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How can I eliminate static from a '51 Champion radio

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  • Electrical: How can I eliminate static from a '51 Champion radio

    Hi All,
    I have a '51 Champion with a Philco radio model S-5127. I recently had this radio repaired and modified (AM-FM) by Joe's Classic Car Radio Co., and installed it in my car. The car is in completely stock configuration (6 volt-pos. ground) with a generator. The radio sounds fine and clear with the engine not running, but driving down the road the static begins to badly distort the sound. It's more noticeable during acceleration and seems to ease off as I let off the throttle. I know that spark plug wires can have a lot to do with it (I plan to replace them with suppressor type), but it also seems I remember something about mounting a condenser on the generator. Anyone remember how to do that?

  • #2
    The condenser goes on the output terminal, NOT the field terminal. I'm sure someone here has a picture of the round red attached to the generator.


    • #3
      Also check the book about the radio grounding kit. One strap goes from the oil pressure line to the cowl, etc. Not sure where all of them are on that car, but I know it had them when the car had a radio. If not, you added them.


      • #4
        You may also have to use suppressor core spark plug wires if your engine isn't already equipped with them as they will give you a major reduction in ignition interference. Other than that, you will need 3 .5 ufd capacitors which are available at NAPA with a part number of RC1. They need to be placed on the armature terminal of the generator, the battery terminal on the voltage regulator and on the hot lead to the ignition coil. Also be sure that the antenna has a good ground connection on the fender, there is a ground lead from the engine block to the frame, I also like to add a ground strap from the engine block to the fire wall and that the radio has a good ground connection to the instrument panel. Bud


        • #5
          Thanks, TWChamp!


          • #6
            Thanks (S), I'll research that.


            • #7
              Is the static on FM as well as AM?
              With the car idling in the driveway or a parking lot, can you increase the static by increasing the engine RPM?
              It's easier to hear if you advance the throttle slowly, rather than goosing it.

              It's also important to determine the source of the static. If you remove the fan belt and run the engine, that will eliminate the generator and charging system as the source. If the noise is gone with the fan belt off, then it was coming in from the charging system and likely through the power wire.

              If the noise is still there with the fan belt off, then it's coming from the high voltage system (distributor, plug wires, coil, plugs) and into the antenna.
              Last edited by RadioRoy; 12-16-2018, 08:53 AM.
              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

              17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
              10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
              56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
              60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


              • #8
                Hi Bud, I replaced the plug wires, installed the capacitors, installed the ground cables, and now it's all good. The radio reception is clear and everything works as it should. Thank you for your advice!


                • #9
                  I'm glad to hear that you have your problem solved. In most cases, the repairs are easy to do. Even if the original suppressor caps are installed, they are after 60+ years are no longer functioning and should be replaced and that also goes for the engine and ignition grounding as I have found that the original ground strap may still be there but it is now corroded and not doing its job and I believe adding another ground strap between the engine block and the fire wall is also a good idea as it adds another ground lead to the body which can help all of the electrical accessories function better. Bud