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  1. #1

    Thumbs up 1980 stereo wiring= confusing!

    Ok I'll start this out by saying I thought I was clear and installed an aftermarket stereo and got the fronts working through a process of elimination. Now as i look to add rear speakers I'm getting confused and could use a little help.

    My 1980 came with an uninstalled factory Am/FM Cassette Stereo. Holy hell it was a challenge to physically get it back in requiring removal of several metal support beams and the center console. The wiring was plug and play though after some repairs to the original harness plugs but once all back installed I hated how it looked as the wood-grain bezel that was hacked to DIN and broken. Plus the original front 3.5's sounded awful and the radio reception not good.




    Can anyone confirm the following as other posts seem to indicate different wiring colors from what I have installed in this car. There is no center speaker and I don't think I saw a premium sound amp when I installed the dash pad.


    Other end of this power plug on the stereo has factory matched plug with the following

    Yellow with brown dots= 12V switched power
    Blue with red dots= Illumination?

    Separate wire hanging under the dash is a Black ground with ring that goes to the ground post on back of head unit.

    Left Front= white with green dots
    Right Front- orange with green dots
    black= common ground

    Right Rear- Green with Orange dots (negative?)
    Right Rear- Orange (positive?)


    Left Rear- Pink with Blue dots (negative?)
    Left Rear- Grey (positive?)


    I ended up temporarily putting an old Kenwood KRC-2000 in because I wanted something a little bit nicer but still reasonably period correct. I will keep the factory wiring in tact and may eventually try to run the factory unit again later. Thanks to other post suggestions I'm picking up a pair of new Pioneer 3.5's for the dash and 6x8's for the hatch and will call it good.


    I still need to understand the wiring before my final install so I get the phasing right and label everything for the future. I'm unclear if a speaker wire with hashes/dots are positive or negative. I think negative- is that right?

    Is the dash factory plug Blue with Red dots for illumination, a ground, or constant power for memory (not that there was such a thing for 1980 factory systems I imagine!)?

    Is there an aftermarket harness I can buy (nothing on lots of searches and Crutchfield guy said not available) that will plug in to the factory plugs so I don't have to hack into the factory wires?
    Appreciate any input/confirmation to guide me in the right direction!
    Last edited by m81mclaren; 11-29-2018 at 02:31 PM.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  2. #2

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    FWIW the Kenwood KRC-2000 wiring is as follows:


    Yellow : Battery - should have a 1A inline fuse - (memory)
    Red : Ignition - should have a 3A inline fuse - (power)
    Light Blue : Power antenna
    Black : Ground (chassis)


    Green : Left Front Speaker
    Orange : Right Front Speaker
    Blue : Left Rear Speaker
    Red : Right Rear Speaker
    Gray : Common ground for all speakers
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  3. #3

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    I do know that on my Zephyr the radio connector had a switched power wire and an illumination wire.
    Matt
    1980 Mercury Zephyr moredoor sleeper

    1988 Mustang GT hatch -- Explorer intake, GT40 heads with Trick Flow spring kit, Crane 1.7 rrs, 70mm MAF, 70mm throttle body, Kirban Kwik shifter w/ Pro 5.0 Deluxe handle, clutch quadrant and firewall adjuster, and 3.27s

    1986 Mercury Cougar 5.0 (sold), 1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC 5.0 5 speed (sold)

  4. #4

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    Great thanks for confirming! Must be that Blue with red dots is illumination. I cant find my wiring book ATM so will dig around for it.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  5. #5

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    Found the book!
    Illumination
    [/url]
    Light Blue/Red is illumination @ 205 plug which is shared with the Switched 12v Yellow/Black Hash (it's not brown!)

    Stereo

    Confirms my colors are correct @ the speaker locations although maybe I'm going slightly color blind as I mistook black for brown or brown for blue on a couple. I assume the common wire that is shared with the speakers is the negative side is that right? So as an example that left rear speaker the Pink/Light Blue Dots would be the common/negative speaker pole. Do I have that right?

    Lastly then just need to find the speaker harness adapter to connect my speaker wire plug C238 to my Kenwood speaker wires.
    This 5 wire one on the left...
    Name:  46055698172_268803a809_c.jpg
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    Nothing comes up when I search for this...anyone have luck finding one?
    Last edited by m81mclaren; 11-29-2018 at 11:14 PM.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  6. #6
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    EVTM shows radio illumination and power connector C205. Two wire. The black and blue in above pic.
    The speaker connector is 5 wire, connector C238.

    Harness connector, body side, looks to have two separate feeds wired into the connector plug at C205.
    One is lb/r wire from fuse block position 13. Connection at C205 to radio pigtail blue wire for light bulb
    One is y/blk hash wire, from fuse block position 10. Connection at C205 to radio pigtail black radio power wire.

    Correct about the ground wires. Common/negative/ground. Black.

    Could find matching body side pigtail for the Kenwood speaker connector. Maybe they are around or generic.
    The worst is to have to cut nice factory wire connectors off to splice connections, except salvage yard or junk radio.
    Prob wind up cutting off the Kenwood connectors and hard wire as needed.
    But what to do to connect to the other end, the factory body speaker harness connector? Cut it too?

    I left the factory harness in place and wired new larger wire for all speakers and power.
    More work, but so are wiring adapter kits. Now have simple connection at radio. Plus for high power 4 ch amp.
    Now can interchange radios, using electronic mid 80's-90's factory Ford radio heads that have removable pigtails.
    The factory vinyl wires are 35+ years old. The color coding on exposed wire fades over time.

    Also found trailer wire light pigtails, wire kits, useful when fabbing up new custom wire circuits that can be disconnected easily.
    Like when removing the radio.
    Last edited by gr79; 11-30-2018 at 01:39 AM.

  7. #7

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    Always a great resource GR thank you for confirming and the additional suggestions! Since I can't seem to find an aftermarket direct connect solution I'll probably tap and run new wires so I have the option to go original if I want to.

    Sometime I'll find a radio in the junkyard and snip those connectors off and pick up the rear speaker OG connectors to boot! I may pick up a Scosche FGA Floating Ground Adaper as it appears to simplify the install if I opt for a more powerful/modern head-unit. I don't need one for this Kenwood as it has the same 5 wire speaker setup.

    I posted all this up here not just for my own understanding but hopefully help others with the same 79-81 wiring questions.
    Last edited by m81mclaren; 11-30-2018 at 01:17 AM.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  8. #8
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Yah thought about so much posted detail may be better via PM but others may need to know too.
    Not yours- mine. Maybe my new years resolution- not talk so much.
    Pages in chapters of a story. Plus they would have kicked us off by now if too boring or something.
    Hard to be brief documenting detailed thought process to help understand the what how and why that is found.

    The 80 EVTM did the trick. 79 is same but coded a little different.
    Could use 3M Scotchlok blue taps and jumper wires on radio harness connections.
    Bulky but no cutting and work fine when installed correctly.

    Should see my extra wiring. The aux radio amp has RCA jacks so used them when possible. Plug and play at that spot.
    So much extra acc, installed another fuse box and ground bar behind glove box in 2005. Took a load off the main.
    12v relay switches panel on/off with ign. Is wired 10 gage to battery thru a 30a maxifuse under hood.
    Runs radio, 2 aux 12v power points for seat heater and gps, 4 ch amp.
    Has room to power one of those air fuel things someday..
    Name:  aux fusebox and ground bar.jpg
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    The hardest part of new wiring is the dash end. The speakers and radio. I leave extra wire at radio for better access later.
    Running wire to rear is easy to route to and behind pass kick panel trim, under pass door sill, into 1/4 trim to back.
    Can sneak it past rear seat bottom without removing (easier if removed), keeping wires away from pinch point at seat back lower side hinge.
    Ran both L and R rear wires under sill then branched them under rear seat.
    Front and rear speaker total is 10.
    Last edited by gr79; 11-30-2018 at 03:03 AM.

  9. #9

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    Awesome job GR! Looks like you planned this out well with room to grow as needed. Thanks for sharing.
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  10. #10
    FEP Supporter
    82GTforME's Avatar
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    Looks like you may have had your questions answered.

    I had upgraded and installed a similar unit in our 79 that never had speaker wiring and originally no radio.

    May be of slight help or just additional reading pleasure:

    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...I-do-with-this

  11. #11

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    Thanks. Looking at my 1980 fuse box diagram it looks like there are empty (not used) fuse locations such as 3,9,16, & 17. Do you know if any of these unused ports already have switched 12v power based on experience? I'll test light and report back if nobody knows!
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

  12. #12
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Per 79 EVTM, 1,3,4,6,9,16,17 are unused. Looks like same for 80.
    Checked mine long ago seeking new unused circuits. None.
    Could tell right away looking into a open fuse position with a light..
    No contacts for fuses or no wiring to it at all.
    If there were, where did the wires route to?
    Add-a-fuse taps work, but have limitation of side clearance from other fuses and fuse box cover lid clearance.
    Have one in my truck for powering the added backup alarm with switch. Barely fit but did.

  13. #13

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    Ok thanks GR I have taps on order
    Current FEP:
    1980 M81 McLaren Carb Turbo 2.3T #003P ... IT'S ALIVE after a 22 year slumber thread!

    Past FEP:
    1986 Capri GS 5.0- very missed but in goods hands
    1985 LTD SSP- quick little fox 5.0

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