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Radio / Clock display problem 1998 and up Explorers ( blank / fade / blanks / fades )

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by dkoets, July 28, 2006.

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    1. dkoets

      dkoets New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      '98 xlt
      Finally the answers after days of searching:


      Quote:
      1
      I had the
      same problem in my 98 Explorer. The problem is with the display power
      supply board getting too hot and cracking the poorly solder joints.
      You have two options if it's not under warranty. One, you can try to
      re-solder the joints. Two, you can replace the board. I tried to
      re-solder the board with no luck. I had to replace the board. I will
      include information at the bottom of this posting on where to buy the
      board. It took me a long time to find someone who sold the parts.
      Here are the instructions to re-solder the board. They were posted in
      a Ford radio news group.

      To try to re-solder the board....
      MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LOW WATT SOLDERING IRON AND SMALL SOLDER.
      ~~~
      Here's the directions that helped me...Good Luck:
      By opening up the radio you will find a narrow display power board
      With in the left side of the radio (faceplate toward you). This board
      has a metal cover soldered to it, with a toroid (wire wound doughnut)
      inside on one side, and a bank of surface mount resistors and
      capacitors
      on the bottom side. One end of the board (SCR heat sink) is screwed
      to
      the heat sink at the back of the radio, the board is secured with 2
      metal bend-tabs, and it has a white mini connector on the other end
      which connects to the faceplate. Remove the board from the radio.

      On the bottom of the board look for surface mount components
      R1057/C1071/R1058/C1083/R1064. The colder these resistor/capacitor
      chipsets get, the brighter the display. I left the car out in the +5f
      degree weather and the display worked until it warmed up a little.
      That
      is how I was able to track it down to these temperature sensitive
      parts. Freeze-it also helped after I narrowed it down to a few
      components.

      Here is the contact information for vendors who sell the replacement
      board.

      2
      I have traveled this road. I have a 1998 Ford Explorer with a blank
      radio display cd\cassette\am\fm. I tried to re-solder the components
      on the display power supply as suggested on previous posting with no
      luck. I looked on ebay but didn't see anything worth buying. I again
      tried to re-solder the board...still no luck. So this is what I have
      learned. If you can't fix it with the re-solder posting, or don't
      want to try it, you will need to replace the display power supply.
      Most radio shops I called said they only do component level repairs
      starting at $100.00. Then I found a few shops that have the circuit
      boards for sell. The board comes in a 3 board set, a new power
      supply
      board and two new tuner type boards, sold as a "compound set". Here
      are the shops I found that have it.
      Speed-O-Tach, Inc. they sell the 3 boards for 73.95 + shipping (5.00
      ish)
      Auto Radio & Electronics PART NUMBER HWM0043
      Corporate Office
      4090 Pike Lane
      Concord, CA 94520-1227
      Toll Free: 1-800-442-4491
      Tel: 925-691-4090
      Fax: 925-691-4101
      or
      speedometerservice.com 3 boards cost is 82.82 6.75 shipping
      Phone number
      1-800-332-1827 Georgia Watts
      1-800-241-2385 National Watts

      I found other sites but the price jumped to 215.00!

      The board is very easy to swap. Pull the radio out, take to 2 black
      screws off the side of the face plate (1 on each side. Face the back
      of the radio, now remove the screw in the top right corner. Pop the
      front and top cover off the radio. Unplug the blue cable that leads
      from the display to the display power supply. There are 2 tabs that
      hold the power supply in. One is next to where the blue cable plugs
      into the power supply. To find the other tab, look inside the half
      circle on the tin heat shield. The board is painted white where the
      tabs are. Now straighten the tabs with a screw driver. Pull straight
      up on the tin heat shield. Now you have it out swap it with the new
      one and put it all back together.

      3 (*** this helped me ***)
      I have a '00 that just developed the blank display syndrome. From all these good inputs, locating the display power supply (the small board mounted to the left side of the CD chassis and connected to the display by a small cable consisting of blue insulated wires) was not much of a problem. Examination of this board from the bottom side showed some heating and with a 5X jewelers loop a person could see broken solder joints. Soldering these joints, especially those associated with the surface mounted components took very a sharp soldering iron (taking a standard Radio Shack type, 25W and sharpening the point so that taper starts about 3/8" to 1/2" from the tip worked very well). After re-flowing, and adding solder in some cases the display works as new.

      Now then for the fix: Obviously the display power supply is running at a high enough temperature to damage the solder joints but not so high as to damage the components. Solder will remain structurally sound to about 230 degrees F. any substantial increased temperature will weeken the joints allowing the mass of the component, thermal expansions and contractions and residual stress from the original soldering event to tear the joint apart. Or in other words the newly soldered board will fail in a month, 6 months, or maybe if your lucky several years if steps are not taken to cool the board. At www.pricewatch.com several vendors advertise fans as small as 1" square. With file a 1" square fan will fit at an angle from back to front over the front of the power supply board. Using a little 5 minute epoxy the fan can be secured to the chassis and connecting the fan power between the ignition on power (at the radio connector) and ground (the chassis) will cause the fan to run any time the ignition is turned on. The drawback to this fan is, it can be heard when the ignition on and the engine not running.
       
      Last edited by a moderator: August 9, 2006
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    3. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      Thanks for compiling the info. I set you up with 3 months of Elite Explorer benefits.
       
    4. mikeh

      mikeh Active Member

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    5. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      I'll second the vote for Trevor. I tried to fix mine per those instructions and only succeeded in making mincemeat of my board. Trevor took care of it for $70 including return shipping. (Given the amount of damage I did to the board, it should have been a $90 repair easily!) He also checks, adjusts, and lubes the CD and Cassette mechanisms to ensure they work well. All is well almost a year later! :)

      -Joe
       
    6. Jetvol1

      Jetvol1 New Member

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      There's the key. Combined with info from the pic's you'll see a 2w resistor mounted to the opposite side of the board of the surface mount components
      R1057/C1071/R1058/C1083/R1064.

      Each leg of the resistor had about 1/4 inch (ok maybe less) sticking out of the board on the bottom. I'm imagining that the 2w resistor got too hot and heated those components up.

      I'm hoping the quick fix of push those legs in (therefore moving the resistor away from the board) with the soldering iron is the key.

      Mine is working now but we'll see what happens in the next few days.

      Thanks for all the info guys. Very cool.
       
    7. raleigho

      raleigho New Member

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      dkoets,
      I, like you, did the repair numerous times, only to have it fail after a couple of weeks. I used your recommendations, and order a new board from Speedometer Service, replaced the board and I'm done with the problem. I checked prices, and they were competitive, and very prompt in delivery.
      Thank You for your help, and advice.
       
    8. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      Just an update: Mine was repaired by Trevor at PacificAudioTech.com now almost a year ago. I'm happy to report the problem has not yet returned. :)

      -Joe
       
    9. rtbrjason

      rtbrjason Member

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      I went through this as well with the mach stereo in my 98. I tried soldering and had no luck. I purchased the board installed it and the display has worked since.

      What I've noticed though, is that the button illumination on the stereo is intermittent. Most of the time the buttons will no light up, or are very dim. Sometimes they are fully lit and look great.

      Anyone else having this issue or know which solder joints to check? I'm about to pull it back out and retouch up any weird looking/burnt joints.
       
    10. Jetvol1

      Jetvol1 New Member

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      Well guys after a week mine stopped working again. Still working on it.
       
    11. 2000LTD

      2000LTD New Member

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      I'm thinking I'm gonna send mine to this Trevor fella. Accounting for shipping time, about how long should I expect to be sans-radio and staring at an unsightly hole in my dash?
       
    12. gijoecam

      gijoecam Village Idiot Elite Explorer

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      Mine took him four days to turn it around, but that was my fault as I had attempted the repair myself and made mincemeat of the board in the process. Ordinarily his turnaround is a couple hours from the time he starts on it, and it ships out the next day.

      You'll be quite happy with the service. Mine's still working. :)

      -Joe
       
    13. mggustaf

      mggustaf New Member

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      I sent my Mach unit to Trevor at Pacific Audio (http://home.comcast.net/~pioneer_dualmedia/index.html) and I had the unit back in 4 days. When I first contacted him (I wasn't going to send a several hundred dollar head-unit to a faceless web site) he asked if I had already tried to fix the unit myself. He was upfront about telling me he charges an additional $15 for my "help." I have had the unit back for over 6 months now and it works like new. I highly recommend his services.

      Marty
       
    14. MustangAndy

      MustangAndy Active Member

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      '98 Radio problem: How I fixed it

      I had the same problem (Like most everybody). Come to think of it I had a friend with a '98 XLT with the same. Screen would work for a short while then blank out. Also for me different lights for different functions would go out. I.E. the #5 button would light for the AM/FM but go out when switched to CD mode.

      For me I pulled the radio and had my dad look at it. He resoldered everything and that brought back some of the lights and the screen would work for awhile longer.

      I eventualy got quite annoyed at this and decided to simply swap out the radio from the one in my Mustang. Stang was upgraded to a Pioneer DEH-6700MP in '05 as a H.S. graduation present.

      To do this I had to get a bit creative:

      Working with a '98 Explorer Sport and a '02 Stang V6 here. The radio from the Stang is a Premium style with the AM/FM/Cass/CD option. No Mach:

      1) I started by taking out the Explorer's radio (AM/FM/Cass/CD) by using a pair of "Radio removal tools" I picked up at Pep Boys for $6 (Look like "U"s), and tossing it in the back seat. There is a trick to these radios. The object of the game is to put the tools in till they clip then pull them sideways to the outside of the radio . After they are at an angle you then pull foward. Keep them straight and tehy just pop out without the radio.

      2) I then removed the (2) 9/32" Hex head screws on the bottom of the console piece and took it out. (There's probly a Metric size that fits better, but seeing as 9mm was the smallest metric I had, SAE won. 1/4" is too small BTW)

      3) Using a plastic cutting tool I trimmed away the lip on the console where the Explorer's radio would have stopped. This lip acted like a stop to keep the radio from being shoved too far in.

      4) Seeing as the radio from the Stang was bolted into the console and not hooked like the Explorer, I had to remove the small metal trim plate from it. It was held on with 4 tiny Torx screws.

      5) I then hooked up the wires to the back of the Stang's radio (Idiot Proof).

      6) I put the radio in FIRST then put the console piece back on and reinstalled the 2 screws on the bottom.

      Done. Stang radio works fine and looks like factory. Best part is that I have the radio controls in the back console and they interface with the Stang radio just fine.
       
    15. mswann

      mswann New Member

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      It works!

      I guess the third time is the charm. I was excited to see the thread on the blank radio fix, since mine has been out for 2-3 years. Interestingly, on the coldest day of the year (under zero) my radio lights would work for about 10 seconds every year ... I thought it was a teaser from satan himself until I read the thread. :navajo:

      I'm no electrician and not a mechanic by any means, but since I recently swapped out my heater core because I was down on cash, I had some extra confidence that the instructions for this would be worth a shot. I spent about $20 at radio shack on an iron and solder, then pulled the radio with a bent clothes hangar as described. The first two times, I only soldered the joints that "looked bad" and it didn't work either time. I nearly gave up, but then I heated every joint on the board and it has been working, bright as ever, for the past 2 months. Thank you explorer forum and to all of you who have worked this out. My first post here, but I'm a big fan of the site!

      Now I had a fender bender the other night and tore my front valance on my 98 eddie bauer and need a tan replacement ... i'm having trouble finding one at a salvage yard ... anyone have ideas? Thanks.
       
    16. Donut

      Donut New Member

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      blank display

      Hey Guys
      i took the front cover off my radio like the post said. i look at all the joints. the ones coming out of the display were intact but had some browning on the board . on the display but the clock there was a discolored spot on the crystal. so i think its failed internally. if anybody has pics of before and after i'd like to see them so i have a better idea
      thanks Matt
      ow yeah two penny's fell out off radio when i took the cover off :eek: im sure that didn't help the problem
       
    17. viper1314

      viper1314 New Member

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      has anyone just tried replacing the resistors? I imagine replacing every part on the board would still be cheaper then the new board for 75+

      Mine came on today again for about 2 minutes (it was about 7* out) I went to set the clock and she went blank again as I was about to set the minutes
       
    18. scucci

      scucci Active Member

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      The first repair I made the day after I bought my 98 was the radio display. Since I have been an electronics tech and taught high reliability soldering it was not a tough job. The resistor dissapates a lot of heat and has a small solder pad and substrate for heat transfer. This magnifies any soldering defects. You really need to work under a magnifier. The solder joints on this board are not very high quality. The ones I have seen all had contamination and were not soldered at the correct temperature (cold joint). You need to clean the board first. I used radio shack flux remover. Next I removed the old solder and cleaned the resistor leads and pcb pads with a pencil eraser. Then placed a drop of liquid rosen flux on the leads and pads. I used silver bearing solder available at radio shack. This or eutectic 63/37 solder work the best. The eutectic solder has a narrow plastic temp range and so it is easier to prevent movement of the component leads. Movement of the leads while the solder is molten and cooling to the solidification point causes a frosted looking weak joint. Then I removed the solder from all components and cleaned, fluxed, and soldered them. That was 2 years ago and it has not failed yet. The problem is poor design practice and poor quality control. There is an old saying in solder land "the bigger the blob the better the job". This is meant as sarcasm by qualified techs. There should be just enough solder on the joint to form a well defined fillet.

      A 12 volt 25mm square ball bearing muffin fan can be used as the previous post explained . I just searched and found one here.
      http://www.hardwarecooling.com/product_info.php/cat/48_75/prod/147/Sunon_25x25x10mm_Fan?

      You get what you pay for. The sleeve bearing fan will make a lot of noise and fail quickly. I have seen theese fans cost up to $60 for the best high end. I did not not put one in my radio. If the board fails again I will purchase the newer redesigned board. Hope this helps in somebody in some tiny way.

      Scucci
       
    19. viper1314

      viper1314 New Member

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      thanks for that post man, I will re do mine when I get a chance, hopefully this weekend or the next.

      I was in Electronics Engineering Technology for 1.5 years and worked a summer in the field (thats when I realized I dind't want to do that haha) so I should be able to take care of this.
       
    20. Toucan

      Toucan Active Member

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      I did my own repair when I bought my '98 3 1/2 years ago. It worked perfect up until about 2 months ago. I went back in and cleaned up a re-soldered. BUT forgot to replace the large metal cover in testing it. The face of the radio shorted out and broke one of those thin thread like things. Radio "sound" is perfect but no more display!!!! Need to replace at least the face. ( I did try to repair that but to no avail.) Will have to wait until one reaches a junk yard. In our country these radios are not common. Mein it sucks!!
       
    21. KLW

      KLW Member

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      Toucan, I did the same thing to my radio! I had the circuit board loose trying to figure out what solder joint I missed and all of a sudden smoke rolled from my unit. I found out I had smoked one of the circuits on the front panel. I repaired it with piece of "braid" from the solder remover I had but still no front panel lights. I purchased another radio on ebay last night that is guaranteed for 15days (woopdedoo). I'm not sure my smoking the front panel is my problem now or I just need another power supply board. Hopefully the new radio will work a long time. I did get my lights to come on for a half an hr or so after my first solder job when I hit the top of the radio. Everything else works ok. The Radio Shop in a nearby town said an exchange radio was like $399 with a 90 day warranty. They're going to look at my subwoofer amp since it doesn't work. They wanted $169 for a exchange on the amp. My cost from Ford for the whole subwoofer was $199 which I'm assuming includes the amp.
       
    22. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      The Mach and Premium Explorer radios should be fixed by pros. For the most of $60 it's a better choice. The whole radio should be had used for under $100. Don't buy a new or rebuilt/repaired sub amp, they are reliable and cheap to buy, I have one or two.
      I just received my Mach radio back, display and CD repaired, plus five(5) RCA ouputs installed. Good luck,
       
    23. 99SportX

      99SportX Well-Known Member

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      Nice fix. It is too bad those boards get so hot. The components are placed to close together. I was looking at the mach in my dads mountaineer today. Took me all of 2 min to get the display board out. There was very obvious heating of the board, as it was a brownish gold color near what I think was an opamp, and some blue colored resistors, and other surface mount resistors. I reheated a few of the joints, but it still didn't work. The display works when cold, so I may not give up quite yet. My dad really doesn't want to pay to get it fixed, but he would like it to work.

      I really wish they sold that board separately, as I am probably going to be needing two of them. One for his radio, and one for a radio I am getting for my X.
       
    24. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      As common of a repair as it is, surely someone has put in print a source for the board. Search on here, I wouldn't be surprised. Good luck,
       
    25. roogie

      roogie New Member

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      I found this guy on eBay, for $40 plus shipping he fixed my 1998 Explorer's blank face display. He even fixed some other issues my radio had for no extra charge.

      He had it fixed the day he got it and even though there were some shipping problems (all FedEx's fault, who is my employer) I got it back today and it looks great. He guarantees his work and will fix it for free if it happens again.

      I forgot to check the forum for this problem, but I can highly recommend Mike's repair.

      http://motors.search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZbiscaynekid

      roog
       
      Last edited: April 21, 2007
    26. scucci

      scucci Active Member

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