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How to Replace Defective Audiophile CD6 CD Pack

Discussion in 'Explorer Audio & Navigation' started by snickstx, May 29, 2010.

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    1. snickstx

      snickstx Active Member

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      The cd pack on my head unit jammed and threw a CD ERROR about 6 months ago. This is the second time I've had to replace this radio. Instead of trying to find an entire matching unit or paying to fix the cd pack in mine I decided to swap it with another working unit. My donor came from a Lincoln but it was effectively the same stereo. When buying the donor unit, make sure the seller guarantees the cd pack is functional and that the chassis matches your original.

      This is for those that may be apprehensive about what is lurking behind the dash or inside the radio and don't want to pay the dealer rate for the repair or can't find a replacement exactly like their original radio.

      Total time about 20 minutes while taking pictures.

      Tools Used:
      Ratchet & 9/32 socket
      Flathead Screwdriver
      TORX T15 driver
      My hands

      [​IMG]

      First step is to remove the center stack trim ring. There are several methods but I found that a firm grasp at the top will get mine off in no time. If yours hasn't ever been removed, you may need a tool to pry between the edge of the trim and the dash pad. Be very careful because it is easy to dent the dash pad or gouge the trim.

      [​IMG]

      Once the trim ring is dislodged you can either move it to the side or disconnect your A/C, trip computer & 4X4 switches. I did this so I would have more room to work with.

      Next, use your ratchet and 9/32 socket (or driver) and remove to 2 black bolts at the bottom of the radio.

      [​IMG]

      Now you can gently slide the radio toward you and begin disconnecting it. The orange antenna wire just pulls out but the wiring harness connectors have a small button on the side you must press to release. Two of mine come out fine but I always have to use a flathead screwdriver to help the third one along. You MUST support the radio during this process or it could easily drop to the console causing more damage. DO NOT rest the weight of the radio on the wiring harness or try to remove the harness by pulling on the wires. Only pull/push/pry at the connector.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Before you begin the switch you want to make sure the replacement unit will work. If you only purchased the cd pack by itself, skip this step. Plug in the donor radio if you can and finger tighten one of the bolts on the bottom. Set your ignition to run and turn on the radio. It will take up to a minute for the radio to cycle through all the cd slots. When that is done, play one or more cds in each slot to verify operation. Turn your ignition off and open your door to kill the accessory circuit. Remove radio.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      When you tear down the radios, make sure you keep the defective cd pack separate. It would be a pain to do all this again if you reinstall the bad unit. There are three TORX T15 (6 pointed star) screws on each side of the radio. You only need to remove the two that are holding the cd pack to the frame. The single T15 is for the radio chassis. When you have removed the two T15 screws, the cd pack will pivot up from the back. Do this carefully as there are wires attached.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      The flat signal wire is held in its connector by a plastic retaining collar. Take a small flathead and dislodge the tabs at either end of the connector on the cd pack. The tabs will stay with the connector so do not try to remove them. Once the tabs are lowered, the flat cable will simply slide out. Next, disconnect the power lead from the cd pack. Once again, you might need the aid of a small flathead to pry the connectors apart. Lift off the cd pack and set aside. Repeat for the other radio. Install good cd pack on original radio chassis in reverse, connect power wire (blue wire on left), gently insert flat signal cable, close the retaining collar, make sure every thing lines back up and install the four TORX T15 screws you removed.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Reconnect the old (now fixed) radio back in the dash, turn ignition to run and verify operation of the cd player, radio, DVD player, AUX inputs, etc. Once everything it working, close up the dash and have a cold beer.

      If you have stuck cds in your original cd pack you can recover them easily without damage. Use a small phillips head the remove the shroud from the defective unit. Unless there are obvious signs of damage, you can grasp the top cd by its center ring, lift to align with the roller slot and force it out through the gray plastic rollers. Repeat for all cds. Sorry, didn't take pics at this step.

      Here's an interesting thread if you want to tackle fixing a defective cd pack, thanks to jrford.

      A few caveats:
      If you kill your radio, your truck, or yourself, it's not my fault.
      Always practice safe electrostatic discharge procedures. I don't, but you should.
      This may or may not work for the single chassis, phase II units 2004+. I haven't tried, yet.
      Anybody want to buy a nice Lincoln Audiophile HU with a broken cd changer?
       
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    3. mic98xlt

      mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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      Real nice info and job. I'm almost surprised you didn't use the Lincoln Radio, it looks sweet.
       
    4. mark000

      mark000 New Member

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      Thanks to the great instructions, I have successfully rebuilt my 6 disk changer on my 2003 EB Explorer.
      Thanks,
      Mark:D:D:D
       
    5. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

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      here are some pic's of the trays.
       

      Attached Files:

    6. lisfan

      lisfan Member

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      i just changed mine out. thanks for the great imformation. i had a little trouble retrieving my cds but its junk any way.
      working great again.
      thanks phil
       
    7. Stic-o

      Stic-o Elite Movie Star Elite Explorer

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      I have one with a defective cd unit out of a newer f150. I bought it and the guy shipped it with a cd in the unit. This ended up destroying the unit.:(
       
    8. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      I have "fixed" mine a bunch of times, it was always a tray that had gotten stuck between the rails. That was until my FIL jammed a cd in a slot that was already occupied and killed it, I re-aligned the trays and it still wouldn't work, besides it got too hot to the touch, so I figured it was something electrical...
       
    9. My 2007 FE

      My 2007 FE New Member

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      Hello, I also just changed the battery on my Wife's Explorer and the CD player is saying No Disc despite the 6 pack being full. I was trying to get the trim off and it seems if I pry any harder that I will break something. It is still attached at the bottom. Can anyone please suggest how to carefully go from here to get this piece off in tact? We have a 2007 Ford Explorer V8. I was unable to attach the photo I took. Thank you so much. John Namnoum
       
    10. mic98xlt

      mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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      Just curious if you tried first to reset the 6 cd player by leaving the battery disconnected for a short time to reset the unit. Many times this successfully causes the unit to resynchronize and reset the cd unit.

      Just FYI the cd unit shown in this thread (approx. 2001-2003.5 era) is different from the cd unit likely in yours. Note this radio unit looks like it visibly has two half's with one part the radio portion and the second top half the 6 cd unit. The newer units 2004 and up have a different 6 cd unit that is contained inside the top portion of the radio unit and accessed by removing the top cover of the radio. It can then be separated by removing four torx screws which holds the 6 cd unit which is attached on the bottom to a single ribbon type cable from the radio motherboard. The 6 cd unit then can be replaced with a repaired units from Ebay about $100.00, if you can't get it going yourself. I recently been going through the same issues with mine from a 2006.

      My unit is from a 2006 Lincoln but it's in my 98Ex. I'm sure someone here can tell you exactly how to remove your radio from the dash if need be.
       
    11. My 2007 FE

      My 2007 FE New Member

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      Thanks Mic,yes I disconnected the battery and shorted leads together for 1 minute before reconnecting but no change resulted.

      I'm stuck at the point of removing the Radio trim. It easily disconnects at the top and along the sides, but not clear how to disconnect the bottom. I have used some mild force with no avail. It seem like I would break it if I continued....something is holding this in place. Thanks for any suggestions you have about the trim. John
       
    12. mic98xlt

      mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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      I take it you have the shifter in the center console on a 2007. Here's a link to a YouTube
      video of removal for the radio. The bottom portion appears to be held in by the shifter panel according to the video. The shifter panel has to be released to get the bottom portion of the radio trim free.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlFEK5Re0nY

      Once again the replacement cd unit can be sent in for repair or brought new on EBay. I plan to purchase a new one. Shop around on EBay since the prices for the new unit varies big time. The units must be matched not just by similar looks but by the number printed on the green PCB (circuit board) on most to be sure you have the right one. They use the same changer units in Nissan's, Toyota's and etc.
       
    13. Hrddrive

      Hrddrive New Member

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      I have the '96 Limited, with the 6 cd cassette unit in the arm rest storage area. No power to it but a 'female' usb connection coming from the area just laying around. I can attach my phone to the radio for the music just fine, but the cassette system is just, there. Also, when I load the cassette, and insert it, there is also no activity as was in my Regal.
      Thanks in advance for any and all input...
       
    14. DjDom

      DjDom Moderator Emeritus

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      This isn't the right thread to post that question in, it's a completely different system/set up in our 96.

      Sounds like someone cut the wires to the CD player to add an aux in, since these trucks didn't have an Aux in from factory.
       
    15. galan.zeller

      galan.zeller New Member

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      I just changed the alternator and I am getting a disc error message. I have no CD's in the player but it won't allow me to load. Any ideas??
       
    16. mic98xlt

      mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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      When you disconnect the battery, it recycles the 6 CD player and somehow it stresses the CD player and many had it the same problem your have. The CD mechanism is known to have these common problems so you could either send out the CD portion of the radio for repair ($90-$100) or get a new CD player for about $30 bucks more. On Ebay there is a seller named "Riveinc" which seams to have a good track record and provides both services.
       
    17. marmar1305

      marmar1305 New Member

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      Where can I find/buy a replacement cd pack for my 06 Explorer?
      Thanks
       
    18. mic98xlt

      mic98xlt Elite Explorer

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      Below is a link to regarding replacing the CD portion of your radio. If you are just a little bit handy you can easily separate the CD portion of your radio which basically splits the radio into 2 half's.

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=281623

      On Ebay there is a seller named "Riveinc" which advertises "Repair CD 6 Disc changer Ford, GM,Nissan." They repair the 6 CD unit if you send in that portion or you can buy a complete new 6 CD replacement unit from them so you can avoid sending the old CD player half out for repair. If you do get a new unit, be sure and match the part number by looking at the green PCB board of the 6 CD player. Some look identical so it's important you match the correct model numbers by the PCB board.
       

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