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Discussion Starter #1
So here I am. Another disgruntled 2013 era Ford Focus (S) owner whose factory OEM radio died years ago and has been riding in silence. [:(]

I need some noise in my ride! [headbang] Am considering a DIY replacement of the factory radio with an aftermarket one. I have been reading quite a bit on these forums and watching some YouTube videos... this seems like it may not be too difficult. I have a half ounce of DIY skill. I hung a bird feeder recently and no harm came to myself or any birds. So I have that going for me.

As I understand it, if I am fortunate, I will just need a dash kit and a new stereo receiver? Full disclosure... I am a cheap bastage. I don't even want to be pushing this car to work anymore, but I'm not in a place where I feel comfortable eating a car payment again for a couple of years.

So I don't really want or need to get the best of the best here. I'm just looking mostly for functionality for the most part. AM/FM Radio, CD, and Bluetooth capable would make me happy. I don't care about Ford's useless SYNC system or whether the widgets on the steering wheel are connected. Would just love to hear the radio again, or play a podcast off my phone in the car. Is that too much to expect? [idea]

I have been looking at the following components online:

Kenwood

Pioneer

Scosche Dash Kit

Maestro Kit

I'm probably going to go the cheaper route, but would appreciate any thoughts some of you may have to share. Also, is there anything else I need to consider, other issues I may run into given just how shoddy these radios were built years ago?

I appreciate your time!
 

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A friend just had an XTRONS android head unit installed. It's much cheaper and no need adapter or fascia panel. Maybe you can refer it. Couldn't put link or image cause I am new here. [facepalm]
 

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Haven't heard much about the Scoche kit, but I've had pretty miserable luck with their kits in the past. I've heard good things about the Maestro kit.

For the head unit itself, you have tons of options, particularly if you don't care about the steering wheel controls. For a basic 4 speaker setup (Or 6 speaker) you should be able to get decent results on a budget.
 

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Haven't heard much about the Scoche kit, but I've had pretty miserable luck with their kits in the past. I've heard good things about the Maestro kit.

For the head unit itself, you have tons of options, particularly if you don't care about the steering wheel controls. For a basic 4 speaker setup (Or 6 speaker) you should be able to get decent results on a budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A friend just had an XTRONS android head unit installed. It's much cheaper and no need adapter or fascia panel. Maybe you can refer it. Couldn't put link or image cause I am new here. [facepalm]
Thank you for the suggestion! I had not heard of XTRONS. Will give that a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haven't heard much about the Scoche kit, but I've had pretty miserable luck with their kits in the past. I've heard good things about the Maestro kit.

For the head unit itself, you have tons of options, particularly if you don't care about the steering wheel controls. For a basic 4 speaker setup (Or 6 speaker) you should be able to get decent results on a budget.
Thanks, SupraGuy! I was also looking at the Metra, but it seemed most preferred the Scosche kit to it. The Maestro was a bit pricey, but I found it for $175 and ordered it. Should have it in a week. I prefer the look of it and it would lose the useless mini-screen still visible in the other two kits. We will see how it goes. Significant others keeps saying I should just pay the money and have it fully wired up for resale value.

I'm still looking over head units. Hoping for a labor sale and maybe catch one of the nicer ones a bit cheaper possibly.

I am curious as to whether I can do this install myself. I haven't done one before, and the only part that I am unsure about is if I have to solder anything, which I lack the equipment or experience with. I thought these things would mostly be plug/play with the harnesses.
 

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You should be able to buy a conversion harness. If you buy the head unit from Crutchfield, it will come with. Otherwise, it's maybe another $10-$15 max. It's worth it.

I suggest that you do not solder. Invest in a good set of crimping pliers (No, NOT the stamped steel ones that come with the $10 wire terminal kit at Autozone.) A properly crimped connection will be far more reliable and long lived than a solder joint in an automotive environment. There's a reason why all of the OEM connectors are crimped, and not soldered. No, it's not cost. Solder makes the hunk of wire solid, and increases the likelihood that you'll get a single strain point where the wire will break.

This is sometimes still acceptable in a mid-wire join if you can control movement of the wire on both sides of the connection, however, it's still not ideal.

If you are still unsure, it may be best to give the factory integration harness and the radio harness to someone who has experience with it, and get them to put it together. You should then have something that will plug into the factory harness in place of the radio, and plug into your aftermarket stereo. I have used these wherever possible, in order to avoid cutting any wires in the factory wiring harness wherever possible.
 

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Thanks, SupraGuy! I was also looking at the Metra, but it seemed most preferred the Scosche kit to it. The Maestro was a bit pricey, but I found it for $175 and ordered it. Should have it in a week. I prefer the look of it and it would lose the useless mini-screen still visible in the other two kits. We will see how it goes. Significant others keeps saying I should just pay the money and have it fully wired up for resale value.

I'm still looking over head units. Hoping for a labor sale and maybe catch one of the nicer ones a bit cheaper possibly.

I am curious as to whether I can do this install myself. I haven't done one before, and the only part that I am unsure about is if I have to solder anything, which I lack the equipment or experience with. I thought these things would mostly be plug/play with the harnesses.
Just so we're clear, that Maestro kit also requires the Maestro RR interface module (so would the Scosche or Metra).

Don't waste your money on those no-name android head units. Or you'll be replacing it again in a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just so we're clear, that Maestro kit also requires the Maestro RR interface module (so would the Scosche or Metra).
I noted that the RR interface was required, but was unsure exactly why. As I understood it, in order to link up the steering wheel controls, and the SYNC system. Am I missing any other advantage? I can live without either, been living without them for 3-4 years already. [hihi]

Don't waste your money on those no-name android head units. Or you'll be replacing it again in a year.
Duly noted! I was leaning toward a Pioneer or Kenwood. Been looking at the radios that Maestro is listing as compatible. But is the RR adapter part of that?

Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You should be able to buy a conversion harness. If you buy the head unit from Crutchfield, it will come with. Otherwise, it's maybe another $10-$15 max. It's worth it.
Thank you! So, the head unit I buy will not necessarily mate up with the factory harness. You buy the specific conversion harness to do that? My dash kit appears to be coming with a harness, and I thought that would actually mate to the factory ford harness, then I would hook that up to the radio. I feel like I'm missing something in the middle there on the understanding.

I suggest that you do not solder. Invest in a good set of crimping pliers (No, NOT the stamped steel ones that come with the $10 wire terminal kit at Autozone.) A properly crimped connection will be far more reliable and long lived than a solder joint in an automotive environment. There's a reason why all of the OEM connectors are crimped, and not soldered. No, it's not cost. Solder makes the hunk of wire solid, and increases the likelihood that you'll get a single strain point where the wire will break.
Point taken on soldering. I was not a fan of that idea, but kept seeing videos of people doing it.

If you are still unsure, it may be best to give the factory integration harness and the radio harness to someone who has experience with it, and get them to put it together. You should then have something that will plug into the factory harness in place of the radio, and plug into your aftermarket stereo. I have used these wherever possible, in order to avoid cutting any wires in the factory wiring harness wherever possible.
I may end up paying someone. There is something to be said for not creating more headaches for yourself. [giddy] Still shopping for a head unit though. Hoping to catch something on sale for Labor Day weekend.

Thanks again!
 

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I noted that the RR interface was required, but was unsure exactly why. As I understood it, in order to link up the steering wheel controls, and the SYNC system. Am I missing any other advantage? I can live without either, been living without them for 3-4 years already. [hihi]



Duly noted! I was leaning toward a Pioneer or Kenwood. Been looking at the radios that Maestro is listing as compatible. But is the RR adapter part of that?

Thanks for the input!
The RR is the radio interface. It reads information on the CANBUS and gives you the output wires you'll need to wire up the Kenwood/Pioneer. You actually could go without it if you have the base model audio system, you're ok losing Sync, you're ok losing steering wheel controls, you're ok finding your own source for reverse trigger wire (for rear-view cam) and parking brake (for onscreen video), and you're willing to find a switched 12V source elsewhere in the car and run it up to the new head unit. The factory head unit is controlled on/off over the CANBUS. There's no switched 12V wire in the factory radio harness.

In addition to giving you the above, the RR can display OBD data onscreen your new Kenwood/Pioneer. TPMS data, battery voltage, Air to Fuel Ratio, Exhaust temp, coolant temp, 0-60 times, and much more.

I know it ain't cheap. But it's damn nice. And come on... you don't want to lose the steering wheel controls.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The RR is the radio interface. It reads information on the CANBUS and gives you the output wires you'll need to wire up the Kenwood/Pioneer. You actually could go without it if you have the base model audio system, you're ok losing Sync, you're ok losing steering wheel controls, you're ok finding your own source for reverse trigger wire (for rear-view cam) and parking brake (for onscreen video), and you're willing to find a switched 12V source elsewhere in the car and run it up to the new head unit. The factory head unit is controlled on/off over the CANBUS. There's no switched 12V wire in the factory radio harness.

In addition to giving you the above, the RR can display OBD data onscreen your new Kenwood/Pioneer. TPMS data, battery voltage, Air to Fuel Ratio, Exhaust temp, coolant temp, 0-60 times, and much more.

I know it ain't cheap. But it's damn nice. And come on... you don't want to lose the steering wheel controls.
Wow, ok. You are making a convincing argument. [rofl]

I had a really base audio system. It just had the little 4.3 inch b/w screen, no backup camera, etc. I would not mind the extra widgets with the radio at all. But from the sounds of that 12v source wire business... I don't need that headache. :)
 

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fm modulator-mp3 player plugs into 12volt accessory . cost $8 - $15 over internet. set it to match whatever frequency you set on your radio run plug from cd player headphone to input on modulator and your done.. get a shockproof cd player for $60 - $100...... all of this fits into my middle console box on 2018 ford focus. it is out of sight but easy to get to. sound quality is ok
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You should be able to buy a conversion harness. If you buy the head unit from Crutchfield, it will come with. Otherwise, it's maybe another $10-$15 max. It's worth it.
Thanks again for the tip on Crutchfield! I spent much of the day surfing their site and it was super helpful. I finally stopped overthinking it and pulled the trigger on the last pieces I needed.

Decided to go with the Maestro ADS-MRR interface module. I actually got them to price-match it for $109, down from $149. They also price matched the Metra antenna adapter for $5.95, down from $14.99. For the head unit I picked the Kenwood DDX376BT.

I was also looking at the Kenwood DDX396, but the two seemed nearly identical so I paid $20 less for this one. I probably could have gotten the unit cheaper elsewhere, and I did not find any potential prices to match, but they do offer some over the phone tech support so seemed like a plan.

I had purchased the Maestro FOC1 dash kit through a seller on Amazon. Arrived today, and looks good. I actually paid $175 for that, which was considerably cheaper than Crutchfield and others.

I should be able to work on putting it together next week. Hopefully, there is nothing else wrong with my wiring or the audio system, speakers, etc. That will be a big kick in the pants, if so.
 

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You should be able to buy a conversion harness. If you buy the head unit from Crutchfield, it will come with. Otherwise, it's maybe another $10-$15 max. It's worth it.
I had purchased the Maestro FOC1 dash kit through a seller on Amazon. Arrived today, and looks good. I actually paid $175 for that, which was considerably cheaper than Crutchfield and others.

I should be able to work on putting it together next week. Hopefully, there is nothing else wrong with my wiring or the audio system, speakers, etc. That will be a big kick in the pants, if so.
Great move on the Maestro dash kit. Mine is made by Scosche. One tick better than Metra in my opinion, but still ain't great. I'd rather have the FOC1.
 
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