When I got my Mustang the previous owner had put in an AM/FM cassette stereo and some kick panels with speakers. The stereo was not hooked up correctly, it was killing the battery, and the speakers sounded terrible. At that time I didn't care and had decided to pull the existing stereo out and install a CD player in my dash. Since then I have learned a lot about Mustangs and the rules that classic Mustang owners live by. One rule is 'thy shall not cut thy dash'. Now with that said, I have decided that I will not cut my dash. Instead of cutting my dash I want to install a Shelby radio delete panel and put my stereo in a different place.
Here's the final product first. I went with the under-the-dash approach using a stereo pod. This is how I went about it:
This is the cd player I have. It is a old stereo that I had in my old car before I sold it. 40w x 4 for power so it should be loud enough to enjoy when driving.
I dropped these in from the top of the package tray.
KICK PANELS WITH SPEAKERS
My kick panel speakers already installed in my kick panels. These were less than $30 and sound pretty good.
UNDER DASH STEREO POD
This is the magic item. You can pick this up from Crutchfield for around $25. I got mine for $15 off of a forum friend. It has holes around the top rim that allow you to screw it in to place. So when this is done I will only have 3 small holes that are out-of-view at the bottom of my dash.
Installation of my stereo is pretty straight forward. I just installed a new rehabbed wire harness so I know where all my wire ends are. Because of that I have a battery power (clock power on harness), an ignition power (comes off the ignition), and a ground all ready to go.
I centered the stereo pod in the middle the dash and marked the 3 points where I need to drill my holes. This was fairly easy because the rim of the pod has the holes already so you just have to pick the ones you need to use and use them. To secure the pod to the bottom of the dash I used 3 self-tapping screws.
Now that the front is secure I wanted to also secure the back of the pod. I used some plumbers tape and attached one end to the back of the pod using one of the attaching holes and a self tapping screw. It should hold pretty well there but if it doesn't I will go back and use a small bolt. The top of the plumbers tape was attached to the stock attachment point where Ford attached the bracket that was used for the back of the AM radio. Looks good so far!
Now I ran my speaker wires with connections for the harness on the back of the stereo, put everything in place, slid the stereo into the pod, plugged in the wire harness into the back. Power and music! SWEET.
The speakers that I got with the car in the front kick panels were terrible. I wanted to upgrade that with this stereo project. Of course I keep it affordable and bought some $30 speakers. I had some problems getting these new 5.25" speakers to fit. I put them in the kick panels and tried to put them into place but the magnet on the back of the speakers are way to big to fit with out issue.
So I decided the best way to deal with this was to make a spacer. I read about this on some sites and then spoke to my neighbor who is into stereo stuff and he also made the same suggestion. So I cut out some spacers and took my time to be sure they looked good. Painted them up and installed. This is so easy I won't post any other info on it. I did paint them black and they do look darker than the photos show.
After that I added some insulation in behind the kick panel to both insulate and provide some cover/protection to the speakers. Looks good don't you think? All in all I am happy with the install.
I am very happy with the finished results! The stereo sounds really good. I took my time and every thing went smooth. I do wish that I had a stereo that played mp3s and also had a remote. Maybe later I can come up with that. The only down side right now is that one of my 6x9s has a pop so at some point I will replace the 6x9s as well. Maybe I will get a set that matches my front speakers.