I too have a 1998 Ford Explorer Sport model with a combo radio/cd system (that came with the vehicle) and in the last week the LCD display has disappeared. The radio and CD player works fine except you don't know what time it is, you don't know what radio channel you're listening to and you don't know what track your on on your CD. I see from reading the messages that the solution is to remove the radio and do some reconnecting, but, when you removed the radio, aren't you worried about damaging the moulded dash that its set into or is it easy to remove. Any tricks or is it straight forward? Thanks for you reply in advance, I now have to search out and see if anyone has problems with their center armrest, drink holder...mine broke.
Taking a stereo out of a 95-01 dash of an Explorer is a cinch. All you need are the two din radio pullers (can't think of the correct name). Any store that has car stereo equipment should have them. They are 'U' shaped and are inserted into the holes on both sides of the stereo. When they don't go in anymore, push both of them towards the outside of the car and pull the stereo right out. It slides out fairly easily and won't harm the dashboard at all. The soldering is the part I wouldn't trust myself with. Not a problem for me, though, I put in an aftermarket unit.
If you are think of replacing the system or have a question about it, I would just replace the old stereo system if you can afford it. Aftermarket stereos sound much better and you will be more satisfied with them. On the explorer it is a cinch to swap the old stereo with a new aftermarket stereo. Just use the din tools to pull it out and buy some wiring harnesses and hook up your new stereo. A good place to go is www.crutchfield.com . They give you the wiring harnesses and dash kits for free when you buy a car stereo from them and give great directions with the kits too. It really is easy and anyone can do it.
Here is the url: http://www.shareamemory.com/radio/
I used this information, and posted that I had repaired my radio.
But, unfortunately, it was temporary.
At least this article pointed me to the defective area. It's the small board described in the article which is accessible by removing the display panel and top cover, then taking out the one screw which goes through the heat shield. (also untwisting the metal tabs - which I got tired or messing with so just left them straight).
I finally, after resoldering several times, put the suspect piece back in the radio without the rf shield, and was able to duplicate the symptom by pressing on the toroidal filter. So, I totally removed the filter, found some breaks in the foil under it, repaired them, then replaced the filter(toroid). But, in doing so, either I broke off one of the surface mount resistors, or it was not connected properly. Anyway, I had to replace it with a conventional type resistor.
Now the display works most of the time instead of some of the time.
I will attempt it again, after I catch up some slack on other issues.
Too bad someone doesn't sell a new module to replace the problem one.
I had the same problem with my 98 explorer. The problem is internal to the radio. I am a techinician by profession. After acquiring the diagrams I found that the Power Supply and Oscilator module gets very hot to a point the circuit board become discolored. I feel it could be poor thermal management due to a poor design. I took mine apart and found some poor solder joints as a result of the internal heat. After resoldering the joints the radio display has worked fine for a year. A gentlemen at Omicron Electronics in Carrollton Texas help me some with drawings. If you are not a competent technician this will cost bucks to resolve. Good Luck!
I would like to know if I could buy a new power supply module for the display. I have asked some of the repair facilities and they all want me to send my radio. I am too stubborn. I will buy another one first.
In the mid-70's I had a tv repair business. I have designed and built circuit boards, even to the extent of hand masking and etching. So I want to be able to do this myself. My problem is the board I have (I think) has a bad module on it.