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Premium Member
1997 Thunderbird LX Sport
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice, I'd be curious how the sound quality is from that Dual once you have it installed. Pics of installation also.
Thanks! I will let you know about the sound quality. Surely it will be better than the factory stereo. I had been considering a very similar Pioneer, but the $600 price tag always held me back. I am on the fence about installing it myself. Might get it done.
 

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4,234 Posts
I've always been almost universally disappointed with car stereo installations done by "pros" and with harness cables so cheap (Fits Ford Thunderbird 86-97 Factory Stereo to Aftermarket Radio Harness Adapter 709100412279 | eBay), I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Instead of proper soldered connections, they often use less reliable crimped connections or even worse strip-twist-electrical tape connections. Most stereo/car alarm installers figure that if its behind the dash or under the center console, the customer will never look/mess with it. If something disconnects a few months after installation, it won't be their problem.

My current project car had a "fancy" for the time Rodek stereo setup probably installed sometime in the late 80s early 90s; I ripped out all of the car stereo wiring as I found underneath the center console the wiring to be absolutely terrible. The most egregious example was the power connections to the amps which appeared to be no less than 4-5 crimped together wire segments no longer than 3" each. Why the stoner didn't just run a new wire to each amp is beyond me -- they kept grafting onto other grafts.
 

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Premium Member
1997 Thunderbird LX Sport
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've always been almost universally disappointed with car stereo installations done by "pros" and with harness cables so cheap (Fits Ford Thunderbird 86-97 Factory Stereo to Aftermarket Radio Harness Adapter 709100412279 | eBay), I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Instead of proper soldered connections, they often use less reliable crimped connections or even worse strip-twist-electrical tape connections. Most stereo/car alarm installers figure that if its behind the dash or under the center console, the customer will never look/mess with it. If something disconnects a few months after installation, it won't be their problem.

My current project car had a "fancy" for the time Rodek stereo setup probably installed sometime in the late 80s early 90s; I ripped out all of the car stereo wiring as I found underneath the center console the wiring to be absolutely terrible. The most egregious example was the power connections to the amps which appeared to be no less than 4-5 crimped together wire segments no longer than 3" each. Why the stoner didn't just run a new wire to each amp is beyond me -- they kept grafting onto other grafts.
I really am considering installing it myself. I've had extensive sound systems in Thunderbirds 20+ years ago and now I just want a somewhat basic (no amps/crossovers) system but with all the modern conveniences.

One of my main goals with this head unit is to add GPS to the car. With the cell phone mirroring feature/ button I am suppose to be able to... we shall see. Since I want to go away from the factory amp I believe I will need to run new speaker wires from the unit to speakers. Or is it simpler with a harness?

I suppose the install would be easier if I use the factory amp and maybe I should, IDK. I just figure since it was so old, maybe I should bypass it. Should be fairly simple, I hope. Nothing like what I was doing back in the 98 with custom built boxes, 12's, 1200 watt amp to subs, separate amp for cabin speakers, crossovers, all the wiring, motorized head unit with a remote, and CD (was a big deal back then), 6 disc changer in trunk, amp cut off switches, etc.

So, since I have already been there and done all that; these days, I am fine with just 4 speaker set up. Although, the new speakers I installed last summer have the 6x9 and then 3 tweeters all built in each speaker... technically that is 16 speakers. It does not sound bad at all now, but the CD player skips a LOT., and I want Bluetooth, GPS, etc.

Any help or suggestion from anyone that has done their own install would be appreciated muchly. :)
 

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Administrator
1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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21,266 Posts
Gets less and less realistic as these cars get more scarce at junkyards but pulling the stereo harness out of a non-premium sound/JBL car you don’t need a bypass and the wires fed to the speakers are normal sized. The wires between the head unit and amplifier in premium sound are the size of the wires in a USB cable
 

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12,748 Posts
Gunn, state of the art connections are crimped; using the proper connector and crimp tool, they are as good as a piece of wire. 5 in a row is stupid, so I won't speak to that, lol.
Soldering a connection in something that vibrates usually means the wire breaks right at the end of the solder.
There are common solder connections on the market that are integral to a heat shrinkable covering that provides the proper deflection control to be reliable.
I always install a stereo by splicing the decks adapter/pigtail to the car adapters; metra sells all that $hit.
Then you just plug it in. That makes the hard part the "how the hell does this go in that tiny hole?"
 

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Administrator
1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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21,266 Posts
If you crimp half assedly the wires may pull out or squeeze the tool so tight strands sever. Soldering rules, if you use insulated strink tubing it will be too stiff past the splice to fatigue break after. Plus the real boss way to solder splice wire is to strip the insulation back ~ 1/2" on one and ~1" on the other end and solder them side by side rather than inline into each other, then fold back and there isn't a stress point in the flex. combine that with insulated stink tubing and its bomb proof.

Another life hack, non-insulated shrink tubing and two-part epoxy is a suitable substitute to the insulated type, the epoxy instantly dries inside when you apply heat.
 

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Super Moderator
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12,748 Posts
You missed the properly crimped part, lol.
I use solder connectors like these now; it's a 2 minute 100% connection.




I havent managed to fail these yet, and I'm 5 years in on Lazarus.
 

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66 Posts
I've tried to install two of these single DIN flip-up type displays in my car. The first being a really nice Pioneer AVH-xxxxNEX series, and the second being a smaller Android-based "no-name" head unit. Both were nice (would have preferred the Pioneer), but too large for the design of my dash and it would make them both protrude like a sore thumb in order for the screen to flip out and not face downward. On my second try, I found the smallest unit width possible, measured the size of the original unit, and had almost 2" of space for the harness, plus other wiring like A/V, camera, GPS, etc... The revised dashboard is much better suited for the design of a flip-up single DIN other than blocking some controls, and fingers crossed, there's more room behind the HU for any accessories one may want to attach🤞
 
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