Feb 24, 2008 update to the Triumph Spitfire project car

Installing a Radio

The radio installed in the dash.
One of the speakers.
I can play my iPod through the new radio.

Next came the moment of truth: putting the radio into the dash. Surprisingly, it fit. It even turned on when I pressed the power button.

Once the Spitfire was running and driving, I realized that I needed a radio. Although the original AM radio worked, it didn’t sound very good. I also wanted to be able to play my iPod through the radio. The search for a new head unit was on. After a few weeks of looking, we found a slightly used Alpine for only $100. My dad bought it, claiming that he would be putting it into the Miata.

About a month later my birthday came, and what did I get? The radio and a set of Kenwood speakers. The next morning, I ran out to the shop and started installing them. My dad helped me cut out a new dash plate from stainless steel, and I painted it to match the interior. After confirming that the radio would indeed fit into the hole, I began the wiring. Putting a two-year-old radio into a 35-year-old car isn’t easy. The old radio used two wires; the new one used about 12. Three hours later, I had everything wired correctly. Next came the moment of truth: putting the radio into the dash. Surprisingly, it fit. It even turned on when I pressed the power button. The only minor error was the lack of speakers. I still hadn’t figured out how to mount them.

Then next day, my dad had a brilliant idea. We would mount the speakers in boxes on the rear package shelf, using quick-release fasteners. This way, we would be able to pop the big speakers into the trunk during events. After a quick trip to the stereo shop, we had the boxes and were ready to begin. I installed the speakers into the boxes, and mounted the boxes into the car. To take them out, I only have to undo one screw.

I turned the radio on and plugged in my iPod; it sounded wonderful.

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Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/26/08 1:36 p.m.

I'm in the middle of a Spitfire stereo install as well. I think we even have the same speaker enclosures. However, I am mounting a power amp in the trunk to push them with hopes of actually being able to hear music at highway speeds. I'm mounting it to a new passenger-side trim panel made from plywood. I'm working on the template now.

Unfortunately, progress has been slow lately as I've been eyeball deep in working on MINIs...

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