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A Ford Stereo in a Metro; ...well, why not?
Topic Started: Apr 6 2014, 03:10 AM (3,729 Views)
Mythstae
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Several months back, I had the opportunity to pick up an OEM Ford stereo locally for $15.
Figured I would take a chance on it. I'd say it worked out pretty well...
Now, you might be wondering. "Why on earth would you want to install a Ford stereo in a Metro?" :dunno
Mostly, for the challenge. I wanted to see if I could. And honestly - why not?
I consulted with Stiffchezze a bit on this project - mostly just bouncing ideas off him, and he'd give me a kick once in a while and tell me to get to work! :evillol What are friends for?

So, get yourself a Ford stereo. I'm not 100% sure on the year range that applies.
The one I got came from a "99 Ford Truck". I don't know if that means a Ranger, an F-something-50, or even an Explorer.
:dunno I have no idea. But never mind that! Onward!
The model I got is: XL2F-18C868-AB
There are other models.
Some have cassette only, and no CD.
Some, only CD, no cassette.
Some, AM/FM only.
And some... have a 6 disc changer?!

I found this topic: http://www.f150online.com/forums/other-audio-system/3451-ford-am-fm-cassete-cd.html
And specifically, this post: http://www.f150online.com/forums/23168-post6.html
Which seems to indicate that I lucked out, by getting a 99 stereo. 99 and 00 stereos have the amp internalized in the Head Unit. Or, so that poster says.

I found some diagrams, which were very oddly labeled: http://www.justanswer.com/ford/1bw2d-changing-f150-radio-cassette-explorer.html
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...What in the heck is "Radio Receiver to Redundant Radio Control"? :ermm: Somebody better call the Department of Redundancy Department! :lol

But then, I found this diagram: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/pdf_documents/1999_Ranger_Radio_Wiring.pdf
And I love their forum name. "The Ranger Station"! :wub: C'mon! That's clever!

So, I had needed to acquire a nice, clear pinout/wiring diagram. Done. Thank you, Ranger Station! :wub:
Then, puzzle out the meanings.
Pin 3 on the Ford connector is to keep the stereo on when cranking, as far as I can figure. I didn't want to mess with that, so I just capped it off with a bit of shrink tube.
Could you connect this to the other switched power wire at pin 10? Yeah, maybe, but don't come crying to me if you smoke your stereo!

Now, something important to note: Our dimmer switches are wired backwards from most cars.
Even, say, an Esteem - you wire it how you think is right, go to test it - with the instrument cluster lights turned all the way UP - stereo lights are turned all the way DOWN.
Turn the cluster all the way DOWN - stereo lights go UP. :smackface

So, how the heck does it work? :hmm
Our dimmer switch is a variable ground. As you turn it down, it applies more ground. :ermm: Ok, then...

So, I wired it up to the ground wire in the Ford harness which went to a separate ground point from the other two grounds.
(Yes, really, the Ford stereo has three grounds, total.)

I have made a handy-dandy diagram, and I also have... PICS!
Also, pin 1 on the Ford harness diagram I made is labeled as Red/Black (or Light Blue/Red).
Why? Because, it depends what you cut your donor harness from.
If the harness comes from a Ranger, that wire is Light Blue/Red.
If the harness comes from an Explorer, that wire is Red/Black.
The only other minor discrepancy is this: pin 6 is labeled as Brown/Violet on the Explorer diagram, and Brown/Pink on the Ranger diagram.
You can also buy an aftermarket harness for the Ford side: http://www.ebay.com/itm/360504093456
But! The colors will be different. And since I haven't bought one, I can't tell you what the colors are supposed to be.


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The stereo.

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Back of the stereo.

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Pins. Notice they are numbered; you know exactly what pin is what.

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Donor harness. Let's get this stripped down and cleaned up a bit...

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That's better!

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Soldered harness, complete.

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Look at those solder joints...

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This was supposed to show what size of socket you need to take that white thing off. Frickin' shiny sockets... I think it says 5/16. (I checked on the new one. It is, indeed, 5/16)

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Plug in your harness... let's test it!

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It works!

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And so does the dimmer!


Now how the heck do you mount this thing? :hmm


I didn't want to drill any holes in the case, or remove the spring clips, or anything to alter the stereo unit itself from stock.
That way, if I didn't like it, I could sell it on Craigslist, or eBay. Still an OEM Ford stereo!
This mount cage was made to my specifications by aartod.

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Unfortunately, my specifications were off. Whoops!
It won't work with a stock bezel - you'd have to modify the bezel, or run a half-a-bezel, like I currently am.
We're going to work together on a Ford-to-Metro mount, version 2.0, sometime.

And if you'd like to do this for yourself...
Here is the wiring diagram.

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Also, here's an interesting feature.
Car off, key out. Turn on the park lights - the clock lights up. :O
It's such a small thing, but holy crap, it blew my mind! How does it know?
Also, car off, key out, push the clock button - same thing, clock lights up.
It will also let you eject the CD.
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macuserman
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It is very subtle it almost looks like an OEM radio. BTW you're soldering joints are very nice, I am a bit of a wire snob so I always appreciate tidy work. Esp the shrink wrap, electrical tape is just so tacky. Good work! :)
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Mythstae
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macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:17 AM
It is very subtle it almost looks like an OEM radio. BTW you're soldering joints are very nice, I am a bit of a wire snob so I always appreciate tidy work. Esp the shrink wrap, electrical tape is just so tacky. Good work! :)
Thank you! :)
I use electrical tape for solder jobs, only when I can't use shrink tube.
It feels so much more... finished, with shrink tube. Refined. "Yes, this is a job I planned."
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macuserman
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Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:22 AM
macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:17 AM
It is very subtle it almost looks like an OEM radio. BTW you're soldering joints are very nice, I am a bit of a wire snob so I always appreciate tidy work. Esp the shrink wrap, electrical tape is just so tacky. Good work! :)
Thank you! :)
I use electrical tape for solder jobs, only when I can't use shrink tube.
It feels so much more... finished, with shrink tube. Refined. "Yes, this is a job I planned."
Worst feeling is realizing you forgot to slide the wrap on before you soldered it together. :banghead Ah nothing to do, but snip it and start over :(
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Mythstae
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macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:25 AM
Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:22 AM
macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:17 AM
It is very subtle it almost looks like an OEM radio. BTW you're soldering joints are very nice, I am a bit of a wire snob so I always appreciate tidy work. Esp the shrink wrap, electrical tape is just so tacky. Good work! :)
Thank you! :)
I use electrical tape for solder jobs, only when I can't use shrink tube.
It feels so much more... finished, with shrink tube. Refined. "Yes, this is a job I planned."
Worst feeling is realizing you forgot to slide the wrap on before you soldered it together. :banghead Ah nothing to do, but snip it and start over :(
Depends on what you're soldering!
If it's a Metro stereo harness, I can UNPIN the wire from the Metro side, slip the tube over, and click it back in to the connector! :D
Handy trick I learned once, hanging out with vr4.
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macuserman
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Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:29 AM
macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:25 AM
Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:22 AM
macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:17 AM
It is very subtle it almost looks like an OEM radio. BTW you're soldering joints are very nice, I am a bit of a wire snob so I always appreciate tidy work. Esp the shrink wrap, electrical tape is just so tacky. Good work! :)
Thank you! :)
I use electrical tape for solder jobs, only when I can't use shrink tube.
It feels so much more... finished, with shrink tube. Refined. "Yes, this is a job I planned."
Worst feeling is realizing you forgot to slide the wrap on before you soldered it together. :banghead Ah nothing to do, but snip it and start over :(
Depends on what you're soldering!
If it's a Metro stereo harness, I can UNPIN the wire from the Metro side, slip the tube over, and click it back in to the connector! :D
Handy trick I learned once, hanging out with vr4.
Nice! I usually don't bother unless the solder joint was particularly difficult. Tricks are nice though, and also having the right tools never hurts anything... :D :D :D
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Mythstae
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macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:48 AM
Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:29 AM
macuserman
Apr 6 2014, 03:25 AM
Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:22 AM

Quoting limited to 4 levels deepcan't use shrink tube.
It feels so much more... finished, with shrink tube. Refined. "Yes, this is a job I planned."
Worst feeling is realizing you forgot to slide the wrap on before you soldered it together. :banghead Ah nothing to do, but snip it and start over :(
Depends on what you're soldering!
If it's a Metro stereo harness, I can UNPIN the wire from the Metro side, slip the tube over, and click it back in to the connector! :D
Handy trick I learned once, hanging out with vr4.
Nice! I usually don't bother unless the solder joint was particularly difficult. Tricks are nice though, and also having the right tools never hurts anything... :D :D :D
Show-off! :P
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macuserman
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Quote:
 
Show-off! :P
Whoops I accidentally put that picture of my desk in there. :P lol
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Woodie
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Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:10 AM
What in the heck is "Radio Receiver to Redundant Radio Control"? :ermm: Somebody better call the Department of Redundancy Department! :lol
Steering wheel controls?


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geogonfa
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All I need to say is Nice Work...I also do not like quick connects if I can solder...like you said I just looks right... :thumb
and I am going to bookmark this for possible future reference...
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metroschultz
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Please just call me; "Schultz"

Good Work.
I have a Scion stereo in mine
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Mythstae
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Woodie
Apr 6 2014, 04:47 AM
Mythstae
Apr 6 2014, 03:10 AM
What in the heck is "Radio Receiver to Redundant Radio Control"? :ermm: Somebody better call the Department of Redundancy Department! :lol
Steering wheel controls?
Possibly. These head units support lots of features I haven't looked into yet. (External CD changer, back seat audio controls, etc...)

geogonfa
Apr 6 2014, 09:37 AM
All I need to say is Nice Work...I also do not like quick connects if I can solder...like you said I just looks right... :thumb
and I am going to bookmark this for possible future reference...
:) Don't forget, if you don't want to make the harness yourself, I can do that! (For a fee... :whistle )

metroschultz
Apr 6 2014, 10:30 AM
Good Work.
I have a Scion stereo in mine
Neat!
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

Beautiful! :thumb :thumb
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Mythstae
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Bad Bent
Apr 6 2014, 01:23 PM
Beautiful! :thumb :thumb
Thank you! :)
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Mythstae
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Got another stereo today, CD and Cassette, from a 2003 Ford Windstar.
Model number: 3F2T-18C868-EC

It occurs to me, Windstars are probably actually a really good source for these stereos.
How many dudes buy their wife a minivan to haul the kids around - then upgrade it so it's nice?
Probably quite a few... gotta keep Mama happy... Plus, nice stereo etc. to help entertain the kids.
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