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Clarion Rack System - My 84 AMG SEL

37695 Views 68 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  slownrusty
Most of you have followed the purchase and mechanical restoration of my 84 500SEL AMG over the past 5 months.

One of the unique features of my car is the Clarion G-80 rack stereo system AMG installed in the center console (see pic below). When I bought the car, I knew that the cassette player didn't work. Some of the tuner buttons don't work and there are some cosmetic issues with the component faces that need addressing.

I talked to the Clarion US service center and one of the older techs remembers the G-80 systems and said he could try to get the system fully working - although there are no replacement parts available from Clarion or their stock of old parts.

So, I set out to try and find a duplicate system. During a weekend of deep Googling, I found a G-80 system for sale on a German version of Craigs List. For the past four months, I have had a business colleague in Brussels try to finalize the deal (to no avail) and then enlisted Sharif (Dr. Grillz) and his German friend to close the purchase.

FINALLY! I wired the funds about 3 weeks ago and just today got pics from Sharif's German friend that the Clarion system has arrived! Not only is the rack system identical to mine (except for the gold plated rack pull handles......), but the system I bought also includes a pair of never used, still in the boxes pair of extra power amps!

Now, I can feel assured that I have ample spare parts to restore the system to full operations and I have three full sets of working amps!

Sharif has also sourced an AMG speedo dial (to 260 km/h, not 300/320) and had it installed on a Gen I speedo.

The time and effort and $$ needed to source and buy correct AMG bits is all consuming at times, but the results are worth the trouble. I keep telling myself that little lie.....

Al

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· Registered
1985 500 SEC EURO AMG, 1991 300SL AMG, 2000 ML55 ///AMG
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3,702 Posts
Sooooooooooooooooooo 80's.

I love it!

How do you anticipate it will it sound?

How much better do you anticipate this system is over stock?
 

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Daily: 2000 Kleemann Supercharged CLK 430. Seductress: 1988 Jap AMG SEC Widebody
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1,206 Posts
What a find! Your car is awesome! Congrats on your googleing persistence and kudos to the good Dr. G - the obtainer of the unobtainable and facilitator of the distant. :thumbsup:
 

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Mercedes
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9,077 Posts
I only guided Al through the transaction... getting more credit than I should;)

Not only will Al's AMG be performing as good as the day came out of AMG's shop... it will also SOUND as good as the day that first cassette tape was played:D I actually like the gold accents on the radio system.... goes nicely with the gold AMG badge the car came with originally;)

Props to Al for restoring this fine AMG... I highly doubt anyone will find an AMG as old as his in the condition its in. :thumbsup:
 

· Registered
84 500SEL AMG, 90 560SEC AMG, 85 500SEC AMG Widebody
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2,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
To answer all the questions posted:

1. I hope it sounds nice! In addition to the Clarion system, AMG installed a rather unique speaker setup in the parcel shelf. AMG installed two 8" woofers, two 6" midranges and four tweeters flanking the modified first aid compartment. AMG then added a second parcel shelf on top of the speaker tray that sat no more than 1.5" above the speakers. This second parcel shelf had no speaker grilles and was covered in black leather. This second tray also had the flip up door to the first aid compartment. I will post pics this weekend of the work I did. This is the only AMG bit I modified. It made no sense to have eight speakers firing directly into a parcel tray 1.5" above the speakers - not what I would call hi-fidelity. Below is a pic of the dual tray behind the back seats - you can just make out the edge of one of the woofers. Since the leather on the second tray had shrunk and pulled away from the edges of the tray, I had to have the entire tray restored. However, I had some custom speaker grilles fabricated and cut four rectangular holes in the tray to fit the grilles. Results, if I do say so for myself, are excellent and should help the sound quality in the cabin. Again, pics to follow (my camera is at Jono's shop).

2. I will change out the gold handles for the original aluminum ones. I already replaced the hood star and had the trunk emblems changed out for chrome.

3. Below is a pic of the AMG dial Dr. G has sourced, already mounted to the Gen I speedo cluster. Has already been set to match my current mileage in km's. I will change out the needle to the one in my car - bright orange. I will need to install a Dakota Digital to correct the speed reading to actual speed.

You would think that finding the Clarion system would be the hard part - not so! Getting the Seller to actually agree to get paid and ship the thing is what took 4 months!

Al
 

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· Registered
1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
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3,581 Posts
I absolutely love that your keeping the Clarion system in place - it's what makes that car what it is. Great work.
 

· Registered
1988 Mercedes 560 SEC (UK spec)
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168 Posts
that looks amazing... I don't suppose you could post another photo of the center console from a side angle? It's just I've been thinking about making something very similar for my center console.

Chris.
 

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84 500SEL AMG, 90 560SEC AMG, 85 500SEC AMG Widebody
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2,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
that looks amazing... I don't suppose you could post another photo of the center console from a side angle? It's just I've been thinking about making something very similar for my center console.

Chris.
Here's a shot of the center console from the side.

Al
 

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· Registered
1988 Mercedes 560 SEC (UK spec)
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168 Posts
thanks! I was interested to see how it fitted up against the sides of the console as opposed to being recessed like the normal console wood. I've got a spare console on order from eBay and I just took delivery of a big piece of burl veneer... my idea is to make one piece of curved wood going from the top of the console all the way down to the back of the console, so it includes the gear lever. I have a GPS/media system I'm looking to build in, trying to get that 'factory fit' look. First time I've worked with burl though.

I hope the refit goes well! That is going to be an amazing period sound system once you get it up and running :)

Chris.
 

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2019 Hyundai Elantra, 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, 1999 GMC Yukon
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1,670 Posts
That is so great that you've gone through all the time and $ to keep the system correct. Tiny rack handles - that's great! Great car!!!
 

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560SEC, 1988; 500SE, 1984; 500SL, 1983
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1,880 Posts
I love this Clarion Old School set-up :thumbsup: - it's on my list of projects to do in the future...now, just to find someone with a spare set of units....
 

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84 500SEL AMG, 90 560SEC AMG, 85 500SEC AMG Widebody
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2,045 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I love this Clarion Old School set-up :thumbsup: - it's on my list of projects to do in the future...now, just to find someone with a spare set of units....
Check German and UK eBay for "Clarion Compo" or "Clarion G-80" or "Clarion AMG". In the past two months, I have seen 3 complete systems sell for between 100 Euros and 200 Sterling.

I paid 250 Euros for my system, but it has the 2 NOS amps in the boxes along with the complete system. My newly acquired system also included the speaker fader joystick.

The system is a Clarion Compo G-80 and the components are:

Tuner G-80TVF
Cassette G-80D
Equalizer G-80C
Amps GA-505

Al
 

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320 Posts
Clarion G80 racks pop up quite often in Europe, at different price levels.
This was together with the Pioneer KEX-900 Centrate, the Panasonic RM-710 and a very, very rare Nakamichi rack among the absolutely most expensive audio set ups back in the mid 80's.

The G80 was an excellent system and is good even by todays standards. Looks absolutely stunning :thumbsup:
 

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Tribute 500SEC AMG Widebody
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alydon, could you post additional photos of the rear parcel shelf? thanks.
 
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