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Thread: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

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    What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    I was trying to look up different stereos for our cars, but hardly any applications on the internet give the right sizing. Furthermore few if any possible choices come up. So I think it would be better if I sought the collective wisdom of this site, since many of you probably have already installed after market stereos and speakers.

    What say you all?
    1980 MGB

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    Moderator Mickey Richaud's Avatar
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    Pretty standard opening, really. I have a Sony "XPLOD" AM/FM/CD player with removable front in the roadster. Will be putting a similar one in the GT when I get to the interior.
    "There are three kinds of men. One who learns by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on that electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers
    Mickey Richaud - '73 MGB, '69 MGB GT/V6 (both SOLD! ); Victor TF 1800; '03 Jaguar XK8
    ------------------------------------------------------------

  3. #3
    aerog
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    Here are some pictures from my installation.

    Your '80 MGB has the same instrument panel mine does. The opening will fit most (if not all) standard single-DIN radios. There's no standard for the depth of the radios, and although just about all should fit you should check the measurements on the radios you're looking at. Crutchfield.com is a good source for what's available, and the manufacturer's websites should have the actual radio dimensions on them.

    Speakers are another issue. I don't know what's on the market now, but it was tough to find something that fit the "stock" holes in the doors without using big spacers. I've seen everything from simple small spacers to get the speakers out 1/8-1/4" to big wooden boxes that make the speakers look like something from Frankenstein

    To clear the window mechanism the door allows 40mm deep speakers (depending on your door panel). You can fudge it 1-2mm by gluing nylon washers to the back of the door panel or door where the mounting screws are. The pre-punched speaker openings in the door panels are 115mm (4.5") in diameter, and the mounting holes are roughly 85mm apart... so with those dimensions you can start shopping around for something that fits.

    When I did mine (years ago) the only simple, clean installation was with Alpine SPS-1329S speakers. They're actually pretty big but don't need a big or deep space. They suit <span style="font-style: italic">my</span> needs fine, but there were alternatives from JBL that had additional tweeters that needed to be mounted elsewhere - ideally up high nearer eye-level. I suspect there are similar options today.

    There's always the option of putting them in boxes on the back shelf or hacking up the rear bulkhead - neither of which appeal to me.

    One other thing that may or may not be an issue depending on your skill level with electronics: there's no real ready-made wiring harness available for the MG. Crutchfield, Best Buy, and others, usually rely on pre-made adapters that adapt the radios to the manufacturer's wiring harness. You pretty much have to make your own with the MG. I made mine with a 9-pin Molex connector so the speakers and power circuits terminate on the Molex, then there's an adapter that connects the radio to that molex inside the car. It'll make life a lot easier later if you ever need to update or change the radio.

    I was also pretty leery of the wiring in the car. The original car wiring (if I recall correctly) had the radio power switching directly through the ignition switch - in other words, the ignition switch doesn't drive a relay, the radio's power actually flows through the switch. Not really knowing what the specs were, I reasoned that the current draw from a modern radio (and possibly amp) might exceed what they originally designed the circuit for.

    I eliminated the ignition-switch completely and use a rocker switch that drives a 30-amp headlight relay, which in turn controls the radio. My plan was to run a separate power circuit from the battery to the relay (fused at the battery) with the radio and amp power coming from the relay. That isolates everything else in the car and doesn't stress the rocker switch. You could always drive the relay with the original ignition switch and the results would be the same (negligible power flow through the switch). The memory "keep alive" power is drawn from one of the plentiful always-hot wires (I think I split mine off the cigarette lighter).

    I've never actually added the amp or the extra wiring to the battery, but with my wiring harness the mods would be pretty easy to do when I get to it...and as it is, I can switch the radio on and off without having the key in the ignition.

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    Yoda rick_ingram's Avatar
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    It's a standard opening...but you need to be aware of the depth for the radio.
    Rick Ingram
    1978 MGB - 1969 MGC - 1974.5 MGB/GT V8 conversion - 1968 MGC - 1972 MGB

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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    The depth is my main concern. Cruthfield says the depth is 6.25" and many of todays radios seem to be 7"+. I don't need anything fancy, and can live without a CD players if that will cut down on depth size.

    Which head units has everyone been installing
    1980 MGB

  6. #6
    aerog
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    Measure the hole in the support structure behind the dash. My radio rests inside it - and although the radio is only 6.5" long, I'd be surprised if 7" didn't fit in there. Don't take Crutchfield's measurements for the car, use your own. Make templates from cardboard to double check everything against the measurements from the radio manufacturer.

    For what it's worth, I just randomly picked a Kenwood receiver/CD/MP3 player from their website (click here). The depth of this single-DIN radio is only 6.25" - that's a little shorter than mine is.

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    Luke Skywalker Gundy's Avatar
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    Ipod/MP3 input is a must. Space is limited and I found
    one of those nano players to be perfect for the wife's MGB
    and she can throw it in the center console box when not
    in use. Her '71 doesn't have a glovebox or map pockets.
    Heck I had to add an aftermarket center console just to
    store her glasses and the itty bitty Ipod Nano.
    1971s have NO provision for interior storage. Great design.
    Don't forget you can check the tranny fluid from
    this area too, while you are there. Geessh.
    Great design.
    David Harrison
    1960 Sprite w/ mods
    1971 MGB

  8. #8
    aerog
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gundy
    Ipod/MP3 input is a must. Space is limited and I found
    one of those nano players to be perfect for the wife's MGB
    That's why I have an MP3 disc-player in mine, tons of music on a single disc and no player to deal with

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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    Ok, good news and bad news.

    I put in a Pioneer 1300-MP and it fit. The bad news is that I tried to install 4 inch speakers by Pioneer TS-A1072R and they did not fit. The depth was a little too much as the window regulator was rubbing and catching the back of the magnet.
    I want to keep the stock speaker covers (not replace with aftermarket ones), so I have to stick with 4 inch, not go larger. The trouble is depth clearance.

    Any suggestions?
    1980 MGB

  10. #10
    aerog
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    The speaker depth is 38-40mm. Google all the 4-5" speakers on the market and find one that fits.

    That's how I found mine.

  11. #11
    Jedi Knight billspohn's Avatar
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    Best stereo you can have on an MG is something like this:

    Current clutter: 1957 MGA-Jamaican, 1958 MGA Twincam (race car), 1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe, 1971 Jensen Interceptor
    2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe, 2007 BMW Z4M coupe Recently departed: 1965 Jensen CV-8, 1969 MGC roadster, 1969 Lamborghini Islero S

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    Great Pumpkin DNK's Avatar
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    You know Bill, when I first looked at that I thought it was a twin exhaust tip. Took me a while to see what it really was.
    Don
    "Stick a Wedge in it!"
    Mount Pleasant,SC

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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    I thought it was en exhaust tip too until I read the note.

    This place has great selection and prices, don't know if they have exactly what you need, but they sure have a lot of variety (though I don't think as much detail and specs as say Crutchfield) I ordered some speakers from them and was quite happy.

    onlinecarstereo.com no financial interest.

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    Senior Member JohnnyO's Avatar
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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    I put the Model One from RetroRadio in my midget. Moss Motors has them. It only is 5.25 inch depth. It also has that classic small face look, unlike the long faces on todays radios. It is AM/FM and plays flash drives, memory cards, and any Ipod type accessory. I am very pleased with the look and the functionality of it.








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    Re: What stereo fits in our MGB's?

    As an update in case anyone reads this via a search, I installed 4" Alpine SPS-410 speakers, and the stock speaker covers fit over them perfectly. So you can keep the stock look with much better speakers that will fit.

    I also installed a Metra 44-PW22 fully automatic antenna. I have pictures if anyone is interested.
    1980 MGB

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