Dirty As Heck Firestone But Still Works! – Retro Radio Farm

Dirty As Heck Firestone But Still Works!

Here's a nice seafoam green Firestone that looks like it was buried for 50 years. Here's what it sounded like after I dug it up.

 

Amazingly, no cracks or missing pieces. A good starter candidate for restoration.

 

Look at all the rust on the metal chassis!

 

Original filter capacitor not totally dried out. How come?

The twin speakers are nice intact not blown

Here's other chassis shots:

 

This design comes complete with push buttons that work, a dial bulb that still lit up brightly, a sturdy backing board, and strong tubes.

The mystery of radios that defy space and time continues. As always with these survivors, I'm torn between replacing the filter capacitors and leaving well enough alone. It's a matter of personal choice and principles. For me, some of these are pieces are only to be looked at. In classic car world, they are 'trailer queens.' For some people, they want to listen to them. They want a 'daily driver' or '20 footers.' For others still, they want to listen to MP3 and wireless through Bluetooth. Can't think of an appropriate car analogy. Maybe 'Resto-mod?" To each their own. I hesitate to convert the hardest-to-find ones to Bluetooth MP3. With the really hard-to-find survivors, I don't even clean the dirt off, or turn a factory screw that looks like it's never been touched! My wife will not allow me to display dirty pieces in living areas of our home. So, I keep these old survivors, 'the trailer queens," dirt and all, in a secret vault.

I decided to clean this one but leave the old capacitor. I also removed the rust from the chassis because bits of rust could cause an unwanted short circuit. 

 

Last week, I decided to replace the old filter capacitor of this radio even though the old one was working fine. This radio was another true survivor so initially I was hesitant. Finally, I decided hiding this radio form the world in my vault would be a shame. I'm still not at ease with my decision though. Maybe I'll feel better when someone buys it and gives it a loving home. A part of me believes that these radios should be relevant once again, playing music, or keeping the time for another generation and not stored, dirty, with suspect electronics, in a vault. The other part of me says preservation is the noblest pursuit and my vault is in fact old-radio heaven. These internal debates carry over from my car collecting and vintage guitar collecting passions (insanities). If you are at all afflicted in your own way, I'm sure these idle musings are familiar to you.

 

I checked the circuit voltages and inspected for wiring bridges or soon-to-crumble wiring insulators. The IF transformers were adjusted to 455 KHz. But, other than that, I am hesitant to do any harm to this factory original piece that has survived all these years intact and still in working condition.

Here's what it sounded like after alignment, but no electronics replacements. In the car world, this would be like finding an old car in a barn somewhere that hasn't been driven in 20 years, cleaning out the old gas, starting it up and driving it home. Miraculous!

 

 

 

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