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Discussion Starter #1
I plan to change the radio in my 07 wagon in the next few months since my older cars have iPod jacks and my newest car does not. I'm not new to aftermarket head units but am a bit out of touch with new tech (this car is my first OBD2 car). I have already looked on crutchfield.com and think I'm going with the typical single DIN with iPod jack and Bluetooth for phone calls. I'll get the wiring and mount kits too but have a few questions.

Both other radios don't dim with the gauge lights, have I just missed this on other swaps and is it possible on the Focus?

Will the radio change affect the security system or other features? I put a radio in my sister's 02 camaro and it fried the BCM because the VATS feature needed to be tuned out of the computer when you change the radio[screwy]

The other motivation for the change is a super simple spot for a scangauge to mount. I plan on pushing this car's mpg higher than the EPA ever planned and the scangauge will be critical in that goal.

Thanks,
 

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If I recall correctly there's not an illumination wire in the stock wiring harness. Now with that said, If you're any good at wiring, and aren't afraid to take your dash apart, you can splice into in headlight switch harness. Now as to confirmation if this can be done I'm not sure. I may be able to do some testing for you, but it makes logical sense to me. Just make sure the head unit you're getting has illumination control.
 

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At least for my 2006 ZXW it has an illumination wire at pin 3 of the main radio connector an Orange/Black wire (at least for 2006 different years color may vary). In the harness adapter harness and in the aftermarket stereo harness the wire should be an orange wire. However unlike with the stock radio whose brightness level will change based on the dimmer control, many aftermarket radios only have a bright for day and darker for night, however if the dimmer control is set too dim the aftermarket radio may go to day mode as the voltage coming from the lighting would be too low.

It will not effect security, at least in our Focus's the radio is just that a radio.

For the GM's like you mentioned above they do make a radio relocation harness so you can upgrade the stereo but be able to keep all the features that can be controller via the radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info guys. It's good to know that the stereo is simple in these cars and doesn't require a computer tuner to put in the unit. Maybe my other ones are so bright because I keep my gauge lights at the lowest setting. Thanks for thr help, I can now move forward without worry of burning my car to the ground because of a silly radio change lol
 

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Ensure whatever head unit you buy has the illumination wire. Pioneer is one of several companies that just quit including that wire on all but their double-din touch screens. Some even include only a "software" based dimmer, where you have to go into a menu and select dimmer on/off. What a joke. lol

Also, it's entirely possible to run your own illumination wire exactly as McCoy said....provided the head unit you buy has an input for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ensure whatever head unit you buy has the illumination wire. Pioneer is one of several companies that just quit including that wire on all but their double-din touch screens. Some even include only a "software" based dimmer, where you have to go into a menu and select dimmer on/off. What a joke. lol

Also, it's entirely possible to run your own illumination wire exactly as McCoy said....provided the head unit you buy has an input for it.
Thanks for the info... Both of my other radios are Pioneers so I guess I did everything right and just didn't get the dim feature. Maybe I'll have to look for a new brand before I buy one for the new car.
 

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Pioneer is a bit weird on their illumination controls. It's either bright or dim. That's just how pioneer works. I've only had a couple radios that actually had working illumination controls, but they weren't pioneers. With that said, aftermarket radios in general don't dim equally to interior illumination. Aftermarket companies have a thing about being bright and flashy and that's one way to get a little bit more advertisement indirectly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yea and blind me while driving. The volume knob in my Saturn has an O-ring around to block the way too bright light illuminating around it. Maybe I'll hit my new radio with a few coats of spray on tail light tint lol
 

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The Pioneer unit I just bought and installed today had an illumination wire, matched up into my 2005 wagon fine. Single-din X3700UI...

He is right on the illumination. With the car in ACC or ON, the unit is blinding bright. If you choose to sync with the vehicle, it'll turn back down to match the highest setting of your car, but will not adjust any lower. I don't mind it, especially if your unit has adjustable colors, and you pick one easy on the eyes.
 

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The X3700 is brand new. I just got them in my store about 3 weeks ago. You'll still find the 3600UI sitting on shelves in stores and certainly online, so be aware of that. It does not have an illumination wire. Neither does the X6600BT.

The X6700BT does though.... huh.... looks like Pioneer is bringing it back after taking a few years off. Good for them.
 

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The X3700 is brand new. I just got them in my store about 3 weeks ago. You'll still find the 3600UI sitting on shelves in stores and certainly online, so be aware of that. It does not have an illumination wire. Neither does the X6600BT.

The X6700BT does though.... huh.... looks like Pioneer is bringing it back after taking a few years off. Good for them.
Hm, didn't know it was that new to the market. But it does have illumination, slowly trying to figure out brightness on it as I was driving around tonight.

Glad they did bring it back, even if it is only bright/dim settings, better than nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll have to make sure to ask crutchfield to check illumination potential once I decide on what head unit I want. I'll definietly pay a little extra to be able to dim the display at night.
 
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