Keep '78-'83 Style Radio, or Go 1.5 DIN?

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CaliWagon83

CaliWagon83

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,909
113
Orange County, CA
Would like some advice and input from you guys in terms of doing an interior facelift on the wagon. '83 was the last year of the wagon, and it has the older-style '78-'83 gauges and center stack. I already have an '84-'87 style gauge cluster and bezel, which is required to fit the Dakota Digital VHX cluster that I want. For one thing, the woodgrain color on the '84-'87 bezel looks a little lighter and less red/orange than the '78-83 color. The other thing that I'm considering is changing the center stack from the earlier 1-DIN analog-style radio to the newer style 1.5-DIN digital display radio. I know the bezel is different, and some of the mounting tabs will need to be modified to accommodate the new bezel and radio.

Should I go all the way, and upgrade both the center stack and gauge bezel to the newer style? Or just stick with the gauges. I just want the overall look to be coherent and look almost factory. For reference, here's a current pic of what my interior looks like. Sorry I don't have a better up-close of my center stack, but I'm sure most of you guys know what that looks like:

 
TURNA

TURNA

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Jul 24, 2009
11,010
113
Socialist NY
I like the factory look when it comes to things.

That being said 99% would never even know the difference.
 
airboatgreg

airboatgreg

Royal Smart Person
Oct 2, 2016
1,916
113
When I got my ride there was no radio. A buddy had one in his house that he took out of a 81 Malibu to put a cassette deck in 1982. So it was a mint radio. What I did is put 4 good speakers in, added an amp with blue tooth so I can listen to Pandora. Have just listened to radio so far as I had a bad receiver for the blue tooth.
 
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pagrunt

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
5,580
113
Elderton, Pa
I'd stick to the early style radio unless you need to play CDs. Most modern shaft radios can have MP3, Blue Tooth, satellite. Some could even be a close match.
 
Tuffregal83

Tuffregal83

Master Mechanic
Mar 30, 2016
443
93
Lockport, Il
Leave it stock and you could go with the sport gauges I know I got a couple with the bezel message me if you want one
I always like the 78-83 dash set up better than 84-87
 
CaliWagon83

CaliWagon83

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,909
113
Orange County, CA
Yeah. I would have preferred to keep the earlier-style bezel and cluster, but the DD gauges basically require you to get the ‘83-‘87 setup.
 
roger1

roger1

Master Mechanic
Aug 23, 2010
472
93
San Angelo, TX
I went with a modern radio with bluetooth and a carbon fiber wrap to tie in everything. Gauges are Dakota VHX.





 
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