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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on upgrading to an after market head and I'm a little confused from watching youtube videos. My 2002 Mustang GT coupe stock radio has 3 multi-conductor OEM harnesses plus the antenna lead plugged into it. But all of the videos I've seen only connect the aftermarket radio to just 2 of the OEM harnesses. So what is the third OEM harness for? I'm assuming that it has something to do with the fact that mine has a premium sound system? One of the youtube videos I've seen show 3 harnesses being disconnected from the stock radio but all the others have only 2 harnesses being disconnected. What's the difference and does it matter that the aftermarket system doesn't use the one OEM harness? To complicate things, some Metra harness interface kits have just 2 harnesses while some Metra kits have 3 and both kits are shown to be compatible with my car (according to Amazon). And then there are videos saying the third harness in the kit isn't used.
 

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From my understanding the Mach 460 system was plagued by subpar sound for what it was supposed to be and poorly made low quality components. The speakers are at least definitely cheap and awful. Imo stereos were generally always a weak spot for Ford for most of it's history until the upgraded Sony systems came to be installed as an option in the 2010s. For a long time Dodges had factory radios made by Infinity and sounded halfway decent but Fords always had less than good sound even in their better factory systems. You would do well to change the amps, head unit, and speakers but the head unit is a good start. The factory wiring to the amps and speakers may be problematic as well but I'm not all that familiar with it.
When installing an aftermarket head unit it will come with a plug with bare wires ends to connect to your car. In order to make a clean and easy installation you need to also buy harness adapters that allow you to simply plug into the factory harnesses and then join the bare wires together which are universally color coded. This is the 3 plug Metra kit you need for the premium stereo wiring in 2002: Metra Part # 71-5700 | Ford wire harness | Metra Online NEVER trust the Amazon compatibility for anything. For car audio always go on Crutchfield or the manufacturer site.
Most Mustangs had the standard stereo system but the Mach 460 has 6(or maybe 8?) speakers and 3 amps that drive them. Different years had different harnesses and wiring. I believe that the third harness may be for the extra amps for the Mach 460 but from what I remember is that Ford routed signal and speaker wires strangely in that system. Also, Each of the 3 plugs in the dash may do multiple functions. It may not be that one plug handles all the speaker signal wires or power signal wires for the amps. They may be combined. What you need is a schematic for the 2002 Mach 460 if you ever plan on replacing amps and bypassing their factory wiring.
 

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I replaced the head unit in my 96 Cobra with a Pioneer DEH-6600BT leaving the Mach 460 speakers and I’ll tell ya it sounds incredible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
From my understanding the Mach 460 system was plagued by subpar sound for what it was supposed to be and poorly made low quality components. The speakers are at least definitely cheap and awful. Imo stereos were generally always a weak spot for Ford for most of it's history until the upgraded Sony systems came to be installed as an option in the 2010s. For a long time Dodges had factory radios made by Infinity and sounded halfway decent but Fords always had less than good sound even in their better factory systems. You would do well to change the amps, head unit, and speakers but the head unit is a good start. The factory wiring to the amps and speakers may be problematic as well but I'm not all that familiar with it.
When installing an aftermarket head unit it will come with a plug with bare wires ends to connect to your car. In order to make a clean and easy installation you need to also buy harness adapters that allow you to simply plug into the factory harnesses and then join the bare wires together which are universally color coded. This is the 3 plug Metra kit you need for the premium stereo wiring in 2002: Metra Part # 71-5700 | Ford wire harness | Metra Online NEVER trust the Amazon compatibility for anything. For car audio always go on Crutchfield or the manufacturer site.
Most Mustangs had the standard stereo system but the Mach 460 has 6(or maybe 8?) speakers and 3 amps that drive them. Different years had different harnesses and wiring. I believe that the third harness may be for the extra amps for the Mach 460 but from what I remember is that Ford routed signal and speaker wires strangely in that system. Also, Each of the 3 plugs in the dash may do multiple functions. It may not be that one plug handles all the speaker signal wires or power signal wires for the amps. They may be combined. What you need is a schematic for the 2002 Mach 460 if you ever plan on replacing amps and bypassing their factory wiring.
Crutchfield says I need the Metra 70-5701 kit to interface the harness that comes with the new head unit to the OEM harnesses. The Metra kit comes with 3 harnesses but youtube videos say that one of them is for a power antenna and is useless. That adds to my confusion. Anyway, I ordered the Metra 70-5701. I'm building my own 12 to 5 VDC converter with a 7805 voltage regulator so that I won't get the dreaded pop from the amplifiers when the system is turned on and I'll save about $15 by building it myself. I bought a Pioneer AVH-220EX (not top of the line but it should be good enough for me). Hopefully this project will go OK. I doubt that I'll spend the money to put in a better speaker system but I've been known to change my mind. But since I only have 65,000 miles on my Mustang and it's in good condition I might just spend the money. Thanks for your help. I'll report back when I'm done with the replacement.
 

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After going on Crutchfield it seems you're right. I went on the Metra website and put in your car and it didn't even give the 70-5701 as an option... Strange but since the Crutchfield site has a review with your exact car the 70-5701 is obviously right for the Mach 460. I guess Metra doesn't care to make their site correct or usable as it didn't even have a Mach system option.
This harness kit will fit multiple vehicles with similar stereos so if a Lincoln came with a multiple amplified premium sound system it probably has the same connectors which would necessitate the power antenna one. Other applications like yours would just ignore it.
The Pioneer AVH-220EX looks nice to me. What's interesting is that 10 years ago that would've been a $1000 head unit.
If you add aftermarket amps be aware that the wiring diagram apparently shows the wrong wiring. A review on Crutchfield said: When used with an early 2000s Mustang Mach 460 audio, wiring diagram for amp output connector is incorrect. W/R(white/red) RCA connectors need to connect to receiver preamp out L/R, not subwoofer out.
I saw that mentioned more than once actually.
Good luck with the install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It seems that technically the Mach 460 system has woofers, not sub woofers?
 

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There were two versions with and without sub. On Crutchfield it even asks you if you have the sub option on your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There were two versions with and without sub. On Crutchfield it even asks you if you have the sub option on your car.
Not many of us would remember all of our options. All I know is that my Mustang came with the Mach 460 sound system. I've seen photos of the difference between the Mach 460 and Mach 1000 systems so I know that I have the Mach 460. And the radio looks exactly like the Mach 460 radio on page 43 of the owners manual. The owners manual doesn't say anything about what type of speakers there are but the fuse block info mentions that there should be a 30 A fuse for the Mach 460 subwoofers. I checked and there is a 30A fuse in that position.
 

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Tbh, I really don't know a lot of the finer details of the Mach systems. It may have also changed from year to year. I wasn't slamming you for not remembering or anything. I was just saying that the Crutchfield application selector asked it as a reference. Even if you knew years ago memory fades with time and uncertainty with details sets in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Tbh, I really don't know a lot of the finer details of the Mach systems. It may have also changed from year to year. I wasn't slamming you for not remembering or anything. I was just saying that the Crutchfield application selector asked it as a reference. Even if you knew years ago memory fades with time and uncertainty with details sets in.
That's what I was trying to convey in my comments. I'm not offended by anything. Anyway, I got the new head installed and everything seems to be working. I need to play with the settings to see if I'm going to get the audio performance I want before deciding to buy different speakers. My hearing isn't as good as when I was a 20-something which will be a factor. The wife and kids seem to like the audio quality though. I haven't figured out how to stream SiriusXM from my smartphone to the head yet or get a GPS display using Waze or Google Earth. Android Auto allows the GPS voice to give me verbal directions though. The hands free operation is working good. I placed the microphone just above the rear view mirror. My son said the audio quality is good. I kind of like the phone book feature of the head but it's still somewhat inconvenient. But I like it better than the hands free in my Xterra where you have to scroll through the phonebook with voice commands. Anyway, I'm considering getting a wireless backup camera even though I've managed to get by without a camera. Since this isn't a "family car" I probably won't do anything with DVD. Besides, the kids could stream movies on their tablets via my smartphones hotspot anyway. I probably should test the DVD player though. The USB port works good and I extended it by replacing one of my 12V utility plugs with a USB jack (not an adapter plug) - too bad there's only one port. And my 7805 voltage regulator that I built is working just fine - no pops when turning on the system. Anyway, I was just thinking about that third OEM harness and it hit me that it may have been used to monitor the vehicle speed to auto adjust the volume to compensate for road noise. That option doesn't seem to be part of the new heads capabilities. That OEM harness may have been used with other features of the original head since there are a lot of wires attached to it. Anyway, I wonder if anyone has done any soundproofing on their Mustang to reduce road noise. That's about all I can think of to report for now.
 

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Glad to hear that it's all working. Your electronic background saved you a few bucks.
You'll get used to that Pioneer interface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After doing some reading over at Crutchfield, looks like I'll have to change my amplifiers if I want to upgrade to aftermarket speakers since stock is 8 ohms and the new speakers will be 4 ohms. Looks like a lot of work and money to upgrade. I looked at sound insulation also and that looks like a lot of work also - should've done that years ago. I figured out how to use Android Auto and that was fun to play with. But I notice that the RDS on my new radio isn't updating after the first song that the station plays - I can switch stations and come back and it will display the correct song being played but then it won't update again. Not a big deal but I sent an email to Pioneer about this.
 

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I didn't know about the different speaker spec. I think each speaker has signal coming from two amps though so that might explain it.
Gutting an interior isn't fun. That's why I'd just live with the road noise.
Pioneer might have an update for your radio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I tested the DVD player and it works but the one disk I used played at a substantially reduced volume. Also, I noted above that you stated that the subwoofers should be connected to the normal L/R audio jacks and not the subwoofer jacks on the head unit. The youtube videos I watched said to use the subwoofer jacks. So I took the time to see the difference between the standard audio jacks and the subwoofer jacks and found that I got a lot more bass from the standard audio jacks. Did I miss something?
 

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Some dvds and cds are recorded at higher loudness levels on the disc. This is actually pretty common and it's why when listening to certain albums or movies you'll have to turn it way up just to hear it but that's actually a good thing for your sound system. However, more often than not on modern recordings it's more of the opposite and it's real loud at normal listening levels. It's often louder than it should be to have it sound any good. Playing something that's got a high loudness level can easily damage your speakers and even your amps if they're pushed to their limits for prolonged periods and/or if they overheat.
I actually like when discs are recorded lower because it just sounds better and is much clearer when you do turn it up compared to a disc that's already loud. The high loudness and compression in modern music is why it usually sounds like sh!t. I used to work in car and home audio and it's always been a hobby so I've always really known about this.
The sub output thing was just me quoting what I saw in about 3 reviews on Crutchfield(I went thru about a 1/5 of them) and that only seemed to apply to aftermarket amps getting a signal from the head unit thru the Metra harness. Also, you may not have factory subwoofer(s). If they're simply woofers then they would benefit from the full range sound of the standard L and R RCA preouts. There also may be a sub level adjustment in the menu of the head unit to turn up or down the sub preouts. Idk exactly what your head unit has for connections, what's on the harness, and what your speakers and basic setup are so I can't say for sure what the deal is there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have the original stock amplifiers and speakers of the Mach 460 system. I might not mess with it anymore because the more times you disassemble the the dash the greater the chances of something getting broken. Besides, a lot of youtube videos don't say what RCA jacks they hooked up to.
 
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