My Ranger Radio


I picked up my 95 Ranger late last year (2003) and immediately fell in love with the truck.  It was being sold at a Saturday auction in Woodenville, WA.  This was the only vehicle that caught my fancy out of 150 cars on the lot, a nice blue extended cab 95 Ranger.  It did have some things wrong, like a broken ignition key, a floppy headlight, some body damage and a few electrical problems, but nothing that I couldn't easily fix.  Most important of all, it had low miles and a tight 5-speed tranne.

I came back to the auction one hour later and my heart sank.  The vehicle had sold for a steal at $2,800.  I asked the auctioneer anyway about the little blue Ranger.  He said that it was still available since the owner had rejected the $2.800 bid.  After some negotiating, I finally got the truck for $3,900.  It wasn't a great deal but I just flat liked the way it handled.


The Ranger had a wimpy Sanyo that was only able to play cassettes.  The base was weak and the rear speakers were not playing at all.  Also the radio was rattling all the time and falling out occasionally when I hit a bump.  I finally taped it in and put a brace under it to keep it quiet.

Kind of an ugly thing for sure (wished somebody would steal it).  I even considered driving down to Renton at night and parking in the worst part of town.  I suspect that I  would get everything else stolen except the radio; it was that ugly. 




The wiring was a mess.  When I pulled it out the original harness had been cut away and some wires were mixed up.  The rear speakers were not connected.  There was no dimmer circuit installed. and I had no idea what to do at night when I tried to play the radio.





Here's another look with the bezel off.  There are two screws down by the fan knobs that secure the bezel.

Lots of room in there for a good OEM double din unit.




Since I have a good number of cassettes as well as CDs I needed a unit that would do both.  I picked up this nice looking aftermarket OEM double din Ford unit out of a '98 Explorer on ebay.  I had measured the dash and there was easily enough room for a double din.  Most of the combo CD/cassette units you find on ebay are double din (4" x 7") anyway.  You can get an almost new one for around $100.   

Here is my brand new CD/cassette radio along with matching pigtail (radio wire harness).  The  wires on the pigtail are clearly marked  for easy identification and installation.  You just about have to get a matching pigtail if you want it to work well.

I had to remove the bottom bracket on the radio.


Color codes for a '95 Ford Ranger radio are as follows according to the official wire manual.  The first color listed is the main color.  The second color is smaller and consists of a smaller stripe.  This Ranger color code scheme may be the same for other years too, but I don't know.

Yellow/black -- hot when key on.
light green/purple -- always hot
light blue/red -- illumination
black -- illumination ground
black/light green -- radio ground
light blue/white -- LF +
orange/light green -- LF -
dark green/orange -- RF +
white/light green -- RF -
tan/yellow -- LR +
gray/light blue -- LR -
brown/pink -- RR +
orange/red -- RR -



In order to get the bezel to fit you have to remove the ridge.  You can do this with r grinder or a cutter.  I got out my trusty grinder.  the plastic melted in some places but I got it off without damaging the bezel.  remember those things cost plenty so be careful.

Remove the cigarette lighter to get a better angle to cut.   






You will notice there is a guide to support the back of the radio.  make sure you get it in that track.


Here is a finished view of my installed radio.  It is recessed a bit but I wanted the Bezel to be as strong as possible.


Not shown in the picture are a bunch of special screws I used to secure the bezel to the dash.  If anybody wants to rip off my radio, they will have to work for it.  I don't lock my truck because a broken window costs $250 but my radio costs me $100.