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Stock 1987 radio very low volume


Natedog

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My stock 1987 Ranger radio has very low volume especially when it's cold. As it gets warmed up it's better, but still doesn't go up as loud as it did when it was a brand truck. This started a couple years ago, but now when I turned it on today (coldest it's been in awhile) it's not even barely audible even on maximum volume! So....it's definitely time to do something about it now. AM was always worse than FM for some reason and it had a kinda high pitched noise when it wasn't warmed up...now it's basically dead it seems.

I think something in the stereo has gone bad, it's been a good radio and I don't want to spend alot on it at the moment. Any suggestions? Is it my radio? If so is it something easy to fix, or should I get a used one from jy, or new replacement? I need my AM and FM...got lots of cassette tapes...
 


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Natedog

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Still a problem...anybody?
 

off_road_junkie21

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new one!!

mine was doing the same thing for about a year. i finnaly got tire of it a bought a new cd player. if you want to stay with caset go to a bestbuy are they still carry tap players. any chance you are going to haft but a new one. hope that helpted later man
 

CraigK

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Natedog

I finally just replaced the old, non-performing radio/cassette unit in my '87 Bronco II with a low cost AM/FM/CD SONY player from Walmart (~$80). I used Scoshe(?) harness and mounting kits that cost less than $25 for both. Sound went from being really, really crappy to excellent. Radio reception is also much improved. Sound is so good, it's costing me money, as I'm driving the darn 15 mpg Bronco II rather than my more fuel efficient vehicle.

Consider packing the cassettes away with your 8-tracks and VHS movies!

CraigK
 

Natedog

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Dang figured it's toast too...lol....I'm having a hard time finding a stereo unit with controls that I like and without a light show on the face of it.
 

87Ranger4me

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Hey Nate, mine went out in my 87 also, I picked up one from a junk yard for 25 bucks. It took about fifteen minutes to change out, and all is good. The only thing I did was change the light bulb behind the display before installing it back in he truck.
 

exbass94

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I'm sure there's a lot of people selling their aftermarket cassette units on eBay...would be worth checking out.
 

AllanD

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Nate,

what I did on my 87 was to replace the radio with one from a '93-up

The factory 87 radio has several issues, a cassette deck that
rarely works as designed, a display that provides little information when the backlight bulb works etc....

I have one of those later radios that I modified to make it work in an '87.

It even mounts with the same four screws:)

I actually took the bracket mounting plates off the side of the early radios
and riveted them to the chassis of the radio in place of the retainer spring
that is used in the later "slide in" radio.

It's primary benefits are that it WORKS and that it has a FORD emblem on it
so it's unlikely to be stolen by anyone exceptionally stupid thief.

I've since steeped up to an even later (external amp) factory radio

AD
 

Mark_88

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I used one from a Tempo...same radio/cassette player setup...nothing to change...unless, of course, you pick one up that has a slightly different harness...but you can usually just clip the harness out and rewire that if you can't find one with the same harness...take a picture of the harness you have and go to the local junkyard and do some inexpensive shopping...

If you really want to spend some money on it though I wouldn't hold it against you to buy a CD player...since most of my music is on CDs now I'm considering that too...

Just as an aside thought...how many people carry original CDs in their vehicle????

I was thinking about making copies of my originals and leaving the originals at home...not that anyone would break into my car or anything, but if they stole the original CDs that I've paid premium price for I'd be a bit upset...
 

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I used to carry my CD's in my truck, now I have an MP3 player that doesn't stay in the truck by itself.

I will never buy another CD again, no more of that nonesence if paying $10-15 for one or two songs. Now it is less than a buck per song and it is all the songs I want.

If you do get a aftermarket CD player, get one with at least a front AUX input if not direct IPOD control as well. Trust me, even if you don't think you will get a MP3 player you might later. When I got the CD player for my Ranger 5 years ago I was like "Bah, I will never get a MP3 player. Now I have one and the only way I can play it in there is thru a cruddy FM transmitter.

I just picked up a Pioneer DEH-P4000UB at Wal-Mart for $158 Monday night for my F-150 and I really like it. The big button was kind of daunting before I got it, but it is nice to be able to scroll thru the presets instead of hunting for each tiny little button (small buttons are one of my peeves with aftermarket stereos). It came with a USB cable to plug an Ipod in (or to charge my Zune) and has a standard headphone style aux input in the front face. It also doesn't put on a huge lightshow at night like some of the other ones I have had did.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Products/CarAudioVideo/Source/CD-Players/Pioneer/DEH-P4000UB

They also had a DEH-P3000IB there as well for $130ish, but it doesn't have as many features. I went with the 4000 because I doubt I will get another Zune just because of the lack of aftermarket support, and I can control a Ipod with it.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Products/CarAudioVideo/Source/CD-Players/Pioneer/DEH-P3000IB
 

exbass94

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Just as an aside thought...how many people carry original CDs in their vehicle????

I was thinking about making copies of my originals and leaving the originals at home...not that anyone would break into my car or anything, but if they stole the original CDs that I've paid premium price for I'd be a bit upset...
Defintely a good idea to make copies, and keep the originals at home. I did this, and my copies get scratched very easily with them in the truck, even though I keep them in a CD case and am careful not to scratch them. Many of them are starting to skip. I would be really pissed if those were my originals. Plus, it's convenient to have your originals always at home, so if you want to listen to music at home, you don't have to run out to the truck and grab them. And of course, if they get stolen, you won't be out big $$$.
 

ScottT80

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For those of you who replaced the bulbs in the display, how did you do it? How hard is it to replace and where did you get the bulb? How hard is it to get the stock radio out? I've got an '88 with the stock am/fm/cassette with no lights in the display... thanks for the input guys.
 

AllanD

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Defintely a good idea to make copies, and keep the originals at home. I did this, and my copies get scratched very easily with them in the truck, even though I keep them in a CD case and am careful not to scratch them. Many of them are starting to skip. I would be really pissed if those were my originals. Plus, it's convenient to have your originals always at home, so if you want to listen to music at home, you don't have to run out to the truck and grab them. And of course, if they get stolen, you won't be out big $$$.
I haven't switched to MP3's for car listening yet and I usually
limit myself to having 40-ish CD's in the truck at any given time.

a 20case of CD's and two loaded magazines for the disc changer.

they are ALL duplicates, I refuse to carry originals around.

If you buy "good" blank CD-R's they are more scratch resistant than the cheap ones.

The best are Verbatim's "Force Shield" discs which take advantage of the new plastic technology that made the
BlueRay discs so rugged

Any of the discs made by Taiyo Yuden (Maxell or sony with a frosted hub area) beware, there are other discs sold under the Sony and Maxell brands made by Ritek and these aren't as good.

Most of my originals have only been played a few times.

BTW, my current head unit (I've switched again to a sony CDX-M610)
does CD-TEXT and all the burned discs I carry in the truck are burned
dupes with the CD-Text info inserted.
In my collection of 200-odd CD's only 14 of them were made with
the CD-Text info, so my duplicates are actually an imprvement
over the originals.

Burn slow (4x), burn precisely.

I've already got my entire music collection (complete albums)
saved to my computer as 224kbit/sec mp3 files, ripped in one
operation and compressed (LAME 3.92) in a seperate operation

I'm replacing my disc changer with a newer model that does mp3
playback off of CD's
eventually I'll replace the head unit as well with a newer model
that'll do mp3 playback. my unit is about two years too old to do mp3.

The current production units will not only do mp3 but WMA,
AAC and ATRAC3 files as well as dealing with CD-RW's

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Psychopete

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I picked up a slightly used Pioneer 5900 for $80 off of Ebay. It has two 1/8" inputs, which I used to hook my MP3 player into. Works fine.

As far as the burning process, there's no way I can wait that long (4x). :) And yes, I did have a 1x burner many many years ago.

Pete
 

AllanD

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Hey, I could burn fast if I wanted to I have a very good LG burner
But I do most of my disc burning by starting a disc burning when I'm
about to walk away from my computer to go do something else...

On average a 4x burn takes ~15min to burn an album
though a full compilation disc takes a 20min.

I see no need to sit at my computer while a disc burns so it's a
good time to go to the bathroom, to sleep, to get a cup of coffee, etc...

I also do my ripping SLOWLY with software that exhaustively checks for errors.
I'm surrently using something called Exact Audio Copy V0.99PB4
(it's a pre-beta version)

It works well.

My duplicate discs are identified as originals by most music databases
and if that fails the software inserts CD Text information:)

Now If I could only get mp3's to display track titles correctly
(instead of a chopped off abbreviation and .mp3 extension)

But that may be more of an issue with my older head unit than
my fairly recent Disc changer.

As for "buying" music as CD's or as JUST the songs you want (as mp3 files)
I prefer greatly getting a physical pressed CD.

a) having a commercial pressed copy proves I OWN that music.
b)I can use MY CHOICE of compression software (LAME, BLADE, FgH, etc...)
c)Compression rate (160-320kBit/sec or even VBR if I so choose)

AND can actually make several differently compressed copies.
I generally make a CDA copy of everything I actually buy
Archive mp3's at 224kBit and 320kBit
then the original CD's are archived

things I listen to alot (and whole albums are included)
I actually keep on my computer as uncompressed CDA files
so when I need a fresh duplicate of something....

Yes, I own albums that I only actually like a few songs on.

But I own many albums that I listen through all the way through
as the entire album is a "work of art". Examples?
1)the first Boston Album
2)Queensryche Empire
3)Rush Presto
4)Metallica's (The Black Album)
5)ANY of the three Creed Albums
6)AC/DC "Back in Black" or "Highway To Hell"

Just getting "just a few songs" off of any of those albums
is frankly a crime against art.

And until you have listened through the entire album you only know
what they play on the radio... those few "Radio friendly" songs...

One album that I've made duplicates for friends (copyright be damned
they cannot FIND it being offered for sale!) is the Evan's Blue album
"The Pursuit" (abbreviated by necissitity) they sound a bit like
Chevelle, but IMO their songwriting is more consistant.
I can listen through the entire album (on occasion several times)

The only Chevelle album I can come close to doing that with
is "wonder What's Next" Chevelle's next album after that is
one where I could see buying "just a few songs", but I
wouldn't KNOW that if I didn't already HAVE the entire album....
But such is life.

Then again, I actually cheated as I bought both the Chevelle
CDs I have at a store that sells USED CD's, I paid $12 for the pair....

Infact I buy many, even most of my CD's used.
there is such a market in used CD's from people who buy
them, rip them then trade them in.... (Violating both
the letter and spirit of the relevant copyright laws)


BTW, the most common reason for a stock '87 radio to have "low volume" is a bad solder joint on the ribbon cable that is soldered to the connector block.


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