Reward for lost Kraken!
Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 142 Times in 139 Posts
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"We did discover that our power wire (red) was corroded. Is it possible that our 32 year old wiring fried the units"
Not likely that you fried the stereos. Old wiring tends to fail, as in provide no voltage at all. to fry them, you'd have to provide excess voltage (regulator failure on the alternator or 17V from solar panels) or reverse voltage.
If you want to be sure, run some alligator wires (buy a long set from Radio Shack) from the battery directly to the radio power leads. Stereos often use two positive leads, typically red and orange for the main power and the memory power and you may need to power up BOTH for it to work. And then another wire, black or yellow, for the negative aka "ground" lead.
Then there are the speakers...if it uses four that's eight more wires and if you only test one, and the fade/balance knob is set to the other side you get the sounds of silence.
On a boat that old it probably pays to run new power wires (hot and ground) all the way from the panel to the radio, assuming you've got good power into the panel. No telling what a PO did, like creatively splice in lamp cord with a twist and tape in some hidden place.
Alligator wires: A good long-term investment of ten bucks.