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Old 10-23-2017, 11:51 PM
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Simple Radio for my Dad

My 75yo dad has an 87 YJ that he bought new, but that was giving him starting and running issues for the last few years. After some research here, I hooked him up with a new Motorcraft carb & TFI upgrade and his Jeep is finally running solid and he's enjoying it again, which makes me really happy.

Trouble now is the radio. He's been through a couple different ones, and his current one is one of the $100 Sony or Panasonic decks that's all digital and he's having difficulty using it. He just wants a regular radio with a dial, maybe a CD player too, one like the one that the dealer originally put in the Jeep, but that stopped working - I think it started having issues and made static in the speakers.

I'd love to get him a new radio and speakers (IIRC, one of the speakers is a royal PITA to get to, right), but not sure what is available for a simple radio with a decent amp built in. Anyone seen something like that? Even the OEM one I have in my 2012 Wrangler is a lot simpler and easy to use than most of the aftermarket digital sets these days. I had a Kenwood in my TJ and I hated resetting it anytime I had to disconnect the battery. TIA.

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Old 10-24-2017, 06:19 AM   #2
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Crutchfield, they have vintage style, with modern tuners. They also have some with Bluetooth, and cd capabilities.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:32 AM   #3
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Retro sound makes what your after but you have to be willing by to pay the prices, occasionally you can find them on eBay for cheaper.

I actually installed one but I wasn’t happy with knobs (they fit loose), their solution was to have you bend the control prongs... I opted to return it, however I am told the controls have been redesigned now. (you will need their din kit)

This their website: https://www.retromanufacturing.com

Here is a photo of it when it was installed

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Old 10-24-2017, 10:02 AM   #4
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I can't help you with the radio, but I got these speakers from Amazon and they kick ass.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Youtube video detailing install. This install is very easy. It took about an hour.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMVmh91xEpk So worth it.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:29 AM
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Thanks guys. Those look like a good deal on the speakers, and I'll check out Crutchfield for a vintage style radio. Wish there was just a way to put in the newer factory radios into an old YJ.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:19 PM   #6
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I don't see any reason you couldn't put a little newer factory stereo in.... you would need the pigtails from the donor vehicle and of course it would have to be the same size.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:32 PM   #7
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here's another plug for crutchfield. if you don't see what you like on line, call them and tell them what you're looking for. they know their stuff, and the prices are good too.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:17 PM   #8
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I went to Electronic Express and got a Pioneer with bluetooth and front USB for $80 bucks. Also bought 4" Polk Audio speakers for the sound bar. I think they were about $130.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:13 PM   #9
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I've been thinking about upgrading my radio (for Sirius XM, or at least something that can play MP3s) but I hate the idea of taking the factory stock AM/FM/cassette out of my Wrangler. The darn thing still works.

Let us know how the install goes.
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:25 PM   #10
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I'm almost as old as OPs dad. I have a Kenwood in my Smittybilt console. What I like about this particular Kenwood is that the volume is controlled by a knob. I can easily reach down with my right hand without looking to control the volume. I have to be stopped to look at the buttons that set the stations or switch from AM to FM. This is probably safer with any kind of radio.

I got my speakers at Half Price Audio. Two good sounding speakers that fit the studs on the back of my dash were (IIRC) under $50.00. I usually only listen to talk radio, so this setup works for me. If I wanted better sound for music, I'd have a underseat booster and better speakers in a sound bar.
The easiest way to install new speakers is to drop the steering column, fold the windshield forward and loosen the dash panel. Then you can reach in from the side and access the nuts that hold the speakers in place. You don't have to disconnect any wires just to pull the dash panel toward the driver a couple inches. Don't forget to attach the speaker wires before you put the dash panel back.

I've done speakers both ways:
1- laying on my back trying to access the nuts with a 1/4" socket set using various extensions and universals. The passenger side is difficult. The drivers side is much worse. The passenger side is a little easier if you remove the glove box first.
2- As stated above, loosen the dash panel. If I were to have to do it again, I would only do it by loosening the dash.

3- There is a way that includes drilling the dash and using a blind nut with an exposed screw. If you're willing to live with a couple extra screws on your dash, this may be for you. It's still a pain to get the old speakers out. Even with this option, I'd loosen the dash.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:10 AM   #11
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I have a fully working original YJ radio that I’m willing to sell. It fully works and was recently serviced.

It’s simple and obviously a perfect match and fit for your needs.
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:30 PM   #12
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I appreciate not wanting a new stereo deck that looks like it was designed by a running shoe engineer. I too wanted simple and perhaps slightly more technically functional than factory. Really all I wanted was a tuner, clock and USB for MP3's. The simplest and cleanest looking came from a German company called VDO. They have a bunch of different models, but I still went simple.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:46 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I actually contacted Crutchfield and the rep said they didn't have anything like what I was looking for anymore. That VDO deck looks like it might work though. I spoke with my dad over the weekend and he's kind of at the point where he doesn't want to deal with it anymore he's so frustrated with it. I'll have to see if I can convince him to let me help him out with it.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:25 PM   #14
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Tell that crabby old grump that another crabby old grump says he should listen to his kid.

Tell him that I said our kids grow up and get smart, just like he and I did. At least my son did and it sounds like you did too.

If he won't listen, just put one in his Jeep anyway. He'll love you for it.

Good Luck, L.M.
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.................................................. ........................
1987 YJ-4.2L-Standard Shift- Re-manufactured Carter Carb-2" body Lift-31X10.5X15 BFG KOs-190K Miles No back seat.
HEI distributor with computer and all related relays and wiring removed.
12K Badlands winch with dual batteries.
Warn front bumper. Matching imitation Warn bumper on the rear.
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