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  #1  
Old 03-08-2018, 07:30 PM
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Installing Becker Mexico in a W108

Hi all,

As I received the car, it has a Becker Mexico with amp, not hooked up. Original was a Europa with no amp.

PO bought the Mexico to replace an old modern unit that had been installed.

I don't know much about radios but I'm guessing they cut this wire up to make it fit the modern one.



How much of a project am I looking at to make this set up work?
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2018, 11:24 PM
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The old Becker pinstripe radios had a fairly simple hookup.

I'm assuming the Mexico is the cassette version, no?
Also if the original was an Europa, it could have been mono or stereo.

The radios had a +12V feed, brown ground, and a blue wire for the electric antenna.

The speakers have a plug with two blades, orientated 90 degrees from each other. Stereos had a speaker control separate from the radio, it's a round knob that you rotate to fade front to rear.

Get in touch with Becker, they still service these radios and can supply with the connectors you need.

Becker Auto Sound LLC Classic Becker Radio | Saddle Brook NJ

Jim
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2018, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezant View Post
As I received the car, it has a Becker Mexico with amp, not hooked up. Original was a Europa with no amp. PO bought the Mexico to replace an old modern unit that had been installed. I don't know much about radios but I'm guessing they cut this wire up to make it fit the modern one. How much of a project am I looking at to make this set up work?
OK, so what I'm seeing in the picture is an amp cord that has been hacked up. That's the cord that went from the radio to the amplifier and is part of the radio. That means that the corresponding radio has the other half of the cut up cord. Not a good thing.

You said the original radio was a Europa without amp. I'm not disagreeing but wonder how you know that... I'm perplexed because for someone to install a Becker amp with a cut cable is kind of strange. So I'm wondering if that is the cable from an amp original to the car. It would also be strange for someone to use a modern head unit with an older Becker amplifier. It's been done, but it is highly unusual and rather pointless. It would be much more likely to use a Becker head unit with a modern amplifier - at least that would have some benefit.

The typical place for the amp to be installed is in front of the heater stuff, at the front of the tunnel then up maybe 6". Can you see it there? Grey box with a grey cable going into it, speaker wires coming out of it.

Another question - what speakers are in the car? Is there a center dash speaker, or just a center dash grill....? Don't break it to find out. Does the dash have a fader switch? That would tell you a lot about what was orginally in this car. Also, what year and model is your 108?

Tell me more and you will get more advice and better answers. :-) Scott
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimFreeh View Post
The old Becker pinstripe radios had a fairly simple hookup. I'm assuming the Mexico is the cassette version, no?
Also if the original was an Europa, it could have been mono or stereo.
The radios had a +12V feed, brown ground, and a blue wire for the electric antenna. The speakers have a plug with two blades, orientated 90 degrees from each other. Stereos had a speaker control separate from the radio, it's a round knob that you rotate to fade front to rear.

Get in touch with Becker, they still service these radios and can supply with the connectors you need.

Jim
I agree with most of what Jim says.
The power radio to the head unit is a black wire coming out from the chassis of the radio. All by itself. Typically there will be a ground wire attached to the center back of the radio but it can also not be there. Grounding wasn't standardized, other than brown wire is always used for ground in this car. The electric antenna control is entirely optional. It will appear as TWO recessed spade terminals in the back of the radio. All those are is +12V when the radio is turned on. So that's the relay trip for the power antenna. It doesn't matter which one you use, and it doesn't matter what color wire you use. Later speaker plugs are as Jim describes, early ones are two cylindrical prongs about 1/2 inch apart. They look very much like Blaupunkt early speaker plugs except the spread is slightly smaller than on the Blaupunkt. The fader control if you have it gives you a good indication as to what was originally in the car. It would have a hole in the dash and it is unlikely that someone would add the fader and cut a hole in the dash.
I strongly disagree regarding Becker Auto Sound providing you a solution. They will be happy to sell you another radio for lots of money. Given your cut amp cable, there are no plug connectors that are going to fix it. You CAN splice it back together but it is tedious as the wires are quite tiny. And insulated. It's kind of a mess when someone cuts an amp cord.
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Old 03-22-2018, 03:00 PM
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Hi,

The data card is '513 - Becker radio Europa (stereo-USA)'. The car is a 1973 280SE.

I assumed no amp because I haven't seen them with amps on eBay and I've seen ppl mentioning installing the Mexico amp. But I don't really know.

I have a fader switch as well.

Last edited by Bezant; 03-22-2018 at 03:13 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2018, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezant View Post
Hi,

The data card is '513 - Becker radio Europa (stereo-USA)'. The car is a 1973 280SE.

I assumed no amp because I haven't seen them with amps on eBay and I've seen ppl mentioning installing the Mexico amp. But I don't really know.
Do you know if the cut cable that I assume is going to an amp is from the Mexico or perhaps the original Europa? A 1973 Europa Stereo would have a separate amplifier. Becker stereo amps are interchangeable between other Becker stereo radios - there is nothing "Mexico" specific about an amp for example. There are early styles and late styles but they are interchangeable.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2018, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScooterABC View Post
Do you know if the cut cable that I assume is going to an amp is from the Mexico or perhaps the original Europa? A 1973 Europa Stereo would have a separate amplifier. Becker stereo amps are interchangeable between other Becker stereo radios - there is nothing "Mexico" specific about an amp for example. There are early styles and late styles but they are interchangeable.
Hi,

The Mexico amp I inherited is chilling in my trunk I think it has a cable which goes to it which was cut but not as complex as the one in the dash. I think the Mexico radio is intact (pic attached). I don't know if it has the connections for the antenna raising and lowering.

The cut cable seems to go down into the dash which blocks my view of anything it connects to.
Attached Thumbnails
Installing Becker Mexico in a W108-tmnimjn.jpg   Installing Becker Mexico in a W108-mfhgy5z.jpg   Installing Becker Mexico in a W108-lthvmrn.jpg  
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Last edited by Bezant; 03-22-2018 at 04:42 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2018, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezant View Post
Hi,

The Mexico amp I inherited is chilling in my trunk I think it has a cable which goes to it which was cut but not as complex as the one in the dash. I think the Mexico radio is intact (pic attached). I don't know if it has the connections for the antenna raising and lowering.

The cut cable seems to go down into the dash which blocks my view of anything it connects to.
Re: The radio sitting on the car seat - the big grey cable coming out of the right side (from the perspective of the picture) is the cable that goes to the amplifier. It is intact, which is good. The black wire that is coming out of the square space on the back of the radio is the power supply wire. That gets connected to +12V, preferably with an in-line fuse. The brown wire that is bolted to the center of the back of the radio is a ground wire. From your picture it is difficult to tell what is happening with the black wire, but I'm thinking it's going into an in-line fuse and then coming out of the fuse as a red wire, and then the red and brown wire are going into a sheathed cable and end up with those plastic fittings on the end. If that's the case then I don't know why there are two instead of one. If I am understanding the picture correctly the female plastic plug has a ground and a fused +12V that needs to be connected to the car.

You are correct that there is not a power antenna trigger on this radio.

In your second what you are seeing is the cable that was cut off of the original Europa radio, rending it basically a paperweight, and then going down probably under/behind the A/C to where the amp is mounted. It unplugs from the amp, leaving you with a useless half of a cable. One way or another you are going to have to get to the amp and connect the cable from the new Mexico (or mount the other amp someplace and run the cable to that, but that's not a good idea). The most likely place to find the amp is at the very front of the transmission tunnel under the dash. You should be able to see it about 6 inches above the carpet if you remove the upholstered panel that is probably concealing it.

Your amp picture shows a later-style stereo amp, along with a black shielded set of speaker wires. The black and the white plastic plugs plug into the amp. Note that your old amp could easily (likely) have the early style speaker wires. These are the late style. If the speakers are still wired to the old amp (unlikely) then you don't need these other speaker wires anyway.

If it were me I would bench test the radio with the amp that is in the trunk. You'll need a pair of speakers to connect to the speaker wires in picture 3, a 12 volt power supply, and an antenna that plugs into a radio. If it works, then repeat the test using the amp that is installed in the car already. That's more work but you are going to have to do it anyway if you want to install this radio.

Let me know if you have questions.

Scott
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScooterABC View Post
Re: The radio sitting on the car seat - the big grey cable coming out of the right side (from the perspective of the picture) is the cable that goes to the amplifier. It is intact, which is good. The black wire that is coming out of the square space on the back of the radio is the power supply wire. That gets connected to +12V, preferably with an in-line fuse. The brown wire that is bolted to the center of the back of the radio is a ground wire. From your picture it is difficult to tell what is happening with the black wire, but I'm thinking it's going into an in-line fuse and then coming out of the fuse as a red wire, and then the red and brown wire are going into a sheathed cable and end up with those plastic fittings on the end. If that's the case then I don't know why there are two instead of one. If I am understanding the picture correctly the female plastic plug has a ground and a fused +12V that needs to be connected to the car.

You are correct that there is not a power antenna trigger on this radio.

In your second what you are seeing is the cable that was cut off of the original Europa radio, rending it basically a paperweight, and then going down probably under/behind the A/C to where the amp is mounted. It unplugs from the amp, leaving you with a useless half of a cable. One way or another you are going to have to get to the amp and connect the cable from the new Mexico (or mount the other amp someplace and run the cable to that, but that's not a good idea). The most likely place to find the amp is at the very front of the transmission tunnel under the dash. You should be able to see it about 6 inches above the carpet if you remove the upholstered panel that is probably concealing it.

Your amp picture shows a later-style stereo amp, along with a black shielded set of speaker wires. The black and the white plastic plugs plug into the amp. Note that your old amp could easily (likely) have the early style speaker wires. These are the late style. If the speakers are still wired to the old amp (unlikely) then you don't need these other speaker wires anyway.

If it were me I would bench test the radio with the amp that is in the trunk. You'll need a pair of speakers to connect to the speaker wires in picture 3, a 12 volt power supply, and an antenna that plugs into a radio. If it works, then repeat the test using the amp that is installed in the car already. That's more work but you are going to have to do it anyway if you want to install this radio.

Let me know if you have questions.

Scott
Thank you! That was definitely the 'for dummies' version I needed.

I guess they left the original amp in when they put in the modern radio then.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2018, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Bezant View Post
I guess they left the original amp in when they put in the modern radio then.
They usually do. Pity, cuz they cut the cable.
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  #11  
Old 03-23-2018, 02:11 PM
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My two cents.....

Your car came with a radio like this. You say you have the fader switch and that is good. I am guessing it is installed in the dash somewhere. This is the hardest thing to install if you don't have one in there now.

But installing the radio is easy. the long gray wire will plug into a seven hole plug in the amp and then the plug into the amp is help in place by a small wire clip.

Look behind your glove box. This is usually where the amps on 108's were placed. It is held into the car by being snapping into a bracket. If you need to see how this works just check out a few amps for sale on eBay. It is simple once you see what you are supposed to be looking at.

It helps to snap the amp out of the mount in order to plug in the wires. The mount is held in place by two screws that are screwed into something solid.

Look at the amp and you will see a black and a white plug that are usually covered by a small metal tab. These are where the speaker wires plug into. The other two small electrical blades are for the power antenna which you might not have on a 108. They were very expensive and during the era were considered not truly necessary. So few customers bought them and few dealers were willing to install them as an installation require removing the inner fender on the right side to gain access to the antenna mounting area.

And more questions just feel free to ask.

Do you have the mounting stalks that are used to secure the radio into the dash?
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post
Look behind your glove box. This is usually where the amps on 108's were placed. It is held into the car by being snapping into a bracket. If you need to see how this works just check out a few amps for sale on eBay. It is simple once you see what you are supposed to be looking at.

It helps to snap the amp out of the mount in order to plug in the wires. The mount is held in place by two screws that are screwed into something solid.

Look at the amp and you will see a black and a white plug that are usually covered by a small metal tab. These are where the speaker wires plug into. The other two small electrical blades are for the power antenna which you might not have on a 108.
You are describing the late style amplifier - I suspect this car might have the early style amplifier which is larger and uses different speaker plugs. I don't remember the year of the changeover. The later style amp is what the OP has in his trunk.

I suspect the early style amp (if he has it) is mounted at the front of the tunnel on a difficult to get to bracket.

You are correct (and I forgot) about the power antenna trip being part of the amp.

Here are detail pics of a late style amp and the associated mounting bracket:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/162868195511 The ones in the picture do not have the metal fold-over tabs to hold the speaker wires in, but I agree that most do. (Disclaimer - it's my ebay listing and I"m not doing this for self-promotion but because I have good pictures).
Amp Bracket for later style amps:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/152812293452

Some of the early style amps also have a different snap-in bracket, and some are mounted to a diabolical contraption that is in the way of the cables that operate the heater vents, etc at the front of the tunnel.

I think the problem that the OP is going to run into is that with a later stereo installed it's quite possible that all of the speaker wiring (including the fader) have been butchered. Or not. Hopefully it's all intact.
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2018, 03:03 PM
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Hi guys,

I haven't taken things apart to look for the amp yet. The big cut cable does seem to go straight down rather than over towards the glove box.

I attached a pic of my cable situation. This is what was loose in the radio area. The blue tipped female plug comes from the driver's side and the single pronged gray switch from the passengers side.

I do suspect I have a power antenna because mine is stuck partway up, about 9" extended.
Attached Thumbnails
Installing Becker Mexico in a W108-20180323_115111.jpg  
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2018, 03:11 PM
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I suspect if you remove the upholstered panel that is directly below your AC system, and wraps around to hide things, you will see the amplifier with the cut cable plugged into it. Depending on your car the panel is held in on the sides either by a single screw on each side, or a press-in fitting on either side (like a door panel would have).

The blue-tipped female plug is something someone did, probably +12V. The single prong grey thing is your antenna. (antenna signal, not related to power vs not power antenna)
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