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How to Install a Radio or CD Player

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Installing a new radio or CD player in your antique, vintage or classic vehicle often requires making a new bezel and modifying the dash. Here's how:
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 1 1. The stock radio bezel was made of plastic and had a pebble finish grain in the inside with a chrome bead on the outer edge. The top section housed the original AM-FM radio and the bottom cut out was for the heater switch.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 2 2. We started by cutting some 1/2 inch strips of 12 gauge stainless steel. This will be used for the outer edge to make the chrome bead look like the original bezel. We will polish this edge just before the completed unit is painted black in the center.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 3 3. A simple jig mounted in a vise is all that is needed to bend the stainless the same shape as the original bezel. On some parts hand tweaking is better then power tools for control, especially with small parts.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 4 4. We use a piece of 20 gauge steel for the bezel and marks where the A/C-Heater control will be.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 5 5. We used a small hole saw to cut the corners and a cut off tool to remove the center section, 1/16th outside the lines. Then we used a carbide burr in an angle grinder to clean up the burrs and make a perfect fit.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 6 6. We compare the original to the new piece and continue until we are satisfied with the fit.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 7 7. Finally, the controls fit the new bezel as good as they did the original plastic one.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 8 8. We then tack weld the stainless edging to the carbon steel face plate on the back side where no one will see.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 9 9. Clamped up and held in place, we hammer tweaked the edging in to exact placement before welding it up solid.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 10 10. We made an aluminum buck with holes for the vise grips to hold the bezel in place while welding for an exact fit.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 11 11. Now we cut out the shroud for the lower section where the stereo will go. Regular steel is fine for this.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 12 12. Then we bend the shroud.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 13 13. And tack the shroud to the bezel.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 14 14. Next we make a face plate for the CD player.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 15 15. The heater controls fit nicely and have a factory look.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 16 16. Then we weld the face plate on. Note the slight angle at the top as this matches the original where the mounting holes will be located.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 17 17. To save time, we cut through one end of the face plate (which we will weld up later) and use a band saw to cut the hole for the face plate.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 18 18. Side brackets were made to attach to the player to hold it tightly in place.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 19 19. Flush mount screws are used to hold the side bracket down.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 20 20. Here we are checking the radio for fit.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 21 21. We also added a shroud to attach the heater control unit.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 22 22. This shows the top section where the shroud covers the opening there once was.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 23 23. On the car´s dash the side panels were made out of fiberglass. We removed them and made a small relief cut because the new CD player was wider then the stock one. The new bezel will cover this up.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 24 24. Here is a view from the back side of the dash.
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 25 25. The outer bead will be polished and the inner section will be sprayed for a pebble texture and then satin black..
Installing a radio or CD player in the dash of an antique, vintage or classic car or truck step 26 26. Here is the before comparison to get an idea what we started with.

Jeff Lilly Restorations
11125 F.M.1560 N
San Antonio, Texas
210-695-5151 - www.jefflilly.com