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I'm planning a little project, and was wondering if anyone else has tried such a thing. I've decided that I'm not going to buy a replacement radio, mostly because I don't need one. I plan on putting a bluetooth speaker in the factory spot, and just using my phone to stream music. That sounds easy enough, but I have a few hurdles to jump.
1) Charging. I'll probably just wire the 12v to the radio to a charger for the speaker.
2) I'll need to turn the speaker on. This is where the radio comes in. I plan on using one of the knobs to do something to turn it on. I won't know exactly what until I get the speaker, and figure out how to modify it to have a remote switch.

I know. Why on Earth would I bother with all this?
1) I'm not too worried about sound quality. I only play period correct music in my car.
2) I hate the look of the aftermarket radios.
3) I don't want my radio in my glove box.
4) I plan to delete my antenna when I paint the car.
5) I love building stupid things that work, but make no sense.

Sooooo, have any of you done anything with your radio that now isn't radio-ing?
 

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I like your plan. It’ll be interesting to see how you proceed.

The non-radio-ing thing I did was to remove it completely and fill the hole with a steel plate (totally reversible) and cover the dash with vinyl fabric so I could use an invisible magnet mount for my phone.

The tiny amp and Bluetooth receiver are hidden away and I control the tunes on my phone.

https://www.google.com/amp/forums.vintage-mustang.com/mod-custom-forum/1095657-custom-vinyl-covered-dash-radio-delete-magnetic-phone-mount-s-place.html?amp=1
 

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I got a Custom Autosound USA-66 AM-FM for my Tahoe Turquoise first 66. Looks very close to the original. I don't think they make them anymore, haven't had luck finding an old stock or used one for my Emberglo 66. The newer aftermarket don't look nearly as nice to me. I don't think this original one works, so I thought about gutting it and putting a nice aftermarket one inside it that has all digital internals and digital display, Bluetooth connectivity, etc. I love your idea, and I'm subscribed !!
 

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There is a lot of info on the web about repairing the old radios. Mostly involves replacing the capacitors. They also include info on adding in jacks for iPod or Bluetooth etc. It should be pretty easy to run a relay actuated by the power switch that will power on your Bluetooth speaker.

I did something similar for my Man cave art. I built a full 1966 dashboard wall art. It is fully functional. The radio, lighter, gauges etc all work. I found a computer power supply that output 12v when triggered by an external switch. I wired this through the ignition switch. So when you turn on the key 12V goes to the dash, radio etc. It was very simple to wire up.
 

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I have a RetroSound radio in my 66. It looks like it was born there and people are surprised when I show them it’s a modern radio. Even has a USB connection for a phone. I hardly use it though, the engine is much nicer to listen to.....
 

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I'm in the same boat as leefred. I refuse to listen to the actual radio, so I bought this kenwood bluetooth car amp. https://www.amazon.com/Kenwood-1177524-Automotive-Amplifier-Kac-M1824BT/dp/B00UTXQL74
it's popular in side by sides and such. It's small and compact. I used the on off switch from the oem radio to trigger the amp to turn on or off, then tucked the remote wires under the carpet so the remote is right next to the driver seat. The amp is bluetooth so you don't need a physical connection to the stereo, but you can also plug into auxiliary if you want. I have a dual voice-coil speaker in the dash and two 6x9's in the package tray. Dash looks completely stock but sound system is totally modern!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, step 1 was to pick up a speaker. I just got back from the store and grabbed one of these:
https://goo.gl/images/Bqy2Lk
The power button is hidden under rubber, but it feels like a mechanical button, so this should be a pretty easy mod.
And I plan to wire it to this to keep it charged. I know the battery will go bad constantly being charged, but I don't care. If I wire it to the radio power, it will only be charging while I'm driving.
https://www.microcenter.com/product/476358/dc-dc-adjustable-voltage-step-down-module-lm2596s
So all i need to do is figure out how to turn it on when I get in the car. I might also build a little "box" for it, so all of the sound comes out the top. I think I'll cut up the stock speaker to do so.
 

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Might be too late if you already purchased stuff, but If you want to keep the original AM/FM radio setup, you can go with the Redi Rad. I left my original stock AM radio in and installed the RediRad in my '66. I can plug and play my iPod or iPhone or anything with a jack as it just transmits to AM station 1000 and plays through the original speakers. Pretty easy to install. Took me 20 minutes.

https://redirad.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Part of my reasoning for doing this is to not spend much money. The cheapest replacement radio I found that was any good at all was $350. Add speakers, wiring, etc. into the mix, and I'd be close to $600. Back to my first point; I'm not looking for any kind of real sound quality. This car has 1,000,000,000 air leaks, rattles, and other such noises, so I'm never going to make it sound "good". I just want tunes. So far, I've got $32 into it. I should be done for < $75. And frankly, it will sound better than it did the day it rolled off the showroom floor. Hopefully I'll have time to get the radio out tomorrow and start playing.
 

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I used a stock radio to fill the hole in the dash. I essentially just used the front face. I get my tunes through a conical speaker in the dash that is wired to a small amplifier that is connected to my iPhone. Does it rock? No, but it gives me something to listen to on long drives.
 

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Redi Rad was $99...Cheaper and easier than all the other stuff. You may have to keep your antenna though as I think it works off of it...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Redi Rad was $99...Cheaper and easier than all the other stuff. You may have to keep your antenna though as I think it works off of it...
So, from what I can gather by looking briefly at this, it's using the amplifier and speakers of the factory system, but adding "inputs" of sorts. For me, that still wouldn't work. My radio is dead, as is the speaker. However, this is a pretty neat idea for someone with a currently functioning radio. And FWIW, if you are not planning on using FM radio, I don't think you'd need to keep the antenna either.
 

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There is a lot of info on the web about repairing the old radios. Mostly involves replacing the capacitors. They also include info on adding in jacks for iPod or Bluetooth etc. It should be pretty easy to run a relay actuated by the power switch that will power on your Bluetooth speaker.

I did something similar for my Man cave art. I built a full 1966 dashboard wall art. It is fully functional. The radio, lighter, gauges etc all work. I found a computer power supply that output 12v when triggered by an external switch. I wired this through the ignition switch. So when you turn on the key 12V goes to the dash, radio etc. It was very simple to wire up.
 

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I'm undertaking a similar project. I have a non-working original radio that has stripped tuning gears. Poor thing won't play again in the condition that it's in, so I'm going to re-purpose it to appear to supply my music. I'm removing the electronics and will replace them with a small bluetooth receiver/class D amplifier. Power will come from the stock on/off knob sending 12v to it. The factory light will still work and illuminate the restored dial face when powered on. However, my phone will send the tunes via bluetooth, and the amp will push the pair of 6x9s I'll mount in the package tray. From the outside, except for the speaker grills, it will look completely stock...at least, that's the plan. However, it'll play everything from my phone.

Here is the receiver/amp. $14. I'll shop for speakers later so I'm not sure how I'll go with them.
 

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I only play period correct music in my car.
Go it. Lots of Johnny Cash, Quincy Jones, and Dave Brubeck. "The Girl From Ipanema" is not just elevator music.

Am I the only person who also goes full comi-con "Mad Men" style when driving a classic Mustang? White leather shoes, Hagar slacks, white belt, button up cardigan sweater, ugly brownish-yellow tie, Peterson pipe, and of course, plenty of Brylcreem(tm) in the hair? 1960s colognes of choice: Aqua-Velva(tm) or English Leather(tm) also required.
 

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Re-Use the Radio

I sent my factory AM radio out to Joe Drozdik to be converted to AM/FM Bluetooth with an AUX input a 4x50 outputs.

It looks factory and sounds great. I did the same thing to my 67 Rancheros factory AM radio too.
 
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