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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a 2003 Escape Limited. LOVE IT.

Have checked other posts and there have been similar topics but have not found any definitive solutions.

My problem:
Tried to remove the radio and have just now discovered that the radio appears to be STUCK and the DIN tools are not working.

Me being the pessimist that I am I am automatically going to assume that I am SCREWED. Plus you can't get the dash panel off in order to have room to get at the radio...

Question(s):
Am I stuck with this stuck radio?
Can the dealership get it out? And for about how much?
Can a local shop, i.e. Best Buy get it out?
Does anybody have any advice before I break down and pay someone?

Thanks
 

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I've never removed my radio myself but I've read about radio's getting stuck before and the response was usually "keep trying... eventually you'll get it to come out". But I've also read about clips getting bent if the wrong tools are used. If this happens, it's much more difficult to remove.

I found the following video on YouTube that shows how a radio is removed from a Mariner. The guy in it says there are two sets of tools you can get. One is cheaper & thinner. The other costs more but is thicker and more heavy duty, His advise is to spring for the better quality tool to prevent issues.


Maybe you need the better quality removal tools? If not, maybe the radio was removed before and the retainer clips were damaged. You could try removing the center trim panel as described in the following post: 2001-2004 Radio surround to get a look. I'm not sure what you'll see once it's off but maybe you'll get a veiw of what's going on back there and figure out a way to get it out...
Sorry I couldn't be more specific. Good luck :peace:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tip. I am going to attempt the dash removal procedure. I can pop the panel off but did not know how to free it.

I have the 6cd changer. Do these have more screws etc holding them in that I don't know about? I have worn myself out trying to wrestle and break the unit free with the DIN tools. Nothing. The right side catch feels like it is working but the left side feels like it it's not. I think the previous owner might have jammed or bent it.

Granted, I AM using the cheapo DIN tools from Walmart. I will try and get the sturdier ones. Hopefully that will do the trick.

This is extremely frustrating. I was planning on putting in a new radio this weekend and am now stalled at just trying to get the stock one out. I really don't want to have to take the whole dash apart just to get at the radio release clips!
 

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My problem when using the DIN tools was i was going in far too deep and was blocking the prongs from doing what they are supposed to. You need to go in very little like a quarter of an inch and then push both tools away from each other and pull, it will come out fairly easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will try the tip about putting the tools in only about 1/4 inch. That makes sense.

Once again, thanks for all the friendly help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One more thing: with the dash panel removed do you have access to the sides of the radio in order to free the locking clips?

If not the only other thing I can think of in order to get the radio out is to just break it apart with a hammer and chisel!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bought the other pointed end type DIN tools from Pep Boys. No joy. Convinced the left side clip is bent. Not going to attempt to take off the dash panel because I already scratched the plastic trying it the first time. Just going to find a car stereo place to do it and spend the money. Sucks but I can't get the damn thing out. It's like it's bolted down or something. Very disappointing because I could have had my new radio in in about 30 mins and been enjoying it this weekend. It's always something!
 

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i couldnt get the stock radio out on my 2001.
i had to lay down under neath the drivers side dash and reach my arm up and push on the back of the radio while someone else pulled with the DIN removal tools. its a tight squeeze in there but its do able.
i just dont know if they changed the dash set up much from 01 - 03.
good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I might try that. Maybe the unit is just stuck from adhesion or something. I don't know. I do know it shouldn't be this difficult!
 

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i dont know, i just think that the unit is rather heavy for the DIN clips and your cant get a huge grip on it.
plus they way its in the dash is on an angle where you have to pull it slightly up to get it out of the dash..
 

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I had the same problem as you and was convinced it was stuck, i know i said go in a quarter inch previously, i was a little off, but you dont go in as deep as you would think, this video helped me figure things out, here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I give up.

I tried inserting the DIN tools at every possible depth and they are almost bent up from me trying to wiggle and loosen the unit.

I have been messing with this blasted thing off and on all weekend. It is obviously jammed somehow and beyond my ability (and patience level) to keep jacking with. I hope my future experiences with this Ford are not going to be like this!

It is so frustrating! I have put in several radios myself in various vehicles and am fairly competent.

Thanks again for everyone's input. As a new Escape owner I will def be using and contributing to this forum in the future.
 

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Don't give up. Been there.

If the removal tool you're using is bending, it's not strong enough.

I made 1 out of a coat hanger and used it to remove the radio on my wife's windstar a few times (had to get to the blend door motor). Eventually, after several uses, it was bending and too weak to unlock the latch holding the radio chassis.

I made another din removal tool made of thicker wire. That did the trick.

1) Use thicker wire.
2) insert the removal tool 1.25 inches into the holes.
3) once the removal tool inserted, pull AND wiggle the radio.

Unless it's hung up on something, it will come out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another weekend, more futility.

Apparently I am a MORON, because in NO WAY, SHAPE or FORM is this factory radio coming out with the DIN tools.

It is not happening. It is either severely STUCK or is BOLTED in somehow that I am not aware of. I have the dash panel loose and am even gently attempting to pry loose the radio with a flat head screw driver. NOTHING. I have had two people in here both trying to twist and pull. Nothing.

To make matters worse I still have not figured out how to get the blasted dash panel OFF.

This little pain in the butt exercise is RAPIDLY ruining my initial Escape ownership enthusiasm. (That's just how I am.)

Something so stupid and simple is gonna cost me extra money to have somebody put my stupid radio in when I have been MORE THAN able to do in various cars and trucks in the past.

(Shoots shotgun at radio and walks away in disgust...)
 

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Seems to me that a couple of allen wrenches shoved in the holes would be stronger. Since it's tempered steel instead of some wire that a coat hanger is made from.

I never pulled a radio from a modern Ford. All the old ones had nuts over the shafts for volume and tuning. Those shafts went through the holes in the instrument panel and the nuts held the front of the radio to the panel...there was also a bracket at the back of the unit that stablized the rear of the thing. That's my world of experience.

Just the same, use some stronger shafts to lever over the latching plate. I'm thinking the allen wrenches would be that strength. :shrug:
 

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Here's some close up pics of what you're up against :

http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/213/45/

At teach attempt to pull it out, push the stereo back into it's original position. That way the locking clips are in neutral position. If they are engaged (locked), you won't be able to disengage them if you're pulling. Don't start pulling until the din removal tool is engaged in the locking clips.

Also, make sure you're pushing the din removal tools straight. Using the faceplate as a guide, that's 90 degrees vertically and horizontally. If not, you could miss engaging the locking clips.

Last thing I can think of, make sure you're pulling the din removal tool outwards. The left tool is pulled to the left, and the right tool is pulled to the right.
 

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I have the same problem with my 06 Escape, Im waiting for your result and hopefully it could use it. :wall:

GOOD NEWS!!!!! I've done it All you have to do is remove the DASH where the stereo and other control are sitting, (Mine is the Silver)
I'll post some picture maybe tomorrow

Here is the Picture of what I've done to take my Stock HU,
1. slide a card behind the silver DASH that would release the DASH (DSC02251)
2. Take a Cloth to put below the DASH to prevent scratching (It's my mistake) (DSC02252)
3. Drill a hole on the plastic panel where the Stock HU sits (DSC02253) The clip sits in the center of the Radio 1.5inches from the top 0.5 from the front (DSC02246 and DSC02246)
from there you can now push the LOCK CLIP by a SCREWDRIVER or anything, ask some body to pull the unit
4. That's it GOOD LUCK

http://s1090.photobucket.com/albums/i362/heidelpiller/
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would appreciate a good lesson on how to remove the radio dash surround completely. I can obviously pop it loose but have decided to stop there before I know how to get it off. I am sure I can get at the stuck radio clips better if I could just get the surround away.
 
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