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1985 Ford LTD - Radio

Our new car…a wood paneled 1985 Ford LTD wagon…is great! Total luxury vehicle back in the day and all in all it runs great and looks great for a 25 year old! One exception…the radio wont turn on. We have tried the fuses and thats not the case. Being more of a mom then a mechanic does anyone have any tips to try to get this radio going?

I would recommend an aftermarket replacement. Start at to see what fits, and possibly check out Best Buy for a free installation deal. Diagnosis or repair of these radios is generally not cost effective. You may also be able to upgrade to CD vs cassette if that is desirable for you.

I agree. It now costs more to repair a vehicle radio than to buy a new one.

Before you replace the radio, make certain that the radio is getting power. This can be easily checked by anyone handy with a voltmeter or a $2 test light. If it isn’t getting power, a new radio won’t work any better. If it is getting power, then have a new radio installed.

I agree, if the radio is dead, just replace it. Crutchfield will give you free adapter harnesses and trim kits and lots of helpful instruction for doing it yourself. They’ll even talk you through it on the phone if you get stuck. But, before you replace the radio you should check to make sure there is power as Triedag suggests, and I would add that you should check the speakers as well. If all the speakers are blown it doesn’t matter if the radio works or not. Crutchfield will sell you replacement speakers, too.

If you don’t want to do it yourself, Best Buy or any place that does installs should be able to check this stuff for you, though of course they’d expect you to either pay for the diagnoses or at least buy the replacements from them.

I had an '85 LTD Crown Victoria. Same car except mine was a sedan. If I remember correctly there were several radio/stereo options that year, and some of them included a separate amplifier mounted in the rear of the vehicle. If you have this option, and the amplifier isn’t getting current, the radio probably won’t work.

As others have suggested, I wouldn’t fool around too much with this. If the fuses are OK and the radio is getting current (and the amp, if installed) it will be simpler to replace the radio than to repair it.

If you get the radio working you may discover the speakers are all dried out and cracked. That was the case with my car. I replaced everything.