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Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by Thomas, Oct 9, 2015.
what have you installed to upgrade the audio in your 11th gen bird?
Bluetooth, audio cable to connect all devices to car speakers
What device did you use? Was it an in-line unit or replacement unit?
I tried changing the radio with an aftermarket. Just didn't like the way it looked and went back to the original. Since I have an '04 with the 'SAT' button I did add the satellite radio tuner.
I installed a Sony Touch Screen unit that I got from Crutchfield. It doesn't have Bluetooth but that's just because I was cheap. I found that using the USB connect is fine by me. The touchscreen works great. And I love the way it looks.
I actually removed my stereo and put in a new one (I do point out a cheap one from walmart more to see if it worked) because I had heard of problems with this unit and the CD player actually jamming the CD's which mine had done from time to time. There is a kit for the wiring and another to allow you to install a smaller unit into the hole in the dash plus giving you a storage space below the stereo. It all looks really good, I may look for a better stereo at some point but this one for $30 is a radio plus has slots for a usb stick or memory card with your music on it which is a lot easier that CD's. It does have a remote but I never use that, far more distracting when driving.
My point is there are solutions to replacing the stereo if you have to. Only hiccup is you need a link device to be able to use the steering wheel control so the stereo also has to accept that but its little things.
I'm currently trying to replace the factory cd player in my '04. However, after removing the cd player I now see that there are three plugs. I know the main plug has most of the connections needed for the stereo system, but I'm not sure what the other two plugs are for. I'm assuming it has to do with the steering wheel controls. Does anyone know for certain?
One is the main power and speaker connections for the stereo, another is for the subwoofer behind the seats and the third is for the steering wheel controls. I changed the stereo in my 2002 Bird with a unit from walmart and it works great, unit has a tuner, inputs for media cards, usb stick plus navigation, back up camera input and also a dvd player (if you really need that part). The only odd thing is you have to hold the volume controls on the steering wheel down for a few seconds to work (think its the stereo system that does that) and navigation seems to stop them working. But this was the first stereo I found that didn't need a separate control unit for the steering wheel controls as well as a stereo.
Here is a link to the page on this forum where I wrote about it, maybe it can help someone.
Phil, so you were able to plug the subwoofer and the SWC connection right into your aftermarket stereo or did you have to find two separate harnesses? Thanks for the help.
I had to buy the wiring harness adapters then you have to connect up the the wires with the relevant ones in the car its not just a plug and play system unfortunately, that's the difficult part of the setup. But it works
METRA 70-5519 AMPLIFIER INTERGRATION HARNESS FOR SELECT FORD 1998-08
^^ this harness is what you used for the sub and SWC?
I knew I should have taken pictures when I did it...doh! If I remember correctly yes this is the pack, it connects to the wiring connectors that unplug from the cd changer stereo that came in the thunderbird but then you have to use crimp connectors to connect the wiring harness that comes with your stereo to those wires, does that makes sense? I hope I'm writing this so it does. Let me know if it doesn't. But yes this kit is what you need the metra set as it comes with all the bits where as other makes were all separate.
I had a replacement radio installed so that I could use a monitor for the backup camera. Works great but one issue, when the top is down, can not see the monitor. Any proven solutions
I just installed a Kenwood double din mount
Excelon DPX793BH and (4) Kicker 43CSC684 6"x8" 2-way car speakers
Absolutely love how it turned out and sounds!
Now granted, I lost the functionality of the two satellite speakers in the floor console but overall sound quality is worth it!!!!
Do the steering wheel radio controls still function?
On my Pioneer AVIC-5021NEX the steering wheel controls do work.. You need to buy that interface harness.. I had mine installed at BestBuy here in Syracuse.. They did a fantastic job, even for a big box store. The only two complaint I have about the Pioneer was it didn't have a volume knob (like the Kenwood had) and like I said above I would of rather had the Garmin Nav interface that you get on the Kenwood. The installer at BestBuy said I would be happier with the Pioneer, so I went with the Pioneer.. The reviews are mixed on both on the internet.. There is no one shining star!
Steering is an extra option... I opted out