty nice being it's the deluxe interior with fake wood trim, tripple gauges and a/c vents).

Thanks Mach 1,

When i visualize what you've done, i can see that would look quite good as well. Interesting.I guess it all comes down to a quality finished look and result as being most important.

GregSmile

whistling LORD, MR FORD - JERRY REED
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