2003 Ford Taurus Front Radio Panel

Hi, I have an mp3 player and want to connect it directly to the radio in the car. It is a factory installed radio with no CD or tape deck. Was wondering if it had a connection in the back to connect RCA cables
to it?
Also wanted to remove the front panel and possibly remove the radio and put in a new one with a front input, are there any kits out there for this? Also, where can I buy the tool to remove the front panel?
If anyone can give me some input as to what they have done in this instance, or help me out in any way, I would appreciate it.
Thank you!
JJ
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

The front panel is NOT the actual radio. It's just the control panel and optional tape player (I think 2004's now have single CD option, too.) The actual radio (RCU, Radio Control Unit) is in the trunk, on the left side, underneath the antenna.
Some versions have an extra input for a CD changer. If your control panel doesn't have changer controls printed on it, the RCU may not even have the inputs for that. The inputs are not normal, but a multi-pin connector.
Since you have no cassette, you probably have the very base radio. Your only option would be to buy a replacement panel that has a cutout for a standard DIN/ISO radio to mount into. It replaces the entire front, and you need to pull off the ventilation knobs and reuse them. You will need to extend the antenna cable up front and probably rewire the speakers, as the speakers are connected to the RCU in back. At the least, you'll probably have to run the radio's speaker wires to the back to tap into the system.
To remove the front panel, there are 2 sets of 2 holes near the sides. You can buy a special u-shaped tool that has little nubs on the ends. You plug it into the holes, tilt the tools in (or is it out?) and then pull the unit out. This tool is used by MANY Ford radios, and even some non- radio Ford panels.
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AWESOME information Andrew, will look at the back and see (didn't know it was in the TRUNK)!
Do you (or does anyone) know where i can buy that little tool to pull the front panel off? Thanks so much!!! This has been a lot of help.
JJ
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great.
Chuck
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You should really check out www.tauruscarclub.com There are a ton of folks who could help you with this.
CJ
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In (Jimmy Jim) posted on 11 Oct 2003 15:52:55 -0700:

I got mine at Auto Zone for $3.99. Just go in and ask the clerk for "those little U-shaped tools for pulling out a car stereo". He/she might ask what kind of car you have. Apparently some cars use a different size tool.
Damaeus
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In posted on Sat, 11 Oct 2003 08:59:41-0500:

A little tip on using those U-shaped tools: The ends of the tools insert into holes in the clips that hold the radio in place. When you hit the holes, it pulls the clip inward allowing radio to be pulled out of the dash, no screwdriver required. If you miss the hole and go between the clip and the radio, you will not be able to get the radio out because the clip will be pushed outward more than it already is.
In my '98 sable, I have to kind of pull the tools toward each other while pushing them into the holes. Where the tool touches the entry to the hole becomes the fulcrum and that will direct the pointed ends outward, away from the innards and toward the holes. Perhaps mine were bent abnormally outward a little, causing that to be necessary. Your mileage may vary. If you have trouble getting the control panel out, try the trick above. Ideally you should be able to push the tools straight in. They'll click. Then pull toward yourself with the tools and the radio should slide right out.
Damaeus
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Great stuff guys!! I will check out auto zone as I tried the coathanger trick and couldn't get it to come out.
I'll also check that website too! Thanks again everyone.
JJ
posted on Sat, 11 Oct 2003 08:59:41

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