FAQs about Radios

  • Installing a CD player.
  • What are the 2 connectors on the back of my Volvo radio?
  • How do I install a non-stock radio?
  • Installing rear speakers.
  • Where is the amplifier located?
  • How do I extract my radio?
  • My radio will only receive half of the FM stations, isn't that odd?

  • Installing a CD Player

    Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1993 14:05:50 -0500
    From: Harold Winard <hw@oscar.ims.bellcore.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: CD Player

    For informational purposes:

    I installed CD player/radio in my 1985 760T. I had to make up my own wiring harness to match the RCA phono-plug output of the radio to the DIN plug input cable that goes to the factory-installed power amplifiers. All the parts were available at a local electronics store.

    I did stop by an auto stereo store on the highway to see if anyone had a ready-made cable. The guys behind the counter, taking me for a bumpkin, told me there was no cable and I couldn't hook up the Volvo amplifiers to a Sony CD player. Eager to see what drivel they would concoct, I asked them why. "You'll blow out the radio,"they told me. "So what would you do if someone drove in and wanted a Sony CD player in their Volvo," I asked. " We'd install new power amplifiers," I was told. Nice guys, eh? They'd trash part of your car and then sell you the replacements.

    I installed the CD player, hooked them up to the factory amps, and the whole thing sounds great. By the way, the mounting bracket for the Volvo came from Crutchfield's and snapped right into place.


    Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 13:59:16 EST
    From: wiegman@orion (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: nessa@mentor.cc.purdue.edu
    Subject: Re: CD changer for Volvo's

    >There is an insert jack on the back of the head unit in the unit in my 240. I don't know if this is the same on all Volvo Radios. It is a 5 or 8 pin DIN connector that has the inputs and outputs of the pre-amp section on it.

    The newer Volvo sedans do have DIN connectors on the back of the radios.

    My roomate in college installed a used Volvo 740 radio (with the green lights and sliders) into his Pinto wagon. The price was right (free). [before I get flamed on the Pinto.. consider it an American 1800ES with more performance potential and less expesive parts...]

    The pre-amp five pin DIN connector was used to add a dbx processor. The speaker output wires were then sent to the amplifier. I am not sure if there were two DIN connectors or one. I am not sure if it was "pre" or "post" pre-amp signals...(i.e. before or after the tone and volume controls).

    DIN connectors unraveled:

    These usually have several pins and a ground shrowd. The "pin-out" is easy to figure out. With some head phones, one can figure what the audio signals are. The pins in the circular fashion are usually the Left and Right signals, fore and aft. The grounding shrowd is obviously ground.. for both the speakers and radio..

    The center pin or top pin can be auxillary functions.. (power antenea, or a 12volt feed or a dimmer control .. well maybe not a dimmer control, that is feed to the radio over a separate orange or yello wire..)

    best of luck,


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    What are the 2 connectors on the back of my Volvo radio?

    Date: Mon, 22 Mar 93 14:24:19 EST
    From: 22-Mar-1993 1418 <corey@cthq.enet.dec.com>
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Volvo radios

    There are two connectors on the back of 240 radio of the late 80's and 90's vintage. One is for an external amp accessory (30 or 40 watt) and cars with this option also have the front/rear fader for the speakers activated. (If you can't control the front/rear fade with the volme control on the radio, you don't have this extra amplifier.)

    The other connector is for the graphic equalizer option. Both of these pieces were dealer-supplied accessories until I believe '92, when the amp became factory standard. In '93, they started adding small tweeters to the rear doors making it a six speaker system.

    One more point folks should know. The factory radios have a couple of fuses of their plugged into the back of the chassis. Knowing this undocumented fact might help you if your radio dies someday and the main fuse is fine.

    --Chris Corey

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    How do I install a non-stock radio?

    Date: 23 Mar 1993 13:53:55 -0400 (EDT)
    From: Clark <MERRILL@stsci.edu>
    Subject: My experience at Radio Installation
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    I have heard a lot of talk on the net about installing non stock radios in Volvos. I would just like to share my experience with you in my 1982 GLT.

    My old Rabbit had a Sherwood that fit in the Rabbit dash after a little cutting of plastic. In fact I totalled the car 2 days after I got the Radio sounding fine! Kind of a bummer. So 2 months after I bought my Volvo my stock cassette player goes out and I decide to use the old Sherwood.

    I called Crutchfield to ask about what was needed to put my old radio into my Volvo. I needed 2 parts for $20 dollars.

    I needed a metal plate that went over the hole where my old radio was. The plate screwed right in. It is probably not worth $10 dollars, but I could not make anything nicer. The plate makes the installation look professional. I needed to take the plastic trim off in the front to install it. The only problem I had with it is that it is hard to see the LCD on the radio during daylight with the radio down low by the shifter. I have a turbo so putting it above the AC vents is not an option. By the way the plate I got is only for radios with 7x2 front chassis demensions. This covers a number of different radios though and Crutchfield has plates for other sizes.

    The other part I bought was a wiring harness. This was definitely worth the $10 I paid for it. I wired my radio up to the harness at my leisure in the house. I went for male-female plugs rather than solder. I might want to change radios again, and I think this will be easier. It was very simple. I will NEVER EVER pay someone to install a stereo in my car.

    On a nice fall day I went out to my car and swapped radios. Total in car swap time was 1 hour. I had to run 1 extra wire to the dash lights. Besides that it was just a question of putting in the plate in and plugging in 2 plugs.

    Crutchfield can be reached at 800 955-3000. They will give you a free installation kit with any radio you buy from them. They also have the mounts for above the vents. If you are ever putting in a radio in a Volvo, give Crutchfield a call. I recommend them HIGHLY.

    Good luck

    Clark B. Merrill
    Space Telescope Science Institute
    Baltimore, Maryland

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    Installing rear speakers.

    Date: 30 Mar 1993 10:02:18 -0500 (EST)
    From: V093P9MD@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu
    Subject: Re: Rear speaker installation
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    Don't be scared by the prospect of having to pull the seats to get under the carpet. This is one instance where the Volvo engineers did a great job. The rear seats take all of 3 minutes to pull. Remove them by pushing the bottom seat cushen toward the back of the car. You can feel the hook unlatching. Pull the seat bottom out, and store in a safe place. The seat back has two flexible metal tabs that need to be bent up to allow the hook to come undone. Lift the whole seat up and your all finished. The front seats require the removal of 4 bolts (better part of 4 minutes to get them un-done. Now you have complete access to the carpet. You can run the wires allong the transmission tunnel, on what ever side you find easier.

    I intalled a set or rear deck speakers in a leasurely afternoon's work. The biggest pain is getting the wires hooked up right to the radio, the rest is trivial as far as complexity.

    Happy Motoring,


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    Where is the amplifier located?

    Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1993 07:57:35 PDT
    From: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: 740 T electrical Q
    To: jpage@leis.leis.bellcore.com

    - does anyone know where the amplifier is located???

    If is usually located underneath the steering column. Pull the under dash panel on the drivers side and you will see it there. Does it's cutting out and returning seem to coincide with large bumps? This is a good idicator that something is loose. Otherwise, it sounds like something is over heating and in 10 minutes it cools down again. How long does it take it to cut out in the first place? Does the radio _always_ work when you get in the car and start it for the first time after it has sat a few hours?

    -- John

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    How do I extract my radio?

    Date: 23 Sep 93 11:09:04 U
    From: "Ed Fair" <ed_fair@msmailbo.gatech.edu>
    Subject: extract the radio on a 740gl.
    To: tim@me.rochester.edu, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    i've had mine out - my haynes was right, but it didn't give me any clue how hard it would be. the sides of the radio have clips on them that hold the radio in. the fronts of the tabs are barely visible if you pull off the knobs. it's hard to describe what the tabs look like w/o a picture. there are two, one on each side, and they are on the outside of the radio:

    front of car
    |         | top view of radio
    |         |
    |         |
    here's a close-up of the left corner:
    |  close up of top view
    |  almost actual size
    / |
    /  |
    \  |--------------

    as you can see :-) the tab is a flat piece of steel, with a bend in it. the dimension you can't see here is "height"; the tab is about 1/2 inch in this dimension.

    the tabs have a hole in the end. you'll need two stout hooks of hard steel, paper clips won't do. you can see the holes in the tabs when you've got the knobs off. hook the holes, pull inward *hard* on both tabs simultaneously, and, while holding them inward extract the radio. this was not easy. Just give it a lot of muscle. it's complicated because you have to pull in three directions.

    my tape deck started doing this a while back, and i haven't been able to play a tape in it since (they go in but won't come back out). if you find out the cause of this please let me know!


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    My radio will only receive half of the FM stations, isn't that odd?

    Subject: Re: Radio - only receive half of the FM-stations -- odd
    Date: Thu, 7 Dec 1995 18:34:32 -0600 (CST)
    CC: swedishbricks

    On Thu, 7 Dec 1995, Lars BINAU HANSEN, ECH/FEQ wrote:

    > Hello,

    > My radio SC 810 (Volvo) is half-broken, it will not tune in on FM-stations with
    > even decimals (f.ex. 90.4); but there is no problems with odd decimals (f. ex.
    > 102.7) this is the case for "hand"-tuning, seek and automatic.

    > Can you offer any advise.

    > Kind Regards

    > Lars
    > 93 965 80Kkm
    > lars.BINAU@OECD.org

    The radio must be for US spec cars. Recently, while shopping for a car stereo for a friend in Europe, a friendly sales guy adviced me that in America all FM stations have an odd decimal, therefore many radios don't even have the capability to tune in on the even ones. Therefore these radios wo't work in Europe or elsewhere with radio stations with even decimals. Balu

    I will be gone Dec.9 to Jan.6 and won't be checking E-mail

                                     (O O)
       |                                                                 |
       |  Balazs "Balu" Vandor - vand0005@itlabs.umn.edu - 612-362-9095  |
       |      Industrial/Mechanical Engineering student from Hungary     |
       |               University of Minnesota, Minneapolis              |
       |            Volvo Enthusiast: '83 245 Turbo 139k mi              |
       |                                                                 |
                                   (  )  Oooo
                                   ( (   (  )
                                   (_)    ) )

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