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I installed a stereo in my '78 Oday 25 a month ago and didn't get any power to the unit. I brought it back and got a different stereo. Hooked it up last night and we got power to it but it was very flaky. We noticed the positive wire was corroded. I know I have to run new positive and negative. But my question basically is could I have damaged the stereo because of the 32 year old wiring?
 

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Not likely unless you didn't have a fuse on the circuit and then crossed the wires at the point where you connected it up. Most stereos have a fuse that can be replaced for that specific purpose actually.

Not sure what "flaky" means in your case but your best bet is to run new non corroded wires to the stereo for the best performance and sound.
 
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