Author Topic: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?  (Read 11816 times)

Douglas

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What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« on: September 23, 2004, 05:44:20 »
While driving one evening, I detected an annoying reflection in my windshield from the illuminated heater levers. Upon closer inspection, I noticed there was nothing underneath my speaker cover except a clear view to the heater levers.

On my last SL, I vaguely recall some kind of black foam pad underneath the speaker. The difference is that my current SL has a stereo Europa with factory speakers in the kick panels, whereas my previous SL had a mono Europa with one speaker in the dash.

So what was originally underneath my speaker cover? I'd like to block the light from the levers and make it look as it did originally.



Douglas Kim
New York, NY
280 SL #016220

Ricardo

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2004, 07:36:42 »
Hey Douglas
On my car there is a piece of black grill cloth, which I assume is there to keep dirt from falling into the speaker and making it sound like a kazoo....seems to be like window screen with an additional fine black cloth.
But you've got me thinking I could fix my heater lever lights by going in through the speaker hole instead of ripping up the dash, now that would be good. Anyone know if this works?
Ricardo

Naj ✝︎

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2004, 08:40:44 »
Yes, Ricardo,
It works if you're only doing the bulbs. Remove grill.
Undo one screw in the center of each side of lever mech and remove cap.
Pull out bulbholder.
naj


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68 280SL
68 280SL

mdsalemi

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2004, 08:47:48 »
Doug et al.

Related to this I have to ask the question--was a stereo radio such as your Becker actually ever an option on a delivered 113?  If so, I'd like to find out details on the speakers and their exact mounting location.

I know the mono speaker is available from Becker, but there seems to be precious little room anywhere for stereo speaker mounting and I'd like to find out if there ever was a factory job.


Michael Salemi
1969 280SL
Signal Red w/Black Leather
Restored
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
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Douglas

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2004, 09:38:15 »
Michael,

Yes, stereo sound was definitely an option. My data card indicates the car came with a stereo Becker and the speakers mounted in the kick panels are clearly original. On the fairly late 280 SLs, there's actually a speaker-sized hole in the sheet metal behind the Tex or leather kick panel covering. There was one in my 5/70 car and I assume there were two of them when they put the speakers in my 2/70 SL. Check yours & you may be surprised.



Douglas Kim
New York, NY
280 SL #016220

tuultyme

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2004, 10:05:22 »
Before I redid my dash I had placed a black foam piece under the speaker to prevent the heater lights from reflecting on the windshield.  When I recovered my dash I cut a piece of leather and glued it to the dash around the out side edge of the speaker.

Bruce; 268Blaugrun(green) 1970 280SL; IL

LFrank

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2004, 10:10:57 »
My heater levers have never lit up; they are supposed to? And if so, I can change the bulbs by accessing them underneath the speaker? Very interesting...

Lanier Frank
65 230 sl

LFrank
Washington DC
65 230 sl - auto
DB334/Hellblau

hughet

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2004, 10:16:06 »
My 230 SL (#113 010 005155) had a black piece of cardboard or fiberboard under the wood grill. This "cover" had a very original look. It was shaped the same as the speaker and even had rubber grommets to seat it into the dash.

I do not think that the car was delivered with a radio because it had a radio cover with the 230SL chrome strip. There probably were not too many 230SLs delivered without a radio but mine was an early one that was delivered to the original owners in Scottsdale AZ in October 1964.

Sports cars in those days were very Spartan. Mine had rubber floor mats, manual steering  and no air conditioning. You gotta be tough to buy a car in Arizona without A/C even in 1964!

When I bought the car it did not have a soft top frame and I am not sure if it ever had one. A previous owner had removed the upholstered panel from the middle of the car and hung some type of radio which was later removed under the dash. He cut a couple of holes through the tray for the softtop and mounted speakers there. It is possible that he removed the softtop so that he would have room for the speakers.

Luckily, I was able to find a wrecked 230 SL in a junk yard in New Orleans where I got a soft top frame, a dash panel and the parts to convert the car over to power steering for a couple of hundred bucks. When I installed a radio I removed the cover to put a center speaker in and I am not sure what I did with it.

My conclusion is that the cover was probably "factory" and is rare because there were not too many stripped down models delivered even in the early days.

Tom Hughes
St. Louis

Naj ✝︎

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2004, 11:40:51 »
LFrank,
My '65 230 does have the bulbs - the caps are somewhat different but I am quite sure that you can still change the bulbs from the speaker aperture.
I changed mine when I had the heater matrix out - so not as sure as about the later 280 , on which I did the job.

naj

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68 280SL
68 280SL

LFrank

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2004, 12:18:42 »
Naj -

Thanks; I've long wondered what all the hype was about colored vs black heater levers -- now that I understand that they are supposed to be illuminated it makes a little more sense. (okay, yet another project...)

-L Frank

LFrank
Washington DC
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DB334/Hellblau

Douglas

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2004, 12:38:04 »
Wait a second. I seem to recall seeing a rectangular black cardboard piece sitting around that had rubber feet in its corners. I'll hunt around.

Douglas Kim
New York, NY
280 SL #016220

Bob G

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2004, 15:37:57 »
Douglas:
There is a thin layer of black felt covering my specker on top of my dash . this felt is used throught  out the car in different thickness. I recently contacted a supplier who cuts the industrial sound felt for the tunks on our SL that fit between the cross bars 7/16. I was told by Tom Colit this felt is used in many other places in our cars.
Bob Geco

hauser

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2004, 18:33:57 »
Since there is some discussion on the front speaker I thought I would bring this up.  In a recent topic by Ed Cave "280sl Restoration Underway" his project car's center speaker has tweeters on each side of the center speaker.  I have never seen this before.  Does anyone have any idea if this might have been an upgrade?  Or could this be a custom job?

Download Attachment: center speaker.jpg
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1969 280sl 5 spd        1999 ML320          Gainesville,Fl.

Douglas

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2004, 21:45:56 »
Bob,

I believe that piece sandwiched in the rear deck lid was originally foam, not felt.

Can't comment on the tweeters in the front speaker. I know the speaker itself is still available from Becker, so I'd ask Ed Ebel at Becker USA in NJ.

Douglas Kim
New York, NY
280 SL #016220

Malc

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2004, 02:00:01 »
Under my speaker cover is
flaking varnish
dead insects
lots of cobwebs
leaves, sweety (candy) wrappers
ball point pen cover
butchered wiring
and a mystery yet to be investigated :)
Malc

rwmastel

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2004, 07:50:57 »
quote:
Originally posted by hauser

Since there is some discussion on the front speaker I thought I would bring this up.  In a recent topic by Ed Cave "280sl Restoration Underway" his project car's center speaker has tweeters on each side of the center speaker.  I have never seen this before.  Does anyone have any idea if this might have been an upgrade?  Or could this be a custom job?


I would assume it's custom because of what appears to be a wood frame to hold the 3 speakers and the two wood spacers to make it fit right.  I can't imagine Becker producing anything so "amature".

Rodd
Powell, Ohio, USA
1966 230SL, Euro, Auto, Leather, both  tops
1994 E420
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graphic66

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2004, 08:02:42 »
I don't know about the speaker but the two spacers support the dash wood. they are just a couple of pieces of masonite and do look very "not SL PC". They are in my car and just support the dash wood.

Douglas

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Re: What's underneath the wooden speaker cover?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2004, 06:48:20 »
Tom Hughes was right on the money. There's a black rectangular piece of cardboard that fits perfectly under the speaker cover. It's covered in foam on the backside and has one rubber "foot" on the top left corner and a hole where a corresponding foot in the inner dash slips into it. Glad I found that part sitting around!

Douglas Kim
New York, NY
280 SL #016220