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#1051015 - 05/22/17 04:45 PM Help Upgrade My Audio  
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longislandcamper Offline
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longislandcamper  Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
I picked up my 85 SS from someone about 4 hours away from me back in February. My plan was to use one of those cassette adapters with a headphone jack so taht I could hook up my phone to it to listen to satellite radio. One of these.

Much to my surprise, the SS only had an AM/FM radio so that plan went out the window quickly. Not only that, but 3 out of my 4 speakers are buzzing and need to be replaced. Here's my stock radio.

[Linked Image]

I'd like to upgrade my radio and get 4 new speakers but I'm not sure where to start. I don't need top of the line speakers but I also don't want junk. As for the radio, I'd like something that will fit into my existing area that doesn't require a lot of work. If it could look retro then even better. The ability to somehow play my phone through the radio is a must so I would need either a cassette player, an AUX line, a USB port or even bluetooth. My iphone still has the headphone jack but it looks like newer phones won't have the headphone jack so a USB or bluetooth connection would probably be my best options so that I could play my phone through the radio.

I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!

#1051018 - 05/22/17 05:39 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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Witness86SS Offline
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Hatfield, PA
I did something a bit different with the stereo and built my own.
http://www.montecarloss.com/community/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1042558#Post1042558
Basically it's an amp and a bluetooth receiver in the trunk. I used a wiring harness to repurpose the rear speaker lines and mate them to the front speaker lines. I ran directly from the amp to the rear speakers.

Not a solution for everyone, but it works really well for me.


Justin
1986 Black SS
350 L05 - Hooker Longtubes - FlowMaster True Dual 2.5" - Electric Cutouts - Electric Fans - Transcooler
#1051033 - 05/23/17 02:57 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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BadSS Offline
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BadSS  Offline
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Pearl, MS, 39208
Don't know how much effort you're willing to make or how into sound systems and irking the most out of it you can, so this may be more than you asked for - lol.

I've never been a fan of coaxial speakers. Most have very noticeable reflection (increased raspy sound) off the back of the tweeter and the tweeter post. That’s even more problematic for the smaller coaxials like the 3.5" and 4" speakers since the post takes up a large percentage of the moveable cone area and the tweeter covers a large percentage of the cone as well. Adding to all this, since most this size don't have a low and high pass crossover, they get even more harsh with the "woofer" running full range and the tweeter only having a capacitor for a minimal -6db slope - meaning there are overlapping frequencies typically in the frequencies our ears hear best. THEN add in the reflection you're going to get off the front glass, there's a good chance that most any coaxial speaker you put in the dash COULD sound like a "screecher".

That said, I did hear a set of Kappa 3.5" coaxials in a Regal with an outboard 12dB crossover for the woofer and tweeter that sounded pretty good - those are/were relatively expensive and you would have to find a new old stock off e-Bay.

Now, I installed a lot of stereos in these cars back in the day and found that the Kenwood dual cone (linked below) along with an inexpensive "add on" small factor tweeter in the front sail panels sounded really good - a lot better than you would think for the overall investment.
http://www.kenwood.com/usa/car/speakers/kfc-835c/

They sound a lot better than the stock speakers just running by themselves and you might be fine with that. However, adding the inexpensive small factor tweeter (like the $14.70 pair of Audax below) with a cap that allowed the tweeter to run around 8kHz up (mounted in the pillars) sounded awesome.
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.c...udax-tw010e1-10-mm-polymer-dome-tweeter/

Here's the 2.7uF caps ($3.10 pair) to cross the 8ohm tweeters at 7500Hz
https://www.madisoundspeakerstore.com/xxp-poly-cap-250vdc/bennic-poly-2.7-mfd/

For the back, if you’re just looking for decent sound, get a new set of 4x10s. The adapters to get the 6x9s in the back block a lot of sound but they will “thump” just a little better than the 4x10s so that’s your call. Pioneer and Kenwood are about the only ones still making decent 4x10s now.
http://www.kenwood.com/usa/car/speakers/kfc-415c/

If you’re not in a hurry, a pair of the Polk MOMO MMC410s might pop up on eBay – those were probably one of if not the best 4x10s ever made.


Original owner of 1985 SS black hardtop w/gray interior. Frame-on restoration - 406 sleeper w/ heavily ported FIRST TPI. However the 1.875" headers, 3.5" duals, TH400, Ford 9", notched frame, and 10-point cage w/swing-out bars might tip you off it's not a lil' ole 305 TPI. Other mods: 2" drop, 18" wheels, f/r disk brakes, and custom stereo system.
#1051035 - 05/23/17 03:43 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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Installed a pair of the Polk MOMO MMC410s about 7 years ago, agreed, hard to find a better 4x10, sound quality is very good considering they are a simple bolt-in. Up front a pair of JBL GTO327, a 3.5" coaxis speaker, they required a little modifying to install but went in without mods to the dash. A Delco AM/FM CD with EQ from a Buick Roadmaster is the head unit. They are rare and expensive even on Ebay but are a drop-in and the correct illumination for an 86-88. Overall sound quality is good, power output is satisfactory but not overwhelming.

What I've found out over the years after a couple dozen different installs in cars is you seem to spend more than you need to because bigger is better, not.
Buy a head unit with Bluetooth, they are not that expensive anymore for a decent unit.
If you have a car with a loud exhaust spending a lot of money on a system to play louder than it seems kinda silly.
Bob

#1051044 - 05/23/17 01:37 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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gmachinz Offline
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Whatever you do-DO NOT cut that radio faceplate-1985 SS is a one year only and they are very hard to find!! Youll thank yourself years down the road for NOT ruining it. That said-heres is what Ive done and to keep a stock appearance while having good tunes there is no better way:

Go to Target and buy a cassette to IPhone adapter cord-about $25 bucks.

Now, Ebay or craigslist/junkyard source a cassette deck from any 78-up Chevy trucks (not hard to find-same thing that was in gbodies anyway-verify at a stereo shop that it works.

Now, buy a PAC (or similar) line level converter to run your stock radio speaker leads to an external amp-then just upgrade the dash speakers and add some 4x10's w/baffles and a decent 10" sub. Id suggest the Alpine line of digital amps (PDX I think?) and for very little money itll sound good. I listen to slacker internet radio in mine and my friend did the same upgrade using a stock AM/FM 8-track cassette w/IPhone adapter for his 1970 Monte!


gbodyparts1234@yahoo.com

HARNESSWORX
#1051057 - 05/23/17 07:30 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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MatMunich Offline
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You also could try to find a Pioneer DEH-P86DHR...
It slides just in like a Factory Radio,
no changes necessary. Also you get an cable adaptor that
Will work with the original connectors.
Only thing you'll have to change is the cable for the
elctric antenna.
For the pioneer you'll find i-phone connectors that will Plug
Into the pioneers CD-changer socket, which then will work
as AUX-in and even charge your phone

Speakerwise I did use 3,5er Axtons and 4x10 Kickers for the rear
The 4x10 you can either use Full Range, or (thx to Pioneer smile as a
kind of Mini Subwoofers which gives a very nice sound overall.

Of course it can always be better, but this Version costs alltogether
around 3-500 bucks (depending how much the headunit is), and
nothing of the original parts must be destroyed...

Only bad thing is the Display, it could be a little bit brighter and
If you want to skip titles using the pioneers controls or
Remote control you maybe have to rename your Albums as "cd1, cd2,...."

#1051067 - 05/24/17 02:06 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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BadSS Offline
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Pearl, MS, 39208
Originally Posted by gmachinz
Whatever you do-DO NOT cut that radio faceplate-1985 SS is a one year only and they are very hard to find!! Youll thank yourself years down the road for NOT ruining it.


I'd have to agree, the one year only 85SS radio or radio delete face-plates are rather rare. I ordered mine without the radio and best I remember I tried to get an 85SS face-plate (shaft mounted radio) to cut up to fit a CD player and the counter man said there was no replacement part number. The only thing I could get back then was the wood-grain face-plate so I ended up cutting out the delete plate. Man,, I REALLY wish I had not done that now. However, I didn't give it a lot of thought back then and have enjoyed having a flush mounted single DIN CD player over the years. Here's a picture of the delete plate showing the cutout without a radio - again would not recommend doing this since there are other options available albeit none really seem to stack up to a good single DIN though.

[Linked Image]


Original owner of 1985 SS black hardtop w/gray interior. Frame-on restoration - 406 sleeper w/ heavily ported FIRST TPI. However the 1.875" headers, 3.5" duals, TH400, Ford 9", notched frame, and 10-point cage w/swing-out bars might tip you off it's not a lil' ole 305 TPI. Other mods: 2" drop, 18" wheels, f/r disk brakes, and custom stereo system.
#1051133 - 05/28/17 02:31 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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longislandcamper  Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
Has anyone used these radios?
Classic Car Stereos

Last edited by longislandcamper; 05/28/17 02:31 AM.
#1051134 - 05/28/17 05:28 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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BadSS Offline
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BadSS  Offline
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Pearl, MS, 39208
Originally Posted by longislandcamper
Has anyone used these radios?
Classic Car Stereos


I haven't used them but I always check Amazon for reviews before buying anything "new". They don't fair well at all with their USA-630.
https://www.amazon.com/Custom-Autos...rtBy=recent&reviewerType=all_reviews


Original owner of 1985 SS black hardtop w/gray interior. Frame-on restoration - 406 sleeper w/ heavily ported FIRST TPI. However the 1.875" headers, 3.5" duals, TH400, Ford 9", notched frame, and 10-point cage w/swing-out bars might tip you off it's not a lil' ole 305 TPI. Other mods: 2" drop, 18" wheels, f/r disk brakes, and custom stereo system.
#1051141 - 05/28/17 05:58 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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Richie Cat Online content
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Richie Cat  Online Content
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Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
Originally Posted by longislandcamper
Has anyone used these radios?
Classic Car Stereos


Give them a call and ask some questions. If this is a plug and play for your needs go for it.
Maybe they can give you directions on the speakers too.
The fronts can be a little difficult but the backs are easy.


83 SC, 355 w/TPI
#1051473 - 06/14/17 06:50 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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84 ZZ4 Offline
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San Antonio, TX
^ x3 I agree with not chopping up the '85 radio bezel.

I used an 86+ bezel in my 84, and painted it to match the cosmetics of the gauges. Yours being an 85, you only need to grab an SS bezel and replace the red pinstripe with a chrome pinstripe, or go with the LS trim, which I think looks great.
[Linked Image]

Here is a new bezel in the LS trim ready to match your interior.
Courtesy of eBay:
[Linked Image]
eBay Monte Radio Bezel - Claret

I would also add another recommended stereo for your consideration: Kenwood, any of their excellon edition, they have hi/lo pass so you can limit the sound played from the front speakers, and you can adjust them to your taste.
https://www.crutchfield.com/p_113KDCX301/Kenwood-Excelon-KDC-X301.html#Audio%20Section
This one has 28 colors available for the display, so it will match the dash, has bluetooth for the phone, can play CD, and your MP3s, or Pandora, etc, has 50 w max, 6 RCA outputs at 6v, great for adding an amplifier and/or subwoofer, all for under $120!

If you buy it from Crutchfield, you get a few freebie installation items: adapter faceplate, pigtails, etc.

if you really worked on the bezel you can even fit a double-DIN sized radio, but you will have to move the HVAC panel up a few millimeters to make space.
As you can see a 1.5 DIN head unit fits without effort, so that may open up a few more choices.

I have the 3.5" dash speakers, and if you upgrade them, you can have a wide soundstage that sounds very clean.
Pioneer and Polk make some that will drop in with some patience.
The maximum size from top to the grille attached to the bottom is a hair over 2" (50 mm), anything taller, and it will be a battle to get the dash speakers into place.

6x9's will fit under the rear window tray, it's worth every cuss word, I highly recommend going that route.

#1051974 - 07/03/17 10:48 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
Do I need wiring harnesses to connect the new speakers to the stock wiring?

#1052140 - 07/09/17 06:42 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
I tried installing some new Kenwood 4x10's this morning but ran into a problem. While most of the new speaker has the same dimensions as the stock speaker, the only thing that seemed different was the magnet that had a great diameter. I couldn't get the aluminum bracket to lock in place because the magnet was so much wider. :-(

#1055557 - 01/29/18 05:32 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
Any ideas on making the new kenwood 4x10's attach or should I look into 6x9 with the adapter kit from mikes montes?

#1055703 - 02/07/18 12:39 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
Why is everything so difficult?

I ordered 4x10 kenwood's over the summer and they were too big. I couldn't use the stock mounting bracket so I ended up just putting the stock speaker back in.

I was talking with tech support at Crutchfield yesterday and told them the exact problem I had and he assured me that the kicker speakers he linked would fit. I ordered them yesterday and they showed up today, less than 30 hours after I ordered them. Impressive.

I went to install them and it's the same exact thing. Magnet in the new speaker is too large to use the stock mounting bracket. What gives?

#1055720 - 02/07/18 08:28 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: 84 ZZ4]  
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kevins88ss Offline
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Originally Posted by 84 ZZ4

[Linked Image]

Here is a new bezel in the LS trim ready to match your interior.
Courtesy of eBay:
[Linked Image]
eBay Monte Radio Bezel - Claret



What did you do for the mounting brackets? I want to do the same with mine. A 1DIN radio with a 1/2DIN equalizer.



Last edited by kevins88ss; 02/07/18 08:28 PM.
#1055866 - 02/12/18 10:00 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
OK, so I finally got everything installed.

The new 4x10 speakers were a little taller and the magnet was much wider than the stock ones. I ended up tracing out the magnets onto the stock speaker mount brackets and cut out the hole with a jigsaw. I was able to get the magnet through the new cutout and then mount everything up just like stock setup. I even used a new harness so that I could clip everything together without cutting the wires.

The 3.5" fronts went in better. The only issue was that the new speakers were taller so I had to get the speakers in the dash without the grill attached. It was a tight fit to get them in but no real issue. Once they were in I was able to attach the grills and screw everything back together.

Next up is to upgrade the radio.....

#1056136 - 02/28/18 03:58 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
So I ended up ordering a custom radio to fit in the stock location. 300W with usb, bluetooth, iPod and aux in.

[Linked Image]

#1056159 - 02/28/18 07:31 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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Hunter79764 Offline
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Nice. Who made the radio?


Sometimes you just need a bigger hammer...

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1056162 - 03/01/18 12:42 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
Sorry, I was on my phone and couldn't link a quality picture so here it is. I can't wait to get it installed but it may have to wait till next weekend. Here's the site.

[Linked Image]

#1056341 - 03/12/18 12:15 PM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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longislandcamper Offline
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longislandcamper  Offline
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Port Jefferson Station, NY
Out with the old.....

[Linked Image]



and in with the new......


[Linked Image]

#1056384 - 03/14/18 01:58 AM Re: Help Upgrade My Audio [Re: longislandcamper]  
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Bills 80s ElCamino Offline
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This is what I'm doing in my 86 El Camino and it should work for all of Monte's too, you just need the newer faceplate.
Buy a 12 pin to 24 pin wiring adapter for those that still have the factory plugs.
Then I'm buying something like this

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Chevy-Camaro-2000-Radio-AM-FM-CD-Player-Upgraded-w-Aux-3-5mm-iPod-Input-in-Face/222837605467?hash=item33e228045b:g:7sQAAOSw9V1ag0Kb&vxp=mtr


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