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1996 XLT Aftermarket Radio Installation

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by deathrattlehead, October 13, 2008.

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    1. deathrattlehead

      deathrattlehead New Member

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      As of yesterday, I am now the proud owner of a 1996 Explorer XLT. Now, I immediately want to install an aftermarket radio so I can hook up my ipod directly, but I'm hearing that it's very complicated on this car. Does anyone have a how-to on this?

      Thanks everyone!!!
       
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    3. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      Welcome to the forum, buy the aftermarket HU at crutchfield, they will send you the wiring harnes that you need, that will take all of the guesswork out of the install
       
    4. deathrattlehead

      deathrattlehead New Member

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      There is a simple harness I can use? Some people were saying I'd have to bypass the amp that's supposedly in the rear passenger side of the vehicle.
       
    5. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      yes on both, there is a harness that you use to connect the stereo to the stock plug, and there is a harness to bypass the amp, I think crutchfield will send both for free, if you don't want to go that way, just run new wires to the speakers straight from the HU
       
    6. corkey

      corkey Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      i used a conversion harness on my 96 with the amp in the back, i just used the 4 rca connectors on the new HU to the wires on the conversion harness, for the input for my door speakers,
      but if it is a low power deck it can be run through the factory amp too, with the conversion harness,
      but also an amp bypass is available too ,
       
    7. Joe Dirt

      Joe Dirt Elite Explorer

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      I think any head unit over $130 at Crutch will get you the Double DIN mounting kit and the correct harness. It's a 15 minute install if you get the harness and kit. The bypass is a simple plug in right behind the radio, I bypassed on mine.
       
    8. deathrattlehead

      deathrattlehead New Member

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      I was reading and it shows a harness adapter that bypasses the amp, which seems great....but the page also has this warning, which is kind of confusing me.

      Installation Details for your 1996 Explorer
      » Your vehicle is factory-equipped with a special sound system, and Crutchfield supplies a harness which bypasses your factory amplifier. You'll need to run the included wires from new receiver to the location of your factory amplifier.


      If the adapter bypasses the amp, then why do I have to run wires back to the amp from the new head unit?...or is this warning not taking into account the adapter?
       
    9. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      it means the harness itself
       
    10. Frank20

      Frank20 New Member

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      i feel that most the threads on this topic never really end with a conclusion on how to properly bypass the amp.

      So, if i get the harness to bypass the amp, do you, or do you not need to run wires back to the factory amp? Please let me know. Thanks!
       
    11. hamjunk

      hamjunk New Member

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      the amp bypass harness is a 17 foot long harness. It runs from behind the radio in the dash down under the carpet past the doors and into the panel above the back right tire. It then plugs into the wires that were connected to the amp. not to bad to do, maybe about a 30 min job. the worse part is taking all the clips out of the pannel with out them breaking. they sell a tool with a forked end that is curved for popping them out. I think have seen a plastic version in a kit at walmart.
       
    12. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      Or, another option might be an adapter from www.pie.net. It would allow you to use their adapter to use the ipod as an auxiliary input on the OEM head unit. For $75, it's probably much cheaper than an aftermarket HU and the harness.

      Just something to consider....

      -Joe
       
    13. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      Also, tons of cheap FM transmitter units on ebay, for 30 bucks you can connect your ipod or store a few gigs of music on the unit and you don't even need the IPOD. IPOD mp3 isn't audiophile quality sound so you won't get much improvement with a new head unit. These devices plug nicely into the cig lighter on the dash. Its almost stock looking. Most of this stuff is shipped from Taiwan, but they work pretty well.

      Instead of a head unit money would be better spent on good speakers, the ex premium sound system in 96 is a great system IMO. If you do have the premium sound I don't suggest gutting it.
       
    14. Kebo38

      Kebo38 New Member

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      Ok, I did this about a year ago.....get the amp bypass harness that hooks up at the amp in the right rear quarter panel. The speaker wires are long enough to run back the head unit. You will have to correct me if I am wrong that the kit comes with a antenna extension, if not you will have to get one and run it from the amp to the head unti also. Once you get the cover off in the hatch, you will see the harnesses and antenna plugged into the amp. Hope this helps.
       
    15. onebrucelee

      onebrucelee New Member

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      1996 ford explorer stereo harness install

      First off i went to boomer mc cloud and bought 2 small harnesses one for the amp bypass and 2 for HU 1 for power and other for speakers, so i reached up inside the passenger rear panel unpluged the harness from around the amp and pulled them both down under the back seat where i could work easier and see what i was doing. after i took both sides of this harness and connected them into the one i purchased i tucked it away under the carpet. now the harness for the stereo was another thing, after i connected all the wires as specified everything worked but there was an issue not noticed right away and burned out my $500 pioneer deck, went through the harness given for this vehicle everything seemed right but ford must have a common ground thing going on, i removed harness from deck and car and tested them all separately and turns out the harness was wrong for the model so make sure positive and negatives are correct by getting a waring diagram for your model hope this helps.
       
      Last edited: August 14, 2009
    16. TheJackal

      TheJackal Well-Known Member

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      There's likely a different harness for Premium Sound models versus the ones with standard systems. You may want to check on it.

      I had an 89 Vic once with Premium Sound but the harness everyone always wanted to give was the standard one.
       
    17. RobClay

      RobClay Member

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      I bought my HU at sonicelextronix.com.
      On some of them(like the one i bought, which was 158 shipped) came with the wiring harness and the dask install kit for free.
       

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