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Thread: 1961 radio

  1. #1
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    Default 1961 radio

    I recently had a stereo and amp installed in my 61, and it cuts out pretty frequently. I took it back to the shop that put it in and they said it may be my generator is not genning enough to power it. I had my generator rebuilt about a month ago, so I have a hard time thinking its not genning. Could it be my battery and what would be the best high amp battery to replace my old one. Its just a weekend driver. thanks rtg

  2. #2
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    I have an auto sound disc chamger and radio in my 61 with no problems Steve

  3. #3
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    Your voltage regulator may not be working correctly or you will need to install one of those huge capacitors in circuit with your amp, if your system is drawing more than 10 amps.

  4. #4
    BarryK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Anderson
    Your voltage regulator may not be working correctly or you will need to install one of those huge capacitors in circuit with your amp, if your system is drawing more than 10 amps.
    checking the voltage regulator is a good idea and check your grounds on the audio sytem very carefully (as we all know, good grounds on a vette are a lot more difficult than on a regular car) but unless you are running a LOT of power in that aftermarket amp or running multiple high powered amps, one of the big capacitors is NOT necessary. The only advantage to using one of the big caps is that it acts as a reserve of power for when the amps need it on high loads and it helps get the power to the amps very, very quickly, allowing for better transient response and control of the drivers (speakers). They are typically used mainly on amps running subwoofers as subs usually require more power and when you have the system "cranked up" the subs draw a lot of power from the amps and the caps will deliver purses of power to the amp quickly.
    Anything less than an amp running at least 500 watts RMS (NOT peak) of power on a subwoofer will NOT require installing a large 1. 2, or 5 farad capacitor.

    Is the whole system cutting out (power) or just the radio or just the amp? Is the power staying on but just the sound cuts out?
    Check all your wiring.

    If it's the whole sytem that cuts out, check all your main power cable on the radio and the switched power on the radio and also the ground connection plus check the main power line from the amp to the battery and it's fuse. You DO have the power line of the amp running straight up to the battery with a fuse within 12" of the battery don't you? You should never try to hook power of an amp into the fusebox or other power wires under the dash - ALWAYS run an amps power line direct to the battery! Also check the amps switched power line and it's ground connection.
    If the pwer stays on but it's just the sound that cuts out, than check your wiring from the amp to the sprakers for a loose connection or bad wire that is shorting out (could have gotten pinched, nicked, etc).
    If all the power, ground, and speaker connections check out good than the problem is in the radio or amp itself but chances are it's just a wiring issue.
    hope this helps a little. It should be enough to get you started on finding the problem anyway.

    Regarding your question if it could be your battery, there is only a very slim chance the battery could be causing the problem. On these older cars (someone correct me if i'm wrong regarding the older ones with generators versus alternators) but once the car is started everything is actually run by the alternator (in your case a generator) and after the car is started you can actually remove the battery and still run the car. The battery is really only used for starting the car and once it;s started the alternator runs everything and the battery is really just acting as a reserve to supply power when needed and the alternator can't supply enough all at the same time (such as at night when running lights, windshield wipers, radio, heater or A/C, etc. Short of running pretty much every accessory on the car at the same time your battery will not factor into anything after the car is started. You can check this if it makes you feel better though by simply running jumper cables from the vette to another car. Have both cars running after hooked up and try your stereo system - if it still cuts out on you you will know it's not a battery issue as you will be running power from BOTH cars at the same time. If it stops cutting out on you jumped to another car than your generator isn't pumping out enough power for your amp. I don't know the output ratings on the generators and I don't know what kind and size amp you are running but there is almost always enough output capacity from a generator or alternator to allow adding a reasonably sized amp without any problems. If you are finding an output problem with the generator than i'd take it back where it was rebuilt and have them look at it again.

    Oh - one last thought........if it's a bad wiring issue anywhere check all connections and wires VERY carefully as it may only show up when driving the car and the movement of the car causes the connection to fail or a nicked wire to short out against something.
    Back when I was in the car audio industry, we had a car come into one of the shops I was managing and it took us the longest time to find the problem. The system would start to crackle and cut out and we couldn't find the problem until the owner mentioned it only happened when he was driving (in the shop the car was parked of course) AND while he was making a left hand turn AND it was intermittent. Turns out one speaker wire had gotten pinched during the install (not our install) and a small section of the wires insolation got rubbed away exposing the bare wires very slightly. During driving and making a lefthand turn, the wire would shift position slightly but just enough to touch the metal of the door causing it to short out. What a bi**h it was to find that but after we did it took all of 5 minutes to fix.
    Usually the problem is actually something simple but it can take a bit of work to find it.

    Good luck!

    Barry

  5. #5
    Vette66AirCoupe
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    Just curious. Did you mount it in the dash or the trunk?

  6. #6
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    my system is in the trunk if you are asking me steve

  7. #7
    Vette66AirCoupe
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    Thanks for the reply. I was thinking of putting a radio/CD player in the trunk of my '60. Any tips you could offer would be appreciated regarding mounting and wiring particularly. Where are your speakers?

  8. #8
    newbe60
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    Default Think IPOD

    Maybe I'm a drop younger then some on this board..maybe not... but an IPOD hookup is the way to go..CD's are a think of the past..an IPOD can hold 6,000 songs from both your cd collection or you can download any song ever written for 99 Cents a song. (or less). I bought an old Wonderbar that was not working ..had the guts removed and put in a digital fm recivier..as well as having a small black wire coming from the back that sits under my carpeting coming out between the two front seats..the IPOD size of a pack of smokes then hooks up to the wire and plays whatever song i have on the iopd..in any order i want them played.. I haVE A VETTE SECTION.. that plays great crusing songs.. in the order i like..when I park I just take the ipod with me and push the wire back under my side cushion..i'll try and post some photos's.. I changed my 1 speaker to the exact fit by a new custom autosound..6x9 speaker.. using the same holes and screws.. WOW great sound and SONGS..all day long..

    Just another opnion and way to go..on outside my wonderbar is not changed... if you looked at the inside of the car.. you would think it was an AM wonderbar.. with the single digit am numbers..

    Good luck either way..only problem is somthimes around town I miss the sound of my 327..so i just rev it a drop higher and lower the volume or shutoff the iopod..PS the ipod has it's own equalizer built in so you can set it ..

  9. #9
    Vette66AirCoupe
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    Very interesting idea! Let me ask a question. If I left my radio as is and decided to just go with an iPod what would I need to do to power the iPod? Would I still need some kind of amp to drive the speakers?

  10. #10
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    I suppose an i pod is not a bad idea and they do hold a lot of songs .iwent with the changer because i have a ton of cds and the ipod was not an option a few years back. I used the twin speaker set up as the replacement for the 6 by 9 in the front I actully made mine because i wanted better speakers than i could buy already made, spend some money on a good set they will be your main sound, for the rear i made boxes to fit in the area behind the seat and tucked them behind the door post area.also get a new antenna lead if you are using your original antenna so you do not have to cut up the original. the receiver and changer are components like a home system and plug into each other no modulator needed. the system is more than adequate for cruzing but not a thumping machine like you hear out there all the time but does sound good also got the remote with fm instead of infared so you can mount it in the trunk but it also has a small control head i leave lying between the seats Steve

  11. #11
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    you could buy the radio head that i have and still mount it in the trunk steve

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the info.....rtg

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