Monthly Archives: August 2016

Blaupunkt Sacramento


The original stereo in my ’85 Avanti was a Blaupunkt Sacramento that was apparently discarded and swapped for an AM/FM/Cassette Pioneer head unit and new rear speakers in November 1998 by the original owner. Having a soft spot for keeping the visible things “period correct” but wanting something a little more modern, I did some research into my options.

I discovered a guy in California (sadly now passed away and shop closed) who had an “old school” stereo repair place and he offered a service to completely go through a stereo and integrate an unobtrusive and otherwise invisible AUX input, which would allow me to use my iPhone via the headphone jack. He advised that he had no schematics or parts list for the Sacramento, and said that would speed the job up and make it less expensive.

First order of business was to find another Sacramento head unit. Easiest place to do this was to just search on eBay – and though they weren’t very common, one would pop up every month or so. Eventually I found one that looked to be in good physical condition, all connectors still attached, complete with knobs/faceplate and reported as “working when removed”.

Next up was a set of schematics – a bit easier to find after a trip to – $24 and a week or so later, I had a VERY nice quality reproduction of the original service/schematic/parts manual for the Sacramento. I made a copy for my stereo repair/service guy and sent it and the stereo off for him to work his magic. I’m still scanning this manual so that it’s as clean as can be. In the meantime, I’ve had a request for a PDF of the original operating instructions for the Sacramento – you can download it here (14mb).

My stereo guy ended up doing a major overhaul  on this “working when removed” head unit to include:

  • Tape drive motor and motor servo
  • All rubber parts replace
  • Donor display from a Blaupunkt CR-3001 as mine had a bad segment
  • Tape audio had a bad head cable and an intermittent AR switch
  • General clean, lube and adjust

Adding the AUX input is done by interrupting the first audio stage of the radio with impedance matching and switching circuit.

I am still looking for a have finally located a pair of the original Blaupunkt 6×9 speaker grilles like shown here:

blaupunkt speaker grille

Mine were removed and most likely discarded when the Pioneer speakers were fitted back in 1998 with the head unit. Please contact me if you have one or even two!


LEDs all around!

In my day job, we strongly encourage the use of LEDs in place of incandescents wherever possible. Naturally, I wanted to do the same with my Avanti.

In my ’85, I needed the following:

Front turn signals

Front side markers

Rear brake light

Rear turn signals

Reverse lights

Rear turn signals

Flasher Unit – Two required, one for turn signals and one for the flasher. I used the Signal Stat 262 Electronic Flasher. Make you get the electronic version as the non-electronic version is not suitable for LEDs. I have a few extra if you can’t find one locally or online.

About the same time I was doing this, the Summer/Fall 2014 issue of the AOAI magazine came in the mail, and Bill Henderson had written an article about replacing the instrument cluster lights with LEDs, so I took his advice and did that, as well. Much better lighting, brighter and the red glow is a nice touch.