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What Minuit knows about stock Jeep radios

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I see the connectors now. They're the "good ones" - it's a direct fit for an 86 or 87 truck, or I make harness adapters to put it in any non-ZJ Jeep up to 1996 or repair a hacked harness. Should have no problem letting go of it especially if it works well (these are generally pretty reliable)
 
Fun fact: I have literally never got my hands on an AMC radio that failed to turn on. Some had other weird stuff going on but they all at least worked.

I don't know if it works, but I'd imagine so since it was still in the junkyard Jeep.
I would definitely be interested in some work do to it or another OEM radio if you ever got around to doing the Bluetooth add on.


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2 hours ago, TheDude said:


 if you ever got around to doing the Bluetooth add on.

Sorry to rain on your hopes and dreams, but I can't and won't be offering Bluetooth pre-installed in a radio. As to why, it's complicated. The truth of the matter is that a $13 dongle you can get on Amazon performs just as well as the Bluetooth installed in my radios. I and a number of customers have had excellent luck with just plugging in a Bluetooth dongle to the aux jack.

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Sorry to rain on your hopes and dreams, but I can't and won't be offering Bluetooth pre-installed in a radio. As to why, it's complicated. The truth of the matter is that a $13 dongle you can get on Amazon performs just as well as the Bluetooth installed in my radios. I and a number of customers have had excellent luck with just plugging in a Bluetooth dongle to the aux jack.


While I don't doubt the quality of either, I just would like something less noticeable.

So you have no interest in this radio then?

I'd not I'll probably just toss it up on eBay for someone to enjoy.


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I have a bluetooth dongle plugged into my AUX port and it's all hidden behind the dash. :thumbsup:  (except for the charging cable)

 

 

26219942_2072444466104294_5520199083543276195_n.jpg

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On 2/18/2018 at 2:35 AM, TheDude said:

 


While I don't doubt the quality of either, I just would like something less noticeable.

 

 

 

I'd like one like this.  

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r54ylpHl.jpg

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Dun-dun-dun-dun... the myth, the legend. The Mopar 82300393 CD player. Also offered as a pull-out version (-0392) and as a Chrysler-labeled version for other vehicles in the lineup (-0394).

 

Type: AM/FM/CD(!!!)

Display: LCD with green backlight

Years: Available 1994-1996, possibly produced in one run in 1993.

Manufacturer: Mitsubishi

Power: 18Wx2

 

Distinguishing features:

- It plays them newfangled Compact Discs

- The only Jeep radio that you can probably make a serial number registry for

- 6 AM, 12 FM station presets

- The weirdest volume-balance-fader knob ever (on some examples)

 

Not surprisingly, there is very little information out there about these due to their extreme rarity. Internally, they share a significant number of parts with the RX-173, and the internal layout is what I would describe as "an RX-173 run through a blender" - lots of surface-mount components are used, and we are beginning to see more advanced features than on previous analog radios. Unfortunately, these have a lot of problems - the faceplates are quite fragile, the power supply is fragile, the FM tuner requires removal for any service and likes to mute itself, and I'm pretty sure the CD player mechanism is impossible to find parts for, although the construction is very similar to some 1990s Mitsubishi decks. Build quality is a touch below the more mainstream Mitsubishi-made Jeep radios. Their rarity was no doubt helped by their price - roughly $300 in 1994 - about $500 in today's money.

 

My current estimates give a production number of approximately 1200 based on a very close grouping of observed serial numbers, with the 4 units I have personally examined being within 800 serial numbers - including two units 13 serial numbers apart. I have acquired one for myself, and I will be restoring it, adding auxiliary input, and installing it in my '91.

 

One production variation I have seen that makes absolutely no sense is the volume knob, which seems to vary without rhyme or reason. Some have a volume knob with a white tick mark, while others are unmarked. 3070927 has a tick mark, and 3070914 doesn't. 

 

If you own an 82300393, consider sharing the serial number! I would like to get as many serial numbers together as possible to determine a total production number.

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3 hours ago, dos0711 said:

I have a RX-173 that the cassette is playing dead on...any ideas?

Here's my canned answer for any cassette related problems on these.

 

The cassette mechanisms in these radios are overcomplicated, unreliable, and overall extremely annoying to work with. They have roughly 100 parts, about 5 different failure points, they are next to impossible to disassemble, and the parts just do not exist. I would estimate that about 25% of the radios I get in have a cassette mechanism that works. The only problems that can really be fixed on them are speed adjustment, and if the tape loading mechanism cycles constantly.

 

As to what you can do... if you find a parts radio, you could swap the cassette player over. The RX-173 mechanism is specific to that model of radio. I do not have parts on hand to fix them. Ultimately, my answer to "how do I play cassettes with my Jeep factory radio" is to digitize your cassettes.

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Ok so the cassette mech comes out. My next question is how do you disable the AM side of the radio? I didn't see a method in earlier posts...

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1 hour ago, Old man with MJ said:

How about a Jeep Liberty radios in a Comanche, RB1 model?

 

Would be very cool, but would require constructive surgery stuffing this 1.5 - DIN unit into the 1 - DIN MJ hole. Here's one in a later 1.5 DIN XJ:

 

 

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4 hours ago, Old man with MJ said:

How about a Jeep Liberty radios in a Comanche, RB1 model?

 

 

I actually went the other way and put an old MJ radio in my Liberty. :L:  with a Minuit-built AUX jack so I can play tunes from my phone.  

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8 hours ago, dos0711 said:

Ok so the cassette mech comes out. My next question is how do you disable the AM side of the radio? I didn't see a method in earlier posts...

I would have been perfectly happy to discuss this with you in private until I started finding copies of my radios on eBay. I do not divulge this information except to very highly trusted individuals.

 

4 hours ago, Old man with MJ said:

How about a Jeep Liberty radios in a Comanche, RB1 model?

Other than the cutting, I'm pretty sure those need a serial bus connection to work. I stick to stock or stock-like installations so I'm probably not the right guy to answer this. Just looking at a 1.5DIN Chrysler radio, you'd have to do some major cutting to the dash to make it even fit, let alone make it look good. As for the wiring, everything would be relatively easy other than the serial bus.

 

15 minutes ago, RustyRodder said:

Dang, I'd love that factory disc player.  Was apparently one on E-bay last week, but no pictures and seemed shady...

They pop up every now and then. You've gotta be on your toes because the people who know they exist snap them up very quickly.

 

Speaking of the CD player, it's here and it's a mess - but it does have the mounting bracket! I'll be working on it off and on during downtime. You guys are gonna cringe when I show you the number the previous owner did on the wiring...

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1 hour ago, Minuit said:

Speaking of the CD player, it's here and it's a mess - but it does have the mounting bracket!

 

The standard MJ radio bracket will work, but it's a PITA getting it to sit right in the hole. I've got a template that works pretty well if anyone needs it down the road.

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Time to fill the list out a little bit, with some of the less popular old stuff.

3238861 / 8936000033

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Type: AM/FM/Cassette
Display: Vacuum fluorescent
Years: 1983-1985
Manufacturer: Mitsubishi
Power: 13Wx2 RMS at 8 ohms.
 
Features: 
5 station memory per band
Compatible with four speakers
Mechanical tape loading and ejection, using the same design as the RX-141 and RX-161.
 
Pros:
- A shaft radio with surprisingly good specs, equivalent to the RX-161.
- The internal circuitry seems quite repairable, although it is very tight due to the small chassis.
 
Cons:
- Common-negative speaker wiring (negative wire shared between front and rear speakers of each channel)
- Uses entirely different connectors than later radios.
- Shaft mounting, so an adapter plate will need to be used to install it in a later dash.
 
Not considered worthy of an actual model name for some reason, the 3238861 is what you get when you put an RX-161 into a hydraulic press and smash it until it's as small as it can possibly be. This is the radio used in the 1984 and 1985 Grand Wagoneer, and was optional on the AMC Eagle and various other AMC and Renault products. By this point, the twin shaft style of chassis was being stretched to its limits, and it shows. This isn't your daddy's mono AM shaft radio, and I suspect one in good working order will make you quite happy.

 

AR-7600

8956001980 / 8956001843 / 8982200408 / 8936001430 / 8936001520

o1baBkjl.jpg

Type: AM/FM
Display: Mechanical tuning dial
Years: 1986-1987
Manufacturer: Mitsubishi
Power: 13Wx1 RMS at 8 ohms.
 
Features: 
5 station memory
Manual AM and FM tuning
Tone control
 
Pros:
- Very good AM and FM reception
- Uncomplicated, and easy to keep running
 
Cons:
- Mono sound only, and the speaker connector is only pinned up for two speakers
- Grounded negative speaker terminal (+ signal and ground, rather than + and - signals).
- Does not use the Jeep/Eagle factory connector - uses two separate plugs for power and speakers, so an adapter will need to be used to install this into a post-1987 vehicle.
 
The AR-7600 is fairly common by the standards of AMC radios, but in 2019 there aren't many reasons other than nostalgia to install one in your vehicle. This radio was used as one of the base options in just about everything AMC was shoving DIN-sized radios into, and is quite easy to find on the used market. If you want the best possible FM reception, this seems like a good candidate. Without any antenna plugged in, I could still pick up radio stations from surprisingly far away easily using this radio. Plus, it's just fun to use. The radio presets are stored mechanically - pull the button out and push it back in to save the current station.
 
One fringe benefit of mechanically tuned radios is that they can pick up any radio station from 530-1610 kHz and from 88-108 MHz, no matter what frequency. This may be of interest in Europe, as most European countries have more closely spaced radio stations than North America.

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2 hours ago, Minuit said:
Not considered worthy of an actual model name for some reason, the 3238861 is what you get when you put an RX-161 into a hydraulic press and smash it until it's as small as it can possibly be.

 

:roflmao:

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Do you need another to add to your collection? No sure if it works. It wasn't in the truck when I bought it. I will gladly UPS it to you if you would like it. Just send me a PM and send Pete whatever it's worth.

IMG_20190212_204025173.jpg.cf0c0fbe0c3904f85c41b2154f27669a.jpg

IMG_20190212_204046197.jpg.a2acea223d845081fb0da448a0642140.jpg

 

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Since we've exhausted most of the "normal" Jeep and AMC radios (and certainly the common ones), we'll have to move on to some weirder stuff. I hope you guys are ready for something a little bit out of the ordinary, because I have exactly that in the pipeline. Check this space in a week or two for weird stuff.

 

If anyone is curious, here are the ones I know I'm missing:

 

- Korean-built copies of the AR-7650 and RX-135, sometimes found with the '88-'96 connector and "Jeep" stenciled on the front rather than the AMC triangle. I have examples of both, but neither are currently working. To add it to the list, I'd really prefer to have a working example to play with and a service manual. Cliffs: I don't really suggest using these.

- The AMC AM-only radio, the AR-3900 and AR-3800.

- The AMC AM-FM stereo radios with manual tuning, the AR-7550 (1985) and AR-something (1986-1987)

- The '84 and '85 XJ DIN-style shaft radios, the RX-758 and RX-752 and maybe some others. I have an RX-758 belonging to a CC member in for repair right now and a service manual, so this one is probably next.

- I intend to make separate entries for the 1985 versions of all AMC radios at some point, rather than wrapping them up into the entries for the '86-'87 versions.

- Anything else I'm forgetting.

 

 

 

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As a side note, for some radios, I have access to some more detailed information such as signal-to-noise ratios, AM-FM tuner sensitivity, and some other things depending on the model. Would that be of interest to anyone if I posted it up with the rest of the info, or would it just be clutter?

 

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3 hours ago, Pete M said:

would this info help make a better decision about which to use? 

Maybe, but probably not really. The numbers aren't very surprising and are what you'd expect. The newer radios have slightly better specs pretty much across the board.

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