I found a place to send the radio/tape/cd unit to, they will fix the display and offer a 1 year warranty, $45.00 plus $12.00 shipping!
sounds like the best deal to me, I plan to try the re-solder fix myself, if that doesn't work I'll send it off to these guys.
We are giving you an opportunity to repair your radio display at the lowest possible price and the longest period of warranty thereafter.
If you own 98, 99, 2000 or 2001 Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer, 98 Ford Ranger, 98 Ford E series, 98 Ford F-250, F-350, 99-01 Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest with radio that has intermittent or blank display let us help you. For $45.00 plus $12.00 shipping you will enjoy a working display again and ONE YEAR WARRANTY on this repair.
The problem is that you send your radio off to the electronics place thinking it's only going to be $45 plus $12 shipping, then you come to find out that conveniently the problem is not the $45 fix, but a more expensive $175 fix plus the $12 shipping. What can you do when you now don't have your radio....
I had the exact same problem on my 1998 Explorer - Eddie Bauer. I had the cd/cassette and 6 Disc changer. The display was intermittent and then finally died completely. I pulled the radio with a tool I bought at Kragen. The LCD had a little burn mark from a an arc or something.
Frankly, I just bought a new stereo with an MP3 player (JVC) I think it was less then $200. I can burn 180 songs on one CD. I no longer need to carry a bunch of CD's or use the CD changer which would not connect to the new stereo. I am much more happy with the after market.
Otherwise you can buy a new Ford Radio I am sure. It is plug an play to hook everything up, a no brainer.
I have a 1999 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer with a AM/FM/Cassette/CD/Changer system (P/N F87F-18C868-AD). For two years now, it has been without display. The functions all work fine, and the stereo sounds wonderful, but there is no display at all. From what I am reading, this is a common problem. I have contacted Ford directly about this, asking why, if it is so common, they haven't put some kind of recall on it.
Side note: I do not think it is right to have one or two people making money selling "the fix" for something that should not be a problem in the first place. I have no problems with fixing things myself, that's not an issue. As far as soldering goes, I am trained very well in that. I do soldering and soldering inspections for NASA here in Houston, and I am very comfortable with my abilities. Something just tells me that paying $20 for a manual that may or may not work, on a problem that should not be happening at this time, does not seem right at all. Nor does paying $200 to $500 to get a used, refurb, or new unit. I know I could buy an awsome after-market unit, and believe me, I have looked.....but I (and my wife) like the look and control (steering wheel control especially) or the factory units.
Does anyone else have any more suggestions to this?
Another thing I personally can suggest is that everyone that has this problem needs to contact Ford directly through either email or phone so they can see the actual scope of the issue. This is what the Ford engineering service told me when they replied to a previous issue (EGR problems). They said that not enough people call them with these problems, so they cannot keep an accurate or even semi-accurate list of how many incedents they have. This is just a suggestion.
I look forward to reading any more suggestions anyone may have on this issue.
While I have not had my display crap out, heat in my radio/cd/cassette unit in my 98 xlt has been a problem. Ejected CD's are extremely hot, and the hot unit will not play CD-R's. Ford was no help since they could not "duplicate my problem" ( Their fix was to enjoy listening to a CD for an hour in the shop and then tell me not to play CD-R's.) Anyway, I purchased a Kenwood changer and adapter harness that uses the Ford head unit as the controller, and installed it in the center arm rest. This has worked out for me.
Sounds like you have your CD problem well handled. Does your changer read MP3's as well? That would be too cool. Burn 6 discs worht of MP3's and travel across the US without repeating a song or manually changing a disc. OH YEAH!!! heh heh heh
I would get an aftermarket unit, I have seen some NICE ones. However, my system has a 6-disc changer/AM/FM/in-dash CD/Cassette that are controlled on-dash or through the steering wheel controls. I and my wife like this feature, and I don't think an aftermarket would give us that. There has to be a better answer than spending major $$$$$ on a new or used unit, or giving someone money for a manual that may or may not work. Hopefully I can get more info soon.
I could have spent a few more dollars and got the mp3 capability, but decided not to.
If your unit is already wired to switches in your steering wheel, then losing your head unit would be a bummer. That aside, there are many remote control (wired and total remote) controllers available with many aftermarket in dash units.
As far as memory space goes, there are already total digital devices (no moving parts!) that will hold your entire music collection that can be installed in your car. Hitting a bump in the road won't even bother them!
My Explorer $600 radio display died, then would reappear once in awhile. The Ford dealer wouldn't touch it but referred me to a local radio shop, they wanted $200 to pull it and fix it!! I found this guy that fixes them for a reasonable price, you pull the radio yourself and ship it to him. He fixes the display and does minor work on the unit with excellent turn around time. It is finally working right after 2 years and we are quite satisfied with his service. Contact me for his email addy if you want to follow up on this fix.
Last edited by rainsinger; 09-07-2004 at 05:11 AM.
Reason: no email address permitted
I found this on another forum and used the information to fix my radio today it was very easy.
The board you want is located under the top cover, along the left side (as you are looking at the front of the unit). It is about an inch wide and as long as the unit is deep. You'll see a shiny metal RF shield (cover) over most of it and the cover has an opening on the top. If you look down at the left front cover of the board (next to the edge of the unit), you'll see a small metal tab that is bent at a 45 deg. angle over the board. This is a hold-down. Bend the tab straight over the little slot in the board. Next, look down in the hole on top of the RF Shield and you'll see another hold-down. Do the same with that one. Last, look at the rear left corner of the unit and you'll see a big heat sink. Look for a copper tab coming up over the top of the case from the back of the board. It is attached to the heat sink with a phillips head screw. Remove the screw. You should now be able to gently lift the small PC board and shield out of the unit. Be carefull with the small blue cable that's plugged into the front edge of the board. You can carefully lift the small white connector out of the socket and now the board is completely free in your hands.
The RF shield is what alot of the folks say they've found to have broken solder joints (as did I), but that is NOT the problem. The problem is the failed solder joints on the small components mounted on the bottom of the board. The crack in the solder is so small you can only see it by looking though a magnifying glass and then it's still hard to see. Take my word for it, they're cracked. Just get some cleaner (alchohol and a toothbrush works great) and scrub the old flux & junk off the components and board first. Then just go around and CAREFULLY resolder as many of them as you can get to. DON"T try to do the IC chip with all the legs on it though, you'll likely mess that up!
If you want to get fancy, you can heat the legs on the large blue resistors that are on top of the board and lift them up away from the board and re-solder. This will help prevent heat transfer to the board. You'll probably find cracked solder joints on the RF shield, so go ahead and resolder those as well.
If you're not real good with a soldering iron, you need to look for info on the web and practice, practice, practice before you try it on the radio! Use a 33 Watt iron or less (33 is good, it has enough capacity to heat quickly, yet won't burn boards too easily).
Once you're done, clean it off once more, plug in the blue cable, place the board back inside, bend the tabs, replace the heat sink screw, cover back on, radio back in and you are looking at your display again!!! WOO-HOO
Oops, forgot to add the components are actually glued to the board so they won't fall off.
Also, sorry to all the people trying to sell this info on their respective websites - but I hate having to pay for this kind of information so I'm giving out what I gleaned for myself!
I had this probem and tried to fix it several times by soldering various spots on the boards. But I saw 00limited7's post to resolder every connection on the back side of the board only and did that and it worked the first time!