How To Repair and Diagnose Problems with Your Imperial's Search Tune Radio 

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Question from Greg (1966):

I am having trouble making the "Search Tune" radios, models 417 and 420 used in the 66 Imperial, operate. The search mechanism operates by a reset switch driven by a cam driven from the dial, often the switch will not reset and the mechanism jambs. I have the SAMS volume on these radios but they offer no information about the mechanical mechanisms operation. Is there anyone who has worked on these radios and can offer advice?

Reply from Dick:

I have repaired many search tune radios from Packards of the 50's. I have not had the pleasure on an Imperial radio as yet. The Packard radios were built by Delco, and if the Imperial radios were built by Delco, I'd bet the mechanism is the same or very close. I've found a careful lubrication of all moving parts (I use silicon grease) and very careful adjustment of the end of travel switch cures the problem on the return to start position of the search motor. These things seem to just barely work when you are adjusting them, there is so little margin for error. But once adjusted, they seem to work for years and years without further problems.

Question from Roger (1969):

I have a '69 Imperial.  I want to take out my AM radio and put in AM/FM radio from a 70 Imp.  Does the radio come out thru the front of dash or back, have any of you folks done this before sure would like some tips.


From Elijah:

The radio comes out the back of the dash.

1. Remove single screw attaching A/C spot cooler duct from beneath steering column (long black plastic tube that goes from far left of dash over to the center).

2. Remove the four screws from the Vent lever panel beneath the steering column. Lower panel to floor (be careful - the plastic will break easily).

3. Remove four screws attaching center ash tray and remove ash tray (you'll have to disconnect one wire for the lighter and one for the ash tray light).

4. Remove nut from attaching bracket at back of radio (bracket goes from radio to bottom of the dash).

5. Disconnect antenna and radio wiring.

6. Remove two screws from bottom of radio (you'll find access openings beneath the dash).

7. Carefully lower the radio down and out of the dash.

8. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

9. Install new radio and put it all back together.

10. Take a muscle relaxant to allow your back to return to its previous uncontorted position.

Question from Jonathan (1970's):

I was just looking at some listings of radio options for Chryslers from the mid-70's and turned up something interesting. Those of us into Fuselage Imperials are probably aware of the floor-mounted tape cassette player/recorders that were available -- for the roving executive who wanted to play his newest tapes, and dictate as he drove. The Dictaphone on wheels for the 1970's. Anyhow, I found that in '74, Chrysler introduced a dash-mounted cassette player. It came as a combination AM/FM stereo radio with cassette (with Dolby). What I'm wondering is does this radio for '74-'79 fit the slot for the '69-'73 generation of Imperials? This would be a great way to get a cassette player in an Imperial. Not only would it be in the dash, but it would still be a vintage Mopar radio/cassette and it would match the interior pretty well. Plus you wouldn't have to pay the outrageous prices people are asking for the floor mounted cassette/recorders. Ok, it's the only factory tape RECORDER I've ever seen listed by an auto-maker, but is it really worth $500.00? Try to keep editorials to a minimum on this. We've vented over this topic before, I think. I'd just like to know if the '74-'79 Mopar radio/cassettes will fit the radio slots in the '69-'73 Imperials? Thanks in advance.


From Frank:

I don't think they would fit properly as the '74 and up dash is completely different.   It probably depends on how flush you want it. 

From Jack:

In a word, no. They are very different in the face plate, and mounting system. The dash on a 69-73 has a single din sized opening, and the 74-98 Mopar is a 1 1/2 din opening.  If you look at the 8 tracks of the fuselage years, there was an opening just under the radio in the dash for the 8 track slot, which required a unique dash panel, (or a cut out?)  I think there is a subtle curvature in the dash as well, which would make the flat front units all the more difficult to adapt.  Now, all the radio openings, and most of the radios from 74 till about 98 will fit each other. but that's another story.....


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