Category Archives: Do it yourself

I installed a new car stereo in an old Ford Focus

OK, so you know I drive a 2001 Ford Focus. In 2013.

The factory radio’s face had been breaking off (a plastic tab cracked apart) for years, and it was getting worse and worse.

My wonderful wife, Ilene bought me a new car radio — a Pioneer DEH-X6500BT with CD, USB and analog audio input, iPod control and Bluetooth in addition to AM/FM. She also got me the mounting bracket, wiring harnesses and antenna adapter to make it all work.

It has been a long time since I last installed a car stereo. I’ve done it a few times. But not in the past 10 and a few more years.

Extracting the old radio is the hardest part, and that held true this time. The Ford factory radio is removable with a pair of U-shaped specialty tools. I didn’t have them. So I cut two pieces of coat hanger (not my idea; thanks, Internet!) and managed to eventually pop the clamps and pull the thing out.

I spliced the wires in the harnesses to the wires supplied by Pioneer, jammed the mounting bracket into the empty space in the Focus dash, connected the wiring harness to the Ford wiring, tested all and then shoved the radio into its DIN sleeve.

Nobody told me there are sharp parts in those things — the DIN sleeves.