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1937 Radio


Tom Conard
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I have a radio in my '37 mod. 47 Buick. The radio draws power but has no sound. I know a guy that will help me fix it but first it has to come out of the dash. I looked in my shop manual but it says "see radio manual." I am asuming the capacitors are shot and will need replacement. Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated.

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Tom:

If you are real lucky you might get it working without removing the radio. There are a few things I would suggest trying before removing the radio. They all involve the radio vibrator which seems to frequently cause problems on radios that sit.

First with the engine running try turning the radio on and off quickly about thirty times. Sometimes after doing this a number of times you might get the points in the radio vibrator unstuck.

The second thing you could try is removing the cover from the bottom of the radio, giving you access to the tubes and vibrator. You can then remove the vibrator. Ideally you can find somebody that could check the vibrator and tubes.

Finally you could try and clean the vibrator points yourself. The vibrator is a round metal canister at the back corner of the radio. Remove the vibrator from the radio. Carefully pry open the vibrator close to the base, pull off the cover and file the points. Reassemble the vibrator and hope for the best.

Good luck and don't forget to disconnect the power.

Carl

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There were two types of radios available in 1937. One that was mounted just above the steering column and was regulated from the instrument panel with steel cables and conduits, like in 1936.

The other type was the Centerline radio which was just like it states, in the Center of the instrument panel. This type is removed by unscrewing the two plastic knobs, taking off the tone and local/distance knobs and removing the two nuts behind. On the back of the radio, towards the cowl, is a bracket. This bracket is attached to the instrument panel with one end and the other end is secured with a nut to a pinbolt on the radio, at least it is so on a -38 radio and -37 seems to be the same. Loosen that nut and then you can unhook the bracket, lower the back of the radio and carefully lift it out from the panel. I have done that several times in my -38 for fixing the vibrator.

Just like written, I have pryed the whole unit off the cover and carefully grinded the points, connected the loose unit to its contacts in the radio, applied 6 volt and noticed that the vibrator worked. I have to do this if the radio is not started on and off, these points tend to clog themselves over a longer period.

Mats

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Yes, that is correect! That reminds me so much of the days (60s and 70s) when I was a Buick collector. I had 7 37's!! Each one had a radio, and nearly every one had stuck vib points. I carefully removed the cover, filed the points, and all those radios worked! Most of those cars were parts cars, so I sold nearly all of those radios throughout the world. I kept the one for my prized 37 coupe. Moving from Indiana to California in '81, I had to dispose of all my Buicks-about 150 of them-except the 1931 8-66 coupe which I had for 37 years! I sold it in 2001 when we moved from Ca to WY where we still reside. I couldn't stand not having a good old car, so in '06 we bought a neraly new '51 Olds 98 sedan, just like the one I had when I was 18.

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