How I built a bluetooth 8-track adapter to incorporate modern radio technology into the original stereo in my 1980 Corvette without any mods.
In the world of classic cars, originality is often times king. Especially in the world of classic Corvettes. That was the main impetus for this project. I wanted to have the ability to stream music and gps nav through the stereo in my 1980 Corvette. I could have replaced the original 8-track deck with a Bluetooth capable modern radio, but I have never liked the looks of modern aftermarket radios, and aftermarket ‘classic’ looking radios are expensive.
To accomplish this I hit the internet and youtube to see if I could build an 8-track tape that was capable of receiving Bluetooth signal from my phone. During my research, I found out that an 8-track is functionally similar to it’s smaller cousin, the cassette tape.
- Bluetooth Cassette Adapter
- 8-track tape.
A quick ebay search yielded a bluetooth cassette and an old Boston 8-Track for less than $30 total. I’m sure that some Boston fans are screaming in agony over the thought of gutting an original Boston tape, but they are one of my favorite bands, and an old tape completes the look I was going for.
Step 1: Gut the 8-track
8-track tapes are usually held closed with plastic clips. A small flat screwdriver (think glasses repair size) made quick work of opening the clips. Next the tape and spool need to be removed to make room for the Bluetooth electronics.
Step 2: Add the Bluetooth Circuitry
Next transfer the circuit board, battery and magnetic head from the bluetooth cassette into the 8-track body. I secured everything with hot glue to keep it in place and minimize rattling.
Step 3: Cut access holes for charging and switch
I used a small file to cut slots in the plastic for the charging port and the power switch, then snapped the case closed once everything was secured.
Here is a pic of how it looks all closed up.
And with the tape inserted into the original stereo, I can now stream ‘More Than A Feeling’ directly to my 40 year old radio.
Inspiration for this project came from a few places.
- Write up of a similar build: https://www.coolcats.net/modifying/bluetooth8trackadapter.html
- Techmoan video chaining adapters together to achieve a similar result: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppo3IgHWDzA&t=694s