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Eric's Autos: A Car Story

Eric Peters on

Today is a good time for a car story, to take our minds off the other story.

This story's related to my story from about a month ago, about upgrading the out-of-date, factory-installed, CD-playing (but no Bluetooth-playing) stereo in my '02 Nissan Frontier with an up-to-date system.

Well, I just attempted the reverse.

I reinstalled the very out-of-date AM/FM radio -- forget stereo -- that came with my 1976 Trans Am when it was new, back in the fall of 1975. I had it on a shelf in a closet for at least 10 years, after I got it back from a guy I sent it to for restoration to as-new condition. In the meantime, I listened to the aftermarket stereo -- with a tape deck! -- I had installed in the car back in the '90s, when tape decks were still the duck's guts. Also installed back then -- when Clintigula was doing his cigar thing with Ms. Lewinsky -- were a set of then-duck's-guts speakers -- two in the dash and two out back.

This was twice the speakerage my car originally came with.

And thence came the rub.


I did all the groundwork to get the old/nonoriginal and now very out-of-date stereo tape deck out of the Trans Am. This requires removal of the center console -- to get at the underside of the dash -- followed by some torturous maneuvering under the dash to get at the brackets and wires that hold the works in situ.

I had done all that when I discovered the stereo shop that installed the deck back in the '90s had mauled my car's wiring like a Rottweiler tearing up a toy poodle. It was bad enough that they cut so much. It was worse that these professionals didn't even use proper connectors. Wires were twisted together and then taped.

Yes, I paid them to do this.

And now I paid the price. I built a new harness to replace the mauled and gone one. A custom rig to connect the Trans Am's original AM/FM to the things it needed to be connected to, such as a 12-volt power source and then the wires running to the speakers.


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