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Thread: Trying to upgrade from AM radio ( 86 Ram 50)

  1. #1

    Join Date


    1986 Dodge Ram 50


    Trying to upgrade from AM radio ( 86 Ram 50)

    Hi, im a very visual person and new to this wiring stuff so the manuals on the forum didnt make much sense to me, im not even sure i found the right one lol.

    I have a 1986 dodge ram 50, with the AM radio that connected to a single center mounted dash speaker.

    here is the entirety of the harness that was plugged into the am radio unit

    Colors are
    Black w/red strip
    Blue w/white stripe
    Green w/white stripe

    and then the two other blacks go directly to the speaker, black and black with white stripe.

    and here is the wire diagram for the one im trying to put in now.

    The only wires that concern me are the Red, yellow and black?

    i looked everywhere online but i jsut cant find a visual guide, people have posts with what wires do what but i dont see any with as few wires as what im dealing with with my trucks radio harness.

  2. #2

    Join Date

    Adelaide, South Australia

    1985 Mitsubishi L200

    First up - welcome to mightyram rddeano. The FM stereo optioned trucks had the speakers in the doors so disregard the single centre dash speaker location. When you pull the door trims off you will find the cut outs for the speakers stamped out of the door metal. These were 4" speakers but seeming this is a complete fresh slate you can do better than that. You will either need to cut holes in your door trims for speakers or decide to make new trims if you want to go fancy shmancy.

    Blue wire-white stripe-brown band is radio/lighter power
    Green wire-white stripe-single brown band is dash illumination
    Black wire, white stripe, brown band - earth/ground (well, I used it as a ground with a test light and it worked)

    Connect the black wire to the black/white/brown - there's your negative ground wire.
    Connect the red to the blue-white double brown - there's your positive power to the head unit.
    Connect the yellow to the positive terminal from the battery with an in line fuse as shown on the installation diagram and that's your permanent power memory wire.

    There are provisions in the door jambs and the door chassis for the wiring to the door speakers so use those. Depending on the cab model you have there might be provisions for behind seat speakers. As for the actual head unit install be prepared to do some cutting to insert the single din head unit into the factory radio location. You will find heaps of information on basic stereo installs on youtube etc. This job will take you 1-2 hours depending on your skill level and whatever unforseen issues you run into. I would use an 8 pin plug like this for your speaker wires -
    Click image for larger version. 

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    *edit - the black wire you can ground to the metal chassis of the dash frame and you will need to also ground the metal casing of the replacement head unit to the chassis as well. Some stereos like shitty Pioneer head units can malfunction and die if the HU chassis isn't well grounded...
    Last edited by geezer101; 04-04-2016 at 02:04 PM.

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