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Pickup Truck Speakers

We’ve got a 1985 GMC pickup at work. The radio only plays through one speaker, so I started looking into it. There are left and right speakers, as I would expect, on the top of each side of the dash. The thing I can’t figure out is the big oval speaker right in the middle. Why is it there? I don’t think anybody was distributing anything with a center channel in 1985. How does it hook up? The radio has 4 sets of speaker wires. Is there a 4th speaker somewhere that I haven’t found yet?

Back in the day, a lot of radios came with only 1 speaker in the middle. This could be a throwback to that time. Stereo radios became very popular and required at least 2 speakers on either side. Premium sound systems had 4 speakers, 2 up front and 2 in the back. Newer premium sound systems have multiple speakers all over the car.

I’d be surprised if that single speaker hole in the middle had a speaker in it, and if it was hooked up to anything if it was there. The radio itself sounds like an aftermarket radio, and most include wires for a four speaker set-up. Most pick-up trucks only come with 2 speakers, so any rear speakers will need to be added if desired. I had added rear speakers in my truck, but the sound was always drowned out behind the seat.

Interesting. There is in fact a speaker in the middle, but you may be onto something. Maybe they added the speakers when they put in the new head unit and there was no reason to take out the old speaker. I just find it hard to believe I’m driving around in a truck that only came equipped with one speaker. The truck is old, but is it THAT old?

1985 is old enough that some cars still only had one speaker, especially if GMC assumed that their truck was for working men who didn’t care about sound system quality. I’d guess the stereo you have is after market, they installed new speakers in the dash and disconnected the old one. In which case you have a broken wire somewhere. If you can get the dash apart enough to get at the wires on the back of the dead speaker, you may be able to tape some new wires to the old, cut the old from the back of the speaker, and use the old wires to pull the new wires through to the back of the stereo unit. You can solder the new wires or buy crimp-on connectors at a hardware store.

It’s probably aftermarket…

My 84 S-15 came WITHOUT a radio. Radio was an option back then in many trucks.