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Technical radio conversion

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by jerdan, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. I am looking to convert my radio in my 53 victoria to am-fm. Can anyone tell me who would be a company to do this. What would be the estimate for this? Any info would be appreciated.
  2. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,865

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Sparkomatic used to make one, if memory serves the part number was FM10, or FM11.
    You may be able to find one on the auction sight.
    It was small and mounted under the dash.
  3. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 480


    If you want to convert the original, google antique auto radio conversion. A number of shops come up. Sit down and have a beer before you open the price list. I've had a couple done, but in today's world blue tooth speakers and your phone will be a lot cheaper.

    One example
    seb fontana likes this.
  4. Joe Mammana
    Joined: Jan 28, 2017
    Posts: 24

    Joe Mammana
    from Tucson AZ

    I had Radiobill here on the H.A.M.B. do mine and it cost a few hundred bucks but is well worth it in my opinion. Drop him a line

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    jakespeed63 likes this.

  5. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,940

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    Are you set on keeping your old radio? There is a company that builds period correct am/fm stereos for automobiles.
    Try Retrosound.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  6. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 619


    Just fit a redirad Am converter inline with the aerial and hook your phone up to it.

    Or add a hidden bluetooth amplifier under the dash somewhere [even cheaper]
    I have a 100 watt amp in my 57 Chevy
  7. Rramjet1
    Joined: Mar 13, 2018
    Posts: 74


    I was able to get a kit from a guy who became a dealer to do his own stuff. It was from an outfit in Florida. I converted the original radio in our 50 Chevy Convertible. You do need to be comfortable with some soldering and a little electronic background also helps. There are guys who will do it for you. Think they get about $450/500.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,352


    The dash I am putting in my 48 has a rebuilt stock radio in it (not Chevrolet) my plan is to have that AM radio work though it's own speaker (s) and have a hidden head unit for AM FM and CD/blutooth/USB like the Alpine in my BMW. That radio will flat blow your gal's dress up and you can plug a usb stick in it with every tune you ever recorded on it if you want. About 250 bucks plus speakers but that way the stock radio is unaltered and you can play it on an AM station for show and tell if you want to.
  9. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 747


    I'm going to be working on retrofitting Bluetooth to my factory AM radio; auto-switching via a bypass relay. Leave my phone disconnected from the Bluetooth (real easy on the top menu) and it operates as per factory, pops and crackles.
    Connect up a device that sees it as a pair of headphones and click, it disconnects the AM output to the radio's power amp and whatever my phone puts out audio-wise plays through the radio loudspeaker.

    Waiting on a new Bluetooth board to arrive in but it should be a fairly simple install. The speaker in the radio isn't bad and it's got a 4 Watt class AB1 push-pull power amplifier, about the same as a halfway decent guitar practise amp and isn't bandwidth limited that far up in the circuit. All in all it should sound pretty good.
    In-car that's not a huge limitation, I don't bother with FM any more because I can fit hours of my favorite music, organized to my taste on my phone and have it play from my pocket.
    Oh yeah, also to mention it has microphone capability so turns the original AM radio into a basic hands-free kit. No tickets for me!

    osut362 and bchctybob like this.
  10. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,573

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    A couple years ago there was a nice thread on here how to make a neat hidden bluetooth unit for not too much money, Id look for that.
  11. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,170


    If the radio works its easy to install an input jack and plug a I-Pod into it.. Those tube radios sound better then most new radios...
  12. Neb Hillbilly
    Joined: Dec 20, 2019
    Posts: 337

    Neb Hillbilly

    I added a input to the AM radio in my 70 Chevelle. I still use the AM and if I can't pick up any stations I can use my phone, Walkman, FM transistor radio, record player, etc.

    Here is an article on how to do it.
    bchctybob likes this.
  13. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,664


  14. 54delray
    Joined: Dec 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,030

    from Fremont NE

    I had mine done by S&M Electro-Tech in Blaine MN. I love it. Looks exactly stock, but is AM/FM. I passed on the the extra stuff but they can set you up to run your digital music through it. (I carry a flip phone ... its a phone)
    bchctybob and 56don like this.
  15. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 747


    I like what they've done with that, a nice upgrade.

    My handheld computer just happens to be able to make phone calls also... I'm happy to be able to use the functionality it brings; if not those conversions work really well!


    54delray likes this.
  16. Mimilan
    Joined: Jun 13, 2019
    Posts: 619


    For the technology challenged, I did an install thread about 9 months ago where we installed a bluetooth amp that was non invasive to the original system.

    Since then we have added another mod where It now has a latching door relay that switches it off when the door is opened because Chevy's don't have an accessory position on the ign switch.[we can listen to music without burning out the points/coil]

    These bluetooth Amps are so successful, we have now added 2 more in our house [powered by computer AC adaptors] and now have 2 rooms with hidden sound systems.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
    54delray likes this.
  17. shivasdad
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 550

    from Texas

    The retro sound products are okay, but I've had two customers who could not listen to AM talk radio, which was what they wanted. One was sent back under warranty but the second wasn't great. I also had a 1951 Ford radio restored by a guy in Kansas. Worked perfectly and was a few hundred. The other options with bluetooth amp, etc. are what I use for myself.
  18. donsz
    Joined: Nov 23, 2010
    Posts: 211


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