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MG MGA - installing a radio

This might sound like a stupid question, but I'm serious. I've already converted my car to negative ground but how do people usually install a radio in their MGA's? I see how to remove the plate in the dash, but after that there is nothing to attach the radio to. Is there a radio mounting kit you can buy, or do people usually just make their own?


Darian Henderson

In the new radio kits you will find a mounting box, with a little filing on the rt & lf side of the opening it will fit, fold over the tabs & you are in business. You may want to add a altenator, I also installed the antena under the dash for the radio.
Good luck:Cliff

Modern radios are typically a little smaller than the original blanking plate. When I installed one I cut an opening in the original blanking to mount the radio, then put the whole thing in the dash with the original chrome trim ring. Final touch is a short piece of perforated pipe strap on the back end to give it support to the underside of the body cowling inner brace.

A new radio usually comes with an in-line fuse that you can connect to the output side of the ignition switch. Add a ground wire, speaker wires and antenna and your on air.

Large separate speakers can be a royal pain to mount. I put a pair in custom formed conical cans attached to the upper bulkhead at both ends. Mounting in the rear bulkhead is a problem if you like touring with the top down, as the stowed rag top may cover the speakers in that location. Mounting in the forward kick panels below the frame angle brace is a real tight space. Mounting low in the doors near front requires some cutting of the door inner shell and modification of the door pocket.

The antenna is easy enough, as long as you're willing to drill a couple of holes. See here for standard instructions:

The antenna normally mounts in the wing with a hole through the inner body wall to pass the lead wire. This position allows space for a power retractible antenna, which sounds handy at first but may be a maintenance probelm in the long run. I like the manually retractable flush mount antenna for security and simplicity (and low cost). I threw the radio out years ago, but I still have the antenna, and no one seems to notice.

If you don't like the original mast antenna, there is a ferrite coil antenna that masquerades as a nearly original looking wing mirror. See here:
Barney Gaylord

Barney are the pictures of your custom under dash speakers out there anywhere?
T McCarthy

Sorry, no pictures. I removed the failed radio several years ago. A couple years later I removed the speakers during R&R of the kick panels for access to R&R the windscreen. After the speakers had cluttered up space in the garage for a few years I tossed them in the dust bin. They were cheap speakers, and the enclosures were pretty bad accustically, so I wasn't going to use them again.

It is not a bad location for speakers, but I think they would do better in open air rather than being sealed in air tight cans behind. Putting speakers in a big box is okay but the minimal size metal cans seemed to dampen the volume and make them sound "tinny".

These sheet metal cans were the same diameter in front as the overall size of the speaker (about 7-inches), with a front flange for mounting the speaker. They were about 5-inches deep with conical taper going to about 4-inches diameter at back. All seams were soldered to be air tight, then painted black. The flat back panel had three #10 screws for attachment to the bulkhead. The conical shape fit nicely into the corner below the body top cowl and the kick panel, with the small diameter back panel fitting on the vertical bulkhaed panel.

I killed a half day making the cans; it seemed like a good idea at the time. I used them (put up with them) for about 10 years. They may have sounded better if not sealed. I had a notion to try drilling a lot of holes in the sides of the cans for open venting but never got around to it. It might be easy enough (and maybe better) to mount speakers in the same loation on 3 or 4 tubular stand-offs in open air.
Barney Gaylord

Here's how I mounted my speakers in the coupe I think the last photo will show the antena

Sorry the links are not working.

OK they work if you do a copy / paste

Don't mean to steal the thread but,Cliff who's carpet kit did you use and are you happy with it?
gary starr

Thanks everyone. It seems clear to me. I guess I can use any metal kit and bend it accordingly...
Darian Henderson

I'm curious, has anyone tried one of the radios that automatically adjusts the volume up and down as noise increases/decreases? If so, how did it work out. I'm thinking of installing one in my coupe.
G T Foster

My wife always wanted a radio in my car but I was happy to listern to the exhaust note - so I bought her an IPod and got all her favourite songs off ITunes -we are both happy now. Maybe I will by another for myself for long trips!
Mike Ellsmore

This thread was discussed between 11/04/2007 and 13/04/2007

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