Ford Explorer and Ranger
Radio Removal and Installation

Contributed by Bruce A.

The cassette quit on my 94 Explorer. Removal of the radio assembly is a snap, if you know how. Find 4 pieces of steel rod about 3 inches long having a diameter of about 1/8 inch. Insert these into the four holes located near the corners of the unit. This releases the four latches which hold the radio in. Make sure they are all the way in. Jiggle the radio slightly and it should come right out the front. Disconnect the antenna, power and speaker cables and remove the four rods. To reinstall, you don't need the four rods, simply reconnect the three connectors and slide the unit in until the latches snap. Removal takes about two minutes if you are slow, and installation takes less than a minute.

Contributed by Rob T.

I used to use the same method as listed on you page....pieces of wire such as cut up clothes hanger wire.....until I got a purpose built set of DIN radio removal tools from Crutchfield. WHAT A DIFFERENCE THE RIGHT TOOL MAKES. I recommend a call to Crutchfield to purchase a set or they will give them to you with out charge if you purchase a radio set from them. Their number is 800-955-3000 or They also have all wiring harnesses and installation hardware needed. I purchased the adapter to allow an aftermarket radio to be used with Ford's premium sound system.

Contributed by Richard C.

I've had a little experience with the ford radios and the article that Bruce and Rob contributed were fine. i would like to pass on a few more suggestions if i may. one the use of wire , finish nails , etc do work but you need to be careful in the removal of the stock radio, the spring clips that hold the radio in the dash can be damaged if not properly removed. i had this happen on my '91 explorer when the stock radio ( jbl sound system ) failed after i picked it up from the ford garage. they sent me over to an authorized stereo shop to have the radio looked at. even with the right tools the left ( drivers side clip ) would not release and it was necessary to destroy the face of the unit to remove it. ( they had to use a large drill and drill out the holes to get to the clip ). the " U " shaped removal tools are now available at many automotive and stereo stores also. the supreme factory systems use an external amp which has a small square plug that connects the radio to the amp and the speakers are connected to the amp. when you install an after market radio with a built in amp caution needs to be taken when connecting to the factory system. i have used an after market radio and the factory amp together and the system worked but you need to realize its not a good idea to do this because you are feeding an amplified signal into the factory amp instead of a preamplified signal ( line level ). this could damage the factory amp if you turn the radio volume up. there two ways around this. 1. an adapter harness is available that has an adjustable input to the amp. to limit the incoming signal or 2. an adapter harness is available to bypass the factory amp. altogether. both of these should be available at shops that install car stereos but i haven't found them in common stores yet that just sell the adapters for the regular factory stereo. and for those of you that aren't familiar with the component locations of the explorer ( pre '95 anyway ) the door speakers are 61/2 " coax units and if you have the supreme sound with a rear sub. woofer its a 6 1/2 " also. the factory amp or amps if you have the jbl system are behind the passenger side cover in the rear of the truck ( by the wheel well. ) and can be accessed by removing the screws that secure the panel in place. i hope this information is of some use to anyone with radio trouble or curiosity.

Contributed by Steve

Having just experienced this on my '96 XLT, I found that coat hanger pieces will work just fine. The trick is in how you use them.

Bend the pieces of hanger into a "U" shape to fit the holes on the radio - mine are about 3 to 4" long. I rounded the ends of the wire on the grinder, but it's not really necessary. Insert the wires into the holes on the front of the radio until resistance is felt, then push about another 1/8". This gets the wire far enough in to get caught by the tangs on the spring catches that hold the radio in.  Note, at this point the wires will be tough to pull back out if you try. Now here's the trick. To get the radio out push the wires out towards the sides of the radio (away from each other) at the same time as you pull the radio out (e.g. push the right side wire towards the right, the left side towards the left). The radio will come out easily, without having to buy the special tools (even if they are inexpensive, they take pre-planning to have 'em when you need 'em).






Updated November 24, 2000

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