Daily Driver Project: Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH Receiver Install (2012 Ford Focus)

There are tons of choices in electronics market for car receiver units, but the one that had caught my eye was the Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH.  In my vehicle, there was the stock base receiver unit that was not cutting it for sound, functionality,  and most of all, performance.  Many car enthusiasts are finding other ways to bring technology into their vehicle like retrofitting Ipads or tablets, but I still find that they do not provide the same package as an audio receiver unit.  I enjoy taking the time and putting work into my vehicle and highlighting what it took to get me to this point. So take a look at the steps below! Here's what you need: -Project Vehicle - 2012 Ford Focus -Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH -Metra 99-5827B Double/Single DIN Radio Installation Kit -VW/BMW/European Vehicle Antenna Adapter -Soldering gun -Solder -Heat shrink (Butt or chrimp connectors will do as well, I just prefer to get a solid connection) -Hex screwdriver -Wire strippers -Door panel remover tool -Mini-style Fusetap - 2-10 Amp Mini-Fuses -Size 16 wire gauge -1 to 2 feet   IMG_2614

Pictured here is the Metra Ford Focus Dash kit.


 Pictures here is the Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH.


Here is a view of the stock head unit. Not really exciting to say the least!

IMG_2604   Lets get it started! Start by removing the air vents using the door panel remover tool. Don't be afraid to get under the corners and pry the vents up slowly! IMG_2700 Then you are going to go underneath the unit and use the body remover tool and pry the center piece off. There are little indentations that you can fit the tool into and work each side up! IMG_20130430_192528_303     One you get the center piece off, you will find the screws to remove the head unit.  Use a hex screwdriver and take both screws out. IMG_2606   Once you get the two screws out, the unit is easily able to slide down and out of the dash.  Be careful and take the smaller red harness off (door locks/hazards lights). IMG_2611   Then using the hex screwdriver you can remove the receiver and clock display units. There should be one harness if you have the S model or two harnesses if you have the other models.  I believe there should be 8 screws in total. IMG_2619 Here is a view of the wires after the harness is removed. They did not have a harness that worked with my vehicle yet, so I had to improvise and connect the wires the old fashion way.  I obtained the wiring chart from Crutchfield and it was basically cut, solder, and connect. IMG_2671 Here is a view after I have soldered and used the heat shrink on all the wires.  I also folded over the wires that I didn't use and use the heat shrink as a cover, so that I would not have any lose connections.  As you can see here, I also bought the emergency brake  bypass, so that I would be able to watch videos without having the vehicle in park.  (I am not responsible for any misuse or tamper of using the emergency brake bypass, try at your own risk) There are three simple wires to connect the bypass: ground, emergency brake, and amp turn on(I connected to my fusetap for power). IMG_2674 Here is a cleaner shot of the wiring. I used zip ties so that I could keep everything clean and in order. IMG_2677 I had some extra wire loom hanging around, so I decided why not and put it to use. (Just me being a little OCD) IMG_2695 Here is a picture of the GPS module that I had mounted in the center of the dash behind the stock temperature sensor. I had directed the wire to the side of the dash in between the door and dash to be discreet about the incoming wires. Then, I was able to direct the wires through the fuse box entrance and right to the pioneer unit. IMG_2696     I wanted to find a non-discreet but easy place to mount the microphone and I decided to mount it right behind steering wheel next to the directional arm.   I had directed the wire in between the steering wheel and the dash,(there is a gap enough to fit the wire) which made it easy to connect right to pioneer unit.0 IMG_2698 Here a picture of the fusebox cover located under neath the passenger side footwell.  They detach with the two plastic clips next to the dash and the back part just slides out. IMG_20130512_181206_285 Here is my fusetap with the two 10 amp fuses.  The reason why I needed to do a fusetap was that the Ford stock unit did not have a power line that is connected to the key ignition. The stock unit was computer controlled so that the unit would shut off when the door is opened.  I used approximately 2 feet of 16 gauge wire to connect the fusetap to the pioneer unit. I crimped the fusetap to the wire on the fuse end and soldered the other end to the pioneer harness. I made sure to test which fuse would lose power (with a test light or you can try moving the fusetap to each individual fuse) when the ignition would turn off because many of the fuses stay on all the time. IMG_2678 Since the wiring is all done, I began prepping the Pioneer head unit for the install.  The metra install kit comes with two brackets that go on either side of my double din application.  They also give you four screws that  you match up to the open holes on the size of the unit and bracket.  The factory clock unit will sit right on top of the Pioneer.  There are two tabs that need to be cut off from the original clock unit that point downward. I had used the wire cutters and they had came right off.  The top part of the metra bracket has two holes that to hold the clock unit into place.  The metra unit gives you two self tightening nuts and bolts that fit right into holes.  I simply used a wrench to tightened them up. IMG_2680

Side view of the Metra bracket with the Pioneer and stock clock unit.


Rear view of the Metra bracket with the Pioneer and stock clock unit.

IMG_2673 Here is a picture of the Pioneer traffic tuner that plugs into the antenna adapter, which plugs into the antenna line itself.   I used double stick tape and mounted the traffic tuner on top the pioneer unit, so that the unit would stay in place. IMG_2684 Now that we have prepped the pioneer and clock unit with the bracket, we can begin installing all the wires to the back of the units.   As you can see there are a ton of wires back here! I started from the left side and worked my way to install wires all the way to the right.  First I plugged in the gps wire, antenna plug, main pioneer harness, usb plug, and finally the microphone.  Lastly, I plugged in the clock unit plug, which did not have very much length (which is why I saved it for the last). IMG_2685

Here is another side view of the plugs behind the units.

IMG_2688   Attach the 6 bolts that you have taken out when you took the stock unit back into place. You're are almost done! IMG_2692 Take the metra dash piece and line her up into place.  The piece might not line up initially. It took me a few times to make sure the top metal and side clips were all lined up correctly.   Make sure not to forget to attach the lock button/hazard plug on the bottom. IMG_20130512_182113_116 Make sure two get the two last hex screw and mount them back into the bottom.  FYI the bottom clip does not mount back into the bottom of the dash kit like the stock unit.  We are finally done! I am very happy with the metra dash kit and Pioneer unit! I have been wanting to replace the stock unit the day I bought the car, and it was definitely a great upgrade.  I know many of you were probably thinking that I went a little bit over board taking my time with the connections, but I honestly like knowing that I put in my time and put quality craftsmanship into the job.  In my opinion, any one can do an okay job, but it shows that you take pride in your car when you put that much effort into it. Well until the next project, thanks for tuning into my daily driver project!    

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