The Wal-Mart radio that came with Peer Pressure was OK from a sleeper point of view. It worked fine (once I’d added speakers) but it was a lot like a Chevette: You’d never go through the trouble of actually trying to steal it. After using it for several months, I remembered why analog tuning sucked so bad back in the day: stations went in and out of tune with alarming speed and frequency.
Thus began the replacement process. I pulled the old unit out and put it aside. A dremel wheel attached to my corded drill cut most of the hole for a DIN-9 sleeve, and an angle grinder trimmed the hole to fit. Once I’d made an allowance for the radio, I needed to get a constant power source to it in order to supply power for the memory and presets. Fortunately the new positive battery cable I’d added when the starter crapped out had a pigtail right from the terminal, so I soldered a 14 gauge wire to a male lead, fed the wire through the firewall at the heater wire, and soldered a 5-amp inline fuse to the end. Once I got everything connected to the radio, it all went back in with a snap, and I took the extra time to replace a couple of bulbs in the speedo (the ones I could reach, at least) before replacing the dash panel. Voila! Digital tuning, iPod accessibility, a CD player, and a detachable face.
It looks like I’m going to need to drop the A/C ducting in order to get anywhere near the underside of the dash, which is a drag, but I won’t miss it since it doesn’t currently work. Plans for another day…
My next short-term goal is to POR-15 the seat mounts and put a rear seat back in; I’d like to use one of the nicer benches I’ve got so that I can get the other two out of the garage, but that’s going to take an afternoon of adjusting that I don’t currently have.