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Guide To Fitting An Aftermarket Head Unit


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#1 Brigante

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:59 PM

As promised, here's a guide to fitting an aftermarket head unit

First thing you need is a new head unit :D

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Included in the box you get a half a wiring loom

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And a cage, fascia adaptor and removal keys

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However, bar the wiring loom, the rest is scrap as the fascia adaptor and cage are actually the wrong size unless you buy a different head unit surround.

Also, if you use just the wiring loom provided, you will have a hell of a lot of cutting, splicing, crimping and rewiring to do to transplant it onto your current ford wiring loom.

You'll also find that the radio doesn't work and neither does your stalk controls.

So what you'll have to do, like me, is buy a fitting kit for around 60quid. The kit will include a fascia adapter to build up to your current head unit surround, an aerial adaptor for the radio, a stalk controls adaptor, a new cage, and most importantly a head unit to ford specific patch lead (in my case pioneer to ford specific) which will plug into the loom provided with the head unit, and into the ford wiring loom making it plug and play with no rewiring required.


Now to start the installation

The kit also comes with a pair of these things

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Which is what secure the head unit into the cage to stop it simply sliding/pulling out.

The two prong things are the new removal keys

First step is to put them together like this

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And screw them onto the sides of the head unit itself

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And the other side

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So now when you slide the head unit into the cage, it will lock in place. To remove the head unit from the cage, slide a removal key down either side of the head unit and pull it out

This is the aerial adaptor

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And it plugs in this big hole

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Like so

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Heres the loom provided with the head unit

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And heres the patch lead

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These plug together like this

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Heres the stalk control adaptor

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Which plugs into the wiring loom here

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And into that plugs a 3.5mm jack

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Like so

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After all of that, you end up with a beast of a wiring loom like this

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This beast will some how need to fit into your dash

Once you've done that

You have these 4 clips

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(I know there's only 3 in my hand, I already clipped one on then thought I better take a photo first :P)

Which clip onto the fascia adaptor

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These will clip the adaptor in place into your head unit surround

I dunno about you, but my fitting kit came with a vague diagram saying the head unit surround needs a little modification

Basically the lip around the bottom of the surround

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Needs trimming off like so

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Now it's time to take everything to the car if your not sitting in it already

I forgot to take a photo while it was fitted, but if you don't know how to remove your factory head unit

You require 4 removal keys like these

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These will come with the fitting kit or are readily available all over ebay

There are 4 slots above/bellow the buttons of the head unit, simply slide these all the way in, with the flat edge of the key facing outwards till you hear them click in place

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Slightly pull the keys outwards and the head unit will simply pull out of the dash rather easily

Then to remove the head unit surround there is just 2 torx screws then grab a hold of it and pull towards you to unclip it

Next job is to put the cage in the dash

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You will notice these teeth all over it

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Push/bend these out with a screwdriver like so

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And they'll grip the cage in place

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Now grab your wiring loom

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And plug it into the ford wiring loom

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Like so

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Then lock it together

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You will now have a great mass of wiring that some how needs to fit in your dash

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The loom plugs into this black socket with a fuse above it

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Like so

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With the stalk controls, although in the photos above I've already got it connected to the loom, it is important not to connect it yet.

So once you've plugged the loom into the stereo, you then plug the stalk controls plug into the jack marked W/R

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Like so

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You now connect the stalk controls to the loom

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And not before. It is very important you do it in this order. Loom into stereo, stalk controls into stereo, then finally stalk controls into the loom.

Next is the aerial so pull it out the dash

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And simply push it onto the aerial adaptor in the back of the stereo like so

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You now need to some how slide the head unit into the cage, this may be tricky due to the stupid amount of wiring behind it

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This next step only applies to touch screen head units with a dvd player. Basically you aren't allowed to watch dvds while driving, so to make sure your not, the head unit needs to be wired to the handbrake to work, and will only work when the handbrakes fully engaged.

However, if you don't like your head unit telling you what you can or can't do, or if you plan on having a child in the passenger seat watching a dvd (like some comments I've read on google) you can cheaply source and buy a type of bypass from ebay, which you connect the wire to instead which will trick the head unit into thinking the handbrakes always on.

I wasn't fussed though as I won't have the dvd player on while driving anyway

So here's what you do

First you need to remove the demister switch surround, again it's just 2 torx screws and pull it off. Then the switches simply unplug from behind.

This long wire needs to go to the handbrake, so thread it down through the dash

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Find it when it comes out where the demister switchs was

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You also need to remove the gear leaver surround, this is easily unclipped by sliding a flat blade screw driving under the edges and popping it up. Or you can simply just grip your finger tips under it and rip it out like I do.

You now need to locate the wire and pull it through

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Now you need to lift up the hand brake cover

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Again simply grip it and yank it out

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Pull it up as much as you can for the best view

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Now find the wire and pull it though

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You now need to locate the handbrake wire, this can be tricky to get hold of cause you have limited room to work with

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Now with the splice block on the end of the wire, put the handbrake wire into the teeth

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And with some pliers, clamp the splice block closed

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This will splice the wires together so now the head unit will know when the handbrake is engaged and you won't get an error message telling you that you can't watch a dvd

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Refit all trim pieces in reverse of how you took them off, and simply clip the fascia adaptor in place


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(Don't mind the velcro, that's for another mod which is a very effective anti theft measure)

Job done

Now admire your work and work out how to use the thing


If like me, you don't want your nice new head unit getting nicked, see my guide to creating a very convincing dummy face plate. A link to this can be found in my signature.


Also, when I get round to fitting the thing I'll be making a guide on fitting a reverse parking camera. Hopefully in the near future if I get the time.

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#2 Stoney871

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:08 AM

!Removed! good job there Sir.
Just the reversing camera to suss out now.
So that's wires through the roof lining to the reverse light and to the plate light area to squeeze in then?

#3 Brigante

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:24 AM

Nice one uncle

Cameras sussed out and I know what I'm doing with it

It's just finding the time and the !Removed! daylight to do it lol

Think instead of going via the roof lining all the way to the head unit, what I may do is once the wiring from the camera has gone from the boot lid into the car, I may be able to route it down to the floor of the boot and go around the edge of the footwells behind the easily removed trim pieces instead, then up into the passenger footwell and across into the dash.

Got a fair bit of running around tomorrow and tuesday, then wednesday morning I'm off to birmingham to drop me car off for MOT on thursday at a place me old man uses

#4 Lenny

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:40 AM

Fantastic guide mate,
Will be very usefull to many forum members, youve got me thinking of upgrading mine now too.

#5 Preee

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

Great guide , i thought this was a Christmas present ? , i'm telling Santa!

#6 Brigante

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:41 PM

Great guide , i thought this was a Christmas present ? , i'm telling Santa!


Lmao no mate I said it was a birthday present. It was my 23rd yesterday, exactly a month before Christmas :P

#7 Stoney871

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

Lmao no mate I said it was a birthday present. It was my 23rd yesterday, exactly a month before Christmas :P

Still only a youngster. :)
I best not tell you that Santa is not real then (oh crap!)

#8 Brigante

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

Still only a youngster. :)
I best not tell you that Santa is not real then (oh crap!)


YOU WHAT!?!

HE'S NOT???? :o :( :unsure: :wacko: :blink: :angry: :o

Hang on a minute.. If he's not real then who was the old bloke dressed in red who used to stand at the bottom of my bed when I was little??

#9 Stoney871

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

YOU WHAT!?!
HE'S NOT???? :o :( :unsure: :wacko: :blink: :angry: :o

Hang on a minute.. If he's not real then who was the old bloke dressed in red who used to stand at the bottom of my bed when I was little??


That was probably Jimmy Saville making house calls (too soon? Sorry) ;)

#10 Brigante

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:25 PM

That was probably Jimmy Saville making house calls (too soon? Sorry) ;)


Lmao I was gonna say who was that old bloke in a red tracksuit with white hair n a cigar in hand but I ain't as grim as you ;) so thought I'd set you up for the joke instead.

Wait a minute!!..

THAT AIN'T A CIGAR!!!!

#11 Stoney871

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:31 PM

Wait a minute!!..

THAT AIN'T A CIGAR!!!!


You told me that it tasted like one ;)

#12 Brigante

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:11 AM

Lmao that's a tad too grim mate

Put the sangria down and step away with your hands on your head!!

#13 Haz93

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:45 AM

Ahahahaha you two should have your own section to the forum for explicit content :P



#14 Stoney871

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:36 PM

Ah, nothing like a good bit of banter eh?


#15 Brigante

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:50 AM

Lmao Haz mate this is just what a severe lack of sleep does to you

But as Clive says, it's just good old banter

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