Top 5 Basic Radio Installation tools

There are a few basic tools you will need for removing the radio out of you vehicle and installing a new one,and also few optional tools that will  you will need to give your install a more professional look. These are my top 5 basic radio removal and installation tools:  

1. Screw Driver The most basic tool you will need is a screwdriver. I prefer one like this Klein screwdriver which has several different bits and multiple size nut drivers. All vehicles are different, and when removing and installing a radio you may encounter phillip's head screws, torx screws, hex head screws, etc. A multifunction screwdriver will ensure you have the right bit to get the job done.

2.Wire Stripper / Crimper A good pair of wire strippers is definitely another necessity. It will make things alot easier when trying to connect the new wiring harness for your radio. Also make sure you have one with the crimping function if you are planning to use crimp connectors, although this is not the preferred method of connecting the harness wires.

3.Soldering Iron This tool is technically required, because you can use crimp connectors or wire nuts to connect your wires, but if you want a clean professional looking install you will want to use a soldering gun to connect your wires.

4.Butane Torch This is another tool that isnt technically required, but will help keep the install clean. If you solder your wires you will want to cover the connection with heat shrink tubing. My preferred method for shrinking the heat shrink tubing is with a butane torch. Yes you can use a regular lighter, but the butane torches tend to be easier to keep up with and the flame is easier to control.

5. Radio Removal Tool These radio removal tools are necessary to remove the factory radio out of certain vehicles. Most Ford factory radios require one of these tools to remove it, as well as some import vehicles. If you are removing an aftermarket radio you will not need these tools.


The 2 main things you will need when installing your new stereo is a wiring adapter and a dash kit.

Wiring Adapter



The wiring adapter is a piece which has a plug on one end and wiring sticking out of the other end. The plug connects to the factory wiring, and the wires are connected to the matching color wiring on the new stereo. This allows for connecting a new stereo without having to cut the factory wires.

Dash Kit

car stereo wiring adapter


Stock stereos have varying sizes, and if you just place an aftermarket stereo in the hole left by a stock stereo then there will be gaps around the stereo. The dash kit is a plastic piece which fits into the hole left by the stock stereo and fills in the gaps between the aftermarket stereo and the dash.