AM 8 Track is Back in the Mustang

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My Car
1973 Q code Mach 1 blue glow C6 auto
1973 Q code Mach 1 blue glow, 4 speed
1973 H code Convertible ivy glow, FMX
The original AM 8 Track player in my Mustang has been sitting in a box since 1983. I finally got around to locating a belt for it and re-installed it during my interior renovation recently. It plays great along with the new speakers I found on line. The 8 track belt is 13.5" in circumference and 0.28" wide. It fit perfectly and was easy to install. I found the belt at https://www.turntableneedles.com/8-Track_Cassette_Deck_Reel_to_Reel_Rubber_Drive_Belts
The replacement speakers are from http://www.turnswitch.com/speakers.htm. I bought the original style 4x8 oval speakers listed there with the Ford spacers that allow them to fit in the door correctly. The spacers are 3D printed based on the originals so the fit was spot on. A new LED lamp in the radio topped it all off.
 

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The original AM 8 Track player in my Mustang has been sitting in a box since 1983. I finally got around to locating a belt for it and re-installed it during my interior renovation recently. It plays great along with the new speakers I found on line. The 8 track belt is 13.5" in circumference and 0.28" wide. It fit perfectly and was easy to install. I found the belt at https://www.turntableneedles.com/8-Track_Cassette_Deck_Reel_to_Reel_Rubber_Drive_Belts
The replacement speakers are from http://www.turnswitch.com/speakers.htm. I bought the original style 4x8 oval speakers listed there with the Ford spacers that allow them to fit in the door correctly. The spacers are 3D printed based on the originals so the fit was spot on. A new LED lamp in the radio topped it all off.
Please let us know how those speakers sound. I've been considering them as well.
 
Congratulations. I am considering installing an AM 8 track in my car. It came with an AM radio.

Do you have or know of anyone with the correct face plate for the AM 8 track? I believe it is a little bit larger cutout where the push buttons are located. Any help would be appreciated.

Mac
 
Congratulations. I am considering installing an AM 8 track in my car. It came with an AM radio.

Do you have or know of anyone with the correct face plate for the AM 8 track? I believe it is a little bit larger cutout where the push buttons are located. Any help would be appreciated.

Mac
Mac,

The AM 8 track radio bezel does have a larger opening than that of the one for the AM radio or the AM/FM stereo. If you have one with the smaller opening, you can carefully cut out that top part to stay within the chrome lines on the outside of the bezel. Repro bezels are available and run about $100 but I think they are all the smaller opening.

Steve
 
Looks Great! I hope it sounds good too
I tried it out and it sounds as good as it can for a 50 year old 8 track tape! I did take the tape apart and clean it and replaced the splice to make sure it wasn't going to come undone inside my player. I think my Dad kept all of our old 8 tracks from back in 1973 so I should have a lot to choose from.
 
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Please let us know how those speakers sound. I've been considering them as well.
The speakers sound pretty good! Definitely better than the originals. It's hard to get a handle on audio quality when your audio source is either an AM radio or a 50 year old 8 track tape but for my purposes I am happy with them.
 
The speakers sound pretty good! Definitely better than the originals. It's hard to get a handle on audio quality when your audio source is either an AM radio or a 50 year old 8 track tape but for my purposes I am happy with them.
That's great! I still have the original AM 8-track in my '72. The speakers in it now are the ones I put in back in '79 or '80. I think it's time to replace them!
 
I tried it out and it sounds as good as it can for a 50 year old 8 track tape! I did take the tape apart and clean it and replaced the splice to make sure it was going to come undone inside my player. I think my Dad kept all of our old 8 tracks from back in 1973 so I should have a lot to choose from.
When I'm not streaming through my 2 JBL BT speakers tucked alongside the seats, I'll run an 8 track through its paces... Sound is vintage 1972 but it still works and plays and has that WOW factor.
 
Congratulations. I am considering installing an AM 8 track in my car. It came with an AM radio.

Do you have or know of anyone with the correct face plate for the AM 8 track? I believe it is a little bit larger cutout where the push buttons are located. Any help would be appreciated.

Mac
@Mac I have an 8-track bezel. PM me if you are interested.

Nick
 

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very nice work on restoring the 8 track and getting the right speakers. I located a set or original dried out speakers and removed the face frame from them to include the metal grill attached to the speaker and mounted it on a new 4x8 speaker with the correct OHM rating as original. I placed these behind the factory door grills and when a judge looks behind the grill they see the factory metal grill on the speaker. Probably a little much but I am one of those crazy concourse folks. Congrats and keep enjoying the oldies. At times you can find the factory 8 track that came with the car back in the day on eBay. I have one and it works well and looks nice when displaying the car.

 
The original AM 8 Track player in my Mustang has been sitting in a box since 1983. I finally got around to locating a belt for it and re-installed it during my interior renovation recently. It plays great along with the new speakers I found on line. The 8 track belt is 13.5" in circumference and 0.28" wide. It fit perfectly and was easy to install. I found the belt at https://www.turntableneedles.com/8-Track_Cassette_Deck_Reel_to_Reel_Rubber_Drive_Belts
The replacement speakers are from http://www.turnswitch.com/speakers.htm. I bought the original style 4x8 oval speakers listed there with the Ford spacers that allow them to fit in the door correctly. The spacers are 3D printed based on the originals so the fit was spot on. A new LED lamp in the radio topped it all off.
Hi Steve, I am also replacing my 8-track belt, but mine is 12.5",are you sure about yours being 13.5"? I don't want to order the wrong belt. Thanks for the link to finding a belt for it.
 
The original AM 8 Track player in my Mustang has been sitting in a box since 1983. I finally got around to locating a belt for it and re-installed it during my interior renovation recently. It plays great along with the new speakers I found on line. The 8 track belt is 13.5" in circumference and 0.28" wide. It fit perfectly and was easy to install. I found the belt at https://www.turntableneedles.com/8-Track_Cassette_Deck_Reel_to_Reel_Rubber_Drive_Belts
The replacement speakers are from http://www.turnswitch.com/speakers.htm. I bought the original style 4x8 oval speakers listed there with the Ford spacers that allow them to fit in the door correctly. The spacers are 3D printed based on the originals so the fit was spot on. A new LED lamp in the radio topped it all off.
Very well done. Keep up the good work. Chuck
 
Hi Steve, I am also replacing my 8-track belt, but mine is 12.5",are you sure about yours being 13.5"? I don't want to order the wrong belt. Thanks for the link to finding a belt for it.
I know mine was 13.5”. I used a very thin wire to wrap around the flywheel of the player and over to the drive motor then twisted the ends together to form a loop. Then I removed the loop from the flywheel/drive motor, cut the wire, pulled it straight and took the measurement. This method is shown on their website. Maybe there are variations in flywheel size for these players from different years I’m not sure. Mine was the original AM-8 track player that came with my car in 1973 and the 13.5” belt was a great fit. A belt that is too tight will definitely affect playback tape speed negatively and one that is too loose will not drive the flywheel at all. Measure before you buy - believe me, I went through several iterations of belts from vendors who said they were made specifically for the Ford 8 track and they weren’t even close.
 
very nice work on restoring the 8 track and getting the right speakers. I located a set or original dried out speakers and removed the face frame from them to include the metal grill attached to the speaker and mounted it on a new 4x8 speaker with the correct OHM rating as original. I placed these behind the factory door grills and when a judge looks behind the grill they see the factory metal grill on the speaker. Probably a little much but I am one of those crazy concourse folks. Congrats and keep enjoying the oldies. At times you can find the factory 8 track that came with the car back in the day on eBay. I have one and it works well and looks nice when displaying the car.


That sounds great! This was my test run on the speakers before I put everything back together. Yep, that’s Buck Owens!
 

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I know mine was 13.5”. I used a very thin wire to wrap around the flywheel of the player and over to the drive motor then twisted the ends together to form a loop. Then I removed the loop from the flywheel/drive motor, cut the wire, pulled it straight and took the measurement. This method is shown on their website. Maybe there are variations in flywheel size for these players from different years I’m not sure. Mine was the original AM-8 track player that came with my car in 1973 and the 13.5” belt was a great fit. A belt that is too tight will definitely affect playback tape speed negatively and one that is too loose will not drive the flywheel at all. Measure before you buy - believe me, I went through several iterations of belts from vendors who said they were made specifically for the Ford 8 track and they weren’t even close.
There may be a difference in model years. Mine is a 1972 model (came in the car I've owned since 1977) and referencing the Motorola Service Manual 72-2, it calls for drive belt 42-42683B02. This is more commonly part #1407-200 flat rubber drive belt 12.293" circumference x .225" width.
Measuring your own is a good way to go since there are apparently variations.
 
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