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Line Output Converter with Common Ground Head Unit

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    Line Output Converter with Common Ground Head Unit

    I want to add aftermarket speakers and amps to my 1985 CV while retaining a factory head unit. Iím currently searching for a premium sound head unit with floating ground speaker outputs. In the event I canít find one is it possible to hook a line output converter to a common ground speaker out head unit? Would I need to use a floating ground adapter that is hooked up in ďreverseĒ?


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    #2
    Personally Iíd look for a slightly later head unit (88-89) and then go with the line out adapter. You have to run all new speaker wires anyway and getting quality sound out of floating ground with new amps isnít going to happen.
    2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum (Ice White / Blonde)
    2022 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 Etorque, Built to Serve Edition, (Granite Crystal / Black)
    Past Panthers
    1989 Grand Marquis LS (Cabernet/Grey), 1989 Lincoln Town Car SS (White/Blue), 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis Ultimate (White/Black)

    Originally posted by Lincolnmania
    if its got tits or tires it's bound to give you trouble

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      #3
      The 85 head unit has common ground on the rear and floating on the front channels, however you can use just the speaker + to ground and have it work fine, just at half output power.

      I don't honestly think the speaker to line adapter cares what the source config is. Its just a couple of resistors.
      86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
      5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

      91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

      1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

      Originally posted by phayzer5
      I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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        #4
        Thanks! I thought all of the premium sound radios were floating ground on all 4 channels. Is there a big sound quality difference between the two?

        Also, if I were to go with an 88-89 radio with floating grounds on all 4 channels will it still properly mount in an 85? I thought something changed with that in the later years.


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          #5
          The 88/89 should bolt up the same.
          2020 Volvo XC90 T6 Momentum (Ice White / Blonde)
          2022 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 Etorque, Built to Serve Edition, (Granite Crystal / Black)
          Past Panthers
          1989 Grand Marquis LS (Cabernet/Grey), 1989 Lincoln Town Car SS (White/Blue), 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis Ultimate (White/Black)

          Originally posted by Lincolnmania
          if its got tits or tires it's bound to give you trouble

          Comment


            #6
            Its mostly just a matter of power output. The common ground channels are rated for 12 watts, the floating are rated for 24. Going to a line-out converter, this doesn't matter.

            The mounting changed around 1990. If its got 4 holes in the faceplate for the release tool, those don't fit. Up to 89 they had the L brackets on the side and it just bolts in.
            86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
            5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

            91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

            1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

            Originally posted by phayzer5
            I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

            Comment


              #7
              For some reason I thought it was way more complicated than that. Good to know itís just the power levels that are the only real difference.

              I ended up finding a decent looking 1988 radio on eBay a little while ago. Seller claims it works. Iíll find out when it arrives later this week. I also found an aftermarket set of pigtails with plugs for it. If it works in it goes! The digital tuner alone makes it worth installing! If I canít easily break the common ground spice Iíll use a floating ground adapter with it until I can do the rest of the upgrades. When those come Iíll run a multi conductor speaker cable to the trunk where the line put converter will live.


              Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                #8
                the way they get it done is actually sort of clever. The output of one amp feeds to the inverting input of an identical amp, so the voltage at the + and - end up equal but opposite in order to get more power. Its a trick straight out of a 1930s radio, but it still works.
                86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
                5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

                91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

                1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

                Originally posted by phayzer5
                I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

                Comment


                  #9
                  That is a pretty cool trick. Iíve always been interested in audio equipment but never had the opportunity to learn the very technical side of it.


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