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Old 04-08-2010, 05:55 PM   #1
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How hard is it to install a stereo?

Has anyone done their own installation in a 2008 or newer Ford E-350? I am being told that it is a difficult procedure as the steering column needs to be removed in order to pull the dash and remove the existing stereo. Is that true? I see something like this and wonder if it isn't worth paying someone else:



I can get it to this point, no problem. Getting it all back together might be trickier. My biggest gripe is not paying for installation, but paying the markup on the stereo that the installers want to charge. Any advice?

Steve in L.A.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

I had sterio, satalite radio, viper purchased and instlled at Best Buy
Took em all day
Some requred special tools and knowing how to pop off pieces
I don't think my labor was more than $300 for all
I price
Shopped parts online very close

Would I do it on a new rig? Nope
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

If it's not too late. I always take a bunch of pictures with a digital camera as I disassemble something complex. It takes extra time but it's a great help with remember what order things where done in.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

I didn't install a new stereo, but I did have to remove and reinstall the stock 2008 stereo. It took a set of $2 'DIN tools' that look like u-shaped metal rod (got them at Napa), and about 2 minutes. No dash pieces had to come off.

I don't see why it would be any different to install a different stereo into the same place?

Cheers,
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:40 PM   #5
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

I have always installed my own stereos, but not on my new van (10'). I had my Navi, amp, woofer, and inverter installed by a local shop and they only charged me $250 for the labor. The shop owner is a good friend of mine and he said this was the worst dash to work with so far.....
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:11 AM   #6
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjeffrey
I didn't install a new stereo, but I did have to remove and reinstall the stock 2008 stereo. It took a set of $2 'DIN tools' that look like u-shaped metal rod (got them at Napa), and about 2 minutes. No dash pieces had to come off.

I don't see why it would be any different to install a different stereo into the same place?

Cheers,
Mike.
It's that simple as long as you don't have to replace the metal unit that the stereo fits into. You can even purchase adapters for your wire harness so there is no more cut and splice going on.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:18 PM   #7
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

Thanks for all the great advice. I believe that replacing the stock stereo with a Kenwood unit requires a metal bracket of some kind. Crutchfield has a great price for all the hardware, so I may look around for someone who would be willing to do just the installation. The picture I posted was not of my van, thankfully. I mostly wanted to be sure that I wasn't being fed a line of bs and that it is indeed as difficult as it sounds. I'll have plenty of other DIY projects to look forward to.
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:26 PM   #8
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

I have a 2008 and installed a stereo in 1 hour.
with a $2 Ford radio tool you can get at walmart it takes 10 seconds to remove the radio.
The wiring harness adapter can be bought for $20 for a direct plug in.
With the adapter, you only need to wire your new radio to the adapter such as power, neg, ignition on, and speakers. You will also need a new mounting bracket, buy this at the same time you get your wiring adapter.
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:53 PM   #9
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveInLA
Thanks for all the great advice. I believe that replacing the stock stereo with a Kenwood unit requires a metal bracket of some kind. Crutchfield has a great price for all the hardware, so I may look around for someone who would be willing to do just the installation. The picture I posted was not of my van, thankfully. I mostly wanted to be sure that I wasn't being fed a line of bs and that it is indeed as difficult as it sounds. I'll have plenty of other DIY projects to look forward to.
FYI
I have a Kenwood unit. The cable connector between it and the Iphone went bad. Bought a new one on Ebay. It arrived today fresh from China so I installed it. It kind of worked but mostly didn't. It doesn't allow full control of the Iphone and will not charge the Iphone when connected. So lesson learned was not by the cheap crap off of Ebay. I just ordered a $30 cable that hopefully will work.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: How hard is it to install a stereo?

Unless you spend big bucks, the Ford CD or GPS stereos will put out more power and better quality than most of the aftermarket stuff. I think there's more to be gained with new speakers.

You can connect auxiliary devices. I have Sirius, DVD, and an aux input on my 2000 factory stereo, with space for an ipod interface.
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