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James Stanley

European Versus North American Stereo Adapter Plate

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I hate my factory stereo. It's a 2016 XLT SWB Wagon without Navigation and I'm looking to put in an aftermarket head unit and I'm sorely disappointed with the face plate adapter available. 

I first saw , in person, the Metra/Scosche kit installed in a XL Cargo van with a Double DIN touchscreen head unit at SEMA last year. I wasn't impressed. A few things caught my attention that I really didn't like. 

metra-99-5831g-single-din-dask-kit-07.jpg

1. The angle at which the head unit is placed. If you've seen these installed, you'll notice that the head unit is significantly tilted back. It looks awkward and it is prone to glare since it technically sits forward of the top of our IMAX windshields. Anything overhead is perfectly reflected to your face. Also, depending on the time of day, the sun will be beating down on your screen and also, again, reflect in your eyes. With the overhead warehouse lights at SEMA, this was painfully obvious. 

2. The fit and finish: While it seems to visually fit just fine, the finish is slightly off, and looks out of place. I was lucky enough to see three different TC's with three different finishes on this kit. The flat black, the silver, and a custom painted one. The only one that looked decent was the custom painted one in piano black. The other two just looked off and didn't match the rest of the finishes in the interiors of the vans they were in. The finish is really sub-par. Also, all three builders had the same complaint about the kit and the vents. They fit in very loosely and are prone to popping out with just a fir too much pressure when adjusting them. Where has the quality gone?

3. The overall design: They just look like a quick afterthought. It's as if the designers took on this project and thought to themselves, 'no one is going to buy this, and those that do, won't care, so we don't care'. Even the crap I've seen from China for similar vehicles has a better design aesthetic. There's too much negative space in the design and just looks boring. For a minivan/cargo van, this thing has a very cool looking dash board, so when you add something like this in there, it furthers it out of place in our interiors. 

I came across an alternative that looked promising at first, While browsing eBay UK, I noticed that the adapters that they have look different. There's just a hair more thought put into the design and it makes a massive difference in the overall look. I can't speak to the quality since I haven't seen one in person, but I'm going to hold out hope. Also, with this UK version, the recess for the head unit looks to be tilted back forward a bit. It will most likely still tilt back, but hopefully it's enough of a difference. My only concern for fitment is the holes at the bottom center where in the North American TC's, we have the hazard button, and airbag light indicator. On the European version, there is the same hole for the hazard lights button, but I'm not sure what the hole is for above it.

I'll find out soon enough. I've ordered one and I'm going to give it a test fit, and I'll continue to research what that second hole is for. 

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by James Stanley

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A quick google search got me this image of one installed and I'm very pleased with how it looks! Still not sure what that slot is for over the hazard button is, and I'll probably have to buy it from the UK to fill the hole, but I'll take it. I also noticed that this unit does not accommodate the airbag light, but.... I don't really care about that. If anything, I'll tap into the OEM one, and add some LED indicator lights.

 

17861954_810384495769323_2387070629203007607_n.jpg

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I have the Metra kit installed with a Pioneer headunit and I agree it would be better if the headunit was tilted a bit more forward.  But, the Euro piece looks to have about the same tilt to me  -  The design is different, but the angle looks about the same to me.  How did you determine that it's actually tilted differently?  The problem is, the aftermarket headunit fits into the same slot as the OEM radio chassis you're removing and changing it's angle even a little bit isn't a simple thing to do, without butchering up some of the internals of the dash

Good luck with this and I hope it turns out the way you want

Don

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MLB    3

In the pic with the new stereo installed the small oem screen shows the time. Is that a "default" end result when a touch screen is installed with the proper wiring or did that take "custom work" to make that happen?
  I'd like to replace mine but didn't want the oem screen to be dead.

Thanks

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My OEM screen shows the date, time, temperature and also is the screen for the OEM back-up camera

Don

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has anybody seen a face plate adpator for a my ford touch 16?

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