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Old 03-31-2009, 08:03 AM   #1
dc_johnson45
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iPod Adapter or New Head Unit? Focus 2002

Hi everyone

Let me preface this by saying I know NOTHING about car radios. I could hook up a wiring harness, but I'm not into sub and amps and all that.

I've got a stock Focus 2002 head unit with single CD changer. I would like to play my iPod through it without using a FM transceiver. I drive about 80 miles a day, through suburban areas and transceivers have always been crappy - I assume I just move through too many frequencies.

I've searched the forums & googled a bit, but I've ended up more confused than anything - can I easily add an adapter to my stock radio to have my iPod play, or should I just add a new head unit? It seems like iPod adapters run about $130 & up - and head units can be gotten for ~$100. Am I missing something? The car has 100K+ miles on it, so a major stereo upgrade just isn't in the future.. I really want the iPod to work well & the radio to work when I'm bored with the iPod

How should I go about this? Links to recommended products welcome!


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Old 03-31-2009, 08:28 AM   #2
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personally i would go with an aftermarket headunit and utilize an ipod interface myself...your ipod will sound its best and will also offer the cleanest install.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113BT83...enwood&tp=5684

that would be a great choice and also offers a bluetooth interface built in for hands free communication as well! if you are worried about something too fancy for a car with so many miles you can always pull it out when you sell it and install it in a new car too
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:30 AM   #3
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mrfatride - that's nice, just a little too much on the expensive side for me. I agree with the 'invest for the future' idea, but I'm coming off a bunch of repairs that set me back a few $$ - I need to conserve a bit ;-)
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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If you want to go cheaper.. Get a cheap head unit with an aux input and get a aux cable to plug up to the back of the head unit and into the headphone of the ipod. Currently thats what i have going on in my car but the best would be to have a Ipod interface head unit.

its cheap and works just as well. Only problem is that you have to control everything from the ipod except the volume.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:00 AM   #5
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What's the cost of an ipod interface unit vs a cheap headend + wire harness + bay adapter? What's the easiest/preferred ipod interface unit - do you have a link to one?

I have to admit, I lean towards keeping the stock radio in there - does everything I need so I see no need to change it.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:45 AM   #6
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CLICK ME! CLICK ME! The first one in the list is $15. It's an INLINE unit...which *should* pretty much eliminate static and interference issues as most inline units actually CUT the input from the antenna so only your auxillary source comes through. It should also sound better than the wireless models.

You can keep your factory radio this way. I've used units like this before in crowded areas...NO problems. Just set one of your radio presets to whatever channel the unit is broadcasting on.

Be advised, whatever you decide to go with in regards to any unit to hook your ipod up... DO NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT buy ANYTHING that has the letter "i" before it. iLuv, iFM, iCrap, iWhatever. You will be paying far too much based soley on the company's use of the letter "i".

This country has taken the letter "i" WAY too far, just as they have done in the past with the letter "X" (Xtreme this Xtreme that...etc.) I'll burn this mother down if it continues this way! /rant.

Good luck with your quest for good tunes, my friend!

-edit- the unit I was referring to is the XO brand one, about half way down the page. It actually says in the description that it does cut the antenna out of the equation which = better quality and consistency.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:38 PM   #7
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I would say an FM modulator is your best bet. Ford makes one called trip tunes. I installed it in my car so I could listen to my Zune. The sound quality is really good. I think it was $38 for the modulator and then I needed a couple of antenna adapters, the total with shipping was around 75 dollars. If your interested you could contact b16sir1991 on the forums, I got mine from him.
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