The Ford Transit can be upgraded with an aftermarket radio, and we’ll show you how in the following article. We went from the basic Ford factory AM/FM radio to the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX 6.94″ TouchScreen Multimedia Receiver: it has Android Auto & Apple CarPlay (wireless or USB), backup camera ready, DVD receiver, Bluetooth, SiriuxXM, etc. Sweet upgrade. Let’s get to work and get done with the installation!
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|Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX||Flagship In-Dash Multimedia Receiver with 6.94″ WVGA Clear Resistive Touchscreen Display (Android Auto, CarPlay, DVD, etc.)||1||Amazon|
|Metra Dash Kit 99-5832G||Single/Double Din Dash Combo Kit for Ford Transit 2015-Up (includes wiring harness)||1||Amazon|
|Dual USB Flush Mount Panel||For Android Auto, Apple CarPlay & USB Stick Playback||1||Amazon|
12- Install the left & right radio brackets to the head unit:
This step is iterative... Install the bracket where you think makes sense, then install the front dash panel to see if the head unit fits nicely into the cutout. Probably not, so make small adjustment to the bracket and check again. Repeat this until you're satisfied with the location of the radio!
We did it!!
... Huh wait; no we didn't... we still have to wire the radio... Keep reading!
Part B: Wiring the new radio
The radio and the vehicle have a bunch of wires… The idea is to connect the radio wires to the vehicle wires in a specific way. For example, we must match the front-left speaker wire of the radio to the front-left speaker wire of the vehicle. To guide us, each wire has a unique color. Use the following table to make the appropriate connections:
|ITEM||AVH-W4500NEX COLOR||METRA HARNESS COLOR|
|BATTERY CONSTANT POWER||YELLOW||YELLOW|
|SWITCHED POWER (ACC)||RED||PINK|
|PARKING BRAKE||LIGHT GREEN||N/A*|
|FRONT-LEFT SPEAKER (-)||WHITE/BLACK||WHITE/BLACK|
|FRONT-LEFT SPEAKER (+)||WHITE||WHITE|
|FRONT-RIGHT SPEAKER (-)||GREY/BLACK||GREY/BLACK|
|FRONT-RIGHT SPEAKER (+)||GREY||GREY|
|REAR-LEFT SPEAKER (-)||GREEN/BLACK||GREEN/BLACK|
|REAR-LEFT SPEAKER (+)||GREEN||GREEN|
|REAR-RIGHT SPEAKER (-)||VIOLET/BLACK||VIOLET/BLACK|
|RIGHT-RIGHT SPEAKER (+)||VIOLET||VIOLET|
*Pioneer radios won’t let you watch movies (and disable some settings) if the parking brake is not engaged, for obvious safety reasons. To enable the watch-drive-and-die feature (and enable all settings), this microbypass can be installed: amzn.to/35xugJg. How to install the microbypass: youtu.be/__3IF9LWBCA
To connect the wires from the Metra kit to the radio, use crimp caps:
Part C: Dual USB Flush-Mount Panel Installation
That's it! good work...
On Second Thought...
FORD TRANSIT METRA DASH KIT: Nothing to say here. We really dig it, it looks just like a factory install!
FIRST RADIO UPGRADE (2017): JOYING ANDROID HEAD UNIT:
We first installed a Joying Android radio and used it for two years. It’s a “cheap Chinese” product so it worked OK 80%, but the 20% worked more-or-less:
- The bluetooth disconnected every 20 seconds or so (which made calls or streaming music almost impossible).
- The GPS quit working after about an hour (which made Google Maps pretty much unusable).
- The touchscreen worked REALLY WELL, but the interface lagged a lot.
- And other minors bugs.
After two years, the defects grew on us and we finally decided to upgrade. Once again, this proves buying cheap Chinese products is just not worth it in the long run…
SECOND RADIO UPGRADE (2019): PIONEER AVH-W4500NEX
We installed this radio in December 2019, so it’s still too soon for a review. At first glance, it is definitely a NICE UPGRADE:
- All the features work as they should (as expected from a high-end device).
- It took us some time to get used to Android Auto, but we’re really starting to LOVE THIS! The interface is streamlined to minimize distraction, without losing too many features. Google Maps & Spotify are what we use the most and they’re perfectly integrated into Android Auto!
- There are many audio settings to fine-tune the sound to match our setup/our taste, that’s an improvement from the Joying unit.
- So far we’re VERY HAPPY with it 🙂