Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Factory Radios for 87-89 Ram 50/Mighty Max

  1. #1

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    08-29-2016
    Posts
    63
    Location

    Siskiyou County, CA
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B

    Factory Radios for 87-89 Ram 50/Mighty Max

    I thought I would share some pictures of some of my stock radios I have since I finally found an 87' only push button unit and there isn't much info or pictures of them online. I thought it might be good to sorta document these radios since they are part of the history of these trucks and they do sound fairly good for what they are.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20180704_185953910.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	103.8 KB 
ID:	20872
    This is a one year only push button style AM/FM with optional cassette. It is a front speaker only unit since rear speakers were optional but they did have a nearly identical unit with a fader control ring knob outside the tuning knob for 4 speaker trucks. This radio has 2 AM presets and 3 for FM. The way you switch between bands is by using these preset buttons. The presets are set like most push button radios where you pull the button out then tune the radio to the station you want to save and push the button all the way in to lock in the station. The radio i have seems a bit hit and miss as to whether or not the preset buttons will actually tune right to the saved station probably due to wear and Im not sure that the mechanism was very precise to begin with. There is also a small adjustment screw to peak the antenna on the front right next to the far right preset button.

    Will post more as soon as I can get my phone to send pictures of the 88-89 style radio :/

  2. #2

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    03-19-2016
    Posts
    262
    Location

    clarksville, arkansas
    Vehicle

    1988 Dodge D-50
    Engine

    G54B
    i got one of those sitting on a self gathering dust

  3. #3

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    08-29-2016
    Posts
    63
    Location

    Siskiyou County, CA
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Finally my dang phone is working!

    The next radio was used from 88' to 89' and is much much more common than the last one (at least it seems this way to me lol).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	88-89 radio.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	130.0 KB 
ID:	20873

    This radio seems to preform much better than the previous model with better sensitivity and selectivity thanks to its digitally controlled tuner vs the older slug tuned tuner, In fact it seems to pull in stations better than most aftermarket tuners I've used. It also eliminates the drift that the old unit had since its presets are digitally stored instead of mechanically, plus it has 5 presets per band. It also sounds better than the older unit with separate bass and treble controls plus a loudness button for bass and treble boost at higher volumes. One weak point about this radio is the seek function, it only seems to grab extremely strong stations. I have 2 or 3 of these radios and they all had problems with the small potentiometers for bass/treble and fader/balance. The small wipers inside would become detached from the plastic wheel inside of them causing all sorts of sound problems with the radio. It took some very patient micro surgery to repair but i was able to take the radios and make one good working unit that works and sounds great. Also note the plastic plug on the front of the unit, this is where the fader control would go for 4 speaker trucks.

    The tape player is the same between the two radios and since I only have one tape player I just switch it out between the two units. The tape deck sounds good and has Dolby noise reduction and a metal tape EQ. I had to replace 2 or 3 belts inside and while i was inside i completely disassembled the tape mechanism and lubed all moving parts with a bit of multi-purpose grease and it functions perfectly. I also touched up the motor speed control since it tends to drift over time.

  4. #4

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    08-29-2016
    Posts
    63
    Location

    Siskiyou County, CA
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Next I would like to talk a little bit about the wiring and mounting of the radio and what speakers work best.

    Many people have asked about how these radios are grounded and If your truck is like mine (and many were!) it didn't even come with a radio, instead it had a radio delete plate and a cubby hole below that.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20180704_191823925.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	111.8 KB 
ID:	20874

    on trucks that came with a radio there will be a heavy gauge wire with a plastic connector at one end and a ring terminal at the other. The ring terminal attaches to the bottom of the lower metal cross brace pictured and the screw head is accessible by removing the black plastic cover below the radio opening or the center console if equipped.

    one way to tell if your truck even had a radio to begin with is whether or not there are any speed clips installed where the 2 metal side brackets attach the radio to the dash. If yours didn't have a radio there will just be holes. If it had a radio but no tape player the top 2 holes will have metal speed clips installed. If it had both a radio and tape player or the radio/cassette combo unit all 4 holes will have speed clips installed.

    The speaker openings can also tell you if a radio was installed. If there is just one speed clip per opening it means your truck didn't come with a radio. The one speed clip was used to attach a small metal retainer for the speaker connector on base model trucks. If both speed clips are present it means your truck came with a stereo.

    One thing i should mention is even if you have no interest in installing an original stereo you will still want to get original mounting hardware for your aftermarket unit. this is a much better way to mount a stereo than using the cheap rectangular metal sleeve to mount your radio and will allow a cleaner looking install. If you look on the side of just about any aftermarket or factory stereo made in the last 30 years you will notice many mounting holes for different brackets, these where a somewhat standardized system used to mount radios.

    Now to talk speakers! for a stock 2 or 4 speaker setup you will want to find a speaker with 2 things: high sensitivity and wide frequency response, mostly a speaker that will go really low. I chose a pair of Boston Acoustic speakers with a sensitivity of 92db and a fairly low frequency response (I forget the number but it was something like 70hz-20khs?) and they sound pretty good for their 4" size. Remember that you will want a good quality set of speakers for the front since they are so close to your ears and they are what really sets the sound stage.

    If anyone is interested I could figure out the pin out on the back of the unit for anyone wanting an AUX input for their stock head unit? I was going to do it for mine but decided not to since I was happy with the tape player

  5. #5


    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    04-26-2011
    Posts
    250
    Location

    Charlotte, NC
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    You could also upgrade to the Top Of The Line stereo w/cassette and graphic equalizer. I have that in HotRam. It was crazy, to upgrade you had to buy the stereo thru the parts dept. and the dealer would install it and give you back the one in the truck. There was no credit given for the radio already installed. If memory serves... it was about $700.00 upgrade. Great stereo though.

  6. #6

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    07-08-2017
    Posts
    111
    Location

    Cataula , GA
    Vehicle

    1979 Dodge D-50
    Engine

    Other
    The 1979 is a one year only radio as well, the shaft functions are reversed from the 80 and up trucks. This means that the dash bezel is one year only as well because the labels are stamped in and would be backward if you put in an 80 up bezel.

  7. #7

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    01-24-2017
    Posts
    441
    Location

    New Zealand
    Vehicle

    1981 Mitsubishi L200
    Engine

    Other
    You could get an optional cassette player in 81, it mounted below theair vents. The option also came with slightly fifteens and doorcards to fit

  8. #8

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    08-29-2016
    Posts
    63
    Location

    Siskiyou County, CA
    Vehicle

    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    really? I actually saved a dash bezel from a 79' I had to scrap because it was uncut. maybe someone can use it.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •