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Thread: 1995 factory radio troubleshooting

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    GMN Regular Giraffe's Avatar
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    Default 1995 factory radio troubleshooting

    This is in my '95 Mustang, but it's the same as any panther radio of the same vintage. Recently the original radio in my car has begun to act strangely. It will stop producing any sound and will only display "TAPE" on the readout whether or not a tape is in the deck. It could take a few seconds or days to snap out of it. Any ideas?



    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    IIRC, there is a switch inside that triggers that mode switch when you insert a tape. Could be that it's got enough dirt/crud across it that it's doing a capacitive jump allowing voltage across the switch. May just need a good cleaning.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  3. #3
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    yeah, switch in the tape mechanism. I don't happen to have one here to look at but somewhere in there there is a switch that is activated when the tape is loaded into the deck and it flips from tuner to tape. Also might be worth making sure the connectors from the main board are plugged all the way into the tape deck.

    There are two variations on that. Yours is the mechanical eject, the other one has the soft touch buttons for FF/RW/eject. Radio itself is basically the same, just the tape mechanism is not.

    if you can't find the switch in there, let me know and I'll dig up my 1992 radio service manual. I think it covers both types. I know its got the soft touch control version.

    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 SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    GMN Regular Giraffe's Avatar
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    Yeah. I’m not really sure what I’m looking at in here. Do y’all see the switch I’m looking for?

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    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    if you don't use the tape deck you can just unplug it. Its the wider connector. That will have the power and switching logic. The smaller one is the audio connector.

    switch will be someplace in the mechanism but I dont know where offhand. Best suggestion, look for a pair of wires that goes into the mechanism that are not the audio wires to the head or to the motor. That should be it.

    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 SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    if you don't use the tape deck you can just unplug it. Its the wider connector. That will have the power and switching logic. The smaller one is the audio connector.

    switch will be someplace in the mechanism but I dont know where offhand. Best suggestion, look for a pair of wires that goes into the mechanism that are not the audio wires to the head or to the motor. That should be it.
    I actually was using the tape deck with a bluetooth tape adapter. I'd prefer to get this thing working if I can. I'll take another look at it over the weekend. I appreciate it.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    If you were still in Texas, I would say come and visit me, but it's quite a bit further to DFW now.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  8. #8

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    I'm not familiar with the innards of this generation of Ford tape decks, but I think the blue thing in the corner is the switch for the tape. Give the whole tape assembly a light dusting with a can of spray duster or low pressure shop air (if using shop air, make sure it's reasonably dry first; don't want to blast condensation all over the thing).

    Since you're lucky enough to have a mechanical eject, try inserting a tape and watching what moves. Insert and eject a few times; I think the little metal piece in the corner by the blue coil (I think that's an inductive switch?) comes down to touch (or very close to) the switch when the tape is in. That piece may not be moving, or a piece of dirt may be in there.
    Also a good time to look and see if any of the gear teeth are crunched up (not likely) or any of the rubber belts are deteriorating (very possible, although bad belts cause different problems than you're having), since you're this deep in it already.

    If your bluetooth adapter is a cassette with a cord, look along where the cord goes in to see if maybe it snagged and bent anything. On other tape decks, I've seen the cord bunch up and the metal cage get distorted by being vigorously removed; this would directly affect the operation of the switch mechanism. Gently bend the metal back and use a cassette to check that everything moves freely on insertion/ejection. I've also seen this happen when 25 feet of Led Zeppelin gets wound around the capstans and kitchen utensils are used to try and remove the wreckage...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    If you were still in Texas, I would say come and visit me, but it's quite a bit further to DFW now.
    I’m actually going to be in DFW in a week and a half. I should have some free time. I’ll bring the radio if I can’t fix it. I’m not seeing anything out of the ordinary. It’s nice and clean inside, so I don’t see excess dust being an issue. I’m stumped.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    ok. Let me know.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

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    I bought a couple spares for my '95 Tbird, same radio exactly. Ebay, maybe 10 years ago, cheap and working units, but I don't often see them now. The one in the car lost the tape door, but wide black tape fixed that as I never use the tape anyway, I just use my XM on a modulator and FM 87.9 ... Modulator might be "the fix" for you, it feeds a signal in through antenna lead.
    Last edited by tbear853; 04-17-2021 at 10:21 PM.
    No ... I'm not arguing with you ... I'm just explaining why I'm right ...

    Now go ... and whatever you do ... have a safe trip!

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    I would have used a modulator (like the one I use in my GM) instead of the tape adapter if I hadn't had the antenna shaved when the car was repainted in 2010.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

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    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Does an antenna shave mean you still have just the cable hidden up behind the fender?

    I have a FM modulator in my car for when I want to listen some music I dont have on tape and The reception is really strong, so strong that I dont even raise up the antenna.

    If push comes to shove maybe you can pick up a stubby antenna and just tuck it up behind the fender liner and it would suit your needs.
    ~David~

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    these can do line input very easily. That square plug on the back with the dummy connector in it has signal out and signal in from the optional CD player. If you break that connection and feed your own signal in, it goes direct to the amp instead of through the tape or tuner parts. Sounds much better. Just need a 3.5mm jack with internal switching to do it.

    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 SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

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    I'm still eyeballing the blue thing. It really looks like the metal arm in front of it comes down to touch it when the cassette is inserted.
    Is there a little post in the blue piece that might be stuck? Or maybe a magnet that used to be on the metal arm that has stuck itself to the blue thing?
    It looks easy enough to remove and replace if that's what it is (for that matter, any of that era tape mechanisms with a mechanical eject, as a whole unit).

    I might be barking up the wrong tree, but I really get the feeling it's in that part of the mechanism.

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    Member tbear853's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giraffe View Post
    I would have used a modulator (like the one I use in my GM) instead of the tape adapter if I hadn't had the antenna shaved when the car was repainted in 2010.
    With a wired in modulator, the car antenna is of no consequence, the car lead plugs into the modulator, but the modulator has it's own lead that then plugs into car radio, feeds signal direct.
    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Does an antenna shave mean you still have just the cable hidden up behind the fender?

    I have a FM modulator in my car for when I want to listen some music I dont have on tape and The reception is really strong, so strong that I dont even raise up the antenna.

    If push comes to shove maybe you can pick up a stubby antenna and just tuck it up behind the fender liner and it would suit your needs.
    I think for a wirelss connection, you could just use a universal replacvement and put the antenna anywhere in the car, like under a seat or floormat even.
    Last edited by tbear853; 04-18-2021 at 06:45 PM.
    No ... I'm not arguing with you ... I'm just explaining why I'm right ...

    Now go ... and whatever you do ... have a safe trip!

  17. #17
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    went through my 92 radio service manual, reasonably sure the blue thing is the eject solenoid. Its not purely mechanical on these, the buttons trigger the solenoid to pull and it does stuff via the magic of springs.

    I think the switch that does the radio/tape selection is on the circuit board. At least thats what I think the manual is telling me. I didn't spend a ton of time studying it. The other problem is the 92 manual covers 5 different mechanisms, and I'm not 100% I'm looking at the right one since the radio in question doesn't have a part number specifically covered by this book.

    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 SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Does an antenna shave mean you still have just the cable hidden up behind the fender?

    I have a FM modulator in my car for when I want to listen some music I dont have on tape and The reception is really strong, so strong that I dont even raise up the antenna.

    If push comes to shove maybe you can pick up a stubby antenna and just tuck it up behind the fender liner and it would suit your needs.
    Unfortunately, no. I was young(er) and dumb(er) and ditched the entire antenna, base, and cable assembly when I had it done. "The exhaust is all the music I need!" and all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    these can do line input very easily. That square plug on the back with the dummy connector in it has signal out and signal in from the optional CD player. If you break that connection and feed your own signal in, it goes direct to the amp instead of through the tape or tuner parts. Sounds much better. Just need a 3.5mm jack with internal switching to do it.
    That's a pretty interesting way of doing it. I'd need to see a wiring diagram of the final product, though. I'm not completely illiterate with this stuff, but I've forgotten a lot of what I used to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbear853 View Post
    With a wired in modulator, the car antenna is of no consequence, the car lead plugs into the modulator, but the modulator has it's own lead that then plugs into car radio, feeds signal direct.I think for a wirelss connection, you could just use a universal replacvement and put the antenna anywhere in the car, like under a seat or floormat even.
    This actually may be the best course of action for me. I was just looking at some of these and they can be had for pretty cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    went through my 92 radio service manual, reasonably sure the blue thing is the eject solenoid. Its not purely mechanical on these, the buttons trigger the solenoid to pull and it does stuff via the magic of springs.

    I think the switch that does the radio/tape selection is on the circuit board. At least thats what I think the manual is telling me. I didn't spend a ton of time studying it. The other problem is the 92 manual covers 5 different mechanisms, and I'm not 100% I'm looking at the right one since the radio in question doesn't have a part number specifically covered by this book.
    That's what I was thinking. I couldn't see any sort of mechanism on the tape carrier that looked like it was a mechanical switch to tell the radio a tape is inserted. I'm thinking the wired FM modulator may be the best bet for me since it'll eliminate the problem I'm having with the tape deck.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

  19. #19
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    the switch seems to be just a simple slider thing. If thats sticky, it may just need to be cleaned and then it will act right. Not sure if its pulled back forward when the tape ejects or if its spring return but I can see if its gummy it may hang in the wrong position.


    anyway, for the aux in, here are pinouts for the back of the radio and for some commonly available jacks. Leave the loop status pin empty. Signal return is ground, the others are self-explanatory. Basically you connect the radio terminals to the jack terminals. I don't happen to know exactly which pins are the right ones to go into that connector unfortunately but I'm sure its something that can be worked out.

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    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 SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

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    Very much thanks to Sly for taking some time out of his day to take a look at my ailing radio. Didn’t find anything explicitly wrong the the tape deck, but he did clean up a corroded trace on the board and replaced a leaky capacitor. I won’t find out if that did the trick until we get back to Arkansas; however, I’m very appreciative of the time and effort he was willing to put in for me. Thanks!
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

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