Aftermarket radios & systems


zadar

New member
I have a 1983 westie and am looking to upgrade the soundsystem. the biggest problem I am encountering is a sutable in dash CD head unit that will fit the vanagons unique radio dimensions. has anyone delt with this? can the standered DIN setup be made to fit? right now I have no radio so this is my winter project.

any advice with amps/speakers will be appreaciated thanx...johnny t
 

nosliwmit

New member
I recently installed a Kenwood head unit (AM/FM/Cassette/CD Changer Controller) in the factory dash cut-out ('87 Westy) with no issues whatsoever. I don't remember the model number, but it came with the sheet metal "cage" that you slip into the cut-out and bend the tabs to hold in place. There wasn't any excess depth to the dashboard, but it fit just fine. Fortunately there are any number of places to install a changer if you so desire. Cable length can be an issue though...

Good Luck.
 

KeithHay

New member
When I bought my 87 the guy that I bought it from had installed a Blaupunkt Santa Monica. It fits nicely into the original housing. SOrry I cannot offer more help on how to put it in.

Cheers-
keith
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred from old Archives.

I just put a cheap Blaupunkt CD player (CN$96) in an '81 westy with Radio Shack Minimus 7 speakers that are a few years old. I get great bass and reasonable highs. For a minimal amount of $$ you can get a decent sound. There use to be a subwoofer that fit under your seat for those of us who like to use their back seat if a sub is really the answer. Or for the handyman, make an air tight 1 cubic foot enclosure/coffee cup holder that fits between the front seats. Use a 8" sub and pick up a amp that drives about 100-200 watts and you should get the bass, you and everyone else in a 100 foot radius will need.

S'funny - all those years when I had beaters my stero was worth more than the car. Now I have the Eurovan and I'm happier than a pig in s ... except for the mediocre stereo. I yanked it and fitted a fancier Blaupunkt (maintaining those ethnic ties) and replaced the speakers and guess what? Mediocre sound. So I threw the old one back in.

The point? I like my music and it kills me having to suffer with distortion and no bass. I want to maintain the ambience of the Eurovan, so would rather not cut holes in the door skins and install bigger speakers. So what's a poor boy to do? Sub-woofer? Where does everyone else hide their speakers?
Any ideas? Any comments?

Capt. Mike: Did you ever consider it might not be the stereo, but the fantastic acoustics of a 15' square metal box. I've got a fancy MoPar stereo in my Dodge Ram with the Cummins; mediocre. I've got a much older, cheaper mono Blaupunkt AM/FM/SW in a Porsche; nice. My wife has an equivelent Becker in a Benz; great. My '90 Vanagon with factory Blaupunkt sound great -- parked! Even with tough classic or new age. The radio is capable; speakers are but a small part of the equation. A concert hall, the VW ain't.

Of course cubic dollars and mega-watts taking up half your cargo space might compensate. Or you can get a Sony Walkman for $29.95.
 
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G

Guest

Guest
It's time to start thinking about putting a stereo into that hole in my dash on my '70 Westy. Fortunately, my dash is pristine, with no modifications. The stereo/radio hole is just as the day it left the factory. Unfortunately, this hole is not the standard DIN size. It is much smaller.

I do not want to "destroy" my dash by hacking the edge off the radio hole to accomodate a standard size stereo. Does anyone out there have a solution to this problem? I am especially looking for a decent CD (or tape) player unit that will fit the existing hole. I've looked at several car stereo retail stores (and one mail order) and none of these guys seem to know of any manufacturer that has a model this size. Thanks...
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
The hole IS a standardized size and numerous radios fit the hole without modifications beyond the installation kit materials. Blaupunkt makes several. Crutchfield lists several though most are about 1/8" deeper than "factory specs" but that isn't a problem with installation.
 

vanis13

New member
I just had great success installing a JVC (model KDS-670)4 x 45W in-dash cd/radio in my '83 westy.

I pulled it off the clearance rack a the local electronics supper store for $115 ($250 retail). It was called some special term for the type of mounting I now forget, but the point of that mounting was that it had the little rubber knob on the back that inserts into the metal bracket that is attached under the little grill on the dash just above the ashtray. The radio guy said it is the common mounting for european cars. It even has a smaller than credit card remote so is can be controlled from the back of the bus and I can channel surf while having my hand on my lap while driving instead of being hunched forward to reach the buttons.

It installed very quickly I only had to square off the radiused edges on the dash cut out. Works very well even with factory speakers (of course i only have one r. speaker operating since i havent gotten to installing the second ground wire).
 

tonynbarb

New member
I have an 87 westy. I took it an electronic store to have a new cd player installed and figured since I was there to have them install 2 new front speakers as one was bad. Upon looking at it they informed me that they didnt have any compatible speakers as they didnt have flush mounted covers. I ended up taking the bad speaker out myself and I used a hot knife of to cut the tabs and remove the speaker from inside of the case. I bought a 3 1/2 inch speaker for a couple of bucks and bent the corners so it would fit in. I used 2 sided tape ( the kind you use to hang pics) and stuffed the edges so it wouldnt move.
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

Front speaker mods

wanderinwesty Junior Member # 3690 posted 03-28-2002 12:12 AM

well, I have been trying to figure out what to do about this for a while now, some of you may turn your noses up at me, but i am happy with the results. I took out the speakers, and took a dremel to the hole housing (all that's left is the flush grill) I had to drill into the metal for mounting the new speakers. I used clarion 6.5 component speakers. I tossed the grills that came with the new speakers, and glued the factory grill back to the door panel. By the looks of things, you cant tell a thing, until I turn it on! WOW what a difference!
 

3boltsshy

New member
what speakerset up is good in 71 westy im thinking 1 in dash center,1 in each door,now will that give good sound with a nice headunit. im need help on decisions.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I have an 86 Vanagon GL (Westie of course). I just replaced the factory stereo/cassette with a Blaupunkt San Diego with great results. It did require a minor bit of rewiring but the instalation person had no difficulties. New speakers are next month.
 

Garyo

New member
I have two cube speakers screwed to the underside on the overhead cabinet just behind the rear seat and two 6" round speakers mounted in cutouts I made in the cardboard covers that between the underside of the dash and the floor. Sounds great and looks great too.
(IMHO)
Regards,
Gary
 

icarus

Moderator
Since I hae been too cheap to change out the original radio/cassete deck in my '86 syncro, I have been using a sony disc man with a tape converter. That worked ok, but the rats nest of wires,,,

The tape player started trying to switch tape direction all the time so I had to stick a match stick in the change button to get it to play,,,

I found a very acceptable (and quite inexpensive solution. Since the radio works fine and sound ok, given the fact that it is a noisy car I looked at alternatives. There is a small radio unit that plugs into the line out of the disc man. You then tune your fm radio to one of three freqs and it plays beautifly. No tape player noise no rats nest of wires, and no expensive change out of the radio. Apple makes a product to plug into your i-pod that will also work with a disc man. The one I bought was from "I-rock" cost about $25.00. It uses 2 aaa batteries and runs for about 20 hours. I go through a few batteries on a long trip, but no agrivation.

Icarus
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Actually, that solution has been around for many years. I bought an FM line-out transmitter back in the early 70s (in Japan and before they were available in the US) and would then put on a long-playing tape (back in the 10½ reel-to-reel days that would be 6-8 hours) and sit by the pool. More than a few would ask about my radio station that never had commercials!
 
I just installed a JVC K-DS680 wich is a current model with DIN standard mounting kit and the little rubber "plug" that fits into the whole in the support bracket (under hash-tray)and took me just about 45 minutes with the help of the Bentley as the speaker location vs wirring is listed
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Transferred to consolidate same topic.

Alan Ruffalo Member posted August 26, 2003 01:50 PM

I dumped my Blau radio and went with a close out JVC am/fm cassette with a 12 disk separately mounted CD changer. I bought it for $200.00 from West Marine about one year ago. I mounted the CD changer remote in one of those passenger seat knapsack like units that hang on the backside of the seat. You can pop it out for security in 30 seconds for security. I then ran the single wire for it down the side of the passenger seat and under the carpet up under the dashboard to connect with the radio. The whole system works so well that I went back and bought another one for my 30 foot Catalina sailboat. The only thing that I don't like about it is that it does not have a handheld remote. So, you have to manually skip over the songs that you don't like. I just noticed that Sylvania has a vertical mount DVD player advertised in this weekends Sunday newspaper Target add for $119.00. I would like to install a swing down plasma screen to watch while camping. I am presently using a 700 watt vector power inverter on my spare battery and running a 12 volt/110 volt VHS to a 12 volt/110 volt TV. The vector invertor allows 4 hours of run time on one of those red palstic jumper batteries that you buy from Sam's Club for about $50.00.

Alan Ruffalo
88 Westy
 

BiggittyBalls

New member
I have a 1980 Vanagon. I'm working on putting new audio components in it. I just got a new amp and I'm having trouble trying to figure out how to install it. I want to put it inside the cabinet under the back bench. The only problem is securing it. If I was to drill through the floor under the cabinet to put the screws in will I drill into anything that could cause a problem? I'm thinking something like 1 1/2" screws at the most. Any help is appreciated.
 

calden

New member
Hey all:
I'm looking to upgrade the sound system in my 91 Westfalia Vanagon. When I bought it I replaced the radio with a cassette deck rated at about 20 wx4, and replaced the door speakers with beefier models, but did no cutting to install larger ones.

Here's what I'd like to get from a new unit, and would really welcome suggestions as to power ratings and brands and models:

CD deck
MUCH more volume

I don't think I need super high-fidelity sound because, well, it's a Vanagon and has wind noise and road noise. I DO want more volume and bass, so when it's cranked up on the freeway I get more than midrange. In looking around I see several mid-priced CD decks that are rated at 35-50 wx4, and wonder if that would be enough of a power difference to drive better speakers and make a difference from what I have. Or....would I need a subwoofer.

THanks for any ideas,
Carlos Alden
 

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