Ford F-150 Factory Radio Uninstall and New Radio Install

This post is more of a supplemental to the installation guide at Install The hope is that the pictures and some of the notes I took as I did the installation will make your radio install that much smoother.

The guide includes:

  • Original radio removal
  • Wiring new radio using a wiring harness
  • Wiring diagram
  • Basic steps to installing the new radio

When removing the dash panel I found it was easier to get my fingers under the panel at the bottom near the climate controls.

Removing Front Dash Panel

Removing Front Dash Panel

Front Dash Panel Off

Front Dash Panel Off

You’ll notice that the dash panel is not completely removed. There is no way I want to mess with anything associated with the airbags in the truck. It seemed perfectly fine to let it hang there.

Passenger Side Airbag Connection

Passenger Side Airbag Connection

I didn’t want to pay for the tool used to remove the factory radio so I tried the do it yourself version using a clothes hanger.

Cutting Wire To Make Removal Tool

Cutting Wire To Make Removal Tool

Bending Wire To Make Removal Tool

Bending Wire To Make Removal Tool

Removal Tool Notes:

  • The important thing is to keep the pieces of wire straight in the release holes
  • I tried to mimic the factory keys, but I think I would have had more success with 4 individual pieces of wire

Below I removed part of the factory radio face to show how I was missing the release mechanisms with my home made removal tool.

Removing Factory Radio Face

Removing Factory Radio Face

Misaligned Removal Tool

Misaligned Removal Tool

For the new radio installation you will only use one of the factory harnesses. Just tuck the other one out of the way.

Factory Radio Wiring Harness

Factory Radio Wiring Harness

I always use a wiring harness when installing a radio.

  • The one I used for the F-150 was a Metra 70-1771 wiring kit.
  • I prefer to solder my connections instead of using bullet connectors. I’ve had trouble in the past with bad crimps on the bullets.
  • Make sure to wrap your soldered connections with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing
  • [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Thanks to my little sister for the Home Depot gift card I used to buy the new soldering iron and solder. By the way, the soldering iron kit had enough solder with it to do the install.]
  • I used the wiring guide on the wiring kit package and the one that came with the new radio.
  • The wire colors were the same for both harnesses

Metra Wiring Harness and Installation Tools

Metra Wiring Harness and Installation Tools

Cut the packaging for your wiring harness. Seems like a simple thing, but I tore mine and ended up translating the Spanish side to do my install.

The new radio bracket should have mounting tabs that will hold it in the aftermarket dash installation kit.

  • Make sure to use the tabs closest to the front
  • The tabs have a wedge effect so make sure to push them in until they are tight
  • I used a Metra 99-5804 Dash Kit

Removing New Radio Installation Bracket

Removing New Radio Installation Bracket

Installing New Radio Mounting Bracket

Installing New Radio Mounting Bracket

My new radio has USB inputs on the front and back. To make the rear input accessible I ran a 7 foot USB extension cable down the driver’s side of the dash, and tucked it away. I plan on integrating that into the center console later.

Running USB Extension Cable

Running USB Extension Cable

Running USB Extension Under Driver's Side Dash

Running USB Extension Under Driver’s Side Dash

After connecting the wiring harness and USB port to the back of the new radio I secured the connections by

  • Wrapping electrical tape around the USB extension connection
  • Zip tying the factory wiring harness to the aftermarket wiring harness

Securing Wiring Harnesses With Zip Ties

Securing Wiring Harnesses With Zip Ties

The last snag I ran across was the screw holes on the dash kit lining up properly with the two top screw holes on the climate control assembly.

I used a heat source (otherwise known as a lighter) to warm the plastic just till it was malleable and aligned the screw holes.

Adjusting Dash Kit With Heat Source

Adjusting Dash Kit With Heat Source

I suggest making your adjustments outside of the vehicle and then try the fit. I didn’t make my adjustments this way, but I accept the consequences of my actions.

I can’t believe I even have to put this here, but don’t make yourself the end of a “you know you’re a redneck because” joke.

  • DON’T catch your truck on fire because you kept your heat source on the dash kit plastic till it caught fire!
  • ALWAYS take proper safety precautions even if it takes a little longer to do the task.

Then new radio looks and sounds great.

Finished Installation

Finished Installation


55 thoughts on “Ford F-150 Factory Radio Uninstall and New Radio Install”

  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. What if your truck does not have the Original Wiring harness becouse it has been cut away?

  3. You can either directly wire the radio using the wiring diagram in the installation instructions at the top of the post or purchase a replacement factory wire harness. There are wire color translations from the factory colors to new radio colors on page 7.

    I googled “2000 ford radio replacement factory wiring harness” and came up with a 16 pin connector, FWH-597. I’m not positive this is the part. You might want to confirm with the closest Ford parts dealer to you. Average price for this is $5. You would still want to refer to the wiring diagram colors on page 7 for pin and color matching.

  4. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

  5. Nice job! And I agree with the guy above me this should be higher on the search engine list…I just love making cool tools out of wire, duct tape, etc. Again nice post!

  6. I am trying to do the same thing on my 2001 F150, my dashboard color is the same as yours, the radio/CD player looks identical to yours, only the part #’s are different.
    Your part # XL3F-18C859-AE
    My part # YL3F-18C869-AB
    What year F150 were you working on?

    — I failed to understand how you cut the wires to align properly with the spring tabs on the radio “1. Align pliers just below the upper hole 2. Pull wire out of radio and bend where the pliers are” I never did figure what that meant. I put the cut coat hanger wires in to different depths, wiggled them around, sometimes I caught half of a single tab, the radio wobbled in its bracket, but never all 4 parts at once.
    I had no trouble disconnected the wiring to the passenger side airbag control. I have had that turned off for years. I also disconnected the battery for the sake of safety.
    Since I couldn’t remove the radio from its bracket, I removed the bracket with the radio still attached from the dashboard. In order to do that I had to remove about half of the dash board panels so I could get at the heads of the bolts holding the bracket in. Behind the left side of the bracket was a bolt head which faced the front of the vehicle, unlike all the other bolts of the dashboard. It was hard to see but easy to remove. Nearly all the dashboard bolt heads were 9/32″, a couple low down near the pedals were 5/16″. There were plastic tabs and alignment pins at points on the dash panels which simply pulled free with gentle tugging.
    All this dash work did come in handy. I also needed to replace the bulbs on the HVAC control panel and couldn’t bend my wrist properly to twist the bulb holders free. 2 #194 bulbs. In addition the power point below the dash board had burned out years ago when I ran a 12VDC coffeemaker on it, the plug overheated, partly melted, then blew the fuse to the power point, and then I had to extract the distorted plug in pieces just to inspect the power point. It looked OK from the inside, but electrically it was shorted out. I removed its fuse out & didn’t use it until I could get around to replacing it. That was 4 years ago. Could not disconnect the 3-wire plug to the power point, so I merely crushed the metal until the defective power point shrank enough to pull out backwards. Once the power point was free of its hole in the dash I was able to pull its plug free.
    Now that I’ve done all that, I’ll be waiting for the new radio. The glare from the light tan dashboard top panel has always bothered me & I am thinking of spraying it with flat black vinyl paint to remove the glare, that should be easy with the top panel out of the vehicle.

  7. Thanks for the comment! That was a ton of good detail. I have a 2000 F-150. I’ve grown to really like that radio since I put it in. I think the remote has made me kind of lazy but I’m OK with it. My friend gave me some flack saw me using it instead of just reaching up and using the knob.

    Luckily I haven’t had to change out any of my controls or bulbs in the dash.

    Let me know how the flat black vinyl paint turns out. [email protected]

  8. I sent you a long email about the vinyl paint.
    Now that I have my dash torn apart, I just may fashion a custom bracket for the Jensen VM9214 I ordered from Amazon, rather than buy a kit. There is a huge space behind & under the dash. I will be installing a back-up camera & may figure out a way to use the Jensen video screen as an alternate display for the GPS software on my laptop (which I run continually on my long road trips). That means more wires, probably some switches & fuses in that space. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  9. Sorry if that’s confusing. I was referring to 7th page of the entire PDF. I believe the page has a title “Radio Wire & Color Code Information Page 3 of 3”

  10. Thanx for this tutorial, good job! I am wondering what the second factory plug in the truck is for? There are quite a few wires in it!

  11. does the harness u do not use 4 the radio effect th truck at all.why does ford have 2 harnesses 2 the original radio

  12. Sorry, I couldn’t find a decent wiring diagram to tell me what they were. When I do I’ll post up the answer.

  13. worked a little different for me wiring harness different but it all worked out . had to unplug harness from left side below old radio and used the metra kit one for that and the other off the back of the old radio(left side for speakers and back of radio for power) 97 f150 with exterior 6 cd changer) could not find pictures trial and error and dumb luck. thanks for the info!

  14. i need the wiring harness for the stock cd player i want to put back in my stock radio but lost all wiring but a motorcycle hit my truckbed on my 2000 f150 so i guess the radio is not so important right now

  15. You could always try bringing power from your cigarette lighter. I believe that is not on when you turn the vehicle off.

  16. the previous person who had our 03 f-150 was pissed cuz he couldn’t get financed and cut the wire on the good radio and put a crap one in just before the dealership took the truck back. there are three wires in the factory stereo that do not match my after market. how do i deal with this?

  17. Did your new radio harness had a wire labeled REM OUT. If did where did you hook it up on ford harness? Hope you can help me . I am lost in what to do with that wire.

  18. I just hooked up an aftermarket radio to my 2005 F-150 King Ranch and the sub is not working. The wiring harness I got does not attach to the other plugs (only attaches to 1 of 3) which I think one of them is the factory sub. How do I get this thing to work without cutting the factory plug?

  19. I’m about to do this install on my 2001 F-150, but wiring harness will I need to get the 6 disco cd changer to operate or will it not function after the new stereo is put in?

  20. I’m trying to installed a brand new kenwood KDC-BT555U on my 2000 ford-f150 using the same wire harnes , I did the wiring connection matchin the colors but I don’t know where to connect two wires (orange/ orange white) the package say orange it’s for illumination .
    i tried it out whith out connecting it but i does not have illumination or work at all.
    Cd player made some noise like trying to play but it doesn’t

  21. I looked at the manual for your deck, page 21, and it doesn’t show a dimmer wire hook up. As long as you hook up the red (ignition wire), yellow (battery wire) and the black (Ground wire) the unit should power up when you start the truck.

    Take a look at page 7 of the install docs guide to make sure those 3 connections are in the correct mating end harness in the truck. The metra 70-1771 wiring harness wire colors match your deck wiring harness colors.

    If it still doesn’t work you might have a defective deck.

  22. I am trying to hook up an aftermarket stereo in 2005 F 150….it has factory sub and amp….can’t get these to work! I have an 11DKB wire kit. What am I doing wrong? Only 2 of three plugs are in use now. Please help?! Thanks!

  23. Sorry it took me so long to answer. I did some searching online and came across someone who posted their install for a 2006 Expedition. About 1/3 down the page they talk about how they installed the factory amp with the kit. The blue / white lead to the Kenwood he’s talking about is the power control wire that tells the amp to turn on.

  24. I just installed a new CD deck in my 03 f150. I used a wiring harness adaptor and matched up all the colors and everything works but I can’t get any sound at all!!! What am I doing wrong?

  25. I have an 02 ford f150 lariat edition. disasters due to my ex installing my new radio incorrectly fried my head lamp switch and my main fuse box to my truck. This is quite an expensive fix and prefer to not have to go through this again. I have a rear entertainment package and am also trying to tie this into the radio as the sound from the movie is played through the radio. I am having trouble which wires from the entertainment package to tie into which wires from the new cd deck wires so that all will work.

  26. Sorry, I’ve never install an entertainment package in my truck. But if I had it in front of me, this is what I would do.

    First thing is to find the model of your entertainment package and look online for a manual. It should have a wiring diagram that tells you which wires to hook into auxiliary inputs. Usually these are RCA connections going into the new deck. The original installation might have included some RCA line adapters like these to make it work with the stock radio. Hope this helps a little.

  27. I am replacing orig stereo/cass with a pioneer dhe-5 stereo/cd, using a scosche fd021 wire kit. Only the blk harness matches the orig, but harness does not fit the pioneer. The wires that came with the pioneer I guess need to be spliced to the after market harness, but that leaves the red, blk and yellow with no place to connect, where should they go? (this is a 97 F-150) Thanks for any help.

  28. I couldn’t find the manual online for your deck, but I did find a picture that has the wiring diagrams for a DEH-1500 (which was included in the same service manual front page I saw online but would have to buy to access. So I’m thinking they’re similar) .

    Also found a radio wiring diagram for your 1997 F150

    Double check my finding but it looks like the yellow (always on 12V) on the deck will go to the truck light green / purple, deck red wire (ACC power) goes to the truck’s black / pink wire, deck black wire (ground) goes to either the trucks black or black / light green.

  29. Just curious – on the Factory stereo (2001 F-150) what is the second wiring harness used for? I plan on replacing mine in a few weeks.

  30. Your post was a big help. I couldn’t even find out which radio to use from Ford.
    Now I need to figure a way to get the power door locks to work. I only have one key and no transmitter. Can you help me with that?

  31. Good article. That is exactly the way I do it. You have to buy the pigtail that plugs into your car’s wiring harness just like your old radio, then you can solder that to your new radio’s plug. I do that in the kitchen. Then everything just plugs in.

    Chuck: To get your power locks to work you have to go to a locksmith. He will plug a laptop into your car and program your second key and fob. The process involves two, 15 minute wait segments, so don’t be in a hurry. You can’t make a second key from one key. You have to have 2 keys then you can make a third.

  32. The climate control lights and dash lights are not coming on after installing an aftermarket radio. All fuses are good including under the hood fuses and relays. This is all that I troubleshooter so I ran out of options and need help please!!Troubleshooting done:

    Tested every fuse by the passenger’s foot rest with a digital multimeter tester and all fuses and relays tested good.

    Tested all fuses and relay from under the hood with a digital multimeter tester and all fuses tested good

    Took instrument panel out and tested every bulb with a digital multimeter tester and only 1 bulb was out and it was replaced.

    Put factory stereo back and got same results with no lights on the instrument panel or climate control panel

    Turned the ignition key on and off 3 times as it was suggested on a ford car audio online forum

    Turned the headlights on and off several times as it was suggested on a ford car audio online forum

    Took out fuse #17 and 18 for an hour and then put them back on as it was suggested on a ford car audio online forum

    Tested that power was getting to the instrument panel connectors with a digital multimeter tester and it tested good

    Tested that powered was going to headlights and dim switch with a digital multimeter tester and it tested good.

    Unplugged the positive battery cable for an hour and plugged it back in.

  33. thanks for the great info .. i need to reinstall original radio back into my 2001 f150 but the original connector for the radio was misplaced when the aftermarket radio was installed will the metra 70 -1771 wiring kit work or is there another kit available the trucks factory wiring is still in place

  34. 2001 Ford f150. Took out stock radio. In an effort to make room for new 2 DIM radio (space was 1/4 inch too short) I cut into 4 wires that handle climate control. No fan at all no heat or A/C). Bad, but I thought not critical, figured a little more work…. but I can fix. Splice all back together insuring correct color code. Fan comes on…. but no A/C. Check all fuses. What a mess. Any suggestions other then I should have had a professional install

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