1978 Buick LeSabre Radio Help


New member

My name is Will and I own a 1978 Buick LeSabre Custom 4 Door. The previous owner of the car put in a crappy 80's tape deck in place of the stock AM/FM radio. When I bought the car it car came with the original radio but I am not sure if I am missing a connector and if the wires that are in the stock connectors are correct. What I am asking for is a wiring diagram so I can put everything back to stock. On the radio there are two connectors, one is long and rectangular and has a black wire and a blue wire in it. The second has a yellow wire and a grey wire in it and the connector has the shape of a boxy triangle. It looks as though I am missing a small rectangular connecter but I am not sure. The location for where the antenna plugs in is on the side of the radio.

The radio is a

AC Delco
Service No: 52BFPK1
Serial No: 1015004
Model No: 9343492

The car is a stated above a 1978 Buick LeSabre Custom 4 Door
Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.


New member
Likely the previous owner clipped the wires and tossed the factory connectors, then hard-wired the replacement without adapters (common practice in the 80s)....

However, you're in luck. Most late 70s GM cars have the exact same wiring for the radio and speakers as their 80s counterparts. (Most 1978-1987 are the same, with some carrying over into the 90s) If you are missing connectors, they are easily sourced from any mid-80s GM car in a boneyard, snip about 6 inches of wire away from the connectors so they can be spliced.

You should be able to get these from anything from a Cavalier to a Coupe DeVille. The plastic dash trim generally pops off with a light tug with the fingers, just be careful not to break it if you are needing it for your car (will have to be from a similar LeSabre or Electra). To get to the connectors, the stereos generally are removed easily, usually 4 easily accessible 9/32" bolts hold the brackets in.

NOTE: If you are thinking about swapping a later model unit into your LeSabre, you will need to use suitable brackets from the applicable later model of your car, as well as the dash trim.

I swapped the original shaft style factory AM radio in a 78 Malibu for a more modern late 80s factory Delco AM/FM cassette unit from an 86 Camaro by simply changing the plate that the original shaft style radio was attached to. I only found that I needed the dash trim from a newer model of the car (the early-80s G-body used the same dash as the late-70s A-body)

The brackets that secure the newer radio to the dash in the newer models generally line up with older cars, though without seeing your dash setup, it's hard to know for sure. I would say this should be a breeze. The brackets are generally held on with small studs that actually clip in to different locations on the radio. Sometimes these may need to be adjusted or relocated to mount in a different vehicle.

But I digress. If you are simply wanting to replace the factory connectors and reinstall the original radio in your 78, typical 78-87 GM radio wiring is as follows: (pulled from a Haynes for S-10s but I've found there were little to no changes with earlier models)

Power connector: (Single rectangular connector)

Black: Ground
Yellow: Memory lead (if applicable)
Orange: Switched power from ACC or IGN

Speaker Connectors: (2 rectangular connectors same as power connector)

Note: Ground has a black stripe on newer units, if no stripe, darker color is ground)

LF Speaker - Tan and Gray
RF Speaker - Lt Green and Dk Green
LR Speaker - Brown and Yellow
RR Speaker - Dark Blue and Light Blue

NOTE: Some models with the yellow wire for the preset memory will be on a separate connector, it will be a wide, flat two-pin connector. This connector depending on the model may or may not have a ground wire, If it doesn't, it's not a big deal. This is likely not even used in your 78, but if you are swapping a newer unit for a more modern but still factory look, it will be necessary, can be run from cigarette lighter circuit, must be an unswitched 12V source.

One other thing to remember if you have to graft the connectors from an 80s vehicle into your 78, is that the 80s cars were wired for stereo, and your 78 may not be. If this is the case, likely it is wired with one connector for the rear speaker, and one connector for the front. 1982 was the first year of the newer style factory Delco unit, try to score as old of an 80s car as you can. the wiring color codes for speakers on one side or the other will likely correspond with the mono setup wiring. (ie, tan and gray for front dash speaker, brown and yellow for the rear speaker, or as your connector with black and blue indicates, black would be ground)

Hope that helps :)
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