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New 1991 Buick Reatta Radio not functioning.


PaulP117
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Posted (edited)

Hey all, this is my first post so I hope I'm doing it correctly. This is something I've been trying real hard to figure out on my own but just have not been successful at all and am in need of help from someone with a bit more Reatta knowledge then me. I have had my 1991 Reatta for about three years and the radio for the most part worked fine, then eventually the cassette tape deck got stuck because a tape within it refused ejection and caused it to malfunction with no chance of ejection or removal even gently using pliers. After removing the radio and disassembling it completely to remove the tape and then putting it back together it still from then on thought there was a tape still inside it and would click when i powered on the radio and i'd be unable to stop it and just use the radio at all. So, after this i simply gave up on it and just went without a radio for a while. During that time the screen for the radio still lit up and operated as it should, until recently. I purchased a refurbished radio module with bluetooth and then the cassette tape deck to replace my faulty one from a trustworthy source online so i could just replace the whole thing and have an operating radio again. After installing the new radio, the screen no longer lit up at all and i have not been able to get anything to operate, I've powered it on and off while attempting to hit FM or AM to see if maybe just the display wasn't operational, but nothing seems to operate and i wont get any sound from the speakers. So, I re installed the old module and cassette tape deck to see if the screen still worked, but the screen on the old radio has also stopped working with no sign of operation besides the same constant clicking due to the cassette tape deck still thinking it had a tape inside it that it had done previously after removing the stuck tape. To me the odds of both the new radio system and the old one being faulty is very low and i do trust East Coast Reatta parts to send one that's operational so i'm confident the module and deck do work i just have a wiring issue somewhere. I've replaced both fuses correctly and in the correct locations and still nothing. So, right now the point I'm at is just not knowing where to go really. My only idea is trying to test the wiring at the connectors. But i have no idea what connectors to test or what I'd even need to see specification wise as being good for each wire. I do have a DMM that i can use to check for voltage, resistance and etc. but I'm just at a loss from lack of information on the 1991 Reatta's wiring, i cant find any good diagrams on this particular system so im stuck without any idea of what colors mean what or what each connector even operates or does. If anyone has any diagrams or any other idea of what i can do to try and fix or track down the issue I'd appreciate whatever help i can get

Edited by PaulP117 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Wiring diagrams are in the Factory Service Manual, usually available on eBay. Radio is in section 9A/Radio inop on 9A-19 That said the first check should be for 12v dc. Here is where to start:

91rad.jpg.dd01d27217f9ba14969f060012335349.jpg

BTW Happy Happy Joy Joy. Bishko now has the 1991 Reatta service manual on searchable CD. Can other years be far behind ? All years of Allante are available now.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, PaulP117 said:

i do trust East Coast Reatta parts to send one that's operational so i'm confident the module and deck do work i just have a wiring issue somewhere. I've replaced both fuses correctly and in the correct locations and still nothing. So, right now the point I'm at is just not knowing where to go really.

Seems like a little bit of service after the sale should be in order. Have you tried to contact them? Marck knows these cars really well and he may know what you need to do to solve your problem.

 

Now for my 2 cents... Wiring is rarely a problem in situations like you describe. If I were you I would figure out how to disconnect the tape deck and see if the radio works properly with it disconnected. I don't know much about a '91 but the radio on my '88 will not function when the tape deck is clicking. (Mine is broken to.)

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BTW the 90-91 radio is modular and has the same radio/amp module as the 88-89. Still think nothing lighting up sounds like a lack of 12v.

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1 minute ago, padgett said:

Still think nothing lighting up sounds like a lack of 12v.

That one paragraph was so long I guess I got lost and missed the part about nothing lighting up.

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1 hour ago, Ronnie said:

Seems like a little bit of service after the sale should be in order. Have you tried to contact them? Marck knows these cars really well and he may know what you need to do to solve your problem.

 

Now for my 2 cents... Wiring is rarely a problem in situations like you describe. If I were you I would figure out how to disconnect the tape deck and see if the radio works properly with it disconnected. I don't know much about a '91 but the radio on my '88 will not function when the tape deck is clicking. (Mine is broken to.)

Oh yeah my apologies for the long start off to the threat, just wanted to make sure there wasn't any odd detail i might have missed being to blame. Anyways yeah Marck has been a really huge help so far which i am grateful for and i honestly thought i was waiting on a response from him to see if he had a diagram i could try to use, but after i double checked this morning after i made this post i saw a response that i missed, which is my bad. But sadly the diagram didn't seem to correspond to my system anyways with a lot of the wires not being identifiable or even on the diagram at all. So just off luck was i was able to find a diagram that so far matches my systems wiring up well. Using it i did end up checking power at the fuses as well as the power input wire at the connector just in case while i was in there and it is getting around 12-13 volts at each place so i think your right that it might not be a wiring issue as well as saying that maybe i should figure out the best way to test the radio and cassette tape deck itself, since it appears to be getting fed proper voltage. 

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OK with power and a good ground it should at least light up. The circuit is in 8A-150. Hopefully you ordered the manual.

91rad.jpg.f8ded02b7bff91a8ac186619338fdfe6.jpg

 

 

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Sadly the antenna hasn't been operational since i got the car, even when the radio did function and i never gave much thought to troubleshoot the antenna. And funny enough those ambient lights for the radios buttons that you can dim and brighten with that slider do 100% work and light up but only those buttons will illuminate and the screen display and such still is inoperable. 

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Kind of off the wall but do you have all the plugs plugged in and if so in the correct place. It is a bit tight behind the radio and you shouldn't be able to plug in the wrong place, but still...

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  • 1 month later...
19 minutes ago, minor4326 said:

several speakers are not working in my pristine 20k miles car

Paper cones in the speakers are probably rotten and have disintegrated. Happens with age no matter the mileage. 

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On 7/31/2022 at 12:53 PM, minor4326 said:

Is there a nationally recognized person or company who repairs the 1991 radio units? My sound is flaky and several speakers are not working in my pristine 20k miles car. 

First replace the speakers, then move on to the radio if needed.  On the 90/91 it is often just the speakers. 

 

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It does sound like you have bad speakers.   A side comment would be the radios are know to have capacitor failures on the audio output. 

This can affect the sound/volumn.   I had one that would play fine then a loud POP and all sound went away,  it would then slowly increase in volumn as if you were going from nothing and turning up the volumn.  I they might sound fine for another hour before repeating the process. 

This should not be a problem on yours since it has been rebuilt/reconditioned. 

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