How to Install a Radio In Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

When planning to upgrade the factory radio in your Ford car you will need to remove the old radio before installing the new one. The factory radio is secured into the dash with plastic clips that you will need to release with a special tool. You can install a radio in a Ford car once you have decided on the type of new radio to use in the vehicle.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install a Radio In a Truck

Locate the two holes on either side of the factory stereo that are stacked on top of each other on the sides. Push one of the Ford radio removal keys into one side of the stereo then the other side, putting each part of the key into a hole on the stereo. Push the keys into the dashboard, pull them slightly to the outside of the stereo, then pull on the keys to release the stereo from the dashboard. Use one hand to hold the stereo and use the other to unclip the factory harness and antenna lead from the back of the stereo.

Place the cage that comes with the replacement stereo into the opening on the vehicle-specific dash kit and lock it in place by pushing down the tabs on the cage using a flat head screwdriver.

Place the vehicle-specific wiring harness in one hand and use the wire strippers with the other hand to strip a 1/4 inch of shielding from the end of every wire in the harness. Then use the wire crimpers to crimp a blue butt connector onto each connection. Take the harness that comes with the replacement stereo and use the wire strippers to strip a 1/4 inch of shielding from the end of every wire in the harness. Each wire in each harness is color-coded and labelled. Match up the same color wires in each harness and join them together using the wire crimpers.

Push the dash kit into the dashboard and then pull the vehicle's wiring harness and antenna lead out through the cage. Plug the vehicle-specific wiring harness into the factory harness. Hold the replacement stereo next to the dash and plug the harness and antenna lead into the back of the stereo, then slide the stereo into the dash kit until it clicks into place.

Items you will need

  • Ford radio removal keys

  • Vehicle-specific dash kit

  • Vehicle-specific wiring harness

  • Wire cutters

  • Wire crimpers

  • Wire strippers

  • Blue butt connectors

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • Replacement stereo

 How to Install a Radio in a 1999 Ford Explorer

Remove Existing Radio

Find the two small holes that are located on each side of the radio.

Insert the ends of the DIN tool into the holes. Push the DIN tool outwards to close the clips on the radio inwards. Pull the radio of the dash.

Unplug the antenna cable and then disconnect the wiring harness on the back of the radio.

Installing A New Radio

Connect the wire harness connector to the radio. This will allow you to use the existing wiring harness without cutting any of the existing wires.

Attach the antenna cable to the new radio. Connect the wiring harness to the wire harness connector on the radio.

Place the DIN sleeve into the installation kit and then insert the installation kit into the dash.

Insert the new radio into the kit to complete the installation.

Items you will need

  • DIN tool

  • DIN sleeve

  • Radio installation kit

 How to Install a Radio in a Ford Windstar

Disconnect the grounding cable (black cable connecting the negative battery terminal with the frame of the Windstar) with a 10 mm socket and ratchet.

Plug the stereo wiring (now free after the removal of the factory radio) into the leads of the wiring harness adapter. The adapter will convert the platform of the Ford stereo wiring to be acceptable to aftermarket components.

Slide the faceplate adapter or installation sleeve from the Ford stereo installation kit into the stereo mounting dock of the Windstar. On first-generation Windstars (1995 through 1998 models) use an installation sleeve; on other models use a faceplate adapter.)

Connect the wiring harness adapter leads into the back of the new radio. Plug the antenna cable into the FM antenna outlet on the rear panel of the aftermarket radio.

Place the back of the new stereo at the opening of the stereo mounting dock. Slide the stereo straight into the opening until the stereo snaps into place in the dock.

Replace the grounding cable clamp over the negative lead post, and tighten the clamp with the socket and ratchet.

Items you will need

  • 10 mm socket

  • Ratchet

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • Ford stereo installation kit

 How to Install a Radio in a Ford Courier

Disconnect the car's negative battery cable from the terminal by using an adjustable wrench.

Insert the Ford radio removal keys into the slots on the side of the radio. Push in the keys until they click into place. Pull on the keys to drag the radio out of the dashboard. Disconnect the wire harnesses and pull out the radio antenna cable.

Connect the face plate adapter to the radio installation sleeve provided with the new radio. Bend the tabs on the side of the sleeve 90 degrees into the provided slots on the back of the face plate. Slide the assembly into the dashboard housing until it is secure in place. Ensure that the wiring is coming through the portal of the assembly.

Connect the wire harnesses of the Courier to a Ford wire harness adapter. Connect the other end of the adapter to the wire harness of the new radio. Push the connections together and click them into place. Attach the radio antenna to the provided port on the rear of the radio.

Slide the connected radio into the radio installation sleeve. Push it in until it clicks into place. Reconnect the car battery. Turn on the radio to test the installation.

Items you will need

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Ford radio removal keys

  • Face plate adapter

  • Wire harness adapter