Upgrading Town Car Factory Stereo System without Replacing the Factory Radio
Lincoln Town Car 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011
Lincoln Town Car is a big and the last of a breed — the old-school, full-size, rear-wheel drive American luxury car. Housed with plenty of interior space and yards of factory sound insulation, the Town Car can be an awesome place to enjoy a high-quality audio system.
The Town Car was equipped with a variety of premium factory stereo systems over the years. Early cars were equipped with a single-disc base receiver, but the once-optional 6-disc receiver eventually became the standard model. There was also an optional Alpine system that included a subwoofer and plate-mounted component speakers in place of the base stereo's full-range models. A DVD/navigation system appeared on the option sheet later on, and that system was eventually paired with a 9-speaker THX-certified sound package.
When you replace the old receiver, you'll lose features like the satellite radio tuner and the factory navigation system. Newer and better versions of both are available on a wide variety of aftermarket stereos.
The act of removing the Town Car's radio is relatively uncomplicated, especially if you're working with the base stereo system. You'll need to remove some panels and screws, but that's not a big deal. The important thing here, and throughout the rest of your stereo upgrade process, is to work carefully and stay organized. Grab an old coffee cup or dish to hold the screws you're removing, because you'll need them when you're putting it all back together.
If your car is equipped with the THX system, however, things are a little more involved. There's a factory amp located in the trunk, and you'll need to bypass it when you install new gear. That means you'll need to run new speaker wires from the radio to each speaker, and/or install a new amp. While it's not beyond the reach of the average DIY-er, anything that extensive is best left to someone with car audio installation experience. If that doesn't sound like you, consult a car audio professional.
A wide variety of single-DIN (2" tall) and double-DIN (4" tall) receivers will fit into the Town Car's dashboard, so you'll have plenty to choose from. You'll get deep discounts on the mounting kit and wiring harness adapter you'll need to connect your new stereo to the factory wiring system when you buy them with your new stereo.
Tools needed: Panel tool, 7mm socket, ratchet, and extension, small flat blade screwdriver
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain the steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo in your Town Car.
Replacing your factory speakers
The Town Car has speakers in the front doors and rear deck. Overall, the process of replacing them is relatively uncomplicated and the improvement in sound should be impressive.
Front door speakers
The base Town Car is equipped with full-range speakers mounted to a 6"x8" opening in the front doors. If your Town Car has one of the optional stereo systems, you'll find component woofers and separate tweeters located behind those luxurious-looking door panels.
Rear deck speakers
The rear deck speakers are top-mounted underneath the one-piece deck liner. To get to them, you'll need to remove the bottom and back seat cushions, then remove the liner. The speakers are secured by 6mm screws, and they're pretty easy to replace once you're in there.
Removing the seat cushions isn't complicated, but you might want to have a helper handy to assist in getting them out and putting them back in. We'd also recommend some old (but clean) sheets or towels to protect the cushions while they're out of the car. You'll find complete instructions in your MasterSheet.
For new speakers, you can choose either 6x8's or 5-1/4" aftermarket speakers. If you go with the 5-1/4 option, you'll need to use adapter brackets (included with your purchase) to secure the new speakers. In some cases, especially with earlier Town Cars, you might need to remove the factory foam basket to create the depth you need for the new speaker.
Bass in your Lincoln Town Car
The subwoofer in upper-end Town Cars is located right between the rear deck speakers, but it's a lot more challenging to work with. It isn't rocket science or anything, but replacing this bottom-mount sub requires some effort.
You'll need to remove both portions of the rear seat, plus the upper trunk headliner and the polymer enclosure that houses the 8" dual voice coil sub. You'll also need to re-drill the mounting screw holes to install the aftermarket sub in the factory enclosure.
As a whole, this isn't really difficult, but the sheer number of tasks involved, not to mention the drilling, makes for a pretty big project. If you're not comfortable with that much disassembly, you might want to leave it to a car audio pro. If you do choose to do it yourself, it's good to have someone around to help you with some of the bulkier jobs, like seat removal.
When it's time to start drilling, just remember to measure twice, drill once, and wear eye protection. Be sure to test the system to make sure the sub is working before you start putting everything back together. And while you're buttoning everything back up, make sure the rear seat belts are functioning normally.
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