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Old 09-28-2016, 06:53 PM   #1
b79holmes
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'90 factory radio

I recently acquired 1990 Suburban with the original AM/FM radio. I turn it on and it behaves normally, all the volume adjustments and balances seem to work, but the radio won't receive any signal. It seems like the antenna isn't connected, or something.

I plan on taking it out of the dash next weekend to try and figure out what's wrong. Any tips or suggestions about removing it and diagnosing the problem? Could the radio itself be broken internally?

The truck has 260,000 miles and is almost totally stock, so I guess anythings possible.

Thanks,
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:15 PM   #2
lsversaw
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Re: '90 factory radio

If you can get another antenna, even a cheapie, try plugging it in to see if it makes a difference. You may be able to get in there to unplug the original and plug in the substitute without having to take the radio out.

If it appears that the antenna is at fault, you may be able to fix it without buying a new one. The only things that can go wrong are the connections: the secure connection of the antenna base to the mounting brackets and/or sheet metal, and the connection of the (good, uncut, undamaged) cable to the antenna base and radio.

Please post what you find out after the next step.
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1972 C20 long-wide. 350/350, Cheyenne Super, wood bed, PS, PB, dual batteries, dual tanks, leaf springs, gauges. No significant rust. No significant paint.
1971 C10 short step. Originally a 250/3ott with no options, now a 350/4L80. I purchased it already restored; only needs about 300 little details fixed.
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Old 09-30-2016, 08:41 AM   #3
b79holmes
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Re: '90 factory radio

Checking out the fuses and pressing them all in to make sure they were in place correctly and the radio starts working! Very screwy jumping stations and playing two stations at once but that seems to be the radio itself at this point.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:17 PM   #4
b79holmes
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Re: '90 factory radio

How the heck do we detach the antenna from the back of the radio?
Bill
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:14 PM   #5
lsversaw
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Re: '90 factory radio

Bill, the antenna onnection should be a round black cable, about 1/4" diameter, going into the back of the radio. It should pull directly out without release any latch or lock. If the is no such critter attached to the radio...maybe that's the problem!

If you post a pic of your radio (the easy way, from the front), I can probably be more specific about where the antenna cable enters the radio.
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1972 C20 long-wide. 350/350, Cheyenne Super, wood bed, PS, PB, dual batteries, dual tanks, leaf springs, gauges. No significant rust. No significant paint.
1971 C10 short step. Originally a 250/3ott with no options, now a 350/4L80. I purchased it already restored; only needs about 300 little details fixed.
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Old 10-02-2016, 06:48 PM   #6
b79holmes
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Re: '90 factory radio

Okay we got it.

We are looking to get it refurbished because the tuner won't respond to the controls and buttons. It changes channels by itself.

We found M&R in Michigan but does anyone have any other recommendations for a re-builder of radios?

Thanks,
Bill
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:04 AM   #7
Bigdav160
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Re: '90 factory radio

Does the radio head get the antenna or does it plug into the amplifier box under the dash? I've had to replace those boxes before. I usually just bought used though.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:05 PM   #8
lsversaw
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Re: '90 factory radio

Bill, I restore and rebuild radios but I generally only work on the analog radios that were used up through the 70's or so. You might try Downtown Radio of Denver... but I'm not sure they are still in business.

I think it might be cheaper and easier to find a known-good used radio (eBay? Google?). Some would tell you to put a new aftermarket radio in there, but my preference is not to remove original stuff unless removal/replacement is consistent with character of the truck. Reasonable minds may disagree...
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Scott
1972 C20 long-wide. 350/350, Cheyenne Super, wood bed, PS, PB, dual batteries, dual tanks, leaf springs, gauges. No significant rust. No significant paint.
1971 C10 short step. Originally a 250/3ott with no options, now a 350/4L80. I purchased it already restored; only needs about 300 little details fixed.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:17 AM   #9
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Re: '90 factory radio

Bigdav, I believe hat Bill's radio is the generation prior to the 3-piece system. The pickups changed body styles in 1988 (?), but the 'Burbs didn't get the new body (and interior) until 1992.

Bill, let is know about your experience with repair of the original radio.
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Scott
1972 C20 long-wide. 350/350, Cheyenne Super, wood bed, PS, PB, dual batteries, dual tanks, leaf springs, gauges. No significant rust. No significant paint.
1971 C10 short step. Originally a 250/3ott with no options, now a 350/4L80. I purchased it already restored; only needs about 300 little details fixed.
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