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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking today about possible ways I could connect my modern Android phone to my car, for using the GPS and playing music. I currently use a cassette tape adapter to do this, but the sound quality is not great, and I don't like running a cable across the dash.

The first idea that came to mind was an aftermarket stereo, but I have a Gen 3 Taurus, and all the kits that replace the football radio look just plain ugly in my opinion, so I quickly scrapped this idea.

Then I thought about using the 3.5mm jack to connect it, and located a suitable adapter online. This would work, and would probably be the cheapest solution, but it wouldn't solve the problem of running an ugly cable across the dash, and it wouldn't be very flexible for the future, as I would only have access to the audio system wherever I would place the 3.5mm plug.

So I thought about other ways I could get this done, and I wondered if I could somehow use bluetooth. After hours of searching, I have finally found a potential solution:

1. The PIE FRDR/PC-POD2 iPod dock connector, which plugs into the CD player's input on the stereo, available on eBay for $79.99.
2. The Sprint Anycom FIPO, which allows a device with an iPod Dock Connector to be connected to with bluetooth, available on eBay for $56.00.

This would theoretically allow any device anywhere in the car to connect to the stereo system wirelessly. As my phone supports bluetooth, I could simply put it in the dock on my windshield and not have to run any wires to it, and if I ever wanted to use any devices that do not support bluetooth, small adapters that transmit from a 3.5mm source are readily available.

Also, this would, in theory, allow the car's radio to control the music on the device, as both devices support such a conversion. I'm honestly uncertain if the commands would actually survive both conversions (CD player controls -> iPod controls -> A2DP controls), but it doesn't hurt to be optimistic.

Another advantage would be that there would be no need to run any long wires. As bluetooth has a range that should easily cover the entire car, and the Anycom FIPO does not require any interaction to make it transmit (it doesn't even have any buttons or switches, and is powered over the dock connector), it should be possible to simply stow everything in the trunk.

So, what do y'all think of this? I don't currently have the ability to drop $135.99 on such a project, especially with no confirmation that it would even work, so I won't be trying this anytime soon, but I figured that this might be useful to some other more-adventurous soul :).
 

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I would actually consider the aftermarket stereo over this setup as it will work. I just installed a bluetooth enabled Kenwood stereo in my Elantra and it performs great. It was easy to install and it does work.

I don't think the aftermarket kits look terrible. What is ugly about them?
 

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Check out madscientist's thread on modifying stock RCU's with pre-amp outputs. There is a sub-thread showing how to incorporate bluetooth A2DP (streaming audio) and hands-free calling, even if you choose not to add pre-amp outputs. This could be useful if you have a Mach or JBL system and have no desire to add amplifiers.

This method requires the previously mentioned AUX adapter (replaces CD changer) and a bluetooth receiver (the Parrot system is a winner). When completed, an incoming call automatically switches the stereo system to hands-free phone mode (interrupting your music), the ICP lights up with "Call" (or whatever was default from Ford for the systems with built-in cell phones), and you are talking. When the call ends, you are right back to your streaming audio sound. All of this uses your stereo speakers. Using the Parrot (or similar) system allows for a better microphone setup with echo cancellation. You can even opt for steering wheel controls (wirelessly controlling your tracks and volume).

I decided to link to the specific post...

I purchased my AUX input device for less than $45 on Amazon. The Parrot devices go for between $125 and $195 depending on the model and options. If you want to try the concept, use the AUX adapter with a cheap bluetooth receiver. I bought one for $15 that is tiny and hides above the mirror. The AUX cable runs up the A pillar and under the head-liner right to the device. I say "just for experimentation" because this cheap device has no echo cancellation. It's great for streaming audio and hearing calls, but the sound on the other end has too much echo and really annoys the other person. A proper solution using a Parrot or similar device will not have this problem.

The windshield-mount phone cradle in the lower left is within finger-reach when my hands are on the wheel. Very handy for GPS use, with the turn-by-turn directions coming through the stereo.

I would have gone the madscientist/Parrot route, but my bull is dying and my mechanic says "don't put any more money into it".
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I haven't found any football radio adapters... I'd honestly go with a bluetooth enabled aftermarket head unit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The madscientist/Parrot route would be ideal, but I'm not really much of an electronics person, so I'm not convinced that I could do it. If it's just a matter of obtaining the right equipment and plugging wires into the correct sockets, I can do that, but I'm not really skilled enough to do much more.

I honestly haven't even looked at how the wires would need to be run from the trunk to the dash for a wired solution. I'm sure it's not too difficult, but could somebody please explain where the wires actually would go? The Parrot would definitely require having an it wired in somewhere near the dash, and I'd like to get an idea of how this would turn out.

And yes, I don't really like the way aftermarket radios look in place of the football. They just look too out-of-place, like something isn't right. The texture and shape of the plastic on both kits does not match the stock ICP, and they both have the hole for the unit off-center. I may just end up going this route anyway, but I'd like to avoid it if possible.
 

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The PIE FRDR-AUX (or similar) connects in the trunk to the RCU. It uses the same port as is currently used by the CD changer (if you have one). A very long shielded cable connects to it and is routed under the carpet/trim panels to the dash.

If you use the Parrot method, this cable then connects to the AUX output of the Parrot. The RCU is modified to "jumper" the input signal from the AUX to the input line for the factory-installed cellular phone input. A trigger line is run from the Parrot to the RCU to tell the RCU when to switch the cell phone input into the audio circuit.

This was better explained in the madscientist thread... FYI, madscientist will modify your RCU for a fee. Then you just plug everything together.
 

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Tybalt...how is your Taurus "dying"?

BTW, that is a really neat find on using the RCU for calls. Nice!
 

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@Bull Geek
Freeze/expansion plugs are letting go all around, plus the oil-pan gasket needs to be replaced. My mechanic indicates the engine has to be pulled/dropped to get to all of the freeze plugs. At that point, the pan gasket is a breeze. Total cost in a shop: around $2K. I found a Ford mechanic who moonlights. He quoted $1K. I will probably just take the cash and apply it to a new vehicle instead. Or fix it... I am so conflicted! :(

I was planning on moving to a Cross-over vehicle anyway, as I am tired of not being able to see past all of the "trucks" when I pull up to an intersection, or see around street plantings when I pull into traffic from parking lots.

Just finished the LED 3rd brake light mod. Upgraded to leather all around. Was looking forward to modding both my JBL RCU for phone use and a stock RCU for a fully amplified system. Everything was good until this. Had just had the water pump replaced and noticed the engine still smelled like hot coolant....

I can keep it running as long as I have coolant and oil with me at all times; but at some point a freeze plug is going to completely fail and I am going to dump coolant and get stuck. I get mixed reviews when I ask people about Bar's Leaks and similar stop-gap solutions.
 

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If you have the space and/or a friend that can lend a hand (or space), you can do the job yourself for well under $500 on everything, including parts. It'll take some time, but you could do it. $1000 is actually not terrible for the work. And your car is in a non-rust belt area. Fixing these things could give you many more years of service. And with all the tinkering you've done, you probably don't want to dump the car yet. I rarely read about expansion plugs being the issue on Vulcans, usually it's the timing cover gasket. You should check around...

Don't dump any fix in a bottle in the car, bad news.
 

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...so you want to get BT in your Taurus. Well I am here to tell you it can be done (rather inexpensively at that). I did it several years ago to my '05. I also wired in a 1/8" jack for other audio devices.



You need to first understand wiring diagrams. you will be using the tape deck, but not in the way you envisioned. The objective is to intercept the L/R audio outputs from the tape deck to the RCU. You then disconnect them from the harness (so you do not get any hiss) and wire them into a Motorola DC800 bluetooth adapter (around $50) It runs on 12v DC just fine, so it is perfect for this application.


Just take one of those cheap tape adapters, cut the cable, and put it in the deck.

Once you have your ipod or phone synced just hit the tape button and you will get your nice BT music! (and it allows you to keep the CD changer working!)


Here are the schematics (you are looking for the cassette Left/Right)

2002 Radio Wiring Diagram - Taurus Car Club Maintenance and Modification Wiki



Here is a link to my mods. Go through all the pages and you will find all the pics, including the 1/8" mod, etc...

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/117...udio-visual/146843-2005-taurus-mods-pics.html

Here are a few pics of the tape deck wires being intercepted...




 

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I bought one of
and love it. The sound quality for handsfree and music is amazing for being FM modulation using my Thunderbolt. It also has a USB plug for charging devices as well as 1/8 IN and OUT for plugging in non-bluetooth devices.

I was very skeptical using FM modulation, but I'm very impressed by this thing.
 

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The FM modulators should work great in theory if you have a few truly empty frequencies and can get decent enough reception in the car. These transmit a very weak FM signal, so getting the reception optimized is important. I had one that just plugged into the bottom of my iPod. To get good reception I had to put it in an exact "sweet spot" towards the back of my armrest. The other problem was traveling longer distances. If you drive more than about 25 miles, you might have to switch frequencies due to interference. Maybe the one you got has a little more transmitting power.

The first time I found about these things was about six years ago when I pulled up to a stoplight one day. All of a sudden Lynyrd Skynyrd morphed into 50 Cent on my radio. I was like WTF did my favorite station just suffer a dreaded format change? But as soon as the stoplight changed and traffic spaced out Lynyrd Skynyrd came back, so I quickly figured out you can buy these FM modulators. Just be aware that other people might hear your music. If they like the song they might tailgate you for a few miles!
 

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The FM modulators should work great in theory if you have a few truly empty frequencies and can get decent enough reception in the car. These transmit a very weak FM signal, so getting the reception optimized is important. I had one that just plugged into the bottom of my iPod. To get good reception I had to put it in an exact "sweet spot" towards the back of my armrest. The other problem was traveling longer distances. If you drive more than about 25 miles, you might have to switch frequencies due to interference. Maybe the one you got has a little more transmitting power.

The first time I found about these things was about six years ago when I pulled up to a stoplight one day. All of a sudden Lynyrd Skynyrd morphed into 50 Cent on my radio. I was like WTF did my favorite station just suffer a dreaded format change? But as soon as the stoplight changed and traffic spaced out Lynyrd Skynyrd came back, so I quickly figured out you can buy these FM modulators. Just be aware that other people might hear your music. If they like the song they might tailgate you for a few miles!
What's great about the one I got is that it'll search for an empty frequency automatically by pushing the little knob for like 3 seconds. I haven't found anything wrong with it yet.
 
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