Author Topic: 1976 Eldorado speaker installation/recommended installer  (Read 161 times)

Offline 7gen

  • Posts: 155
  • Name: K. Reynolds
1976 Eldorado speaker installation/recommended installer
« on: April 29, 2017, 10:51:38 AM »
Sorry, no pictures but this is more of an addendum to the shop manual than anything else.

I needed new front speakers which I got from Turnswitch.com. These ended up being very good speakers. The speakers come with ears on the side for screws to fasten them into your dash but I did not have to use these. There are two types of attachments - screws and spring assemblies. Mine used the spring, so I cut the ears off the speakers though this wasn't probably necessary to get them to fit.

The original speakers had a big magnet assembly on the back side. The magnets for the new speakers are internalized into the assembly so Turnswitch offers a wooden block as a filler piece. I couldn't figure out what value added the block filler was giving me except to hold the spring assembly better. Turnswitch has you use a ring of glue (which they provide in place on the speaker - you just take a ring of plastic cellophane-type material off to expose the sticky part) and you are supposed to put the spring assembly on then mash the filler block down on top. They mention that it needs to match the orientation of the original speaker setup (angle of the original speaker magnet to the spring - you are basically trying to make your new speaker assembly look exactly like the old one so it fits properly in the dash and the leads are in the right place to match up with the incoming wires). They also say you get only one chance at this because the glue is super strong. Well, it isn't and the blocks fell off. I ended up not using them.

The dash disassembly is per the manual but a couple of tips. Removing the AC vents is the first step. There is a trick that the manual mentions but not why. The vents are have little plastic tabs on the inside and you use a small screwdriver to push first one side and the the other in towards the middle to get the vent to spin shaft to disengage from the dash. The manual mentions rotating the vents upward. This is important. The tool that the manual mentions is not available anymore so you need to use a small screwdriver. When you get one side disengaged, rotate the vent up and push it back a little into the duct. Rotating it up keeps it from re-engaging while you do the other side. Once the other side is disengaged, you can use a needle-nosed pliers to remove the vents.

The middle vents have these studs that are providing support and these have nuts to secure the dash. The outside vents have screws in the top corners (one per vent). Once these are out, you can take out the screws underneath the pad. Once all these are out, the dash pad is almost out. There are two plugs that have to be pulled. One is for the map reading light on the right side and the other is the wiper selector assembly on the left. Once these are disengaged, the dash is free. Put the gear shift lever into L and tilt the steering wheel down, pull straight out and rotate up a bit to clear everything. Be careful of the cover on the map reading light - these are prone to crack (mine already was).

Putting the speakers in is straight-forward except for the spring assembly. The one on the left was tough due to the lack of space to get your hand in there to attach things. The one on the right was much easier - lots of clearance.

Test the radio to see if you have reception. I still did not and the problem was my antenna lead - it had been banjaxed when I took the radio out to send to United Radio in Syracuse NY to test out the function. The lead tip had been pulled off the lead itself and was never connected properly. The symptoms for a bad antenna are no AM reception, very sketchy FM reception and only a few stations. After I had the lead repaired, the radio was still not that great until the AM/FM selector switch had been emphatically moved back and forth (I have an AM/FM/8 track factory unit). Can't be gentle with the selector switch. After I slammed the switch back to FM, I got GREAT reception.

I did not do this myself. I got a recommendation for Dutchess Car Stereo in Hopewell Junction, NY, north of NYC. The owner has 44 years of experience working on Cadillac stereos. I live a LONG ways away but did not want to tackle this myself so it was worth the drive. Dutchess Car Stereo did a great job and it took about 1.5 hours, which he did on this initial trip even though the original game plan was for me to come by, have him evaluate, then make an appointment. He didn't want to make me drive 4 hours again (4 hours each way), so he just went ahead and did the deed. Recommended vendor to anyone in the NYC area.

The dash came out and went back in with no cracks, which was my concern. I drove the 4 hours home with the top down, listening to my favorite 60's tunes. On the way home, I had a young man pull up beside and say "Dude, your car is totally sick, man!", which I figured meant it was good. I also had a police car turn on its lights and use the PA to say "Nice car, sir!"

Who doesn't love a huge, green ragtop, cruising down the road with the tunes blasting, on a hot, sunny day? I'm in love with my car. Got a feel for my automobile...