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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first post on the board, and I've only owned my 2009 Escape for a month; thought I'd share my deck install with you guys. I already had the door speakers installed, my wife was horrified that I had the door panels off and was drilling holes in them when the car wasn't even a week old!

I went with the Metra kit, mostly because they specifically mention that the plastic is "textured" to match the factory style. This is, in fact, a very good match. I don't know what options those of you with the shiny "piano black" center stacks have. The Scosche makes a silver version for those of you with a silver center stack. Here's another photo of the Metra kit next to the OEM faceplate.

I'd already gone ahead and replaced the dreadful stock speakers (which may be the worst speakers I have ever seen in a late model vehicle) with a pair of Infinity Kappa Perfect 6.1 components. This required an adapter plate to put the 6.5" woofers in same location as the stock 6x8s, as well as drilling the door panels to flush mount the tweeters. Measure 47 times and cut once with a good hole saw. Here's a photo of the doors; I think it looks really clean, would dare say it looks like it could be stock.

One note about the Metra kit; at least with this Pioneer unit, when I installed the deck in the faceplate there was a bit of a gap (top-to-bottom). This caused the trim ring to look crappy, especially below the unit. I had to use electrical tape to shim the top and bottom of the head unit in order to force the trim ring flat.

And now we've come to the carnage behind the center stack. There are no less than 10 connections to the stock setup, and I have the crummy XLS base model so some of you may have more: cigarette lighter, traction control, aux in, HVAC 1, HVAC 2, audio harness, XSVI (databus) harness, antenna, ground strap, and a wire that I believe sends track and time information to the little LCD screen up top. This photo lists each of them, as well as the RCA wires I'd already run for the amp install I'll be doing next week.

Whew! As I could see it, there were TWO problems with a standard deck install.

First, the ground strap. The stock head unit has a metal frame that this strap connets to, grounding the chassis of the OEM deck. The aftermarket faceplate doesn't allow attachment of these frame piecs, nor the aftermarket deck. It's really a weird setup. Here is a closer photo of the ground strap in the vehicle, and a photo of the frame rails from the stock deck. In order to retain the ground strap, I decided to ground it to the chassis of the Pioneer head unit. To do this, I had to use pliers to straighten out the "hook" on the end of the ground plug. I then slipped this behind the plastic brackets on the Metra kit and bolted it directly into the deck frame with one of the screws provided with the Pioneer unit.

The second problem is that the XSVI interface means there is no accessory power from the ignition when you turn the car on. Long story short, instead of switchable 12v, you get a series of databus impulses that control the relay in the deck and keep it on until you open the door (R.A.P.) ...your options are (A) buy an XSVI interface for about $80, which retains this function but doesn't retain the vehicle's door chime. Well, I wanted a door chime, and after talking to some local installers they both confided that they just run the accessory wire separately, wherever they can piggyback into some ignition-switchable 12v.

I spent a night hunting through all the available wiring in the center stack to find a good place to pick up some 12v, even trying to tap into the Traction Control switch (which kinda worked and kinda didn't), and eventually just decided the wisest course of action for the ACC/ignition wire was to use one of those mini "add a fuse" circuits straight off my fusebox, which would put a fuse inline and not permanently modify anything. So far, that's working flawlessly. I just tried out 10a fuse after 10a fuse until I found one that was switched (the whole bottom row in my vehicle was constant).

Anyway, I got the deck in there, and it looks great. The LCD screen up top just says "FORD ESCAPE" all the time now, which is a little weird (kinda wish it was, say, a clock) but this screen doesn't do much in the base model XLS anyway and it sure beats having the screen be totally blank, which was what I expected.

Pics of the final install? Here you go:




Edit: This deck also has a bluetooth connection with compatible phones, and I just realized that my 2-year-old Motorola Razr v3 (which seems like a dated, unexciting phone these days) supports that. It's pretty sweet, actually. Anyway, my point is that I was able to mount the microphone in the previous location for the Aux input; I popped that out and the microphone was almost the perfect size (more electrical tape shimming did the trick flawlessly). I've made a few calls and everyone says it sounds fine without me having to speak loudly, even though the microphone isn't very near my mouth; it's far enough away from the HVAC vents and doors, I guess. The install looks perfectly clean, and much better than trying to run wires out of the center stack and closer to the driver!
 

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Very nice set up and you did a fantastic job of laying it out with the pics and descriptions! Now. more importantly, WELCOME TO THE CITY!!! :wave: :beer:
 

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WOW definetly one of the most detailed and in depth installs I have ever read. Very nice!! :clap:
 

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WOW! Very impressive install dude! :thumb:

Don't worry about the wife! She will just turn her head and forget about it eventually :)

Unless you screw up of course :fan:
 

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Hi there and welcome to the City ! :welcome:

Wow !! Very impressive and informative first post !! :thumb:

I think it looks awesome and I'm sure that your wife is very pleased ! :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Colleen said:
I think it looks awesome and I'm sure that your wife is very pleased
Well, it's my car, so she's probably just pleased that I didn't ruin anything expensive. But once I get the sub in, she's going to start bugging me to hook up her 2006 Mazda3 hatchback, since I am using a different setup* than was in my old car (an Integra) and will have a 2x10 "left over."

Thanks for the warm welcome; for some reason I can't access this site from home and was beginning to wonder whether I'd be able to find an enthusiast's forum for this vehicle!

* re: sub, I tried to modify an existing 2x10 box to fit into the "trough" beneath the black plastic cargo deck in the back of the 08-09 models, but I would have had to raise it 2", and that's unacceptable since the whole reason I bought an SUV is for that space. So now I'm waiting for some of those new Pioneer shallow-mount 10s to arrive (3" mounting depth!) and am going to modify the trough to BE my 2x10 enclosure, similar to how people put woofers where the spare tire goes on compact cars.
 

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Could you give me the exact error message that you see when your browser at home can't find this site?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
jpark said:
Could you give me the exact error message that you see when your browser at home can't find this site?
Thanks!
Both computers (one wired desktop, one wireless laptop), both Mozilla FF3 and IE7/IE8, I get a network timeout error that the server is taking too long to respond. I just figured it was something with my ISP. Glad I finally gave it a try from work!
 

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:thumb:

Thanks for letting me know, and welcome to E-C!!!

Two other users on the site are having the same problem, always from a home-based ISP. I'm analyzing the firewall now, and hopefully, I'll have a fix for it. Things still look right on this end, but I'm still looking.
 

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nice clean install looks good.

Id like to add a double din unit to mine too but I wonder what effect it will have on my display up top. I have temp and compass in there and I also have steering wheel controlls and I like those.
 

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Just open up all ports JP...that should fix it :bill:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
nicker22 said:
Id like to add a double din unit to mine too but I wonder what effect it will have on my display up top. I have temp and compass in there and I also have steering wheel controlls and I like those.
Regarding the display, you can TEST this by disconnecting the cable that runs between your stock deck and the LED display. Remove the top and bottom trim panels on your center stack so you can get to the screws and remove the stock deck / faceplate setup. You'll just have to slide it out a few inches and the connector in question (I believe) is the one labeled "not used with aftermarket decks" in this photo. It connects at the upper right of the stock unit. Just pop this baby off, put everything back together, and see what the LED screen does; this should be what it will do if you replace it with an aftermarket deck, based on my experience during this install. I am presuming the XSVI interface doesn't have anything to do with this.

As for the steering wheel controls, you can definitely retain those. They sell adapters for OEM controls to interface with aftermarket decks, and any good deck should work just fine with them.
 

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Hello jbartlett79. Thanks for the photos. Congratulations on your new escape. That installation job is very neat, and looks quite meticulous. :thumb: :)
 

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jbartlett79 said:
nicker22 said:
Id like to add a double din unit to mine too but I wonder what effect it will have on my display up top. I have temp and compass in there and I also have steering wheel controlls and I like those.
Regarding the display, you can TEST this by disconnecting the cable that runs between your stock deck and the LED display. Remove the top and bottom trim panels on your center stack so you can get to the screws and remove the stock deck / faceplate setup. You'll just have to slide it out a few inches and the connector in question (I believe) is the one labeled "not used with aftermarket decks" in this photo. It connects at the upper right of the stock unit. Just pop this baby off, put everything back together, and see what the LED screen does; this should be what it will do if you replace it with an aftermarket deck, based on my experience during this install. I am presuming the XSVI interface doesn't have anything to do with this.

As for the steering wheel controls, you can definitely retain those. They sell adapters for OEM controls to interface with aftermarket decks, and any good deck should work just fine with them.
Cool thanks, I will have to look into this. Or I wonder if I can get the Double dine that comes in the escapes for 2009 and that should hook right up? May be costly though.
 

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And i thought the stock speakers sounded good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
andjayik said:
And i thought the stock speakers sounded good.
They sound better than some of the crap they're putting in other cars, probably. But they're definitely all-paper and very light weight. If you listen closely, the bass is round/fat but also very muddy and dull; there's no clear high frequencies either, and lots of distortion overall. Not bad for the no-frills base model, if I were using it as a work vehicle or something. But I've had the Kappa Perfects for about 5 years now and love them to death, and I just transferred them over from my old car.

I should probably say this: I actually listen to music with my stereo. Seems like a lot of people (not on here, just on the internet in general... cardomain, etc) are either trying to see if they can impress everybody or whether if they can rattle their rear view mirror loose. I use a subwoofer and good front speakers and a good head unit to get a rich, balanced sound from all kinds of music, and I listen to lots of different genres.
 

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Good info and great post :shades:

You should check out the stock MACH 300 System in the 05-07 Models...it's quite awesome actually, for stock (Visteon H/U, JBL 8" Sub and JBL speakers front and rear, and separate amp for the sub too). I think the stock stereo in the Edge and new Escape Limiteds are awesome too, almost better than mine...lol!

I will wait until I kill my door speakers before I start replacing anything, and if I do, I'm going to get either: Infinity, JBL, or JVC Arsenal.

So what kind of amp are you going to be using, and you said it's a single 10" as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Davis137 said:
So what kind of amp are you going to be using, and you said it's a single 10" as well?
It's actually a pair of pioneer's new shallow-mount 10" woofers.

Hopefully i'll be able to make a post today, i have the box fabricated, in the car and functional but not "finished" yet (no cloth on it yet, wires aren't neat and pretty yet, cover isn't back on it yet).
 

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So the components made a big differance in sound?
 
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