How to: Install a single DIN cd player head unit in a Dentside - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



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How to: Install a single DIN cd player head unit in a Dentside

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Old 03-09-2011, 07:20 PM
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How to: Install a single DIN cd player head unit in a Dentside

Ok so I realized upon searching it there isnt a whole lot of info on the site about this topic and it does pop up from time to time so I decided to post up some info and pics of how I mounted/ installed my single DIN flipout head unit in the dash of my '78. Im not going to go into how to wire everything, since that is common electrical knowledge and can easily be found elsewhere. Besides you can buy those wireing harness adapters specifically for dentside trucks through Crutchfield as well as other stereo supply businesses.

So everyone knows you have to cut out the bezel and the steel backing plate (also mounts the heater controls)for the new headunit. This can be traced out using the metal "cage" that the new headunit comes with. The plastic bezel hole from the stock radio will be slightly larger in some areas but we will get to that in a minute.


Dont mind the wireing, I was in the middle of that in this pic.


What I did next was I made a sheet metal plate to directly fit into the recess in the bezel for the radio. I covered that plate with vynal wood grain for the side of a station wagon, and then sat it into the plastic bezel. Next the new head units cage was slid through both peices, and the tabs were bent down to hold it in place, sandwiching everything together. This picture shows the sheet metal plate (along with the template for the next plate to come)


And the following pic is of a single din cassette unit installed in the bezel, as finished. Notice how the sheet metal plate hides any unsightly gaps, while adding rigidity to the bezel. A single phillips head black screw was added later to keep the bottom of the bezel tight to the dash. This setup held tight for 5yrs with no cracking or stressing of the plastic bezel.



So on to phase two:

I ordered up a new stereo for the truck a few months back to replace the old sony Cassette in the above pics. What I got was a flip out pioneer headunit with am/ fm, cd, cdr, dvd, dvr, i pod hookup, back up camera, HD radio, and Sirius Satalite radio. I also added some 10"mtx subs, an audiobahn amp, two sony 6.5" speakers in the doors, and two infinity 6x9"s in boxes behind the seat. The speakers all fit behind the factory bench seat with it all the way back~ full leg room.

Some speakers:

And here is the back up cam attached to the rear bumper:
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:56 PM
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phase two:

before going to mount the new headunit, I realized that when the monitor would be in the out position, it would come in contact with the heater controls due to the angle the factory location has. It is not flat, but tilts up towards the driver. My solution to that was to make another sheetmetal plate, but this one would cover the entire bezel, around the heat contols and all. This is how i would mount the new headunit on a flat plain, rather than an angle. Here is my new template again, this time loosely sat into the bezel.


Here is two pics of the new flat steel bezel, shoing how it will hold the head units cage in place. This one, like the last, is sandwiched all together, and held in with the tabs from the pioneer's cage. I no longer had a big enough pice of "wood" vynal to cover the entire piece, so I had to section two together, and it didnt work out to well. I will redo the vynal when I get some more. I will then also use thin double sided tape to hold the steel plate down tight. I was in a hurry getting the truck together to go to motorama in Harrisburg pa when I was doing the install. Got it all together the same day I had to take the truck up to set up for the show.
[img][/img]


Here is the unit compleatly installed. The top of the radio hole in the plastic bezel needed to be trimmed upwards about another 1/8" because of the new angle of the head units main body/ cage.




Here is the screen in the out position, in both back up camera view, and radio mode:



You can see to the right is where I mounted my sirius controller. I wouldnt have put it there myself, but a p/o had already cut a big hole there for a cheap digital clock, so I just covered the hole with the docking station. The antena for the sat radio is run under the dash and up the "A" pillar to the roof.



And I covered the left side of the bezel in "wood" also to make it match the radio. Hopefully I can find burlwood material and redo everything to match the factory glovebox door. But until then, this works.


Any questions or coments feel free to ask, like I said, this is how I did mine, and it works great for my needs, but it isnt the only way to do it thats for sure. Just thought Id give a lil attention to the subject. Thanks for reading and good luck with your own installs!
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:57 PM
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All of those functions are within one unit? Very,very sweet setup. Really like the backup camera. My 09 has that and it is really handy.

What the? I must have missed all the pics the first time.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by grinnergetter View Post
All of those functions are within one unit? Very,very sweet setup. Really like the backup camera. My 09 has that and it is really handy.
Yes all that is in the unit. optional equiptment are the sat radio, bu camera, and navigation, but I dont need navigation and as far as sirius went, if I would have integrated it with pioneer"s equiptment, I would have had to buy annother subscription to the service. So thats why I kept my external radio dock system. One subscription for car and home. The bu camera was a direct plug in accesery for the head unit.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:10 PM
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Great work; the wood grain is a nice touch. It gives it the feel of an 80-86 truck.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:48 PM
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Great work; the wood grain is a nice touch. It gives it the feel of an 80-86 truck.
That's exactly what I thought when I saw it.

Good work!
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:43 PM
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Hope you're still around and get this message. I appreciate the guide on how to accomplish this! I'd like to get a dvd player in my truck, and was having a hard time finding info on what will fit and how. Looks great in yours! Thanks again
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:40 PM
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He hasn't been on here since 2011. Last time I saw him I think someone else possibly owns his truck now, but can't say for sure I didn't get to talk to him.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:00 PM
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Old thread but at least the pics are still available!

Bookmarked for reference.. and inclusion in the Compilation.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:06 PM
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For anybody else that wants to cut up their perfectly good dash bezel with factory AC for a DIN radio, please contact me first, and I'll trade you my bezel AND DIN radio/CD player with aux input.

Please don't cut up a nice bezel. Dennis Carpenter gets $100-$160 for them
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PA74F250 View Post
He hasn't been on here since 2011. Last time I saw him I think someone else possibly owns his truck now, but can't say for sure I didn't get to talk to him.

Roger that! Thanks for the info



Papa Bear Yuma: I hate to cut it up too, however the truck I bought already had the operation performed :/ has a cassette player radio that is terrible right now too.
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