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Radio Advice please


Junior Member
Hello, I recently purchased an ‘03 LTC and the radio doesn’t seem to pick up any stations. The CD works fine, but no radio.

My questions are - Where are the best/typical/likely problem areas to start troubleshooting a reception problem? Other wildcard advice?

Also, does anyone have photos of a nice aftermarket install that looks like it’s supposed to be there as opposed to a hack job install?

I got this car from a 101 year old Vet (estate - otherwise I would have loved to have asked him a lot of questions about his life) with 57k miles in immaculate shape and I’d like to keep it for many years so whatever I do, I’m shooting for quality results.

Thank you for any ideas and information!


Hound Dog

New member
Besides the obvious of pulling the radio to see if the antenna is plugged in, does it have window tint? If so are the connections to the antenna in the back glass cut? Look carefully at the edges for the connection point.

For an aftermarket radio, Crutchfield.com. They will send you the adapters and all that you need to plug and play a new stereo. It will blend into the dash seamlessly. Any of the double din stereos they list fit perfectly. If you have steering wheel controls there is an adapter for that (not free) and there will be one wire to splice in your harness.

Make life easier and get a 6 inch antenna extension too. There is not much slack in the stock one.

One bit of advice to point out that I did not think about. If you opt for a unit that has back up camera ability (since the sensors in our car are less than reliable) don't get one with a small knob mounted to the side of the screen. Just go all touch and be done. I got a Kenwood with a small knob. Since the screen is flat and the dash is curved, the knob being close to the side is hard to manipulate. Fortunately I have steering wheel controls so I don't use it all the time. If you don't need the back up camera function many styles have a larger easy to use knob in the center.

If you have a THX system, we'll good luck...


Junior Member
Don't even bother with the stock unit when you can get a nice aftermarket for under 150 bucks. I went with a $100 JVC unit and it's the best decision I've ever made lol. I went single dim and got it from best buy, you can go with the double dim but I don't recommend it seeing as the level of effort involved is very high and the singles do as good a job. Mine has Spotify (which I use quite often), iheartradio, and Pandora. also, Make sure that you get the install kit and wiring to go with your model year too. You can get the radio remover for Ford at any auto parts or ebay.

Here's what my 2000 cartier dash looks like:
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Go to crutchfield great customer service and support.
Very rare thing these days.
You may want to get this 1
JVC - Built-in Bluetooth - In-Dash CD/DM Receiver - Black

Comes with 2 usb stick inputs which means I can have about 6000 songs to listen to anytime I like and mp3 sound very good if you copy @ 250 bit rate.
Also it has a line in for playing music U have stored on your phone.
U can make it any color or colors U like.
Much easyer to see than a single din radio and just as easy to put in.
if U don't care about the back up camera since you can now buy rear view mirror cameras.
It is much easier to use this model than the flat screens with very little buttons.
It has a giant knob in the middle that I found easy to reach compared to the stock Lincoln radio. I use that giant knob almost as much as the steering wheel controls.
Go to crutchfield and buy the sell the steering wheel radio control adapter
Axxess ASWC-1 Steering Wheel Control Adapter
for about $59. Its $24 if you buy a radio from them. I put it in my 07 TC and it works 95% of the time. But the wires to that control need to be soldered to work correctly. Will not work as well if you use the wire barell connectors, but they are ok to use on the radio connections.
I did all the work myself having installed 5 other radios in other cars over the years.
Crutchfield has tech support which I used even on this install.
The only part which is not hard but annoying is removing the dash trim it pops off with a plastic remove tool and unscrewing the head light switch off the trim to get to the radio.

Have any questions let me know.
Good Luck
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IMO try to get your OEM radio working, OR just pick up a replacement off the bay. The sound in these cars is designed real well. In addition the OEM controls are very intuitive and easy to adjust without looking. There are guys that will rebuild it for $125. Easy peasy to pull and replace OEM to OEM.