How to install an aftermarket stereo/navigation

How to install an aftermarket stereo/navigation
As most of you know, the 2002 (and others) Sport Trac has the 1 ½ DIN radio.
This makes for some narrow choices when putting in a radio with navigation. I
found the VR3 VRVD640G that has AM/FM/CD/DVD/SD/USB/Navigation – with
a 4” screen that fits into the 1 ½ DIN opening. (Available at WalMart and other
places for under $400.00)
Required Tools
Ford Radio Tool (A lot easier to use than the coat hanger), Ford radio installation
kit & wiring harness, volt/ohm meter, needle nose pliers or wire stripper, wire nuts
(small blue ones are perfect size) and a coat hanger (I’ll get to that later).
Clean out the front area of your Sport Trac. This means stuff that you have on
the floor board, on the seats, in the cup holders. No need to have clutter laying
around when you start working. Next, and this is VERY important. Turn on your
existing radio and EJECT any and all CD’s and/or cassette tapes! There is
nothing worse than after you install your new radio and then trying to find that
Pink Floyd CD – which is still in the old unit!
Take your key OUT of the ignition. Using the Ford Radio Tool, insert into release
holes until you hear them click. At the same time, push tools outward and pull
towards you. Radio should pull straight out. On the back of my radio, I
unplugged 3 black cables and 1 antenna jack. Just let them hang there for now.
Take new wiring harness and connect it to the corresponding jack to ensure it
fits. (Note, when you plug the new wiring harness into the existing one, be
assured that 75% of the colors will NOT match up!)
Somewhere in you new wiring harness kit, you should find the color code layout.
Mine told me that the YELLOW wire would be battery and the RED would be
ignition. Call me skeptical, but I trust in God only! Take volt/ohm meter at test
YELLOW wire to ensure it has battery on it (don’t forget, on your V/O meter, the
red wire touches the yellow wire and the black wire goes to ground). You should
read around 13 VDC. Now, put your key back in the ignition and turn it to
accessory. Put your V/O meter on the RED wire to see 13 VDC. If all of this is
right, turn off your Sport Trac and take out the key.
At this point, many people opt to go the safe route and disconnect the battery.
That is your call. Just remember that you have to re-connect the battery before
you test your radio.
Install your conversion kit. This is what will fill in that space below the radio. Do
this now instead of having to pull your wires apart because you jumped ahead a
step. The kit should just snap right into place without much pressure. Make sure
it is all clicked into place and is secure. My radio came with a DIN sleeve that fit
around the radio and into the kit. Install it if necessary.
Time to test fit your unit. Take your new radio and slide it into the bracket until it
clicks into place. Don’t worry that it is in there secure, it’s supposed to be! Your
new radio comes with the removal tool, so just slide them in and pull it back out.
Time to get those wire nuts ready. Since you already cleaned out the front of
your Sport Trac, you should have an empty cup holder. What a perfect place to
put all your wire nuts! Get your needle nose pliers out and skin back about ½
inch of all the wire (both from your new harness and what is on the radio). Take
and match up all your wires according to the instructions. On each set of wires,
twist on the wire nuts till they are tight until you have connected all the wires that
need to be. You may have some left over wires, but that is OK and they go to
other things like power antennas, dash lights, etc.
It’s do or die time! Take your wire harness and plug one end into the Ford
harness (that is hanging out of the dash) and plug the other end into your new
disconnected the battery, now is the time to hook it back up. Take your key and
put in the ignition and turn it to accessories. Turn on your new radio and it
should light right up! If it didn’t, turn off your ignition and recheck all your
You are almost done. You should have a cable that is for your navigation
antenna. I placed mine in the left hand corner on the black finish so it is not easy
to see. Use a piece of double sided tape (included with the radio) to secure it.
Now snake your cable to the rear of the radio via the hole in the dash (in other
words, take that coat hanger, put a loop on one end and send it into the hole
where your radio will be going until you see it come out under the dash. Tape
the antenna cable to it and pull it GENTLY back through the hole and then
connect it to the antenna jack.
Now take all your wires and gently push them into the radio slot. Mark sure they
go to either the right or left of the unit as you don’t want it to interfere with the
rear stop of the installation kit (the stop on my kit is what helps hold the radio
secure in the dash). Push the radio all the way in until it clicks into place. Give it
a gentle tug forward to ensure it doesn’t slide out.
Put your key back in the ignition and turn on your Sport Trac. Your radio/nav unit
should power right! If it doesn’t come on, you will need to pull it out to make sure
none of your wire nuts came loose. Resecure and install.
The only thing left to do is READ THE MANUAL and become familiar with your
new radio/navigation unit!