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View Full Version : Install a DIN style CD/Stereo head unit in your dash



BadBrad
10-14-2002, 02:15 PM
I've been meaning to post this here for some time. It was once posted on the "other" website.

Here are the steps necessary to place a DIN style stereo head unit in your 70 through 72 GS or Skylark. I bet it works for the 68 -69 cars too.

1. Get a 70 through 72 faceplate (AKA Bezel) from a junk car (It needn't be in optimum condition).

2. Using the DIN sleeve from your new CD player as a sizing template, center and cut an opening in the junk car faceplate. A Dremel tool with a cutting disk works well. Clean up the new hole making sure the DIN sleeve fits cleanly.

3. From cardstock or thick paper, make a template of the flat faceplate section where you cut the hole. The template must cover the entire surface from top to bottom and side to side.

4. Take the template to a plastic supply shop (see your local phone book) and have them cut a piece of plastic to match your template. I used a piece of black textured 3/16 in thick plastic sold at the shop. Have the shop cut out a hole the size of your CD player DIN sleeve. The shop thought it couldn't be done because the section of plastic at the top and bottom of the template would be too narrow. They were wrong. Their sharp router bit did a great job and did not shatter the narrow section. The round inside corners will need to be squared up with a razor blade for the DIN sleeve to fit.

5. Epoxy your new fabricated faceplate over the front of the junk car faceplate. Paint the entire faceplate in your favorite hue (I used satin black to match the stereo). Once the epoxy and paint has dried, slip the DIN sleeve through the front opening of the faceplate.

6. The opening of the dash for the factory radio is big enough for a refrigerator, so the whole assembly will easily slip through and the factory screw holes in the top of the faceplate will still match. The secret to the entire installation though is to bend down the steel tabs at the bottom of the factory dash opening. These are the tabs with screw holes in them for mounting the factory radio. Bend them down enough to provide a sturdy surface for the bottom of the DIN sleeve. To keep rattles to a minimum I also put some rubber isolator (split fuel hose) on the tabs. The combination of those steel tabs and the factory faceplate screws easily keeps the entire unit securely mounted.

7. The last step is to wire your CD player and slip the player through the DIN sleeve. The player's trim plate covers the remaining opening.

This installation technique is so good that your friends and family will be amazed that Buick was putting in-dash CD players in its cars way back in 1970!
:beer

Russ Waters
10-16-2002, 08:07 AM
Great stuff Brad!!
I have two extra face plates where someone had abused them for similar purposes, so I won't have to injure my original plate with the awesome AM Sonomatic special in there.
My neighbor with the 69 SS Chevelle has done something interesting, and I'm going over there soon to do it to my AM radio. He has hooked up a pigtail RCA plug to his AM radio where it accepts a typical CD player we all have. ( Portable with headphones) It sounds great, and is controlled by the AM radio. When I see exactly how he did it, I'll post it for everyone to see.
Russ Waters:beer

70Skylark
10-16-2002, 09:24 AM
The AM radio in my `67 Chevelle has been converted internally to AM/FM. It also has the RCA pre-outs from the back. I bought the car this way, a shop in Dallas does this. Here`s the info:

RADIO MAN
Bob Sponsel - owner
2731 McPherson St.
Dallas, Texas 75212
(214) 573-7680

Sorry, I don`t have any website info for you.

sixtynine462
10-16-2002, 11:52 AM
Sounds good! (pun intended) I have an AC dash pad for my non-AC 69, and noticed that my pioneer CD faceplate from my pickup fits PERFECTLY in the opening... I think I'm going to make some brackets and mount it in that opening... has anyone here heard of doing this?

marx
01-17-2004, 12:08 PM
hello. I got the cd player installed but the memory won't store the pre set stations. It is a used unit but everything worked fine in the car it came from. Tried running memory wire to fuse box , still won't work. Thanks for any help you can give.
Marx

Smartin
01-17-2004, 12:19 PM
Make sure your yellow wire is connected to a constant power source - such as a cigaratte lighter. Try using a volt meter to figure out what fuses have power without the key on. That is the one you need to hook the yellow wire up to.

12lives
01-17-2004, 09:22 PM
Hey Brad - how about some pictures of the face plate with the hobby shop plastic in it?

- Bill

BadBrad
01-18-2004, 03:21 PM
Yeah - I'm gonna make an effort to take a couple shots and get them posted. Why is it that my kids' grandparents have digital cameras but I don't? :Do No:

BadBrad
02-17-2004, 03:02 PM
So I finally have a picture - and it looks like I better paint my dash!

IDOXLR8
02-17-2004, 07:19 PM
Were you able to install the radio with out disturbing the two original front mounting tabs? I've often seen these bent over or cut off :af: , AL.

Driver2
02-18-2004, 11:27 AM
You have to bend the tabs, so they will SUPPORT the "new" radio in the front.:Smarty: If you bend them CAREFULLY, you can always bend them BACK!:Smarty:

It doesn't hurt anything, and if you want a BETTER stereo system, it is NECESSARY to do SOME kind of modification! The fewer you have to do, the better, too (if you care about "originality").

Everything can be put back to original, or you can replace the parts that can't.:Smarty:

BadBrad
02-18-2004, 03:06 PM
Exactly!

12lives
02-19-2004, 03:38 PM
Thanks Brad - Looks Great!

- Bill:TU:

piston1
02-24-2004, 01:41 AM
Brad that turned out great. I've been wanting to do the same thing but was afraid to start cutting plus I just got it back from the chrome shop. Do you know if anyone offers a radio bezel that will fit the din mount radios or was this your only option. I've looked a little bit on the web but only came up with radios that will fit the original bezel. I'll be hitting the yards soon to look for other parts so I will look for another "donor" bezel too.

Thanks,
Ken

BadBrad
02-24-2004, 03:30 PM
This seemed like the only option. But frankly, it was even easier than it sounds in the narrative. Finding a donor bezel is imperative though. The junker bezel I used was totally trashed anyway. My good bezel is stored in a hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar.

jpoole
02-24-2004, 09:04 PM
I followed BadBrad's instructions from this thread a few months ago and it turned out pretty well. I went to home depot and bought the plastic and cut it out myself. Used wood grain to cover. Not perfect but I think it looks pretty good. I still need to trim around the bottom. Here is a picture.

Thanks for the good info.

cray1801
11-29-2004, 06:55 PM
I know this is an old post (thanks Brad!), but I'm interested in what DIN size works. My `72 Skylark with AC has limited depth and I'm concerned about that dimension.

I just can't find my old Crutchfield catalog which I usually use for this type fitment information.

bignastyGS
11-29-2004, 07:19 PM
Craig,
I took the measurements from a radio I have in my room and they are 8 1/2 in wide 3 3/4 h x5 3/4 d.I don't think a Din style will give you a problem since the depth of the original one is measured behind the trim plate.If you install a newer style like Brad did,You will actually be moving the head unit out from the a/c ducting about an inch to 1 1/2.You could actually get a unit that is 7 1/2 inches and still not bottom it out.I can go out to my 70 a/c Skylark tomorrow and double check the measurement,since I don't have any radio in it yet.Putting a radio in an a/c car is such a pain opposed to a non a/c car.Let me know if you want me to do that for you.
Pat

cray1801
11-30-2004, 06:58 PM
That would be awsome Pat :TU: . Let me know what the depth is from the front of the stock face plate back. This will give me a good reference dimension. I think there is less depth at the top due to the ducting, if I recall correctly.

Anyone have a spare face plate, in fair-decent shape? I'll pay....

bignastyGS
12-01-2004, 05:57 PM
Craig,
I took the measurements with my face plate installed.Indeed,the top is less than the bottom measurement since the duct is tapered at the top as you suspected.I put the tape measure straight in and got 7 7/8 inch on the bottom and about 6 3/4 on the top.If you look at the bezel when its installed,it appears that the radio lays with the back sloped downward just a little.I then attempted to get the angle and came up with 8 1/8 bottom 7 1/8- 7 1/4 It was kinda tough to get it accurate.I think that if you get a radio it would be in your best interest to see if you can get it with the antenna and (IF EQUIPPED)RCA jacks on the right side of the rear of the radio or in the side so there wont be any more obstructions with the duct.

cray1801
12-02-2004, 04:00 PM
Thanks Pat, that helps a lot!