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Getting ready to install a new stereo head unit - tips, tricks?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by SteveRosenow, September 27, 2019.

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  1. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    So, I bought the inexpensive Dual $69 Dual-DIN XVM286BT head unit at Walmart tonight, almost identical to the same one we have at work for almost double.

    I also bought a Scosche harness kit. Since I have the JBL Ford Premium sound amp, am I correct in that I also need to pick up a special harness kit for that?

    Since this is the first time I've ever done my own audio upgrade, I could appreciate some tips and tricks. And some general how-to from those that have done it. How long does it take? What wire goes where? (I know that the kits are color coded/tagged for ease of install, but a little bit more advice helps)...

    I plan on eventually upgrading this to a full-on Android setup in the near future with integrated navigation, and this is a trial run. Any advice/help/suggestions are much appreciated.
     
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  3. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

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    super easy install with the wiring adapter kit
    I am not sure if you need additional wiring harness for the factory JBL amp

    Did you get a dash install kit for the single din unit also? Makes it a plug and play snap in deal into your dash?
    It has been a long time since I did a gen I truck....
    I always Check Crutchfield.com and see what they recommend for your truck as far as installation accessories, speaker sizes, etc
     
  4. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    If you have to put in an amp bypass, that is most of the work.

    Solder, don't crimp.
     
  5. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    Not super easy for a 96 w/JBL. You need a special harness and the trim has to come apart because wires have to be run to to the rear.

    That radio was quite ahead if its time. The front unit is pretty much a keyboard and display(except for the tape deck). The radio is located in the rear. I think Tape and CD audio was sent as a digital signal to rear unit.
     
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  6. RandomNerd2000

    RandomNerd2000 Well-Known Member

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    I'm mostly here to ask if there was any trimming or anything that needs doing to install this exact unit in a 2nd gen, I've got one too and I'm familiar with wiring but not with how a double din goes in the place of stock.
     
  7. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    For the dbl Din to fit, you have to shave off a little off the bottom of the opening. I used a dremel with a cutting bit, and took off a little at a time until the HU fit snug.

    Something to keep in mind about the HU harness adapter kit & the amp bypass wire harness. When I went to Best Buy for the adapter, they didn't have the right one on the shelf. They sent me back to the install dept, and a tech was able to get me the right one from the supply they have in the back, which is different then whats sold to the public in the store. They stock more specialty items, for the installers to do their jobs properly.
     
    Last edited: September 30, 2019
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  8. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, GMan is right on the ball. Don't go crazy, I used a file to remove a bit of the stock at the bottom. If you are creative with the 96 JBL you can use the sub as well. The harness don't come with the wires but it is easy to add a power on wire(think antenna enable) and the out while you run the other wires. The Amp (well it is the radio, the antenna goes in) becomes a paperweight with the new radio.
     
  9. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    UPDATE:

    I bought the Scosche harness kit FK106SD from Walmart tonight after exchanging the previous one. Everything on the harness kit wired up perfectly, however I have no sound.

    The head unit works as it should as well.

    Any suggestions?
     
  10. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Is that an amp bypass harness or a head unit adapter?
     
  11. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    Head unit adapter. It said it was for Ford vehicles with factory premium sound.
     
  12. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You need to install the amp bypass harness to get sound using the stock speaker wires. The amp is in the rear passenger side, behind the big panel.

    If you don't bypass the factory amp, you can run new speaker wires.
     
  13. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    Where would I find one? The Scosche kit I have says I need to order one but the part no. they give doesn't show up on searches.

    I feel like it's almost unobtanium.
     
  14. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Crutchfield. Where you should have went in the first place.
     
  15. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    I tried looking for one but the only one I saw was a Ready-Made harness. In order to get that I would have had to buy a head unit from them. All of the units they had were well beyond my budget.
     
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  16. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  17. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    This is about 18 feet of cable! That is what I bought for mine. This assumes you have the premium JBL (your radio will have a DSP button I believe). I think there is a JBL version that does not have an amplifier, it would use a different harness. Do you have an antenna cable running to the front head unit? If not, you need this (premium):

    https://www.amazon.com/Metra-70-5601-Wiring-Harness-Bypass/dp/B0002BETAY
     
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  18. Shane Rogers

    Shane Rogers New Member

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  19. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    The only steering wheel controls I have are for cruise control. I don't have any radio controls at all.

    I managed to fix the main issue I was having post-install and that was that the new head unit kept on blacking out with a "NO SIGNAL" screen every time I turned the headlights on. A simple snip of an orange wire solved it.

    One of my friends had mentioned that it is possible to merely jump the amp signal wire to get teh sound to work. If that is possible, I'd like to know what wire it is.

    I've tried researching to no avail, the wiring plug pinouts for my rig. Everything I see on a Google search doesn't match what I have, and on the back of my OEM head unit there are only two plugs which plug into the back. One of them is an 8-terminal socket about 2" long by a half inch wide, and the other is a small black socket about 1" by 1/2" and it has sixteen terminals.

    I've supplied pix of both plugs.

    I also have no antenna wire going to the back of my OEM head unit, either, because I have the factory power retractable antenna (which I'd like to keep functional). Also, when I check the back of my rig at the subwoofer trim panel, it says "JBL" on the "Ford Premium Sound" decal on the speaker grille mesh.

    I am at my wits end because I'd really like to get this functional again, but at the same time not get stuck buying one part and it end up being the wrong one. I already did that with a wire harness kit. I'd just like to be done with this, and I really cannot understand why manufacturers like Scosche can't supply a direct plug-and-play kit without the need of extra stuff. It's obscene that I can get the main harness, but the amp bypass kit is seemingly only available online (and I can't even find the one I need). It sucks because I feel I should be able to go and buy the stuff I need to get the job done the first time from a single source, be it a box retailer like Walmart or online.

    And I forgot to add to my other reply... When I tried Crutchfield.com, I was also dismayed to find that their dual-din setups were not full-screen units like I wanted, at least within my budget. All of the ones I found had a giant volume knob occupying the bottom center of the unit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Did you click the link I posted? It takes you to a page with plenty to choose from. Everything on that page is for your 96. Read the descriptions for those items until you see which one works for you.
     
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  21. SteveRosenow

    SteveRosenow Member

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    I did, but even the aftermarket amp bypass plugs that I see, don't appear to match the plug I have on the back of my OEM unit. The ones with the squarish teal-blue plug look close, but I even have that plug on the one I have now and it doesn't fit. Nor are the pins right in it.
     

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