A friend of mine from abroad has a '52 Ford and wants me to bring him a
stereo for it. Is there anything I need to know (i.e. specs I need to get
from him), or can I just buy any after market audio deck?
If he's pulling my leg, that's the only thing he'll be pulling ;-)
So the major issue is voltage in? I note that the "pre-out" voltage on the
decks I looked at online is 2 or 2.2V. What's the deal, would he have to
install a voltage regulator?
What I am referring to is the vehicle's battery and electrical
system. Old vehicles used a 6 Volt system, most of them
positive ground. Newer stuff is 12 Volt negative ground.
Most makers changed over sometime in the early 1950's, I
think, but I don't know the specifics. And how did it get
abroad? If it was made specifically for export, the US
standards may not apply, and if it was military it could
even be 28 Volt!
A modern 12 Volt stereo will not work in an old 6 Volt car,
and may in fact be damaged by trying to hook it up. There
were voltage converters available like up until the 70's I
think, but haven't seen anything like that recently.
The folks at Crutchfield might know. Failing that, have him
take some photos of the dash and intended speaker locations
and take some measurements and find out for sure what the
battery situation is.
Going *way out* on a limb here: If he were a restoration
purist with a 6 Volt system, he would probably not be
putting a modern stereo in it. If he's building a custom
street rod, he probably has it converted to 12 Volts anyway.
So I'm going to say that there are a few dual shaft "universal
fit" radio/cassette models designed for vintage vehicles that
may go in the dash without much modification. A couple of
6"x9" ovals might fit the rear deck and maybe a couple 6"
rounds in the doors. A modest amp under one seat and a CD
changer with FM modulator under the other seat, or maybe
in the trunk.
The 52 Ford was originally 6 volts. Your friend's may well have been changed
over to 12 volts at some point. Have him check the battery and let you know.
If it's still 6 volts, you won't be finding a stereo for it. Stereos came
out in the 60's, after all cars were 12 volts. There may be a converter
available. I do know that in the late 50's people had cars with 12 volts and
found a way to run 6 volt accessories by using a screw to tap into the
center of the 12 volt battery and using the tap to get 6 volts. (effectively
using 1/2 of the 12 volt battery) Good luck.
Every day is a good day- it's just that some are better than others.
Thanks all for the comprehensive replies, that was exactly what I wanted to
know. The guy is not a car restoration hobbyist...he just makes do in a
country where cars are very hard to come by. I think I'll take the cash and
buy him something else. Maybe a bicycle!
Actually I would find it hard to believe, that after almost fifty years since
almost every make rturned to 12 volts that the car isnt converted... after
all it only requires changing all the bulbs, generator, and ditching the
radio. Dont even HAVE to swap out the starter... until it dies.
IIRC, the instruments would probably work... note that instrument voltage reg
is 5volt output
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