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TheTwanksta 10-17-2012 02:31 PM

DIY: Ford Ranger Double DIN Install
I created this article for my build thread and figured I would go ahead and make a thread for those looking to do their own install as well. This was the first time I have ever installed my own radio, but Im not a complete newb when it comes to overall car mechanics. The install was actually fairly easy after gathering all the info I needed from various ranger and audio forums. After a few days of research and viewing sveral other members installs, the American International dash kit seemed like the best kit. I believe its the only one that allows for a "flush" mount installation out of the three major kits (AI, Metra, Scosche).

Parts Need For Double Din / Navigation Installation:
American International FM-K552 Dash Kit - Double Din Dash Kit

Metra 70-1771 Wiring Harness - To Connect your factory 98-up Ranger harness to the Pioneer harness.

Scosche DIN Factory Radio Removal Tool - Not necessary, but recommended to remove factory radio.

Dremel W/ Various Bits - To cut your bezel to allow for double DIN to slide in. I actually bought a $10 off-brand kit from Harbor Freight. It was way under-powered, but it got the job done. Took about 30 minutes to complete mine. If you have a real Dremel, it will go MUCH faster for you.

Pioneer F90BT w/ Back-Up Camera & iPod Cable

This is my Stock Double DIN MP3 Radio

I used the Metra radio removal tool to get my stock unit out. These arent necessary, but they sure made is VERY easy!

Stock Radio Removed from Bezel

You have to do some trimming to the bezel for most aftermarket double DINs to fit. Simply remove the two screws shown, and the whole thing pops out pretty easily. I found it easier to pull from the top near the AC vents.

To fit the new head unit, you will need to trim the top and bottom ridges as shown below. DO NOT trim the vertical sides of the bezel opening, the dash kit uses these to clip in.

I was extra precautious, so I used 3m tape to protect the surround from getting scratched or gouged by the dremel.

After using a dremel tool, this is the finished product and what yours should look like before you can install the new head unit.

The American International Dash Kit was very straight forward. Just attach the two side pieces to the unit with the supplied screws. Then slide it into the bezel until it "clicks" into place. You have some adjustability with this kit, I preferred the "flush" look. Once you get the desired look, tighten everything down and snap the trim surround piece over the front and your done!

Then you will need to take the supplied head unit harness and match it up with the Metra harness made for your vehicle. At this time, I hardwired the video "bypass" so I could have full functions while driving also.
For the Pioneer "F" Series, you just need to move the mute wire pin in the harness, and then ground it with the green wire. I used the following diagram to bypass my Pionner unit.
AVIC "F" Series Bypass (Picture Guide) - CLICK HERE

*Before you put everything back in the truck, you will need to run the GPS Antenna, Bluetooth Mic, Reverse Camera, iPod hookups, etc.

I did not want to run any wires outside of the truck(nor put the magnet on my paint), so I decided to mount the GPS antenna on the dash near the defrost vents. The black defrost trim simply snaps up and then you can feed the wire through the dash to the head unit. I am very happy with the location and on the way home and even in my garage I had full GPS signal.

Next I ran the Bluetooth Mic up to the sun visor. I removed the visor to run the wire through the headliner, then down the A-pillar(behind the trim), through the defrost trim just like the GPS and finally through the dash to the head unit. You cant any wires at all except where it comes out in the visor.

I got my head unit used and it was missing the mic clip, so I just let the visor hold it for now.

Next I ran the iPod hookups to the glove box.

I then plugged in all the wires and re-installed the bezel. Here is the finished product!

I added a little custom touch to the start up screen to give it a little more "OEM" feel.. This is the loading screen in all the new Ford vehicles with "Sync". :D

You can also adjust the illumination of the head unit to match the rest of your factory controls and cluster. So I made mine green to match the rest of my displays.

Playing through the iPod with full control from the head unit.

And GPS.

TheTwanksta 10-17-2012 02:38 PM

I still need to run a wire to the VSS sensor and reverse signal, but ran out of time and had to do some research to find the location of these wires. Someone correct me if I am wrong but this is what I have found:

Ford Ranger Vehicle Speed Sensor(VSS) Wire:
There is a GEM harness right behind the radio with a grey/black wire in it for VSS.
There is a wire coming out of the pcm under the hood, also grey/black for VSS.

Ford Ranger Reverse Signal Wire:
The Reverse signal Wire is located above the fuse box kick plate on the passenger's side under the glove box. It is Green w/ Yellow Stripe.

TheTwanksta 10-17-2012 02:46 PM

I plan to pick up this Reverse Cam setup soon to complete the install.

Crimestopper SV-5420.IR

Hooligan2c 10-17-2012 10:10 PM

Great work, great write up!!

TheTwanksta 10-18-2012 08:13 AM


Originally Posted by Hooligan2c (Post 1299556)
Great work, great write up!!

Thanks, hopefully it will be useful for other members on the fence about doing their own double DIN.

TheTwanksta 10-18-2012 08:16 AM

It makes it even more satisfying knowing that I also installed it and it turned out as well as it did. I could only imagine what an audio shop would have done to my poor STX bezel! It only cost me about $35 for the dash kit, radio tool, wiring harness and the dremel kit.

The complete install from start to finish took me about 4 hours since I had never done anything like it before. Most of that time was spent trimming the bezel, had I owned a real Dremel tool with more power, I could have cut that in half. Once it was installed, I played around with the settings and EQ's for about an hour and made sure everything was working correctly.

Dirmaid 10-20-2012 10:30 PM

That actually looks pretty darn good if i do say so myself. If i had any kind of money (heck ill even take Monopoly money) I'd be all over one of those head units

shane96ranger 10-20-2012 10:43 PM


Originally Posted by TheTwanksta (Post 1299627)
It makes it even more satisfying knowing that I also installed it and it turned out as well as it did. I could only imagine what an audio shop would have done to my poor STX bezel!

I've had bad luck with people working on my vehicles..... most notably audio/alarm shops. This is why I seldom take a vehicle anywhere.

I really like your install job. I wouldn't mind having a double din in the F150 someday.

Sent from a Commodore 64 using a 300 baud modem

Thed 10-20-2012 10:47 PM

Awesome job... how much did the HU run you?

shane96ranger 10-20-2012 10:53 PM


Originally Posted by stickshift (Post 1300415)
Awesome job... how much did the HU run you?


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