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#253141 - 12/16/17 06:43 PM 88 TC Radio/Equalizer  
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LorainO88 Offline
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Hello all. I have issues with my radio & graphic equalizer. I’m not sure if either one has anything to do with the other. When you power on the radio the volume goes really loud coming out of the speakers. It is impossible to turn it down. I’ve never tried a cassette. Also the g/e will not stay powered on when you press the power button. It will if you hold the power button in. I really don’t want to replace the radio with a new aftermarket radio/cd. I have scoured the internet. It seems this radio is impossible to find these days. I’m trying to keep all oem stock. Is it possible to have the radio repaired? Is it possible to cross reference the radio with a radio Ford used on another brand..cougar, mustang, etc? Thank you all for your advice.


WRBjr
#253143 - 12/17/17 05:28 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
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Jeff K Offline
NATO President
Jeff K  Offline
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Posts: 9,339
Milwaukee, WI
Sounds like the volume knob on the radio needs a shot of contact cleaner. Best way to do this is to remove the radio, take the case off, and spray contact cleaner directly into the volume control pot, and turning the knob its full range several times. May repeat this process a few times.

The power button on the eq is a common problem. Most people just push the button in, jam a toothpick under the button to hold it in, and break off the toothpick.

IMO, the stock premium sound system absolutely horrible and pathetic by todays standards, and wasnt even that good by 1980's standards. Even a $120 aftermarket head unit will give WAY WAY better sound quality, higher power output than even Fords premium sound system, and many more features, like a USB input, CD player, etc.


Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
#253147 - 12/21/17 04:42 AM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
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turbo80sdriver Offline
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turbo80sdriver  Offline

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Erie, pa
If you find that the unit you have just won't repair, I can imagine there are many used units available to purchase - especially here at NATO. As Jeff said, since the aftermarket units do so well, a boat-load of TCs already have had them replaced (e.g. I have 3 TCs with aftermarkets and one with all stock). If you resort to that, just place a parts wanted post and I can imagine it won't take long to find a replacement unit.


'88 TC-Black (TC February 2011)T-5 with 73K
'88 TC-Blue w/93K. Stocker w/t-5. (Feature project 2013)
'88 TC-Grey w/82k. Auto, well optioned, 2nd owner car - getting more options!
'87 TC-Blue w/123k t-5 parts car - less of a car now
'87 GN w/15.5K
#253177 - 12/31/17 08:32 AM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
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anasazi4st Online content
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anasazi4st  Online Content
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Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted by LorainO88
I have scoured the internet. It seems this radio is impossible to find these days. I’m trying to keep all oem stock. Is it possible to have the radio repaired? Is it possible to cross reference the radio with a radio Ford used on another brand..cougar, mustang, etc? Thank you all for your advice.

I am also looking for a 1987-88 Ford Premium Sound AM/FM Cassette OEM stereo. While I have not posted in Parts Wanted, I did inquire here several months ago if anyone knew of one. I am still looking. As you’ve found out, there are very few to be had. I have a daily search set up on eBay for just this item...lots of ones from 1990 on up, but no 1987-88s models like I am looking for.

The one I am seeking has the Sliding Balance Control, which was matched with the Graphic Equalizer for 87-88. There is a Rotating Knobs model which was for owners who did not desire the Graphic Equalizer feature: Bass, Treble, Balance and Front/Rear Fade are the four knobs where the sliding balance control is found on the other unit. A few of these can still be found. I bit the bullet and installed one in my TC.

I have detailed a fix that allows the usage of the Equalizer with this other unit, as there is no direct hookup—the Equalizer was not installed, so there is no connection for it. Modifications must be made, although for the most part they are not serious and could be reversed if the proper replacement is ever located. The only serious mod is that a hole must be cut into the plastic trim piece that fits around the radio, Equalizer, a/c panel and System Sentry units. I had a spare one of these, so it was not a big deal to me.

I have detailed the fix/mod here—Adapting Ford’s Premium Sound Graphic Equalizer.

Good luck.


1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Bought in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 tranny swap (and now a full rebuild), 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
#253184 - 01/01/18 03:12 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
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LorainO88 Offline
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Savannah
Thank you everyone for the great advice. I have decided to go with an aftermarket unit. I wanted to stay original. It just makes better sense.


WRBjr
#253212 - 01/11/18 11:10 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
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LorainO88 Offline
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Savannah
Thank you. I now have MORE QUESTIONS. There is no way possible I will install my own unit. I WILL get the car wiring so jacked up the ignition would not turn over. That is why I'm going to a local install shop. I've bought 2 BOSS 6x9 500w units for the rear. My question is-what type CD head unit should I buy? Does it matter? I do not want to mess with the original speakers in the door panels and dash. All those screws. The door panels are currently very sound with no rattle. Id like to use them for what they are worth. I looked up the Premium Sound for the 88 TC. I see there is an amp in the trunk. Is it any count at this point? I see from wiring schematics there is a reach around plug that by passes the original EQ. Very smart on FOMOCO part. Does that reach around also bypass the amp too? Basically, I'm asking can I put in a new head unit no matter what the amps and still use the original amp, the speakers in the dash, the side panels and the new ones in the rear deck?


WRBjr
#253213 - 01/11/18 11:49 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 9,339
Jeff K Offline
NATO President
Jeff K  Offline
NATO President

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 9,339
Milwaukee, WI
You ALWAYS bypass the (pathetic) premium sound amp in the trunk. Even a cheap head unit will have more power and better frequency response than the POS premium sound amp. You also bypass the equalizer. Virtually every head unit other than the absolute cheapest one you can buy will have a built in equalizer that is light years better than the stock one. Modern head units with DSP are absolutely amazing, letting you move the sound stage anywhere you want in the car plus lots more.

Yes, there should be a in back of the radio that goes directly to the speakers. You use that plug, with a Ford adapter harness, to connect to the new HU.

I would strongly suggest new speakers all around. Even the door speakers are are very easy to replace. It only takes a couple minutes to remove the door panel to get to the speaker. The OEM speakers were not too good to begin with, and are worse after 30 years of heat / cold, humidity etc.

CD??? No one uses CDs anymore. Virtually every HU these days have a USP input for a phone or a thumb drive. A 16 Gb thumb drive will hold enough high resolution (320 kps) mp3 music that you could drive from coast to coast twice and never listen to the same song.


Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
#253220 - 01/12/18 04:11 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
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LorainO88 Offline
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LorainO88  Offline
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Savannah
Thank you JK! HaHa. I’ll get the one with a thumb drive and phone jack too. I have a boat load of cds that date back to 1988 too. Btw. I’m going to but speakers all the way around. Great advice taken. I’m shopping for them now. Save from pulling the panels myself, does anyone happen to know the dimensions of the dash and door speakers? Thanks much all.


WRBjr
#253225 - 01/13/18 01:40 AM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 9,339
Jeff K Offline
NATO President
Jeff K  Offline
NATO President

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 9,339
Milwaukee, WI
I too had tons of CDs dating back to the 80s. I converted them all (at least the ones I still wanted to keep) to high resolution mp3 format with my laptop years ago, and never looked back.


Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
#253227 - 01/13/18 09:17 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 31
LorainO88 Offline
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LorainO88  Offline
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Savannah
Thank you JK. I bought all Boss. Speakers, head unit and amp. All around 1k watts. If I can get some base and high treble, I’ll be pleased. I’m looking into putting everything from my cds on a thumb drive. That will be awesome. Again. I’m thankful there are all knowing folks around. The Turbo Coupe is the best car to roll out of Lorain assembly. Just my opinion. Thank you.


WRBjr
#253296 - 02/13/18 04:45 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
Joined: Dec 2001
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niteshooter Offline
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niteshooter  Offline
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Toronto Ontario Canada
Just in case someone decides to try and repair this radio. On my 86 which I think is the same as what is in the 87-89 it was the power switch on the equalizer that failed. I have removed mine and repaired it once which in my case was that the switch had bad soldier joints. A shot of Deoxit on it and the power/volume nob on the radio got things working again.


86 Turbo Coupe
86 Jeep CJ7
77 Thunderbird
#253297 - 02/13/18 06:22 PM Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: LorainO88]  
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Kuch Offline
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Kuch  Offline
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Manlius, NY USA
I just wanted to jump in here and tell everyone of my fix for the infamous broken power button on the EQ. mine was broken as well, but I didn't want to jam the toothpick in there to hold it. I took out the EQ and stripped it down to the main components. The power switch is pretty small , but I was able to take it apart while keeping it attached to the board. It is a spring loaded push button that has a small plastic arm with a pawl on it. The pawl locks into a small catch in the plastic body and basically the plastic wears out and does not catch anymore. I was able to remove the spring, thus removing the tension on the switch. Once back together, I could manually move it in or out and it would stay in place. mine has been pushed in the power position all last year and never came out of the on position. it was a pain to do, took me maybe 2 hours, but I like messing with electronics and thought I would try it. I did not take pics as I went, definitely should have.


1988 Turbo Coupe, 5 Speed, 2nd one, a keeper
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, 4 Speed
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 3 Speed
#253339 - 6 hours ago Re: 88 TC Radio/Equalizer [Re: Kuch]  
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 224
anasazi4st Online content
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anasazi4st  Online Content
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Phoenix, AZ
That’s very smart, Kuch. Wish I would have thought of that. Instead I removed the switch altogether and hot wired all the connections inside, which took far longer. I covered up the switch’s hole with a piece of black electrical tape.

Works great, but I like your idea much better.


1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Bought in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 tranny swap (and now a full rebuild), 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....

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