ASI Radio Bluetooth upgrade

Bluetooth Upgrade | DMC10515.com

One of my biggest issues with driving the DeLorean has been the lack of audio / music / sound in the car. What that REALLY means to me is, not having a GOOD bluetooth connection in the car.

Being that #10515 is a 1982 – and since the first owner parked the car for ~27 years – the car has the original ASI radio and speakers. While the radio functioned okay (and the tape deck even works,) I rarely listen to the radio, opting for my own music collection (I *love* Google Music!) and/or the numerous podcasts I listen to (including DeLorean Talk!)

Cassette tape adapter | DMC10515.comBut, having 42,000+ songs in my Google Music library and hundreds of unlistened-to podcast episodes does me no good when driving the DeLorean since I can’t connect my mobile to the car. So, I started with the first and most obvious solution – the wired cassette adapter. While it did technical work… it sounded awful. I also bought a cassette head-cleaner tape, just to make sure that the head(s) were clean. Still, no. Awful. Bad. Not good. So, I got over that “solution” pretty quickly.

I’m a tiny bit of a ‘purist’, meaning that I LOVE the 80’s look of the car – including the original ASI radio, with the DMC logo on the tape-deck door, so I didn’t want to replace the stereo. (NO, I have NO intention of trying to do a concourse – I just love the original look of the car.) So I was basically out of options.

For the first year+ of having the car, I didn’t really want audio anyway, as I wanted to LISTEN TO THE CAR… to hear how it sounds. To KNOW how it is suppose to sound. That way, when something goes wrong, I can turn off any music and listen to the car and hopefully know what sounds different. It was a good year. I really did love listening to the sound of the car. The shifting, the road noise, the transmission gears, the brakes, the vacuum leak from the AC Mode switch… all of it. I’m serious – I really did enjoy listening and learning the sounds of the car.

Bluetooth upgrade | DMC10515.com

But, there came a time when it just wanted to listen to something else… and sing along. You can’t really sing along to road noise or a vacuum leak. So I settled for a small bluetooth speaker that fit on the center console, next to the shifter boot. It connected to my phone, was plenty loud enough (although with some distortion,) and it worked. That is, until I made left turns – then it went flying… hahaha.

DeLorean Bluetooth Company | DMC10515.comTHEN, I ran across a post by Dimitri from Paris, France about mods he was doing to the original Craig and ASI radios. I did a little research, and contacted him through is Facebook page – Delorean Bluetooth Company.

Wow!! Not only does Dimitri add a bluetooth receiver to the ORIGINAL Craig and ASI radios… while he’s in there, he disassembles, and does a complete cleaning of the tape player and a recalibrates the radio / potentiometer! (NOTE: He can’t change the tape player belt on the ASI radios, because he can’t get them 🙁 – but, he does have them for the Craig!)

In mid-2017 he charged me just $200 for the complete service (cleaning and Bluetooth addition.) But… the shipping isn’t cheap for such a heavy object. It was about $60 to send it from Southern California to Paris (Vernon), and about $80 to ship it back (which included $800 insurance and tracking number.)

Functionality

So, it might seem a bit pricey… but… it’s AWESOME to have my original ASI stereo working like new – all the memory buttons works, and the tuning is perfect. It looks and tunes great! And with a flip of a tiny switch – DA-DA-DA-DING – It’s in bluetooth pairing mode! And pretty quickly, it pairs to my mobile and starts playing the audio!

The way it works (as least for the ASI) is that there is a new white “wire” (actually a group of wires) tthat come out of the back of the radio, ending in that small two-position switch and a (useless) microphone. I’m going to (hopefully in the next month) run the wire to a modified defroster switch to change modes. (Because who needs a defroster with a rear-engine vehicle?!)

A cool feature of however he did it, is that when it’s switched to the RADIO (and the radio is turned on,) all the lights on the radio light up as expected, and the radio tuner shows the signal / station you are tuned to. Then which you switch to bluetooth, all of the lights turn OFF and the digital display just shows the time. It’s very easy to tell which mode you’re in, just by looking at the radio.

ASI Serial No. A100701 | DMC10515.comDimitri was awesome… I took too long to get the radio to him, but he still did a “rush” on it, so that it would be back and installed for DeLorean Weekend 2017 so that I could show it off there (and have it for the drive!)

It is *REALLY* important to package it correct though! The box got some damage, but luckily the radio was fine… this time! So when you send yours to him, don’t scrimp! Package it well!

Removal / Installation notes:

Probably the HARDEST part about getting the ASI radio out, was the wiring! Most of the wires had some kind of connectors that I could just unplug – but it’s such a rats-nest behind the center console, that it was difficult fishing through and following the wires – especially through that small, edge-slicey-hole! Then there was that one blue wire that I couldn’t find the end of! Thanks to Danny at DMC CA, he showed me on another car that the blue wire is attached to the dimmer switch! So I had to take out the two screws and the take off the shifter knob to get that bottom plate off and unplug the wire. Whew!

Here are some photos of my removal, and my (not so great) packaging job, and some pics of his work: