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Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
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Sugar's 2002 now needs a new radio/cd player. I want to make sure I get one that will be a decent looking installation. I searched Crutchfield but found nothing that looked like it would fit. It's large, like the double stacked one that was in our '96, but oval shaped. I have a picture but can't get it to post. Hopefully one of you radio gurus can guide me.
 

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What's going on with the old one?
I would look for a working used OEM one for best upgrade, fit and function.
http://www.allpar.com/model/m/repairs/stereo-swap.html

This is only for reference, I am not connected to these sellers. A local salvage yard or pick n' pull might also have one reasonably priced:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/A-02-07-TOWN-COUNTRY-CARAVAN-MINIVAN-CD-CASSETTE-RADIO-STEREO-OEM-CHRYSLER-DODGE-/290971902558
http://www.ebay.com/itm/02-05-DODGE-Caravan-Dakota-Ram-CHRYSLER-Town-and-Country-Radio-CD-Player-RBK-OEM-/121030281886
 

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Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
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IC, Sugar's volume control won't work most of the time. You try to go up or down, and it doesn't do what you want. Sometimes you lose volume altogether. sometimes it'll make noise for a few seconds, then go silent again. At this moment it's playing so we're scared to try and adjust the volume, simply leaving it where it is.

Thank you for the links and any advice you may have on repairing the existing radio.
 

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Vaguely badass...
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The '96 and the '02 use a 1.5 DIN sized head unit...I was unable to find that size in the brand-new aftermarket offerings, but there are still used units to be found (Pioneer, Jensen are two brands I recall - I had a Pioneer unit in my Stratus and quite liked it. It fit decently but you could certainly tell it wasn't factory.)

When I replaced the AM/FM/Tape head unit in my 2002 Caravan, I went with an OEM AM/FM CD unit. Had to source an adapter - apparently they changed connector harnesses mid-year.
 

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The 'clicking' volume control is a rotary encoder switch rather than a variable resistor (an example): 523553009_488.jpg
Because of the mechanical motion, the switch is subject to wear and the control mounting solder joints are subject to strain and can fracture at the circuit board. Both can give intermittent operation.
The encoder sends the volume control up or down pulses to an audio chip that then adjusts the volume digitally.
I have taken them apart for cleaning and bending the little contact fingers towards the switch contact pads with success after the convertible got left out in the rain once.
Yours may be repairable if you have the time and inclination to. It may be worth a try (not a Chrysler radio, but the same general idea):
http://full-repair.com/technics-repair/auto/repair-car-audio-volume-control/
 

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Crutchfield should send you the brackets to be able to put a single din in.

Make sure you enter all the info for your make/model correctly.

I would not spend too much time fixing the older unit, but that's me.
 

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Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
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Discussion Starter #7
Stratuscaster, IC found me a nice unit on Ebay and it has the 21 pin connector. The seller did inform any 2002 model year buyers that they may have a 7 pin and need to buy an adapter harness.

IC, great info on the repair link you posted! Thank you.

Molavi, I'll probably go the easy route and buy a replacement but I may first try some contact cleaner on that volume control.
 

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Ray Green said:
Stratuscaster, IC found me a nice unit on Ebay and it has the 21 pin connector. The seller did inform any 2002 model year buyers that they may have a 7 pin and need to buy an adapter harness.
He's good people. ;)

I also sourced my OEM unit from eBay - but learned about the adapter later. Live and learn.

If I drove the Caravan daily, I'd likely go aftermarket single DIN since I listen more to music on an iPod or USB/SD cards than the actual radio, and when I do listen to radio prefer HD Radio. The wife likes things simple, so it'll stay that way for now. Happy wife, happy life. :)
 

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Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
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Discussion Starter #9
Stratuscaster said:
If I drove the Caravan daily, I'd likely go aftermarket single DIN since I listen more to music on an iPod or USB/SD cards than the actual radio, and when I do listen to radio prefer HD Radio. The wife likes things simple, so it'll stay that way for now. Happy wife, happy life. :)
Not being "radio savy", single din is way over my head. As long as it plays AM & FM, we're happy. After further review with her exact radio part number, I found refurb units at a couple vendors for $99.95. I found a used one on Ebay for $35 but it looks like it's been beat with an ice pick.
 

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Potentially boring learning lesson ahead... ;)

DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) is part of International standard ISO 7736 that defines a standard size for car audio head units.

Head units generally come in either single DIN (180 x 50 mm panel) or double DIN (180 x 100 mm panel) size; the depth is not standardized.

The US standard for a DIN radio is 2" x 7" and the Double DIN sized radio is a 4" x 7".

1.5 DIN was a non-standard size used primarily by GM and Chrysler.

Some enterprising folks that are "good with tools" have managed to fit Double DIN head units into 1.5 DIN vehicles.
 

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Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
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Discussion Starter #11
Stratuscaster said:
Potentially boring learning lesson ahead... ;)
DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) is part of International standard ISO 7736 that defines a standard size for car audio head units.
Head units generally come in either single DIN (180 x 50 mm panel) or double DIN (180 x 100 mm panel) size; the depth is not standardized.
The US standard for a DIN radio is 2" x 7" and the Double DIN sized radio is a 4" x 7".
1.5 DIN was a non-standard size used primarily by GM and Chrysler.
Some enterprising folks that are "good with tools" have managed to fit Double DIN head units into 1.5 DIN vehicles.
That's interesting. For some reason I always associated "DIN" with a type of plug.
 

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DIN refers to that, too. From what I understand, DIN represents the German office that produced such standards before ISO was in play.
 

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Living in RV heaven. You think cars are bad!
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Discussion Starter #13
Stratuscaster said:
DIN refers to that, too. From what I understand, DIN represents the German office that produced such standards before ISO was in play.
Where I encountered it was heavy truck diagnostics .... kinda like our automotive OBDII and OBDIII. We called them a 9-pin DIN or a 12 pin DIN.
 
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