Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer
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The same thing happened to my wife's 98 XLT. It is our understanding that the display module in the radio went bad and therefore the only fix is to replace the entire radio at a cost of around $350.00. Hope this helps.
I had the same thing happen with my '98 Explorer XLT. After getting a quote from the Ford House for $400 for a rebuilt unit (!!!), I decided to do some research. Come to find out this is a VERY common problem and has a pretty simple fix.
I found a guy on eBay who has done thousands of these repairs at his shop up in Pennsylvania. He's charging me $85 which includes return shipping. He has lots of positive feedback about his work, but I'll be sure to post back here as soon as I get my radio back.
His name is George Sipple and you can call him at his shop (814) 454-4516, or check him out on eBay (username: boobonic). His work comes with a 1-year warranty.
Don't pay Ford to rip you off, either do it yourself with the links provided in the previous posts find someone to do it for you for under $100 bucks.
Does anyone else think it's absolutely rediculous for Ford to CHARGE YOU $400 for a REBUILT unit (you can get brand new CD players nowadays for under $100) when this seems to happen to a LARGE number of their vehicles, especially the Explorer? The cause seems to be solder joints that eventually break after they get too hot. The machine that did these COLD solder joints manufacturered THOUSANDS of radios. I just think it's only fair to have a recall since it's obvoiusly a faulty product and they know it.
Same thing happened in my Ranger, which uses the same radio unit(s) as like-year Explorers. I found an electronics guy around my area who was familiar with the problem (very common, unfortunately) and he fixed it for 100 bucks, plus tax. In retrospect I might have even tried to do it myself, but I have no complaints. Works great.
Ford also gave me the $400 quote to fix it which made me remember why you don't talk to dealers about radios unless they are under warranty.
New board put in, radio fine. Total cost $85.00 plus Pa. tax. Great people to work with, would not recommend trying to repair yourself. They receive numerous radios to repair after do it your-selfers inflict addition damage.
You can do it yourself if you're into that at www.shareamemory.com/radio or if you're not into the soldering, you can purchase a replacement board...you won't be without your radio and if you try yourself, you may end up saving yourself a lot. Doing it yourself will cost a lot less than $85 or go with the swap program can be cheaper too.
my wife has a 99 explorer after taking the radio out and looking at it several times i finaly took the cover off a found the offending part a small circuit board with several resistors on it took a magnifing glass and sauder gun and re-saudered bad points was not bad at all has been working for several months now
Guys.. this post from another side did it for me.
You can NOT see the broken joints with a naked eye, so my wife resoldered everything and voila the clock came back. Now I am trying to figure out what part number the on-off potentiometer is. ILooks like F87f-18B914-AA
I had the
same problem in my 98 Explorer. The problem is with the display power
supply board getting too hot and cracking the poorly solder joints.
You have two options if it's not under warranty. One, you can try to
re-solder the joints. Two, you can replace the board. I tried to
re-solder the board with no luck. I had to replace the board. I will
include information at the bottom of this posting on where to buy the
board. It took me a long time to find someone who sold the parts.
Here are the instructions to re-solder the board. They were posted in
a Ford radio news group.
To try to re-solder the board....
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LOW WATT SOLDERING IRON AND SMALL SOLDER.
Here's the directions that helped me...Good Luck:
By opening up the radio you will find a narrow display power board
With in the left side of the radio (faceplate toward you). This board
has a metal cover soldered to it, with a toroid (wire wound doughnut)
inside on one side, and a bank of surface mount resistors and
on the bottom side. One end of the board (SCR heat sink) is screwed
the heat sink at the back of the radio, the board is secured with 2
metal bend-tabs, and it has a white mini connector on the other end
which connects to the faceplate. Remove the board from the radio.
On the bottom of the board look for surface mount components
R1057/C1071/R1058/C1083/R1064. The colder these resistor/capacitor
chipsets get, the brighter the display. I left the car out in the +5
degree weather and the display worked until it warmed up a little.
is how I was able to track it down to these temperature sensitive
parts. Freeze-it also helped after I narrowed it down to a few
Here is the contact information for vendors who sell the replacement
I have traveled this road. I have a 1998 Ford Explorer with a blank
radio display cd\cassette\am\fm. I tried to re-solder the components
on the display power supply as suggested on previous posting with no
luck. I looked on ebay but didn't see anything worth buying. I again
tried to re-solder the board...still no luck. So this is what I have
learned. If you can't fix it with the re-solder posting, or don't
want to try it, you will need to replace the display power supply.
Most radio shops I called said they only do component level repairs
starting at $100.00. Then I found a few shops that have the circuit
boards for sell. The board comes in a 3 board set, a new power
board and two new tuner type boards, sold as a "compound set". Here
are the shops I found that have it.
Speed-O-Tach, Inc. they sell the 3 boards for 73.95 + shipping (5.00
Auto Radio & Electronics PART NUMBER HWM0043
4090 Pike Lane
Concord, CA 94520-1227
Toll Free: 1-800-442-4491
speedometerservice.com 3 boards cost is 82.82 6.75 shipping
1-800-332-1827 Georgia Watts
1-800-241-2385 National Watts
I found other sites but the price jumped to 215.00!
The board is very easy to swap. Pull the radio out, take to 2 black
screws off the side of the face plate (1 on each side. Face the back
of the radio, now remove the screw in the top right corner. Pop the
front and top cover off the radio. Unplug the blue cable that leads
from the display to the display power supply. There are 2 tabs that
hold the power supply in. One is next to where the blue cable plugs
into the power supply. To find the other tab, look inside the half
circle on the tin heat shield. The board is painted white where the
tabs are. Now straighten the tabs with a screw driver. Pull straight
up on the tin heat shield. Now you have it out swap it with the new
one and put it all back together.
I have a '00 that just developed the blank display syndrom. From all these good inputs, locating the display power supply (the small board mounted to the left side of the CD chassis and connected to the display by a small cable consisting of blue insulated wires) was not much of a problem. Examination of this board from the bottom side showed some heating and with a 5X jewelers loop a person could see broken solder joints. Soldering these joints, especially those associated with the serface mounted components took very a sharp soldering iron (taking a standard Radio Shack type, 25W and sharpening the point so that taper starts about 3/8" to 1/2" from the tip worked very well). After reflowing, and adding solder in some cases the display works as new.
Now then for the fix: Obiousely the display power supply is running at a high enough temperature to damage the solder joints but not so high as to damage the components. Solder will remain structrually sound to about 230 degrees F. any substantual increased temperature will weeken the joints allowing the mass of the component, thermal expansions and contractions and residual stress from the origional soldering event to tear the joint apart. Or in other words the newly soldered board will fail in a month, 6 months, or maybe if your lucky several years if steps are not taken to cool the board. At www.pricewatch.com several vendors advertise fans as small as 1" square. With file a 1" square fan will fit at an angle from back to front over the front of the power supply board. Using a little 5 minute epoxy the fan can be secured to the chassis and connecting the fan power between the ingition on power (at the radio connector) and ground (the chassis) will cause the fan to run any time the ignition is turned on. The drawback to this fan is, it can be heard when the ignition on and the engine not running.
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