Where would you start if you wanted to replace the stereo and all the associated wiring in a '96 Ford Contour GL?

Removing the radio

The 1998 Contour radio requires nothing more than the standard Ford DIN tools - about $4-5 and available at places even like Walmart, and of course auto parts stores.

Using the tools - Insert one of the tools into each pair of holes on the face of the radio - you'll feel a bit of a click when the tool hits the right spot. Push outwards on the top of the tools while pulling the radio out from the dash.

Once you've done this a time or 2, it'll take 30 seconds to pop any Ford radio out.

Disconnect the wiring harnesses and antenna.

I agree with the recommendation for Crutchfield.com! I've been a very very happy repeat customer of theirs for years. They make it simple, and have outstanding service, prices, products, support information - you name it, they do it right. :)

Wiring diagrams

See "Related Links" below for a couple of online sources of radio wiring codes for most cars - Modified Life and 12volt.com.

Here's the wiring and speaker sizes for the 1998 Contour:

1998 Ford Contour Car Audio Wiring Diagram

Car Radio Battery Constant 12v+ Wire: Orange/Black

Car Radio Accessory Switched 12v+ Wire: Blue/Black

Car Radio Ground Wire: Black/Green

Car Radio Illumination Wire: White/Green

Car Audio Front Speakers Size: 5″ x 7″

Car Audio Front Speakers Location: Doors

Left Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): White/Black

Left Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Brown/Yellow

Right Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): White/Red

Right Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Brown/Yellow

Car Audio Rear Speakers Size: 5″ x 7″

Car Audio Rear Speakers Location: Rear Door

Left Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): White/Purple

Left Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Brown/White

Right Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): White/Purple

Right Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Brown/White

Answer

Try www.crutchfield.com. They probably have a wiring harness for your car and they will have a whole line of stereos to fit your car.