Bozo radio

Al Powell apowell at
Sat Jan 3 11:49:00 EST 2004

"Tom Werner" <noonan67 at> asked:

My '91 200q Bose Radio seems to have a mind of its own.  It will scan
stations for seemingly no reason at all.  Mind you, this isn't always a bad
thing -- like when Dr. Laura somehow finds her way on to my radio dial.
But, overall, it's pretty annoying.

Is there a fix for this?  Or, does someone have a unit they've replaced?
I'm pretty big on books-on-tape, so I prefer having a cassette player.

Keith at Audi Connection suggested that the Gamma Radio in most '92 and up
Audis (100's, S4's V8's and perhaps 80's and 90's) would be a direct
replacement.  I'm willing to go this route if one is available.

Also, the front right speaker doesn't seem to be working, and I would like
to troubleshoot.  Do I need to remove the entire door panel, or can I access
the speaker by removing just the screen?


Tom, the answers as best I know them, having done much battle with a Bose
system in 1990 2oo before yanking it and replacing the radio and all
speakers with a REAL stereo....are as follows...

1) Don't know source of problem, but the gent who explained the cause seems
to have it nailed.  Whether you want to try the fix is your decision.

2) As far as I know, the Bose system is totally incompatible with other
radios.  The head outputs a weird impedance signal and the amplification
takes place at the speakers.  You can buy an adapter from Crutchfield that
purports to allow use of a standard radio to replace the Bose. I tried this
in the adapter's early days (@1996) and it wasn't very clean sounding.
Hopefully it's better now.  I share your love of voice audio, although I
tend to listen to old radio shows while on long trips.

3) My recommendation is to yank the radio and the speakers and replace them.
Easiest way to wire is to just run new heavy-gauge zip cord to all four
speakers.  You can achieve MUCH better, more accurate sound with this
approach, provided you like clean, accurate sound. Bose is all lows and
mids, and practically no high end.  It sounded great for about a week, then
I realized that I was missing and pulled it out.

4) To remove the front door panel, which IS required to access the speaker
(working from memory), see below.  Unless you have a loose connection, the
amp is not user serviceable. The speaker is NOT a conventional 8-ohm model
(thanks, Bose) so you can't replace it easily. Only Bose knows what its
impedance is.

- Remove screws at top of door panel from extreme inner and outer corners
- Remove armrest using hex key wrench (3 screws)
- Release wiring harnesses from armrest switches.
- Pull door release handle - find phillips screw hidden behind pull handle -
remove screw.
- Remove door handle, being careful not to lose clips, etc. holding cable
on.  Try not to bend end of cable too much as this can fatigue it and lad to
eventual failure. Needle nose pliers work well. Save foam plug which
prevents wind from leaking through handle.
- Remove one screw behind door handle which holds panel in place.
- Work your way around the other edges of the panel popping snaps loose.
Pull straight outwards to release them.
- Think twice if it's not loose - I may have forgotten something.
- Lift straight up and panel will come off with wiggling.

Installation is reverse of removal - hardest part is lining up door lock
button and getting it to go through panel.

My repeated counsel: once anything breaks on a Bose system, yank it all out
and replace it with a conventional system.  I particularly like Polk
speakers, which are very accurate throughout their range.

Al Powell
apowell at
1958 Fiat 1200 Transformabile Spyder
1983 Datsun 280ZX Turbo
1993 Audi 90Q
1997 Chebby Blazer
1999 Chebby Blazer

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