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Old 04-06-2008, 06:02 PM
suave6565 suave6565 is offline
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1996 Explorer Eddie Bauer Factory Radio Change...Help

I have a 1996 Ford Explorer EB. My Truck has the original factory radio,amp and sub. I am new at this and i want to do this this right way without going overboard. I've been checking out the site, and have seen some pretty good installs and have loved the site for being so informative!! Because of the money situation, i can only upgrade a little at a time, so i want to do this without completely loosing my tunes.

What i like to do first, is replace the my factor JBL radio and replace it with a Dual Din radio that has DVD player that comes with a nice size screen or i can go with single din and get the trim kit...As for the Dual Din, I've only seen custom work to have these radio installed. from what i understand, there maybe some cutting involved to make the dual din fit.any suggestions??

If i should choose any radio, i still have the issue with the 6 CD changer. i would like to replace the existing one and install it with a new changer that can fit in the same spot as the original. is this possible or should be looking at the my center console with more space?

what is a wire harness??? I've seen this term thrown around and thought i might ask here then do a search on the web and get tons o definitions. is this something that makes wiring radios easy? Like an adapter?? if s, where can i get it?

I've seen pre-made sub box, i believe it comes with its own amp, is this the right way to go? my current one suck, this is my second one I've replaced, then again I'm getting what i pay for which is 20 bucks...

now for the amp... I'm assuming i have to change it at some point...any suggestions a good but cheap one... or should stick to the idea of getting those pre-made boxes that fit in place of the factory sub?


The reason I'm these questions and has put my project on hold, its because I've heard its real pain to upgrade from a factory radio to after market on these trucks. I'm seeing more and more things that make it easy but I'm a bit hesitant.


I need help...

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:45 PM
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First things first, a wire harness is a bundle of wires that connect electronics together. Pigtails are short harnesses with a connector and usually bare wires on the other end. Metra is a well known name brand for harnesses/pigtails. Metra Online

they say the standard stereo has a double din radio, 6x8s in the front and rear, and a position for a 8" sub with 4" mounting depth.

main template shows an OE integration kit for 96-98 JBL systems, which would allow you put an aftermarket radio directly into the stock harness and keep everything running.

Your vehicle has a position for an 8" sub. Something of quality should do unless you want to hear more thump than music. You might be able to open it up some and maybe fit a 10". I'd personally spend about $100 on the sub, it will get you into a really good 8", or a good 10". Look for one with a low power requirement, the stock amp will not be very powerful compare to aftermarket standards. Perhaps 4ohm and 150 watts or less if you can.

If your going full tilt, I'd remove the stock amp and run my own wires to it. When I am going like this, I will use just enough of the stock speaker wires to get through the door gaskets, but my own heavier wire from the kick panels to my amp. For the subs, I run an RCA Patch cord from the radio to the amp, and I like to keep the amp close to the subs so I can use a short piece of my own wire connect the amp to subs. If your Radio supports RCA Pre-amp outs for front and rear, I'd use them for the amp connection too.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:00 PM
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ReAx,

Thanks for the write up. I really a beginner at this and as i said before, i don't want to do anything crazy like burn out my radio. I was checking Main Template...and i have to tell you it seems complicated, but if i can buy a radio and get the OEM kit. it will help out alot. i don't want to spend hours racking my brain trying to figure out the wiring. I have installed radios in the past but after market to after market. what about those sub enclosures that replaces the subs and the factory amp?? is that any good?

Thanks again!!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:56 PM
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MTX is the only brand I have had experience with, I usually build my own and match other components (I like Fosgate speakers). The MTX powered Thunder forms are kind of nice, it's possible to build a better setup, but it isn't as easy. MTX used to build non-powered thunder forms for those who wish to use another brand of amp. If you are going to bypass the factory amp, run a wire from the head unit to the box and don't use the stock wiring.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:48 AM
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Here is the basic setup in my 97 Explorer now:

Click the image to open in full size.

It is changing in the next few weeks, getting a few things added and some replaced.


I know you said you are on a budget and want to do it piece at a time, so I will try to work from that on which direction I would go in building a full setup. At the bottom will be another idea if you just want to keep it very simple to start.


First, I would decide on the head unit you want to go with. I run an Alpine IVA-W205 Double Din in my Explorer. It was fairly easy of an install. When I originally put mine in, they did not have a double din install kit, so I had to cut and fabricate one. Since then, Schosche has apparently made a double din kit that makes installing/mounting it simple.

First purchase would be the head unit. Decide on it and get the head unit, wiring harness, and mounting kit. Go ahead and install it. The wiring kit will allow you to use the factory amps and sub. I would not worry about pulling all that out yet.

Once you have it done and have built up enough cash to move on, I would decide on door speakers. Get those and install using the factory wiring. They will be better than factory sound, but will still be better when you get to amps.

After that, I would save and start deciding on amps. This will be a big decision because from here you will be deciding on power ratings, mounting, looks (matters to some), subs you will run, etc. This will also be dependant on how big and bad of a system you want to run. Me personally, I would be looking for a good 4 or 5 channel amp for the front and rears; then get a good mono amp for the sub(s).

Now you have to decide on what subs you want to run, how many, and where they will be mounted. If you are looking to just replace the factory space with something, there is a 10" enclosure that works great. Here is the Q-Custom box, but there are others out there also. I would look at the Kenwood Excelon 10" shallow mount sub for it. It would be about $100. If you are looking at going to more than one sub, you will have to design a special box for that.





If you are just looking to utilize the most that is in the truck now and not do a lot of the other, I would get the head unit - either a good double din or a single din, then get a set of 3-way 6x8's for the doors, then replace the rear sub and enclosure with the one above and a Kenwood Excelon 10". This would be easy to build off later down the road and not have to replace what you are doing now. Worst thing you can do is just buy a bunch of cheap stuff just to get going now, only to replace them later down the road because you start finding something else you want.

My suggestion:
  1. Head unit. Get a good double din and install it.
  2. Get a pair of Pioneer 3-way 6x8's from Best Buy - $99.99 a pair and put them in the doors.
  3. Get the enclosure and 10" sub.
The head unit will be your pricey item, but don't skimp. Save a little more and get a good unit. This is where a lot of people go wrong because they try to build a great system on a mediocre control unit. It doesn't work. You can find Alpine's on ebay right now for $500 to $600. Eclipse has a good unit also, and a friend of mine has been bragging on the Jensen unit. I have not seen it, but Bill knows his stuff and thinks highly of the Jensen unit.

$200.00 for the door speakers.

$300.00 for the sub and enclosure.

For around $1,000.00, that really gets you going and builds a very good system. It also really gives you the room to add and enhance later without having to replace what you already bought.


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Old 04-11-2008, 01:48 AM
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