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Adding a Stereo to a W461

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Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#1 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:11 am

So I am rolling around in my 1988 W461 SWB Danish Army with the OM617A & 5-speed Ironbox and no stereo, so I needed to fix that.

I decided on the JBL GTO 509 C component speakers and the VDO (aka Continental) with the blue lights for a 12V system as I am converted over to 12V already. They have 24v models available.

Radio – shipped from Germany in about 20 days
Radio ISO DIN adapter from Amazon
JBL GTO 509C speakers from Amazon
120mm Hole Saw from Amazon
3M double-sided tape (to hold the little cross overs to the lower dash panel.

The installation is fairly straight forward with the exception of cutting the speaker hole, this is by far the most daunting task, as there is no return once the metal is cut.

Step 1. Remove most of the dash

Step 2. Look and look and look and look where stuff will clash under the dash.
The main challenge of cutting the holes is placement. On the glove box side, a speaker that is too high will hit the bottom of the glove box. On the fuse box side, a speaker to low will interfere with the relays on the fuse block. So take notes and mark up the metal on the underside.
I removed the passenger seat, so I could lay down in the floorboard and look up to the cavity under the glove box. You can’t spend to much time looking for clash issues.

Step 3. Test your equipment, and if it all works properly remove the lower dash.

Step 4. Practice layouts and once you feel confident the speaker is located mark your center point and drill a small hole.

Back on the Wagen, in an 88 Danish Army SWB soft top with the folding windshield.

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Posts: 427

Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#2 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:15 am

Step 5. With just a small hole, measure and mark a mirror location on the other side of the lower dash. You will want this later for reference, you likely won't use the secondary location center point, but you will know you are close.


Now you are about to forever alter your lower dash. You should get your life in order. Make charitable contributions, get your affairs in order, call your friends and family and tell them you love them, sober up, stock up on bread, milk, canned food, beer, wine and liquor. This a big moment in life, it should not be taken lightly.

I watched a few youtube videos on how to use a hole saw and I found it immensely helpful. Use a cutting lubricant, and pulse slowly. It took me 20-30 minutes to cut each of the large holes.


Step 6. Return from the darkness and try to re-acclimate yourself to society.
Back on the Wagen, in an 88 Danish Army SWB soft top with the folding windshield.

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Posts: 427

Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#3 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:18 am

Step 7. Go test fit the lower dash with the speakers (loose) then congratulate yourself for not messing this up.



Step 8. The rest of the steps really don’t matter at this point, as you are not wasting a month of your life waiting on a used dash to be shipped from some far-away place hoping that it does not get damaged in shipment.

For for the component speakers I made up some Z brackets to mount the tweeters up on the dash. I have a civilian dash so I just used some double-sided tape to hold the mounts then I used the dash pads to hold them into place. For the civilian dash, this is much easier with the lower dash out.


Wire it all up and off you go. Just take your time, it’ll be fine.

I added some dynamat to the inner lower dash while I was in there.

As for the sound, the speakers and the non-amplified output is lacking bass. I can hear songs and talk radio, but due to the lack of vehicle padding, the sound is quite bright. So I may add a powered sub later in the year.
Back on the Wagen, in an 88 Danish Army SWB soft top with the folding windshield.

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Posts: 427

Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#4 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:21 am




why these are

upside down
Back on the Wagen, in an 88 Danish Army SWB soft top with the folding windshield.

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Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#5 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:04 pm

Very nicely done!

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Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#6 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:03 pm

Nicely done I wish the dash didn’t have to be cut but I guess there’s not many options.
I like the oil pressure gauge

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Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#7 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:08 pm

Z brackets ;)
"wherever I may roam..."

PNZWGN Mk II build thread: https://clubgwagen.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5605

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Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#8 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:19 pm

I have a swiss 461 still in 24v. I chose to just add a dedicated converter so the memory would stay active. had to insulate the DIN box from dash for radio installation and the rest of the radio install was as normal. The speakers I just located in the civilian location. next to feet on side. there was precut holes in the metal behind the rubber mat covering the sidewalls. the cardboard sound insulation even had the punch out for the install. It is nice having tunes when out and about. The nice thing is I don't have to leave keys in vehicle to have music playing and the remote makes it nice when too lazy to get up and turn it on.
1991 Swiss army 230GE
1972 Swiss army 712M Pinzgauer
1975 Swiss army 710M Pinzgauer
1956 Dutch army DAF YA 126

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Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#9 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:51 am

Added nighttime benefit from the VDO’s light.
1990 250GD 461.401
2000 G500 463.241
2006 G500 463.249

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Re: Adding a Stereo to a W461

Post#10 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:56 am

Nice, looks like an ideal installation. Has me thinking about the lack of tunes in my Wolf mobile!

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