Parccent65

Adding a rear speaker to a '65 Riviera

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I recently purchased a '65 Riviera and would like to add a rear speaker but keep the original radio even though it's AM. The car has an AM Sonomatic radio (original I believe). There is a rear defroster mounted in the package shelf that is original as well and it works. There is also a bluish gray wire hanging down below the package shelf with a plastic connector (and no other wires) where the rear speaker would mount (between the two rear seats). There is a piece of cardboard cut out where the speaker would go. Would there be existing wires back there to connect a rear speaker to? If so, which ones? From the passenger side of the car there are three wires coming towards the defroster: an orange, white and bluish gray one mentioned above. 

Thanks for any assistance.

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A quick way to tell if your car originally had a rear speaker is that your radio should be equipped with a fader switch.  If not and if the radio is original, then it probably didn’t.

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How do I tell if it has a fader switch? The bigger "ring" on the tuning knob (right side of the radio) rotates but it doesn't rotate back and forth and stops. It just rotates continually. I'm pretty sure it never had a rear speaker because it has the blank cardboard piece where a speaker would go.

 

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If it rotates completely, then it does not have a fader and most likely never did.  

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The fader switch can be added to your radio. The trick is finding a year appropriate one that matches the other bezels in your car.  All the cars are wired for a rear seat speaker (one harness.) The radio is built to accept the fader switch.  The wires in the fader switch plug jnto the harness and Bingo, you're set.  Get in touch with Gene and see if he has one.  Make sure that the rear seat speaker is a 6x9 10 ohm speaker. Most speakers today are only 4 ohms.  You'll burn up the radio using a 4 ohm speaker.  Turnswitch has them,

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Oh — so it IS wired for a rear seat speaker! To install the fader switch do I have to take the radio out of the dash? The speaker I have I got from Best Offer Counts Buick Parts and says it's an 8-10 ohm speaker. In the rear deck there is a single blue gray wire with a black plastic plug hanging down. Is that for the speaker? My car has a rear defroster too.

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Hang around, he'll read this and let you know what he has and how to contact him.

 

You should consider joining the Riviera Owners Assn (you're using their forum.)  A bimonthly magazine keeps you informed of all things Riviera.  There are many vendors, besides Gene, of early Riviera parts who run ads in the classifieds. If you can't find a lead there, there's nothing to be found.  Check out the link in my signature.

 

Ed

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Go to www.Turnswitch.com and select the link to radio conversions. Scroll down and you'll see a 1966 Chevy (Delco) radio which is the same as your 1965 radio.  You can see what they've done to alter it. 

 

Scroll down farther and you'll find a video of what they've done to a 1955 Wonderbar AM radio to bring it into the modern world.

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On 6/20/2020 at 3:12 AM, RivNut said:

Go to www.Turnswitch.com and select the link to radio conversions. Scroll down and you'll see a 1966 Chevy (Delco) radio which is the same as your 1965 radio.  You can see what they've done to alter it. 

 

Scroll down farther and you'll find a video of what they've done to a 1955 Wonderbar AM radio to bring it into the modern world.


This is very inspiring, thanks for this info Ed! (Here the direct link to the video)
 


If I knew that before, I would have choose to do this conversion! 
Not sure if the conversion would be DAB compatible (Digital Audio Broadcasting). Here in Switzerland AM & FM will be replaced with DAB+ definitely in one or two years. Thats why I decided to install such a DAB+ radio in the glove compartment with all wires going under the carpet to the rear speakers (to the one between the seats and two more on each side of the armrests.
Today I would choose to convert my original radio with Bluetooth (and Bluetooth speakers) and streaming my music from my iPhone (or any mobile device with such a capacity). 

 

Maybe this pics could inspire Parcen65 for the mounting of his rear speaker? 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/142025655@N08/albums/72157673770987881

 

 

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Here you go. One is 64 and the ribbed one is 65. Gene abandg@aol.com

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Thanks! I actually googled this and found it on Ebay. The knobs on my '65 are ribbed like that but I'm not sure they're exactly the same in appearance. Can it be that they produced more than one style of knob for '65?
So the dummy knob is removed, the fader knob slides on in its place and the fader wire just plugs into the wiring harness and that's it? I'm probably going to purchase one of the Aurora Design conversions. It sounds like if I have the fader knob already then that part is basically complete and they don't need to add that functionality to the conversion. The radio conversion is very impressive.

 

Mark

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They did not produce more than one style of radio knob for the 65 Riviera.

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IIRC your chassis manual shows you how to make the connection.

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Posted (edited)

I have an authorized Buick chassis manual (Red catalog) and there's a couple of expanded diagrams of the radio and neither one shows the fader knob — just shows the dummy knob. I googled this and I found something about a Chevrolet radio that says it "plugs into a speaker wiring sub-harness" whatever that is. Hopefully I can find it on this one. Maybe it will be apparent when I get the radio visible.

I found the fader control wire connection in the chassis shop manual.

BTW I wonder where I can find GM correct chrome plated screws for this car? I discovered there's a screw that's supposed to fasten the rear of the console to the floor that's missing. I'd like to put in a correct screw if I can find one. The ashtray lid at the back of the console doesn't close correctly either. It uses 2 circular wire springs and one is missing and the other isn't seated properly. (same as on the dash ashtray lid, but the missing spring had fallen inside the console and I reinstalled it and it works fine now) Would just like to fix the back one. 

Edited by Parccent65 (see edit history)

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Mr. G's USA has a complete set of interior screws for the first generation Rivieras.  

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You can go to a GOOD hardware store & bring one of the old springs with you. You should be able to match something up or I may have a good used one for you.

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6 hours ago, Parccent65 said:

The ashtray lid at the back of the console doesn't close correctly either. It uses 2 circular wire springs and one is missing and the other isn't seated properly.

Seat the one that's there and see how that works.  It might be all you need. If not, take previous advice (and that one spring) to your local hardware store.  Century Spring (among others) makes a whole assortment of bagged springs that are usually sold by the pair.  They should have something usable.

 

You might get more utility out of that lighter if you changed it to a power outlet, though.  Replace the lighter base with an outlet, then run a 10 or 12 ga. fused link to the battery circuit.

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