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Radio Options -- DIN-Type Conversion

Radio Options -- DIN-Type Conversion

Dan Fitch asks:

Can the DIN format radios be made to fit in the two-knob space? I'm adept at light machine work and can make the necessary modifications to the face, but worry about room under the climate control unit. Also, I remember reading that the newer Jags have a sub-woofer under the back seat, to expand the range of the door speakers. Is it true? Full of questions and grateful for any of your thoughts on this.

Gunnar Helliesen

I think I detailed my experiences with this a while back, but I'd be glad to repeat the story.

I'm not sure about an '82, but on my '86 the opening in the dash already was DIN shaped (although it was a very tight fit).

I've just completed my system, so here's the story of what I did:

I knew the original Clarion radio/cassette had to go, so I asked the list for instructions on how to get it out. Turned out to be not too difficult, remove the climate control knobs and pull the face plate off (carefully, minding the fiber optics). Pull four plastic rivets with a pair of pliers and pull the radio out. Note that even though this radio was clearly original (it had a Leaper on the cassette lid) it was not a "two-knob" unit, it was more like a DIN unit.

Then I went shopping. One Pioneer radio/CD player, two 2x100W Jensen amps, one split filter, four 4" Macrom door speakers, one 10" Macrom sub-woofer in a custom made box and an assortment of wires, fuses, connectors and a Hella relay.

I decided to put the amps under the passenger seat and the sub-woofer in the trunk. So with the original radio out of the way I started routing the wires. I decided to keep the original speaker wires in the doors so first I lengthened them from behind the dash to under the passenger seat where the amps live. I then routed a heavy power wire for the amps from the battery to under the passenger seat. I put a 60A fuse on this wire, 4" from the battery (important!). I routed a wire from the amps to the trunk for the sub-woofer. The Pioneer radio/CD player has a low-gain output so I routed a wire for this from behind the dash to the amps.

Finally, the power antenna trigger lead (blue wire) on the Pioneer was marked "max 300mA" so I had to rig a relay to protect it (it now triggers not only a power antenna but two amps as well). Blue lead from radio to post 86, trigger wire to antenna and amps from post 87a, post 85 to ground and ignition controlled 12V to post 30.

Getting the new radio in with all these new wires behind it was quite a challenge as the room in the dash for the radio is very cramped.

Next for the speakers. Getting to the door speakers is an adventure in itself but I knew I had to replace them. I didn't want to cut or alter the interior in any way so I replaced them with the same size as the original speakers, 4".

The 10" sub-woofer was installed in a wooden box clad with gray carpet and put in the trunk, up against the rear seat.

The low-gain output from the radio was connected to the input of both amps. The speakers in the front doors were connected to the output of one amp, making sure to turn on the low pass filter disabling all signal below 125Hz (since these small speakers can't handle bass). The output from the second amp was connected to a split filter, sending the signal below 125Hz to the sub-woofer and the signal above 125Hz to the speakers in the rear doors.

Not an ideal system (a bit lacking in the mid-range) but a lot better than the original. Apart from the faceplate of the radio (which is very discrete, Pioneer DEH 760) and the sub-woofer in the trunk (which is removable) it looks completely stock and required no cutting in the interior or other modifications of the car.

David J. Shield

I did this on my '84 XJ6. I installed a Blaupunkt in-dash CD player/receiver where the factory radio/cassette was. You need to enlarge the hole a little. I took the original mounting plates and drew on it the outline of the DIN radio, and then used a "nibbling tool" to carefully enlarge the opening. Be careful that the new radio/faceplate will cover the opening and not let any bare metal show. I was extremely careful, and when I was done the installation looked factory. The connectors are a hassle, of course, since the factory connector and the one on the new unit are nothing alike - you can't just plug it in. Get a new connector that'll mate with the new radio unit and either replace the old Jaguar connector with it, or splice it in parallel with the old one - if you want to ever re-install the factory radio. The big problem with the second method (splicing the new connector across the old connector) is that they together take a lot of room behind the radio, and there isn't much room there. My bias would be don't bother with making the retrofit possible - you probably wouldn't ever put the old radio back.

You'll love the new sound. Dunno about the subwoofer - my '84 didn't have it.

Paul Gover

DIN format fits; you have to trim the aluminium panel with the air-con controls, and the steel mounting plate behind it. I used a pair of tin snips. It's one of those straight-forward jobs that ought to go OK providing you take reasonable care. DIN radios come with, or you can get separately, a metal sleeve to fill the gap between the old size hole and the slightly smaller DIN radio; you bend metal tabs to lock it in place.

You will probably find you get a new plug assemble, which is an opportunity to tidy up the rats' nest of cables lurking behind the radio. If it's not already attached, the large earthing strap is, I believe, intended for the radio.

Modern radios tend to want three control wires: one for the aerial motor (already there, but totally useless with the usual stuck aerial!), one unswitched power for the memory and security functions, and one switched lighting for the indicator lamps or whatever; you can get the unswitched power and the switched lighting by connecting to the clock leads which are conveniently placed just above the radio.

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