Ray's Chevy Restoration Site


Chevrolet Radio Information


This page describes some of the various radios used in 60's, 70's, and 80's Chevrolet cars and pick-up trucks. GM offered numerous radio, stereo, and tape player options over the years so it is nearly impossible to compile an all inclusive list. Shown here is simply a listing of some of the more common shaft spacing and dash opening sizes along with some common electrical connectors found throughout this year range.

Shaft Spacing and Center Opening Sizes:

6-1/4" shaft spacing with 4-1/2" x 1-9/16" center opening

Some vehicles using this size radio include:

Note: Both car and truck applications feature a recessed area cast into the face plate around the RH "tuner" knob shaft. This area is unused on truck radios and has a fairly long mounting collar around the RH shaft that extends all the way out to the dash (where it is secured with a nut). Car radios make use of the recessed area to accommodate an optional front/rear fader control used for a rear speaker. Therefore, the car radios have a shorter mounting collar around the RH shaft. The cutout in the car dash opening has a larger hole on the RH side for the special cupped mounting washer used in conjunction with the shorter/recessed collar.

In the examples shown above, the truck radio is out of a 64-66 and the car radio is from a 63-64.


6-1/4" shaft spacing with 4-1/2" x 1-3/4" (or 1-13/16") center opening

Some vehicles using this size radio include:

This example is from a 74 Nova.


6-1/4" shaft spacing with 4-1/2" x 2-1/4" center opening

Some vehicles using this size radio include:


5-3/4" shaft spacing with 4-1/4" x 2" center opening

Some vehicles using this size radio include:

The examples shown above are an AM radio, an AM/FM stereo, and a digital tuner AM/FM stereo with cassette tape player.


Electrical Connections and Common Wire Color Codes:

Socket on Back of Radio Corresponding Plug(s) Plug Pin-out Diagram

The style of radio socket/connector shown above is commonly used on many 1963 - 1964 Chevy cars and trucks with mono AM or AM/FM radios. I believe it continued to be used in trucks (and possibly a few other applications up into the 70's). The 3-terminal connector that plugs into the back of the radio is part of the speaker harness and uses Packard 56 series female terminals on the two speaker wires. The power wire connection uses a special extension or "piggyback" terminal with a female end that plugs into the radio and a male end that accepts the single-terminal power wire connector. On most cars, the power wire is part of the under-dash harness. On most pickup trucks, the power wire is a separate wire that simply plugs into the fuse box and runs over to the radio.

On cars equipped with a rear speaker, a second sub-harness (with matching 3-terminal plugs) is jumpered in between the radio and front speaker harness. This sub-harness connects to a fader control (that slides over the RH tuner shaft) and is used to divide the radio's single speaker output between the front and rear speakers.

Wire color codes for this style of radio connector varied, but the most common are:

  • +12V feed to radio = brown, yellow, black w/yellow stripe, or red
  • Front Speaker = light green & black zipcord
  • Rear Speaker (optional) = white or black
These radios are typically grounded through the metal case being attached to a metal dash. The ground terminal is internally connected to the radio case. So even though two wires run to the front speaker, the one connected to the radio's ground terminal is a chassis ground. Optional rear speakers are usually just grounded to the car body near the speaker instead of running the wire all the way back to the radio's ground terminal.


Socket on Back of Radio Corresponding Plug(s) Plug Pin-out Diagram

The style of radio socket/connector shown above is used on 1973 - 1976 Camaros and Novas with AM or AM/FM mono radios. The 6-terminal connector that plugs into the back of the radio is part of a speaker/jumper harness. It uses Pack-Con female terminals. The jumper harness also includes a 3-terminal power/light/ground connector that uses Packard 56 series terminals and plugs into a mating connector that is part of the under-dash harness.

Wire colors for this type of connector on seem to be fairly standardized to:

  • Radio ground = black
  • +12V feed to radio = yellow
  • Dial light = gray
  • Front speaker + = light green
  • Rear speaker (optional) + = dark blue
  • Speaker ground = black or black w/double white stripes
I believe this setup uses an isolated speaker ground that is not connected to the radio case and/or vehicle body.


Socket on Back of Radio Corresponding Plug(s) Plug Pin-out Diagram

The style of radio socket/connector shown above is commonly used on 73-77 GM pickups and many Chevy cars (except Camaros and Novas) starting in 1971. I believe Novas used this connector style for 1977 only. It features three separate connectors, all of which use female Pack-Con terminals. The 3-terminal power/light/ground connector is part of the under-dash harness and the wire color coding on this is usually:

  1. Radio ground = black
  2. +12V feed to radio = yellow
  3. Dial light = gray

The 4-terminal and 3-terminal speaker connectors are part of the speaker harness(es) and the wire color coding depends on the particular radio and application. Not all wires/terminals are used for single speaker and front/rear mono applications. The speaker harnesses on some 2-speaker stereo setups ran one speaker off the front, the other off the rear, and used 5 foot sections of 2 Ohms-per-foot resistance wire (10 Ohms total) to take the place of the other two speakers.

Some stereo radios use a very similar looking connector except it has a 4-terminal (instead of 3-terminal) connector for the rear speakers; giving each rear speaker it's own ground/return wire.

Some of these radios featured a digital tuner and clock display. These will have an additional 2-wire pigtail/socket on the back with orange and brown wires that are connected as shown for the following style.


Socket on Back of Radio Corresponding Plug(s) Plug Pin-out Diagram

The style of socket/connector shown above is commonly used on nearly all GM radios/stereos/tape players starting in 1978 and continuing up into the early 1990's. The wire colors on these connectors seem to be standardized to:

  • On the 4-terminal black connector:
    1. Power antenna (optional) = pink
    2. +12V switched power = yellow
    3. Radio Ground = black
    4. Dial light or dimmer signal = gray
  • On the 4-terminal white connector:
    1. RF Speaker + = light green
    2. LF Speaker + = tan
    3. RF Speaker - = dark green
    4. LF Speaker - = gray
  • On the 4-terminal blue connector:
    1. LR Speaker + = brown
    2. RR Speaker + = dark blue
    3. LR Speaker - = yellow
    4. RR Speaker - = light blue
  • On the 2-terminal black connector (digital tuner/clock only):
    1. +12V constant battery power = orange
    2. Lights on signal = brown

Not all radios with this style of connector make use of all the available connectors or terminals. For example, single speaker mono radios only have light/dark green speaker wires going to terminals A and C on the white connector and the blue connector isn't even used at all.

The black 2-terminal connector used on digital radios uses Pack-Con terminals and is usually on it's own sub harness. The orange wire usually plugs into the "BAT" tap point on the fuse box. And the brown wire usually plugs into the parking light circuit on the headlight switch.



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