I've posted this to the MX-5 Miata.net forum, but I figured since Jalopnik/Oppo is so nutty over Miatas you guys might be able to help. From my thread:
I've scoured the internet and the forums and I just can't figure this one out.
I'm all set to pop in my new aftermarket head unit in my 2003 NB base (non-bose), but the factory head unit simply won't budge a millimeter. I have the 4 wire loop Ford removal tools, and I've spent a couple hours now trying to get them to slip into place and free the damn thing.
I've watched the videos, followed all the instructions, and I'm just stumped. Even if the videos made it look easier than it is, there's no way it should be this difficult.
The tools seem to slot into place on the right side, but don't on the left. They seem to get jammed up and even stuck when I insert them on the left side. Even with the right ones seemingly slotted correctly into place, I can't even get movement from just that side of the radio.
I dropped the glovebox to see if it gave easier access, but it didn't seem to.
Is there any other way to remove the head unit? Obviously I don't want to make life too hard on myself, but I just don't have any hope of the prescribed method working at this point.
I'm wondering if perhaps the radio was replaced or re-installed prior to my ownership and the installer somehow messed up the brackets or clips. I just don't see any other reasonable explanation as to why the tools are so hard to slip in, to find their slot, and the free the radio.