Replacing a Stock Radio in a Ford Taurus 2002 SEL

So my friend and I are somewhat into car audio/visual (it’s a lot of fun) and decided to change out my stock Ford radio for an aftermarket one.

We didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into until we got out the old deck. The ‘ol junker (well not really a junker, since it’s an EATC temperature control module coupled with a CD player) was one big circuit board. This thing looked so out-of-date that man could have went to the moon with it (produced in 1974).

We got the deck out, bought an aftermarket dash kit from the local car audio dealer, and connected the new deck. THAT part was easy – but wiring the EATC back up (electronic automatic temperature control) was worse then sticking yourself in the eye with a hot poker.

Here’s a tip to anyone who wants to replace their stock car radios – NEVER cut the wiring harnesses. That being said, finding another wiring harness for the beast that actually works has been almost impossible. None of the wiring diagrams off any website were of merit – and Ford has none themselves that could be of help to us.

On top of that, the aftermarket dash kit we bought didn’t have any knobs – they expected us to supply ones from the last heating system – and nothing to plug the knobs into. We could order the knobs – $12 each – order the switches – etc. The wiring harness was $80, the switches were around $100 for all three…so the total cost for fixing this heating system would be getting close to $500 when you incorporate the cost of the aftermarket dash kit as well.

I don’t think I’ll ever replace the stock radio in a Ford again. At least if I do, it would have to be a model that Ford RECOGNIZES and actually has help regarding the model. Buying replacement parts at Canadian Tire just doesn’t cut it – they never work or fit – and when a Ford dealership can barely help you, you really wonder who can.

Long story short – with winter fast approaching we fused two wires together to turn the heat on for the winter. Simple solution. Likely when summer rolls around, we’ll fuse a couple together to turn on the AC.

Only thing that bothers me is I can’t turn the heat up or down. But it’s on – so scrue it.