Introduction: Replace a Ford Capri Radio

This is a simple procedure for replacing your stock Ford Capri radio with an after-market CD player. Even though this could be worked out reasonably quickly, it might save some mucking around to see it done. The trick here is that it is more simple than you might expect. Don't go hunting around behind the glove-box or taking the dash apart! Everything can be accessed from the front.

Step 1: Take Off Dash Trim

Firstly, put your hand into the plastic recess, then using your fingers to maintain pressure on the top and bottom of the inside, pull towards yourself until it comes free. This should happen fairly easily, if it does not come out then try pressing harder against the top towards the back, which should angle the compartment upwards, releasing the lugs as you pull forward: pretty easy.

Once this is out, proceed to unscrew the 4 Phillips head screws located where the red circles are on the picture.

The black plastic trim around the radio should almost fall off and can be helped by pulling it at a downwards angle as it comes out towards you. 

Step 2: Remove Stock Radio

Now you will notice only two screws either side of the stock radio, unscrew these then push the radio forward from the back until it comes out. You should be able to get your hand at the back of the radio to push it out by putting it through the cavity left by removing the plastic compartment in step 1. You may need to remove the antenna wire and speaker-wire plug from the back of the radio before you can remove the unit completely. 

Step 3: Adapt Wiring

The hardest part of the whole thing is changing the stock wiring to fit whichever CD player you are going to install. The wire plug which was attached to the stock radio is pictured below, along with the function of each terminal. This was only determined using trial and error and I am uncertain of polarity, but the terminals are correct for most intents and purposes.

There are a couple of ways to do this. One method is to cut the wires behind the plug, cut the wires coming out of the plug on the back of the new CD player and twist the relevant wires together then cover each with electrical tape. Another way is to make short wire adaptors between the two, if your new CD player has blue male crimp ends, then make about a dozen, inch-long pieces of 1.2mm wire and crimp blue female ends to one side and male crimps to the other that will plug into the stock plug-pack. The first way is quicker, easier and cheaper but is hard to reverse, whereas the crimped adaptors can be easily removed for re-installation of the stock radio at a later date, or for fitting another CD player entirely!

Step 4: Adapt New CD Player

You will find if you then go ahead an slide your CD player into the hole it will most likely have no way to be screwed to the dash. If you are lucky enough to have a CD player with screw-holes on the side, the small 90 degree brackets fitted to the original radio could be fitted to your player. This was not the case for me, so I removed the foam on top of the stock radio to stop rattling and then fitted the plastic 'claw' on the stock radio to mine (at the back). This then sits at the top of the CD player and allows it to be held in place by the rails in the top of the cavity. 

Once this has been fitted to your CD player (and the 90 degree brackets if you can), simply slide the CD player along the rail until it sits where the original radio was. (and screw in place if you fitted the brackets).

Step 5: Return Dash to Normal

Now simply screw the dash trim back into place and then press the plastic compartment back into its cavity - it should all go back very easily.

In conclusion there are 3 parts to note:
1- how to get to the stock radio and get it out
2- the function of each terminal on the wiring plug
3- how to adapt your CD player so it will be somehow secured in the radio cavity

It's really pretty easy =)

The only problem with the sound in these cars is that the rear passenger-side speaker  is angled at the driver - so the sound seems like it is coming from that direction at the back. So if you've got your sound faded to the rear at all, you may need to balance it toward the driver side to compensate for this (just a suggestion!)

Comments

author
Esmagamus (author)2011-03-20

Reminds me of when I wanted to replace the radio on my Alfa Romeo 164. I did find a proper wiring loom, with the thickest wires I've seen, but it wasn't ISO.

I just had to find the function for each wire with the multimeter. Once the power connector was done, a 9 volt battery with two wires did the trick for the speakers connector.

I did take it apart later, to install a parrot handsfree kit I got for 20€ from a friend.

author
Phil B (author)2010-07-29

Thank you for this. I am wondering how similar the procedure would be for radios in other cars. I know there are a lot of variables and it may be difficult for you to know. But, I would expect engineers use similar approaches in different cars.

author
MrWhippy22 (author)Phil B2010-07-29

In other (older) cars that I've had, the approach has been more difficult and has involved removing the glove box, much of the underside of the dash and often the centre console where the gear-stick is to gain access to screws which secure the radio from its underside. Also, the wiring for different cars is different, but there's a good chance that if the plug is the same as I've described the wires will be the same for that case. Good luck!

author
Phil B (author)MrWhippy222010-07-29

A dozen years ago I had to replace a radio in a '91 Chevrolet Lumina sedan. It was pretty straightforward, except I can affirm what you say about the wiring. I had to rework some things where the harnesses did not fit. Now I have a '99 Oldsmobile Alero. I had once thought about replacing the radio/CD player with one that plays MP3 CDs and has a jack for digital players, but that car will probably be replaced in a few years. For now I burn MP3 files to CDs in WAV and play them in the regular CD player. But, the Alero would require removal of console parts, etc. There may be even more, but that is what I can see for now.

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