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1940 Buick Sonomatic radio


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hello im new to this forum stuff but i have a1940 Buick special convertible that has a radio in it that is not hooked up and i am trying to see if it will work but somebody cut the power end off the wire i do not know what type of end needs to go on there and the car does not have any where i see for an antenna to mount just looking for ideas about how to go about fixing these things. thanks for the help in advance

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Welcome to the forum!

 

The power chord to the radio has a fuse housing that attaches to a bayonet mount inside the radio case.  Here's what the end of the chord looks like:

 

socket3.jpg.48f11a45f57348905ae666b65508bd4b.jpg

 

Unfortunately, I don't know where you can get one of these.  You might try calling the folks at Rhode Island Wiring Service.

 

https://www.riwire.com/

 

They are an excellent company that makes all variety of wiring harnesses.

 

I don't know about the antenna situation.  It seems odd that your car has a radio but no antenna.  On the closed cars, the antenna was mounted on the roof just above the windshield.  I believe that convertibles used a conventional antenna mounted on the side of the hood.

 

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I've done some research on this, but maybe some others have had better luck finding answers. I read everything I could on 1940 cuz I have a Super conv coupe. Buick started offering vacuum power antennas and print material states that only the Spec and Century Convertibles coupes were available with that option and it was to be mounted on the left side of the top of the cowl. I've had vacuum antennas for the 1941 model, but have been told the diameter is larger than those offered in 1940. The reason, I'm guessing, that Buick fender mounted those in 1941 was probably for ease of install. Fitting a vacuum antenna in the space it seemed the few instructions I've found would put it, would be a major pain to fit in that small congested space! Closed cars antennas we're mounted in the roof above the center of the dash. Convert front top header can't hold one like that. 1940 Super/Roadmaster converts show mounting the antenna with two holes drilled thru the driver's side body sheet metal with fasteners behind the kick panel. My Super coupe came to me with that vertical antenna mast arrangement attached to the side of the cowl and I preferred that to drilling thru the roof to attach a "correct" placement. Others are welcome to comment as they may have better info/ideas/experience. Good luck! If you end up dead set on a cowl mount antenna, I have photos of the 1941 version of the Buick and I have a couple smaller diameter vacuum antennas reportedly from a Cadillac or early Buick. I found a repair/sales company, Acme antenna I believe in Florida, IMG_20150707_115137.jpg.5eff6ac0360b665300945a59692f142d.jpg1492251106_IMG_20150526_1826224.jpg.6f2ca83972652498c869dd8e5101cc37.jpgIMG_20150708_173403.jpg.ab2205125feb8c28c56d3ab812956f19.jpgand talked with them. They repair early vacuum ones and had some rebuilt available at the time. A person on this forum has stated rebuilding available also. Google is your friend also I guess.

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There is a good chance that the power cable was cut off due to electrical problems inside the radio.  Probably all the capacitors are dried out and need to be replaced.  If the radio is out of the car, you can open up it up and check out the electrical components, see if anyone has been in there yet replacing stuff.

 

Mark

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If you open up the radio...I'd suggest you replace the vibrator with a solid state version

Not hard to do and a SS vibrator is a big improvement

 

"PEKO"  in Florida can probably fix you up with a SS vibrator which will

work for your radio.

 

Jack Worstell

 

PS       For the radio in our 1937 Speccial...I replaced all capacitors and put in a

SS vibrator....now the radio sounds great

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thanks for all that have put their in put to my radio problem its real good info got a lot more to think about before i go ahead and delve into it. I have opened up the radio and it looks like it has never been out of the car looks like some of the tube are black on the top but my main concern was what do i need to do to get it working and you all have given me that much and more about the antenna. Thanks all this is great place to ask  

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Just because a tube is black on top does not indicate it has gone bad.  Sometimes this is actually from the first time it was powered up and not a fault.  Need a good bulb tester, like they used to have at all the drug stores.  Most likely dried out caps.

 

Mark

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7 hours ago, M1842 said:

Just because a tube is black on top does not indicate it has gone bad.  Sometimes this is actually from the first time it was powered up and not a fault.  Need a good bulb tester, like they used to have at all the drug stores.  Most likely dried out caps.

 

Mark

I remember those testers. 🙂

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