I have a '03, do I really need a dash kit to replace my CD Player, or can I just use the one that came with the car? It looks like a 1din unit would fit in there just fine.
answering this old thread for future searches.
the 2003 cd player adapter can be used to install an aftermarket headunit in place of the factory CD player. To do so will require a few things specific for the 03 CD player.
– the 03 CD player will have to be removed from the adapter. Carefully remove the side covers of the CD player and use the u-shaped removal tools to remove the cd player. These are the same tools used to remove the entire head unit from the dash
– the adapter used to hold the 03 CD player will now need the sides of the adapter (the metal portion) ground down flat to accept the installation sleeve for the new head unit. Once this is done, the factory CD player will not be able to be used in the adapter as those sides are what retains the factory cd player. Filing down the sides will be cleaner if: 1) you mask off the black plastic part or 2) you separate the plastic part from the metal part. This is a helpful hint because if the black part gets scratched, then the light will shine through at night.
– the wiring harness adapters needed to replace the 03 cd player are the same ones used for many mazda cars like the miata and 626. The deluxe and premium 03 ZX2s are the only ones to use these adapters. (Any 03s without the factory cd player will use the adapters for the 98-02).