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So close to finishing restoration of 1972 Centurion, radio won't fit

Richard D

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One of the things I saved for last was installing the correct Delco am fm stereo. Car came with universal fit Motorola. I bought two off the auction site we all love and the first one that was listed as tested was stuck between am amd fm, can't be repaired without special parts nla. The second one just needed some alignment for the fm section, I am a retired avionics engineer so no problem. While the seats are out I figured it would be easier to swap them out. The problem is that the width of the rectangular tuning dial is about a quarter inch too wide to fit through the opening of the dashboard. The shafts for the knobs fit perfectly. Over the years I have collected several Delco tuning dial covers and every one I measured is the exact same width, did Buick go to the trouble of making a quarter inch narrower than the rest of that era of Delco radios? Makes no sense to me. All ideas, thoughts, magic words gratefully accepted.

Thanks to all,


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I have 3 extra radios that fit a 1972 Centurion. 2 are AM/FM stereos and 1 is AM/AM 8 track. I got them with my car. They appear to be in working condition. I don't have the wiring, just the radios. I'm not home right now, I don't have access to the pictures. Each radio is available at $100 plus shipping. Please let me know if you're interested.

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There should be a paper tag on the radio. That tag would have include the ACDelco part number, a "car division part number", and other pertinent identification numbers. That is the ONLY way to determine what the radios fit OEM. Shaft spacing can vary with model year, but faceplate dimensions CAN also vary with the carline the radio was to fit. Decoding these numbers will usually take appropriate ACDelco Radio literature . . . sometimes in the GM/Buick parts book, in the Delco Radio service literature, for sure, and certainly in a Delco Radio OEM radio upgrade manual.

Many of that era's Delco radios were "single-wire" radios, meaning they need either self-grounding ACDelco speakers or you have to run a separate wire from the ground terminal of the speaker to the vehicle's body (an easy thing to do with a mounting screw, or similar.

Additionally, under the running shaft, there can be two little holes in the radio case. This is where the rear speaker "fader" plugs in, which also runs the rear speakers. GM tended to be "famous" for their two-speaker stereos in many of their vehicles, back then. This was an easy way to add that feature.

On the top of the case, the decode for the terminals on the back/side of the radio. Sometimes, the stamp is more shallow than others, but it's there. In the earlier '80s, they went to a unified three-piece plug set-up, which was MUCH better to me. These were configured such that each speaker had two wires rather than just one (as in the earlier models referenced).

What might seem to be "common" radio chassis configurations, might be to a point. Some applications didn't have enough clearance for the output amp heat sink to be on the back of the case, so it was relocated to one side of the case, for example. Not to forget about how each carline might want their radidos to look unique to their brand, rather than a "common" ACDelco radio . . . more differences than just different knobs.

Hope this might help . . .


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