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Guide To Fitting An Aftermarket Head Unit

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

First thing you need is a new head unit :D



Included in the box you get a half a wiring loom


And a cage, fascia adaptor and removal keys


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, 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


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


And screw them onto the sides of the head unit itself


And the other side


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


And it plugs in this big hole


Like so


Heres the loom provided with the head unit


And heres the patch lead


These plug together like this


Heres the stalk control adaptor


Which plugs into the wiring loom here


And into that plugs a 3.5mm jack


Like so


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


This beast will some how need to fit into your dash

Once you've done that

You have these 4 clips


Which clip onto the fascia adaptor


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


Needs trimming off like so


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


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


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


You will notice these teeth all over it


Push/bend these out with a screwdriver like so


And they'll grip the cage in place


Now grab your wiring loom


And plug it into the ford wiring loom


Like so


Then lock it together


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


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


Like so


And the stalk controls plug into the jack marked W/R


Like so


This may vary from head unit to head unit

I seem to have forgot to take a photo of fitting the aerial onto to the aerial adapter as I was restricted to how much I can pull it out the dash. But basically it simply pugs on the end the same as it did the standard ford head unit.

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


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


Find it when it comes out where the demister switchs was


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


Now you need to lift up the hand brake cover


Again simply grip it and yank it out


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


Now find the wire and pull it though


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


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


And with some pliers, clamp the splice block closed


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


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


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.

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1 Comment

Any chance of adding the photos again? Just bought a Double Din Pioneer Dab stereo and foolishly thought it would just plug in and fit :(

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