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post #1 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

Hey all,

Having an issue with the radio for my 88 Omni. I turn the key to accessory or start the engine and I get a high pitch whine out of the radio. Engine running or not, the radio comes on and does this. In other forums I was recommended to change the radio capacitor and that it's located off one of the posts of the coil. However, everywhere I look online the capacitor (picture attached) looks different than the one everyone says is the radio capacitor. There seems to be a great divide on where the radio capacitor is, a lot of people think it's the one coming off the coil (picture attached). I had thought it was under the dash somewhere in the harness. I've seen some say it's on the alternator, which I don't ever remember seeing. Some have said distributor, which I replaced the whole thing setup during the recent rebuild. Also, I am not 100% certain it's the radio capacitor that is the issue. I replaced the radio and have a new antenna in an initial attempt to solve the issue. I have also redone the neg battery to inner fender ground and intake manifold to firewall ground. I would like to check my ignition harness/ radio harness grounds as well as replace the radio capacitor. Does anyone know where the radio capacitor is? Also, can someone point me in the right direction for a schematic for radio and ignition system harness? Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 10:13 AM
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

Is this an aftermarket radio or a factory radio?

There are capacitors used to silence radio noise for ignition and alternator noise, depending on the year/make/model may or may not be used.
I do not have any on my car.

Radio noise from the ignition system would be a "static" sound while noise from an alternator would be a "whining" noise.

If the noise is present with the key on/engine off it is doubtful you have a capacitor issue.

A whining/whirling noise with the engine running usually indicates a faulty diode in the alternator.
The speed of the noise would also increase and decrease with engine speed.
Check continuity from the alternator ground to - battery (less than 5 ohms).
The alternator ground is in cavity 3 of the alternator connector and is a BK wire.
NOTE: there are two BK wires in the alternator connector, one is power in and is located on the end of the connector, the BK ground is right next to it.
According to the wiring the alternator itself is also grounded.

Underhood grounds would be...
1)- Battery to Block/Head
2)- Battery to Body
3)Intake Manifold/Fuel Rail to Firewall
4)Passenger Engine Mount Bracket to Body.

If those grounds are all properly secured on a non-painted clean surface then check your radio ground.
I do not have specific 88 Omni wiring but all of my other radio wiring from 87-89 shows the radio uses a "braided ground strap" from the back of the radio to ground.
Be sure you have continuity from the ground strap to the - battery (less than 5 ohms)

I will send you some wiring through a PM.

Jan
1990 Daytona Shelby VNT

40 Years ASE Certified (Retired)
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

Thanks for the info on the grounds to look for, I will go through some of the ones there I haven't touched yet and check continuity values on them all with my multimeter. I am familiar with the Alternator whine while running coming through the radio, but having it happen with the car in accessory has me scratching my head. The PS motor mount ground is particularly concerning, that motor mount could be cleaned better. I just did a head gasket and a pile of other work to it. Before I swapped in the replacement radio I tried a couple of Chrysler radios my dad has as a backup for his XJs, had a similar whine on accessory and ignition. Some history on the car. I bought it in Feb, the stock antenna was corroded/ loose and the factory radio wouldn't pick up any stations (not even a whine noise or static so I guessed it was dead). I didn't have a cassette to check the cassette player or I would have checked there as well. I replaced both items. The new radio is a re-manufactured Chrysler radio with a combo CD player and tape deck. The guy rebuilding it also put in a headphone jack input to use a phone/ Ipod headphone cable. The antenna is an aftermarket rubber one from advanced. After the whine goes away I can pick up some stations. I have been driving it around without the radio on, mostly because I did a lot of work to it and need to hear how things are behaving... but mainly I am concerned the issue may have claimed the last radio.

Recent work done:

Lower control arms, ball joints and bushings.
Wheel bearings x4.
Tie rods
PS hoses.
Struts, springs, mounts, x4.
Master Cyl. lines, calipers, wheel cylinders, pads, rotors, and drums.
Head gasket and new top end gaskets.
Timing belt
TPS
02
Heater control valve
Distributor, dist pickup, rotor, cap, wires, plugs.
Alternator
Water pump
CV shafts.
Shift linkage.
Rebuilt a lot of the vacuum lines that disintegrated during the head gasket.
Neg battery terminal and post to inner fender ground wire.
Battery
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 11:46 AM
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

I am not sure about the technology used on newer radios and antenna's, however...
On the older cars all antenna masts factory and replacements were 32" high for optimal reception.
Even factory power antennas extended to 32".

If you notice the newer cars that do not have the antenna built into the windshield or rear window use a smaller antenna but it is usually roof mounted so it is higher up.

If you are using a shorter antenna and it is fender mounted that could be contributing to your problem,
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAJ View Post
If you are using a shorter antenna and it is fender mounted that could be contributing to your problem,
Not the whine, just the reception related issues, correct? I figured it would be just reception issues regarding the antenna due to the height.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 12:15 PM
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

Yes, just the reception of FM stations, AM stations tend to be prone to static anyway depending on where you are located from the broadcast tower.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

Excellent, thanks! I will be diving into it on Sunday and will let you know how it all turns out. Hopefully I'll be headed back to Boston with good news.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-28-2019, 08:01 AM
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

1988 L Body

from the part book in the wiper motor section:

4311855 SUPPRESSOR, Motor Radio Noise

it is located around the wiper motor not in the engine compartment

OK so you have to open the hood to get to it but it is not next to the engine... you have to remove the cover over the wiper motor to get to it.

going through the 1988 part book only the G body cars use one but it is a different part #

other posts on this:

Windshield Wiper Motor sensor

https://www.turbododge.com/forums/f4...or-l-body.html
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

That's interesting, Marty Mopar, I would never have found it. I will look there and replace it to see what happens.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 09:07 AM
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

one on the wiper motor would seem to make sence
a buddy showed me a trick he learned as a kid in his mom's dodge dart
turn the radio just on , no volume
turn the signals on, or hazards -I forget
and switch on the wipers

you get a pulse out of the radio
and this is in a perfectly functioning dart
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

I sanded, reinstalled, and ran additional groundings this weekend. It didn't yield and positive results, turning the key to accessory and the high pitched whine was still there. I measured the resistance of the antenna, 1.6-1.7. I think I am going to change it out for a longer one anyways.

I swapped out the radio for another one my dad has, Chrysler factory radio with CD/ Tape deck combo from a Cherokee XJ. The whine went away! I buttoned it up and went for a drive. What happened next though... stopped for dinner, got back in and no noise on startup. The radio station didn't come on, but came back about 100 feet down the road. Driving down the highway the radio started crackling, then the fast clicking started (didn't track with engine RPM), a loud constant bass like sound came out of the speakers, and dropped the stations. After cycling the radio power a couple of times ( No noise, whine, or radio while cycling) it came out of the loud noise and clicking to pick up a station. It is intermittently picking up radio stations now, this morning no noise or radio.

I ordered the Mopar service manuals for it, going to replace the capacitor up by the windshield wiper, and the antenna. After that its inspecting the dash harness for issues? That's the only thing after I can think of.
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 09:18 AM
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

think of checking the antenna cable along it's length for anything that could be split and grounding too

more or less about where the left side of the glove box door is , for place reference, in under the dash there's a metal strap that hangs down from the cowl
this strap supports the heater box

the antenna cable might run across over this strap ( the strap MIGHT be what's holding up the middle section of cable )

and on that strap are also mounted a couple of "cylinders" connected to the heater fan circuit

are you also using the woven ground strap that is supposed to be connected to the back of the radio ??
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Radio whine - key accessory and on ignition start.

Its a new antenna and cable, I had suspected the antenna was junk but it ohmd out under 5. The surface on the inner fender it mounts to is clean as well, it was a california car and doesn't have a lot of rust. The grommet it goes through on the inner fender is still intact.
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