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New stereo fitted to 2002 Thunderbird works with all the systems

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by PhilD, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. I, too, was reluctant to change anything on my 2004 Pacific Coast Special Tbird but the state law changed here in Texas so I really needed the bluetooth for phone calls in my daily driver. I carefully saved the original radio for my grandkids if they ever want to restore it to the car when they inherit it.

    Like others, I bought a double din replacement radio, and the facia trim kit, and the harness adapter, and the backup camera. I selected a JVL Kenwood but as an electrical engineer, I know all radios are built from the same hardware items and it is only the features and the firmware, or programming, which varies between a $200 unit and a $2000 unit. On line videos and the owners manual and wiring diagrams and comments on this forum were a big help.

    One word about picking your unit, DIN is a great standard and any double din radio will indeed fit. Search the internet for the features and price range which fits you. I did not bother to reconnect the steering controls as I do not use them as a matter of course. I am still working out how to precisely connect power to the backup camera as it seems to me the reverse transmission mode is communicated to the Rear Electronic Module by way of a CAN buss signal and the backup lights are hot all the time and are switched by the REM sending out a switched ground return path. For power, I can easily access the backup light fuse professionally in the Rear Fuse Box, but I am puzzled as to which place to access this switched ground. Once I find it, I will need to select a suitable relay which will not confuse the " illumination bulb out warning system". ( I found the hard way that installing New High Tech LED turn signal bulbs is a no no on that account.) One other open issue I have is that facia trim kit seems only to be available in Black or painted Silver. The PCR has a gray panel and it would have been nice for someone to offer to supply a gray radio facia trim panel.
    John Hayman likes this.
  2. If I remember rightly the reversing lights are a switchable negative so I used the negative on the on the camera's negative wire and wired the power into an ignition positive, cannot remember from where I got the power though sorry will have to look in my trunk at some point. I may have also utilized a relay, sorry just cannot remember for the life of me right now but will look into it.
    John Hayman likes this.
  3. Thanks Phil, if you do look into your trunk, tell me where you picked up the switched ground signal. I really dont want to open a harness in the trunk and would prefer not to have to go through a bulkhead to get behind the backup light signal. I know it exists at the connector and if that is the best place, then I will use it. It is an easily identifible 3 pin plug. I did not get the memo that the red and black to the camera could accept switching on either lead.
    John Hayman likes this.
  4. It does if one of either of them is constant and the other switched that will work on a camera
  5. I was able to take the AC vent to a automotive pant store and have the paint matched, and put on a spray can. It came out looking great. I had to go to 3 store before I found a guy who would take the time to do it
    John Hayman likes this.
  6. Thanks for all the comments guys, it again proves the value of the forum. After three months of use here is my update on my radio.
    1. I bought inexpensive automotive relay and wired the backup camera through it by opening the harness inside the backup lamp plug, ran the wire to the battery area and mounted the relay there. Backup camera works as intended.
    2. Not happy with LCD touch screen which is unreadable when the top is down (which is nearly always here in Texas)
    Dont know why someone does not make a convertible radio with an e-paper screen like my e-book which is readable in almost any light. Sigh.
    3. Also not happy that the advertised iphone connection capability did not provide for phone map video. Bottom line I am still looking for the perfect replacement radio.
    John Hayman likes this.
  7. Thanks for these updates. I'm also looking to add a double-DIN radio, but I've had more bad experiences than good. I'm considering starting a new thread for folks to contribute ideas, brands and models of radios they've had good (or bad) luck with, etc. One gripe I've always had in particular is that most aftermarket radios have a glossy black finish on their buttons and trim, but the surrounding fascia in every car I've owned is flat, or matte black finish. They always scream aftermarket.
  9. A thread on that subject is a good idea but products change so often it will be difficult to keep it current.
    As to your preference of dull black vs shinny black I bet there is a person out there some where who knows how to make shinny look dull with super fine sandpaper or with that corse headlight cleaning polish we keep reading about. I will keep looking for the unit which has real volume control knobs and ability to display phone map which are my two must haves. I may even experiment with recessing the face plate 2 inches to solve the sunlight problem. (The curse of being an engineer and a product designer)
    John Hayman likes this.
  10. I just pulled the first coil from the spark plug, OIL is all over the boot? Bad?
    Help Doug
  11. Good evening... I was hoping to get a littleness help. Decided to replace my stereo, bought a double din touch screen, was able to hookup the subwoofer with the additiona wiring harness... my problem is that the center dash satellite speakers, I can seems to find a way to get the satellite speakers to work...
  12. Transporter

    Transporter Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    Check you Value Cover gaskets, sounds like they might need replaced. What year is your Tbird? 2002 are known to have this issue.
  13. Transporter

    Transporter Well-Known Member Lifetime Donor

    Do you have the model number/part number for the harness you bought? The issue is that there are two out there being sold for Tbirds, one makes everything work, the other most of it works. And if that isn't it, something most likely isn't connected correctly. I bought this harness package and everything works as it should (pictures coming soon).


    I'm using this Head Unit:

  14. cdbintexas
    I’m also putting in double din with backup camera. I haven’t started yet but intuitively thought it would be straight forward. After reading this thread I’m concerned about hooking up the camera to the reverse light. It sounds like the 3v bulb detection is problematic. Can you please elaborate on the relay, why it’s needed, and what I need to buy? I’m fairly capable but I’m no electrical engineer!
    Thanks very much,
  15. Think I answered my own question. Should have done a google search BEFORE posting my relay question!
    If I’m understanding correctly, using a 12v relay eliminates the 3v bulb detection issue because the relay coil energizes only when it gets the full 12v from the reverse light. The coil then energizes the relay’s switch which provides 12v to the camera.
  16. I did see on ebay from china (of course its from china) that they now sell a small visor that sticks (I think it sticks) over the top of the screen to give it a little shade.
  17. It has been a day or two, s0 my memory is streached here as I have worked on about 30 things since then, but as I recall, the camera needs to be switched on by the backup light. The camera is already grounded by the video shield cable. Ford applies power to the backup light all the time and only switches the ground to the bulb. So without the relay the camera stays on. The one inch cube automotive relay ~$3.95 can be selected from what ever is available at the Auto Parts house. Wire the coil across the backup bulb in parallel with the bulb. Connect the +12v side of the coil to the center of the three relay contacts and connect the camera to the side of the contacts which become 12v when the car is in reverse. Hint the relay has tabs for contacts, buy the mating crim on spade connectors and some shrink tubing so you can prevent corrosion and or accidental shorts.
  18. PCR59

    PCR59 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    From, Crutchfield Technical Support

    Attached Files:

    • R2.png
      File size:
      6.5 KB
    cdbintexas likes this.
  19. Thank you everyone. Very glad I found this forum!
  20. I have a 2003 T-Bird and am trying to install a reverse camera. I'm having trouble with the wiring on the reverse camera. When I draw power form the reverse light at the back of the car, the camera shows continuously. you mentioned wiring up a relay to power it. Can you give me some directions on how to wire the relay and where in the line it should go? Evidently the 2003 T-Bird has 5V constant power to the reverse light and that's what's causing the cmaera to come on no matter what gear it's in. Thanks for any help you can provide.

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