Stereo and Speaker Swap in the 1980 - 1989 Lincoln Town Car

  1. Pepsi2185
    Safety
    Exercise caution when working around electronics and unless you are well versed in automotive electronics DO NOT USE A TEST LIGHT. Although many times it is harmless to use a test light, in only takes one poke to destroy a 5 thousand dollar body controller.


    Identification
    You need to identify which system you have. There is a premium sound system. Which consists of a radio, amplifier on the passenger side wall of the rear seats in the trunk. Usually black with longer plugs and a long gray eight pin harness behind the radio, and a shielded silver cable with metal on the plug.

    There is also a common ground system with amplifier. This consists of a radio and football shaped amplifier on the underside of the rear deck lid. There may be a common ground system with no amplifier so look behind the radio for two square plugs and one will have small black jumpers in them.

    • Front speakers in the front doors size 6 ½
    • Dash speakers are oversized 4"
    • Rear speakers in the rear deck size 6 x 9

    Tools
    • Screwdrivers
    • Torx bits (up to t60)
    • Ford Keys (can get at eBay or Amazon)
    • Panel remover tool (if you do not have one be very cautious with a screwdriver it will damage things)
    • Small socket set
    • Wire connections tools
    Click here to find Speaker Packages
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    Materials


    Common ground system
    • Between 20-80 feet of wire
    • Dash kit
    • Dash Harness

    Non common ground system
    • Dash Kit
    • Dash Harness and premium sound bypass

    Procedure
    Disassemble dash. Pop off cover in midsection of the dash. Thin long piece of plastic in between lower and upper dash. You will find a length of screws. Do the same for the other side of the steering wheel. Remove all screws under the section of dash pad on the upper dash and the screws long the lower dash long the concealing under dash carpet material. Also remove the carpet material for better access. Remove the upper dash first. You may need to put the car into gear to coax out the dash. Be careful it may break. Then remove the lower metal pieces.

    Break off according tabs in dash kit instructions. Insert metal sleeve into the dash kit opening. (you may need to remove the plastic tabs inside) Bend back according metal tabs to secure it in dash kit opening. You may need to do several test fittings to find the right set of screws to make the radio look most pleasing.

    Take the amplifier bypass harness (the harness with a plug on each end). Get into the trunk and unplug the two largest connectors. Insert each into their respective slots in the amplifier bypass harness.

    Connect aftermarket radio harness and wiring harness wires verbatim. Connect the bare ends together. Black to black, red to red and so on. There may be some that are not used such as orange with black etc. Tape those connections off.

    Plug in the harness to the aftermarket radio and the dash harness and clip radio in to the metal sleeve. Test the radio before installing it into the opening and reinstalling the dash.

    Note: The square black plug may give you trouble. You may need to play with the pins and arrange them to fit the gray shielded harness. Best of luck.


    Common ground system
    If you have the two square plugs and one have a black jumper you have a common ground system.

    Disassemble dash. Pop off cover in midsection of the dash. Thin long piece of plastic in between lower and upper dash. You will find a length of screws. Do the same for the other side of the steering wheel. Remove all screws under the section of dash pad on the upper dash and the screws long the lower dash long the concealing under dash carpet material. Also remove the carpet material for better access. Remove the upper dash first. You may need to put the car into gear to coax out the dash. Be careful it may break. Then remove the lower metal pieces.

    Break off according tabs in dash kit instructions. Insert metal sleeve into the dash kit opening. (you may need to remove the plastic tabs inside) Bend back according metal tabs to secure it in dash kit opening. You may need to do sever test fittings to find the right set of screws to make the radio look most pleasing.

    If you have a common ground system with the amplifier. One way to connect the system to seek out the individual speaker wires at their respective kick, dash and rear speaker locations. I find the easiest way is to get the plug at the amplifier. The plug at the amplifier with eight wires in it will most likely be your speaker plug. Test the speakers with a DC batter no more than 12 volts. When polarity is correct the speaker will pop and rise away from the magnet. Connect the speaker wires accordingly and run them forward to the dash. The best way to run the wires forward is under the rear seat, and under the door sills near the carpet. Pull up the screws and send the wire under the carpet, up the kick panel and behind the dash.

    If you have a common ground system with no amplifier, Connect the according speaker wires that do not have a common ground jumper the dash harness attatched to the aftermarket radio harness. Take whichever speakers have the common ground jumper (99 percent of the time the front speakers) and connect the appropriate lead as a positive. You will need to run one wire to the speaker as a negative. The best way is the catch the speaker wire at the kick panel and clip it from the factory harness. Then attatch the wire you ran from the dash to the speaker wire going into the door harness.

    Attach the power wires to the power harness verbatim. Yellow to yellow, red to red etc.

    In either case you will need to attach a screw to a chassis location. Then attach a length of wire to a spade terminal and tighten it down. Then run that wire to the black aftermarket harness wire. This will be your ground. Attach the harnesses, and install the radio into the metal sleeve and install antenna plug. Install it into the dash and test before reinstalling the dash.

    Speakers
    Front Speakers: Remove the screws from the chrome trim above the door handle. Open the ash tray or unscrew the power window control. Remove the ash tray screw. Remove the screw from the rear of the door. Look along the carpet for any screws (sometime they are put in to hold down the panel). Remove the screws behind chrome trim around door handle. Using the trim pad removing tool, pry the trim panel retaining clips from the door inner panel. (try lifting up on the door panel firmly first, it may come off easily) Remove the window regulator switch housing from the back of the front door trim panel. Lift up on the housing and disconnect all connectors from the switch housing. Installation reverse of removal.

    Rear Speakers: Remove the cover over the rear speaker and the black pins that hold it in. (This is a shortcut that may break cover to speakers) Another way is to Put a knee in the rear seat to dislodge the seat clips from the seat on each side. Remove the torx nuts that hold in the seatbelts. Remove the rear seat. Remove the rear deck cover. Remove the speakers. Installation is reverse of removal.

    Note: If a radio with a higher power amplifier is purchased, run the 10ga amp wire to the batter and do not connect constant power to the harness behind the display unit in the dash. It may cause wire damage.

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