North American Turbocoupe Organization



Stereo Upgrade...2022.
G-Rage Offline
Junior Member
#1
So I'm finally getting around to replacing the OE speakers and functional but no sound factory head unit on my '87 TC (Factory EQ) 

I called crutchfield and came up with some speakers that are designed to fit, nothing special.
Memphis Audio for doors and Rear
Infinity for dash
I picked an Alpine, Bluetooth head unit that puts out 22 watts to 4 channels.
All in about $350.

All seems pretty basic so far right? Just plug and play into the "extra" factory harness and bypass the OE amp in the back?

The crutchfield rep tells me that I'll need an amp to power all this because I'll burn up the head unit trying to run these speakers.

Am I missing something? 
I told them that Im looking for functional sound and not "blow out the windows" sound.

thanks in advance!
87 Black 5 spd, 47K miles, all original (minimally modified) survivor.
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88Slowbird Offline
Member
#2
the dash speakers are tied into the door speakers so it'll make a 2 ohm load on the front channels which most headunits can't handle (most 4 channel aftermarket amps can go down to 2 ohm on each channel if you want to go that route)

I just unplug the dash speakers in my cars so I won't run into that problem
Black 1988 TC: RR Cam (with Esslinger cam gear), Stinger FMIC, Stinger 3" Exhaust, .60/.63 SVO Turbo, Pimp V1.4, Spartan2 Wideband, Forge DP BOV
Mach 1 Red 1988 TC: All stock
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#3
I have had zero issues running the door and dash speakers in parallel with several Sony different head units over the years in both my 86 Tbird 5.0 and 88 TC.
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
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spittinfire Offline
Member
#4
I personally love the sound of my factory premium sound system. Everything works and the speakers are still in good shape so I keep on rocking. I would love to find some NOS speakers for it but I know that's a long shot.
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G-Rage Offline
Junior Member
#5
(03-23-2022, 07:31 PM)88Slowbird Wrote: the dash speakers are tied into the door speakers so it'll make a 2 ohm load on the front channels which most headunits can't handle (most 4 channel aftermarket amps can go down to 2 ohm on each channel if you want to go that route)

I just unplug the dash speakers in my cars so I won't run into that problem

So you're positive the dash/door are tied in parallel?

If I understand correctly, then I could use a 4 channel amp and tie the left dash/door to a single channel (same for the right) 
The rear left and right would also have its own channel.

I'm a ME not an EE obviously.....
87 Black 5 spd, 47K miles, all original (minimally modified) survivor.
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88Slowbird Offline
Member
#6
(03-25-2022, 01:34 AM)G-Rage Wrote:
(03-23-2022, 07:31 PM)88Slowbird Wrote: the dash speakers are tied into the door speakers so it'll make a 2 ohm load on the front channels which most headunits can't handle (most 4 channel aftermarket amps can go down to 2 ohm on each channel if you want to go that route)

I just unplug the dash speakers in my cars so I won't run into that problem

So you're positive the dash/door are tied in parallel?

If I understand correctly, then I could use a 4 channel amp and tie the left dash/door to a single channel (same for the right) 
The rear left and right would also have its own channel.

I'm a ME not an EE obviously.....

I've installed radios and speakers in multiple thunderbirds and they're all wired parallel on the front speakers (all of the ones I've owned had premium sound though but that might not matter)

& yes correct you can do that
Black 1988 TC: RR Cam (with Esslinger cam gear), Stinger FMIC, Stinger 3" Exhaust, .60/.63 SVO Turbo, Pimp V1.4, Spartan2 Wideband, Forge DP BOV
Mach 1 Red 1988 TC: All stock
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#7
(03-23-2022, 07:13 PM)G-Rage Wrote: The crutchfield rep tells me that I'll need an amp to power all this because I'll burn up the head unit trying to run these speakers.

I’m with Jeff here. You should not need to do more than plug into the existing spare harness behind the glove box. That’s all I did. (Of course you’ll probably need an adapter for that.)

I swapped out my OEM JBL unit for a Boss Audio one several years ago. I also replaced all the speakers—except the door units, at least for now—with Blaupunkt ones. I could not be happier with the sound quality.

I am not familiar with Crutchfield…but in all the research I did back then I saw nothing about needing another amp. Your head unit should already have an amp—can’t imagine one without.

I also am not an electrical engineer—but I’m pretty sure Jeff is. I would listen to what he tells you.

One side note: It’s probably a good idea to completely remove the old amp from the package tray in the trunk. Although it’s no longer connected to anything (or, at least it shouldn’t be), removing it also removes the chance that you or someone else will accidentally try to connect the new head unit to the old harness at some point down the road. That would not be a good thing.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#8
(03-24-2022, 05:54 PM)spittinfire Wrote: I personally love the sound of my factory premium sound system.  Everything works and the speakers are still in good shape so I keep on rocking.  I would love to find some NOS speakers for it but I know that's a long shot.

If I can point something out here: no you DO NOT want NOS speakers. The point is, over the course of 30 years the original paper cones are pretty much shot—likely, dried out and brittle. THIS IS 99% THE CASE with any of those old speakers. It’s a natural thing—back then, they weren’t meant to survive this long. The cones of modern speakers are made from polypropylene, which will likely survive all of us.

It would be kind of like buying an NOS head gasket or something similar, from 30 years ago. Why would you take that chance when more modern durable ones are available?

As far as you “lov[ing] the sound of the factory premium sound system”, that’s purely subjective. All I can say is—I felt the exact same way. Now, I see the huge difference—and I am very pleased with the results.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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spittinfire Offline
Member
#9
(04-03-2022, 07:19 PM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(03-24-2022, 05:54 PM)spittinfire Wrote: I personally love the sound of my factory premium sound system.  Everything works and the speakers are still in good shape so I keep on rocking.  I would love to find some NOS speakers for it but I know that's a long shot.

If I can point something out here: no you DO NOT want NOS speakers. The point is, over the course of 30 years the original paper cones are pretty much shot—likely, dried out and brittle. THIS IS 99% THE CASE with any of those old speakers. It’s a natural thing—back then, they weren’t meant to survive this long. The cones of modern speakers are made from polypropylene, which will likely survive all of us.

It would be kind of like buying an NOS head gasket or something similar, from 30 years ago. Why would you take that chance when more modern durable ones are available?

As far as you “lov[ing] the sound of the factory premium sound system”, that’s purely subjective. All I can say is—I felt the exact same way. Now, I see the huge difference—and I am very pleased with the results.

I understand what you're saying and I don't disagree with you.  I've put together a few car audio systems over the years and seen/heard the changes over the same time.  I studied music in college along with sound recording/production so I get it.  At the same time I'm not a fan at all of digital music and I find that a lot of newer equipment doesn't have the same warm sound that older equipment does but as you mentioned that's subjective.       

The speakers in my car are in great shape and somehow managed to survive the last 34 years without damage.  Every function of my equalizer and radio work without flaw, even the tape deck plays beautifully.  I've actually been buying up old cassette tapes when I find them.  I enjoy the sound on most of the music I listen to in my car so respectfully, yes, I DO want a set of NOS speakers if I could find them.    
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#10
(04-04-2022, 01:49 PM)spittinfire Wrote:
(04-03-2022, 07:19 PM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(03-24-2022, 05:54 PM)spittinfire Wrote: I personally love the sound of my factory premium sound system.  Everything works and the speakers are still in good shape so I keep on rocking.  I would love to find some NOS speakers for it but I know that's a long shot.

If I can point something out here: no you DO NOT want NOS speakers. The point is, over the course of 30 years the original paper cones are pretty much shot—likely, dried out and brittle. THIS IS 99% THE CASE with any of those old speakers. It’s a natural thing—back then, they weren’t meant to survive this long. The cones of modern speakers are made from polypropylene, which will likely survive all of us.

It would be kind of like buying an NOS head gasket or something similar, from 30 years ago. Why would you take that chance when more modern durable ones are available?

As far as you “lov[ing] the sound of the factory premium sound system”, that’s purely subjective. All I can say is—I felt the exact same way. Now, I see the huge difference—and I am very pleased with the results.

I understand what you're saying and I don't disagree with you.  I've put together a few car audio systems over the years and seen/heard the changes over the same time.  I studied music in college along with sound recording/production so I get it.  At the same time I'm not a fan at all of digital music and I find that a lot of newer equipment doesn't have the same warm sound that older equipment does but as you mentioned that's subjective.       

The speakers in my car are in great shape and somehow managed to survive the last 34 years without damage.  Every function of my equalizer and radio work without flaw, even the tape deck plays beautifully.  I've actually been buying up old cassette tapes when I find them.  I enjoy the sound on most of the music I listen to in my car so respectfully, yes, I DO want a set of NOS speakers if I could find them.    

Alrighty then!

Well, that’s the purpose of an open forum, to ask questions and gain information. While I might not completely agree with you, you do make good points and I respect your opinion.

I recently purchased a vintage turntable so that I could more fully appreciated my vinyl record collection. The turntable I used for years eventually wore out the stylus and I’ve discovered that it’s no longer available. It’s been years since some of that vinyl has been appreciated—I probably have a couple hundred records in my collection, and I am looking forward to starting that endeavour.

You can read here my efforts to try and salvage my OEM stereo setup, after the head unit broke down. For me, eventually it was too much and I went with a more modern arrangement.
Another proud dues-paying member.

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