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Thread: '89 Master Ace Radio/Speaker Replacement

  1. #1
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    '89 Master Ace Radio/Speaker Replacement

    I've recently picked up an '89 Master Ace from Japan that was well taken care of. No mechanical issues aside from downshifting to 2nd. Looking into that separately.

    The main issue is the radio. I can plug an aux cord in and get the front driver speaker to play intermittently. Otherwise it doesn't really work. My guess is the radio needs to be replaced, as well as the speakers. I've already found a thread with the exact speaker sizes I need (at least for the front doors and rear pillars, if there are any more speakers please let me know).

    If I want to replace the radio, will any double DIN work? Do I need an installation kit? HOW do I get the thing OUT?

    Thanks =)

  2. #2
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    Re: '89 Master Ace Radio/Speaker Replacement

    Well, I figured it out on my own. Wanted to post pics in case anyone else has the same question.

    I took out the two screws on the front dash panel around the instrument cluster and then pulled it carefully from the remaining tabs. Screw locations shown in red, tabs in yellow.

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    Next I removed the front trim panel around the radio and climate controls. This one was a bit tricky since it's not the beefiest thing and there are 3 tabs in hard to reach places. I removed the two front screws, then removed the ash trash and ash tray top plate (2 more screws) to reach in and push the tabs from the back.

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    Finally you can access the radio mounting bracket, you just need to remove 4 screws. Easy!

    I'll follow up with the install once I get everything in.

  3. #3
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    Re: '89 Master Ace Radio/Speaker Replacement

    OK well the job is done. Didn't go exactly as planned, but what does?

    If you ever have to replace the speakers in an '89 Townace/Masterace, be prepared for a few hours of work.

    First things first, I bought 4" and 5.25" speakers for the front and back, which fit perfectly. I also bought a double DIN radio which fits exactly to the OEM bracket and required no additional hardware. Didn't need a faceplate either.

    Getting the front speakers out took all of 30 seconds. Just needed to remove 4 screws and unplug the connector. The speaker was held in by two plastic tabs and some old yellow glue. I just cut the tabs carefully and removed the old speaker. The 4" replacement fit right in. I couldn't find a connector that matched the OEM one so I just cut and connected. Took about 30 minutes total for both front speakers including the time it took to go inside and grab a beer.

    The rear speakers were a bit more fun. Removing the rear pillar panel required the removal of the rear seatbelt, many screws, the curtains, and a bunch of really brittle tabs. BE CAREFUL. I didn't break anything but I was super nervous the whole time and heard some sounds I didn't want to hear. Turned out to be the metal clips holding the panel in place. A car panel removal tool is super important if you want to do this without damage. I think this part took me the longest as I was really worried about breaking the panel the whole time.

    When I got the panel out, I realized this was going to be a bit of work. No speakers! Just the empty spot where one could be and some foam covering the hole. I did a bit of searching for a bracket but given the age of the van I decided to make a temporary solution out of steel hanging strap. Very ghetto but it does the trick for now while I search for a more suitable replacement.

    Next I ran the wire all the way up to the front through the upper trim. It wasn't very difficult to remove but still took some time. Ending up running it above the door and behind the glove box, having almost exactly the right length. Had to take the glovebox out and a few more pieces of trim but at this point I was getting pretty good at it. These were all held in place by metal clips which are pretty easy to remove.

    Did the same thing for the other side, and got it all connected and working. All told I probably spent 4 hours doing this, which is about 2 more than I expected. I think the rule of thumb is to double your first guess when it comes to project length and that held true here.

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to let me know. It wasn't as hard as I was expecting.

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  4. #4
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    Re: '89 Master Ace Radio/Speaker Replacement

    looks good, nice job. Glad you posted back up
    I was thinking of adding the speakers to the rear door, but your location may be easier to get to and mount.

    I don't have rear speakers locations either.
    I was a member for 2 years before I bought my van.
    Vandi-

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