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  1. #1

    Default 85 mustang premium sound upgrade questions.

    Can anyone tell me the difference between the premium sound and just the normal cassette deck on my 85 gt? Previous owner did a radio/speaker delete and I have nothing to compare on my car vs an 86 lx I found in the junkyard with "premium sound". What components would I need to grab to make my car premium sound? Seems like there are tweeters and some sort of puter box under the dash pad that I don't recall seeing on my car when i had it apart. the speakers also say "premium sound" on them. Center console was gone so I'm not sure if it should have some sort of equalizer? Is the wiring all there on my 85gt to upgrade and put back to stock? I don't think my car had the premium sound factory, but I'm really not 100% sure.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some guy up north View Post
    Can anyone tell me the difference between the premium sound and just the normal cassette deck on my 85 gt? Previous owner did a radio/speaker delete and I have nothing to compare on my car vs an 86 lx I found in the junkyard with "premium sound". What components would I need to grab to make my car premium sound? Seems like there are tweeters and some sort of puter box under the dash pad that I don't recall seeing on my car when i had it apart. the speakers also say "premium sound" on them. Center console was gone so I'm not sure if it should have some sort of equalizer? Is the wiring all there on my 85gt to upgrade and put back to stock? I don't think my car had the premium sound factory, but I'm really not 100% sure.
    You can probably find details in the Ford Audio Manuals. For the most part, premium sound included 4 upgraded speakers, an amplifier and an electronic tuning am/fm cassette deck.

    Most people go with aftermarket speakers. The amp was fairly small and difficult to wire in. That just leaves the radio / cassette deck. Most current aftermarket units put out more than the OEM.
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  3. #3
    FEP Super Member bwguardian's Avatar
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    The computer looking thing in the center of the dash under the dash pad is the amplifier. The 2 small speakers on either side under the dash pad are small speakers. I would check to make sure the electronic stereo cassette deck works prior to doing anything. Mine did not when I was restoring mine and I was able to find a local shop that worked on them back in the day. There is a diode in there that goes bad which needs to be replaced and luckily he had a few and knew what to do...also needed the cassette belt replaced while in there too. I left the 2 large oem rear speakers alone, but replaced the 2 smaller front under the dash pad speakers as they were shot and that really helped...well, as much as it can being a vert.

    So if you're trying to get parts from the 86, I would get the stereo unit...again, make sure it works...maybe the mounting bracket behind the console...you'll need to see if yours will work...the amp, the 2 back speakers, and maybe some wiring. Hopefully when the previous owner did the delete it was just a matter of unplugging the deck unit, speakers, etc. and leaving the wiring. I would leave the 2 smaller front speakers given those are typically bad...
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    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    Is the radio the electronic premium sound radio or the premium sound radio with the knobs?
    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbirdman View Post
    Is the radio the electronic premium sound radio or the premium sound radio with the knobs?
    Name:  Screenshot_20220911-131104_Chrome.jpg
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Size:  115.6 KB the radio is the same as this one. I'm going to grab everything I can from that car however I'll probably end up replacing all of the speakers with aftermarket. As far as my car the wiring is all intact and not cut I'm just not sure if ford put the wiring for the 2 small speakers and the amp under the dash pads on cars without the premium sound. Just trying to put the car back to original as it is a pretty clean car.

  6. #6
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    There were two "Premium Sound" radios for 1985 and 1986. This radio is the analog (if you will) premium sound radio. There was also an electronic premium sound radio with a red led display and four presets. The type in the picture is the 4 channel amp radio. The electronic radio used a two channel amp. The wire harnesses which went between the radio and the amps are different.

    If you can grab the radio, the harness and the amp from below the dash pad, I would do that. Finding parts for these cars is getting harder and harder everyday. If you can grab the speaker wiring, might not be a bad idea as well. Having the factory speaker connections to hook up to the harness makes things easier.

    Aftermarket speakers are a better idea. Keep the speaker connectors though so you can re-use those if you are using the factory amp.

    Once you get the radio out, if you are able to bench test it to make sure it works that is a good idea. I would test it with the amp and without the amp. That way you can see if the amp is working as well. If you can't bench test it, you may want to see if you can find someone who can, and make whatever repairs are necessary if it doesn't work. Getting the radios in and out is not easy, and you don't want to do it more than you have to.

    I like the look of the original factory radio, even if the radios weren't that great to begin with.
    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbirdman View Post
    There were two "Premium Sound" radios for 1985 and 1986. This radio is the analog (if you will) premium sound radio. There was also an electronic premium sound radio with a red led display and four presets. The type in the picture is the 4 channel amp radio. The electronic radio used a two channel amp. The wire harnesses which went between the radio and the amps are different.

    If you can grab the radio, the harness and the amp from below the dash pad, I would do that. Finding parts for these cars is getting harder and harder everyday. If you can grab the speaker wiring, might not be a bad idea as well. Having the factory speaker connections to hook up to the harness makes things easier.

    Aftermarket speakers are a better idea. Keep the speaker connectors though so you can re-use those if you are using the factory amp.

    Once you get the radio out, if you are able to bench test it to make sure it works that is a good idea. I would test it with the amp and without the amp. That way you can see if the amp is working as well. If you can't bench test it, you may want to see if you can find someone who can, and make whatever repairs are necessary if it doesn't work. Getting the radios in and out is not easy, and you don't want to do it more than you have to.

    I like the look of the original factory radio, even if the radios weren't that great to begin with.
    I also prefer the look of the factory head units compared to the aftermarket stuff regardless of it being out dated. I just got back from the junkyard with what I think I need.Name:  IMG_0590.jpg
Views: 131
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    I got everything pictured for 25$ today. SCORE! I think I grabbed all of the wiring I need I was in a rush as the yard was closing. I have the knobs but had to take them off to remove the unit.Name:  IMG_0591.jpg
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    This was yesterday's loot.
    Last edited by Some guy up north; 09-11-2022 at 06:02 PM.

  8. #8
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    Typically, the radios with the Ford logo on the front were dealer installed and less desirable. 85 was the transition year to ETR or electronic but the dealer installed carried over the analog radio option.Radios were becoming standard about 85, at least am.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinK View Post
    You can probably find details in the Ford Audio Manuals. For the most part, premium sound included 4 upgraded speakers, an amplifier and an electronic tuning am/fm cassette deck.

    Most people go with aftermarket speakers. The amp was fairly small and difficult to wire in. That just leaves the radio / cassette deck. Most current aftermarket units put out more than the OEM.
    I haven't been able to find any Ford Audio Manuals online and my car never came with its Manuals. I think I have the wiring side all figured out now but would like to know all of the radios functions and what not.

  10. #10
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    Nice haul for $25. Looks like you got mostly everything.

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding. When you say "all the radios functions and what not" what are you talking about?
    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  11. #11

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    Well I never got the chance to try the radio out so I really dont know how this radio works. For example how do you set the memory? Second if you look in the first photo I posted you will see that the left knob has 2 dials on it. What are those for? I have a book in my 89 bronco that walks you through all of the controls for the radio so I'd assume there's one out there for this radio somewhere, I just haven't been able to find it posted online. Side note I found a guy to go through it and put bluetooth in it.

  12. #12

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    all radios in 85 Mustang & Capri were available to option the premium sound.
    for the Mustang there was AM/FM without cassette, AM/FM with cassette(as pictured in this thread) & Electronic Sound(digital display with cassette).
    Capri only had the standard AM/FM(no cassette) & Electronic sound.

    you could get any radio with or without the premium sound option.
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  13. #13

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    Can I send one of you guys a video of me pushing the memory buttons to confirm if they are working properly? Seems they are finicky and either jamming or not pushing back out. Hard to explain. I'm not sure, I've played around with it a bit and can't seem to figure it out.

  14. #14
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    I have an owner’s manual and the factory service manual for my 85. I will look for you later.
    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  15. #15
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    According to the factory service manual, to set the presets on the push button radios, manually tune the dial to the desired radio station, pull out the button that you want to set the preset for, and then push the button back in.
    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some guy up north View Post
    Can I send one of you guys a video of me pushing the memory buttons to confirm if they are working properly? Seems they are finicky and either jamming or not pushing back out. Hard to explain. I'm not sure, I've played around with it a bit and can't seem to figure it out.
    The analog radio requires the preset buttons to be pulled out first then press them in to set the preset. The etr ones, just hold the button down about about 10 seconds.
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  17. #17

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    If that's the case then something must be wrong internally with this radio. Only one button (the middle one) stays pushed in, the rest pop out as soon as you let go of the button.

  18. #18

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    https://youtube.com/shorts/jNAfxd6A1mo?feature=share hopefully this link will work, its a quick video of me playing with the preset buttons.

  19. #19
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    You have to dial the radio to the station you want to set the preset for. Once you're on the station, pull the button out from where it normally sits. It will stay out. Then push the button back in. It should now be in it's normal position, and that station will be set. Do the same for the rest of the buttons.
    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  20. #20
    FEP Senior Member tbirdman's Avatar
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    If they take my stapler, then I'll set the building on fire...

    85 Mustang GT

  21. #21
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    premium sound switch notes:
    Looked at mine today.
    Two screw terminals. large chrome knob.
    Been awhile since it was installed. no notes found.
    May have bought the bare amp light bezel over the dealer counter and added an amber 12v panel light in the panel hole.
    Preety sure the switch is a standard aftermarket off the shelf 12v two terminal push pull switch.
    Screw terminals work better for connection to aftermarket amp than dealing with the factory switch's harness plug and codes.
    Or if i got the bezel and light from a part yard, would have passed on the factory switch and harness.

    Also been a while since a push button radio was in the car.
    Firmly pull a push button out, tune to station, push all the way in to save setting.
    Button will pop back up 1/2 way out. Normal. Buttons have to be pushed in to move station pointer.
    The wider the saved station spacing is, the harder the push.
    Mine had chrome 'spinners' on the radio shafts. Left one for tone. Push down left vol knob to engage bal function.
    F/R fader on the radio shaft under the tuning knob.
    Later models used tabs instead of chrome 'spinners', with function stamped on the radio face plate.
    Last edited by gr79; 09-15-2022 at 07:54 PM.

  22. #22

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    Thanks guys, I think I have the controls figured out. Still no luck with the presets though. I watched the video tbirdman posted and did every thing as shown with no luck. I try setting it but when I push the button the needle only moves slightly (1/4 inch or so) and springs back to where it was originally. I think I might try to disassemble it to the point I can gain access to the mechanism and clean/lube it up. I'm really not sure how it all comes apart, but I don't have much to loose on this one.

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