New Easy Instructions and pictures for removing a Mazda Miata MX-5 Radio and replacing it with a new radio.
On a day-to-day basis I’m so grateful for the do-it-yourself instructions I can so easily find on the Internet. Most of the time, I find the instructions to be incredibly helpful-especially the instructions that have pictures. It took me less than 40 minutes to remove my old radio and install a new one.
I’ve been wanting to install a new radio in my low mileage Mazda Miata MX-5 for a long time. Specifically I wanted a radio that would play books on tape and music from a flash memory drive and an SD memory card.
I found a couple of sets of instructions for moving Mazda Miata radios. The instructions were very similar, except I learned a couple of tricks that I think will be helpful to others to take on this project in the future.
In the old days and installer would lie on his back under your dashboard and physically cut wires and wire the radio harness into your car’s wearing harness. A much better way to do this is to buy a harness that has male connectors that you can plug right into the harness in your dashboard. The two obvious advantages are that you don’t have to cut any of the the wires in your dashboard, and if you ever decide to put the original radio back in it’s as simple as unplugging the harness and plugging in the original set.
I learned that there is a standard wiring color code for car audio which simplifies matching wires from your dashboard to your new radio. The radio wiring harness that I bought had the additional feature that besides being color-coded, it also had written labels on the wires describing which wires were correct for power ground and all the speaker connections. There was especially helpful to a guy like me who is colorblind. After matching up the wires from the back of the new radio to wiring harness wires of the same color, the new radio was ready to install.
1) For your protection and protection to the radio, you should make sure that the power is off to your radio. You’ll have to remove two fuses, the one for the radio, and the fuse that provides the constant power that allows your radio to memorize radio stations and keep time.
2) To remove the Mazda Miata radio, you’ll gently remove two small slim trim peices on the left and on the right that cover two holes on each side. A picture is below.
3) In another picture below you’ll see what your objective is. You’re trying to insert a nail or screwdriver or rod into both holes of the radio at the same time, only far enough to depress a tab that will release the locking mechanism for the radio. It’s always easier to understand what you’re trying to do if you can see a picture, so the picture below shows the radio removed with the screwdrivers inserted to show you what the tabs look like when they’re depressed If you have four nails or four screwdrivers, you may want to insert them in all four holes, you need only insert them about an inch and a half.
4) My radio had a cassette hole, so once the screwdrivers (or nails) were inserted I placed my fingers in the cassette hole and pulled out the radio. If you don’t have a cassette player, you’ll have to gently improvise how you remove your radio.
5) Most radios have two wiring harnesses from the rear. Slowly remove the radio, and as soon as the back of the radio is exposed, look for a small release on the plugs that connecte the wiring attaches to the back of the radio. Most radios also have a grounding wire that is held in place with the Philips screw. Remove the grounding wire, also. You can then completely remove the old radio.
6) At this point, you can follow the instructions to install your NEW radio. Generally, you’ll simply install a metal frame in the radio hole in the dashboard, then bend back tabs to hold the frame in place. You’ll plug the new harness into the Miata harness in the dashboard. You’ll reconnect the ground wire post on the back of the radio. The new radio will slide into the frame and click into place like the radio you removed. You’ll need to reinstall the fuses to power the new radio.
In another article, I’ll write about the inexpensive radio I chose that allows me to play CDs, play MP3 discs I burn, play audio from SD memory cards, and play audio from inexpensive flash memory sticks.
Good luck with your radio installation!
Below: I used small screwdrivers to release the old radio from the dashboard, but you can use 6D nails or some other non-flexible steel that will fit in the holes.
Below: Use a small screwdriver to gently remove the trim to expose the radio’s release holes.
Below: With the screwdrivers in the hole, I pulled the radio out with my fingers.
Below: My new radio was held in place with a standard sized metal sleeve. Just insert the sleeve and bend back the tabs.