Hints for Aftermarket head unit Install on

Ford escort with CD changer

D Vautier

This applies to the Ford Escort or Mercury model PMF8CF – 18C856 Radio attached with a 6-disk CD changer attachment.  It does present some wiring difficulties.

You first of all need a Ford or Mercury dash kit in order to install your new radio.  There is a lot of information on the web on how to do this but it can be confusing especially with the PMF8CF radio and CD-changer.

The dash kit replaces three heater control knobs and provides a single din radio slot.  Any dash kit you get will be made of plastic replacing the cast aluminum so they have to be fitted carefully.  Today's radios are shorter because they don't need CD and instead use USB and SD slots.

First of all go under the driver dash side and remove the heater control cable which is locked by a center pin.  Grip the round wheel and spread the center keeper and swear a few times and it should wiggle off.  The rest of the removal is easy.

Immediately notice that unlike a regular Ford radio without a CD changer there is a weird connector to the PMF8CF radio instead of the expected 8-pin speaker socket.  The first connector (black) is the standard power socket but the other one is a smaller 16 wire plug that is nowhere documented anywhere.  None of the wire color codes match up to anything. Don’t be fooled by this socket.  It does drive the speakers and CD but only through the changer.  Ignore the whole smaller weird socket and instead look further into the radio compartment and you should find a standard speaker connection socket with a bridge unit that picks up the speaker signal from within the CD changer wiring itself.  It's totally confusing.  Remove the bridge and you have your two standard male sockets.  The corresponding female sockets should have been included with your dash kit which you can now wire into your new radio.

Before wiring the speakers test them with a c-cell to see if you get a click from each speaker.  This is important because the rear speakers are wired through the 6-CD changer and will not pick up.  If you have removed the changer you will have to shunt some connections in the changer socket to get the rear speakers working.  I found it much easier just to run new back speaker wires since I was already installing a subwoofer unit.

I hope this hint helps somebody because I spent many an hour trying to get my son’s hot new Alpine head unit installed along with his awesome subwoofer.  And it all works fine now.