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  • 1960 Radio Problem

    bcomo called me today to say he has a radio problem he is trying to get fixed, and needs some help. He turned on his radio, the light came on, but after a few minutes he got no hiss from the radio and no sound. Now, to my knowledge, nothing has been done to the radio, as far as working on it, or anything like that. It was working. He has some questions he needs answers to.

    First of all, if the pilot light comes on when you turn the radio on, would that also indicate that there is power to the radio also? Or is the radio on a separate power lead from the light? The antenna is/was hooked up, so if the radio is working, he should have received some radio signals. However, he is not even hearing the hiss of the radio when you turn it on.

    Secondly, is the separate audio/power chassis on a separate power lead? Is it also fused? If I remember right, it hooks to the Accessory switch.

    He needs any advise you can give him on what to look for in the way of tracing out which might have gone out.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

  • #2
    Right on all counts, Ray. Think about this, when you turn on your dimmer, the radio dims with it. That means the radio switch has a stacked separate switch for the pilot light.

    The main radio power wire IS fused; normally with an inline fuseholder, very close to where the power lead enters the radio chassis. When the polymers bake out of the plastic, the fuseholder breaks all by itself. The radio draws about four amps or so.

    It's a good idea to disconnect either battery cable, before digging around under the dash. If he finds the end (which may be hot) there will be no danger of shorting wires to ground while stripping and splicing new wires.

    My '59 radio has two power transistors and about six tubes, all 12-volt. No high voltage is used. (By contrast, my '55 uses a vibrator and a transformer that kicks the voltage up to 250-Volts. Both are Motorola radiios, but what a difference four years makes in technology!
    - Dave
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Dave:

      Thanks for the reply. That all makes sense, and I'll give it an effort after the garage cools down to below 90.

      This is is a real off the wall question for anyone, but the car is parked in the garage, and I never tried the radio in the garage.

      Can anyone tell me if they get reception in a totally enclosed garage with their squarebird? I can't move it out of the garage untill tomorrow afternoon to check mine.
      Bart
      1960 Hard Top/430
      Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

      Comment


      • #4
        Is your garage all steel? I believe radio waves have no problem with wood studs and plastic siding and asphalt shingles.

        I think cement block is ok, too.

        Just a side note: I couldn't figure out what was going on with my radio until I plugged in a spare antenna. Everything came in just fine. Ok, bad antenna. I started unscrewing the original on the right fender and couldn't believe how much corrosion there was inside.

        If you permanently mount a different antenna, don't forget to "trim it in" by using that screw on the side of your radio.

        - Dave
        My latest project:
        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
        --Lee Iacocca

        Comment


        • #5
          The trimmer screw is on the bottom of the Squarebird radio - accessible by the drop out panel.

          you might make sure your antennae lead did not fall out of the back of the radio - its just a push in connection.

          The amplifier, way over on the left under the dash not far from your left knee, gets all power from the radio, and is in turn connected to the speaker. It has two power transistors in it that are critical. The radio itself has 4 tubes, easy to find. The transistors are not.

          I have a garage with steel walls and wood roof. The radio works fine there.

          John
          1958 Hardtop
          #8452 TBird Registry
          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


          photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
          history:
          http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            I changed to a new antenna, and trimmed it about a year ago. Everything was working fine when I used it last time about 1 month ago -- BUT always after I was on the road.

            Never turned the radio on when it was parked in the garage. Today is raining all day, so I can't back her out to play with the radio.

            I'll let you know what happens when I back it out. If nothing changes, then I'll try the fuse, antenna, trim.

            Thanks
            Bart
            1960 Hard Top/430
            Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

            Comment


            • #7
              you could always take an alligator clip and a long piece of wire and run it from the antennae out the door... Pick your strongest station and you ought to get something...
              1958 Hardtop
              #8452 TBird Registry
              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


              photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
              history:
              http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Bart glad to see you back on the site!!


                -Jon (above you in TX).
                sigpic
                The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                VTCI Member#6287.

                Comment


                • #9
                  1960 Radio Problem

                  I have been saying for some time when asked where the audio amplifier/power supply for the radio is located at that it is right down by your left left behind that white panel. Well, not exactly! It is actually in front of your left knee on my '59. While that panel and the lower dash panels were off today, I got down there with my camera and took some pictures. It is actually behind that lower left panel that goes over the brake handle and shaft, above the brake handle and to the left of the hood release handle, as you will see in the pictures. You can see those redone panels by looking at my interior web page. They are posted there now. Here are three pix of the amp/power supply module that should give you a better view.

                  I wonder how many of you noticed the black box to the left of the radio power chassis? It has four colored fuses in it. I did not pay any attention to it until I happened to post one of those pictures in my Interior web page showing the location of the radio power chassis! Then I noticed it. I am wondering if those of you who have owned or own Squarebirds have ever seen anything like that on your Birds? I suspect it is not factory, but something that the previous owner might have added. He had a heavy duty Xplod amplifier installed in the spare tire well in the trunk, mounted on plastic. He also had a AM/FM/CD Stereo player installed in the glove box. He had Xplod speakers sitting in the back seat. He had a lot of extra wiring for this system added to the car. I suspect what I am seeing is a fuse holder box for that stereo system. I see what looks to be some of the wire looming done recently is showing running on top of it also. There is a bar or hose or something coming down over top of that fuse holder also. In one of the other pictures it looks like a hose that has been cut off. I am wondering if that might have been going to my window washing switch, which is over on that side of the car? Ever seen anything like it on your Squarebirds? Look at the pictures. What say you?
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by YellowRose; September 15th, 2009, 03:30 PM. Reason: Additional comments.

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                  "It's Hip To Be Square"
                  Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nice photography, Ray!!

                    In his upper photo you see two round, gold colored things. Those are power transistors. I am told that there are not replacements for these should either fail . I bought a backup amp on Ebay that works as an alternative.

                    John
                    1958 Hardtop
                    #8452 TBird Registry
                    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                    photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                    history:
                    http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a chance to back it out and try the radio outside. No luck.

                      So, next thing i'll do is disconnect the battery and check the fuse, antenna, trim, and audio amp plug-in.

                      If it's not any of those, I take my pick of a radio, audio amp -- or both.

                      Thanks for the Audio Amp photos Ray. Hope that I don't have to go that far - my back is out and won't go into that position right now.

                      Hey Jon -- Good to be back here, but wish it wasn't for a broke radio.
                      Last edited by bcomo; September 9th, 2009, 07:21 PM.
                      Bart
                      1960 Hard Top/430
                      Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bcomo View Post
                        Hey Jon -- Good to be back here, but wish it wasn't for a broke radio....
                        It would almost seem as if we can never have one of these cars "fully restored". That is, there is always something that needs a little attention or detail on a T-Bird. HAHA!

                        I thought you had picked up one of those 1958-60 original AM-FM conversions radios a while back Bart?

                        -Jon
                        sigpic
                        The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

                        VTCI Member#6287.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jon, what can you tell us about original AM-FM conversion radios for these cars?? I, for one, never knew about this.
                          Got any photos??

                          thanks!
                          john
                          1958 Hardtop
                          #8452 TBird Registry
                          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                          photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                          history:
                          http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Guys,
                            Pat Wilson's Thunderbird Parts offers stock AM/FM conversions. It says, an original AM radio converted to an AM/FM radio without changing the appearance. 180 Watts. 4 channel stereo. 1958-1960, 1962-1963, 1964-1966. There is a $100.00 core charge on all conversion radios.
                            For information call (973)579-7205 or visit us at www.wilsontbird.com
                            Richard D. Hord
                            sigpic'60 Thunderbird "Christine"
                            Registry #33436

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey Jon:

                              No, I didn't do it. Main reason was that I had a perfectly good working radio (then) , and the cost. If you don't give them your radio, then the core cost of $100 as stated.
                              Bart
                              1960 Hard Top/430
                              Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

                              Comment

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