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Identify this 98 Explorer radio?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by 98ExplorerGuy, April 20, 2012.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. 98ExplorerGuy

    98ExplorerGuy New Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1998 Explorer XLT
    Can anyone hazard a guess as to the correct model number for this radio/cassette/cd unit? It is from a 98 Explorer; I have no idea whether or not it has the MACH sound system and do not know how to tell. Based on some of my readings and the fact that the unit has an "RDS / CLK" button where others have only a "CLK" button, it seems to be a MACH unit. However...

    Looking at the back, there are three connectors (in addition to the antenna) on the radio but only two - the two along the bottom edge - are actually in use. There is no harness present for the third socket. Also, as I recall, soon after the vehicle was purchased nearly 14 years ago, the radio was acting up. Brought it to the dealer and he *may* have simply swapped in a unit from another vehicle on the lot. So, is it possible that this is a MACH radio in a non-MACH vehicle?

    I am trying to determine the model number of this unit and also the model number of the "standard" unit for this vehicle. This one has the infamous dead display and I have given up on trying to repair the power supply board myself. Thinking about just buying a refurbed radio on eBay where they can be had from reputable sources for around $140 - $150.

    Click the thumbnails for a larger view.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. my98nnj

    my98nnj Well-Known Member

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    Standard unit, same as in my 98. Send it to the guy in the radio display sticky out in WA I think? He fixed mine almost 5 years ago for like 50 bucks. Totally worth it and he gives a lifetime warranty. You won't get that with an eBay refurbished unit.
     
  4. IAmTodd

    IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran

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    When I bought my 2000 way back when, the lot swapped radios with a Mounty. I ended up with a Mach one in a non-mach truck and had zero bass. Finally got the proper one in after a few years. The fronts are all identical with the RDS button. I'm going to say it is the Premium one since it has PREM in the tag. I believe the Mach ones have Mach on them. Can't remember if the premiums have the third connector or if it's just a blank.
     
  5. 99SportX

    99SportX Well-Known Member

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    That looks like the MACH to me. I have a MACH in my Sport, and a Premium in my XLT.
     
  6. scucci

    scucci Active Member

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    The radio shown is a premium, a step up from the standard radio. The RDS button is only used on the premium and Mach models.

    The Mach radios send all the bass below 200 Hz to the sub woofer, the door speakers don't get any base frequencies.
     
  7. 99SportX

    99SportX Well-Known Member

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    I am fairly certain that only the MACH models have the RDS button.

    Your truck is wired for standard or Premium sound but has a MACH radio.
     
  8. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    Holly crap, that's why my subwoofer doesn't work? I have a regular/premium stereo in my EB that was supposed to have a Mach? I have bass in the doors but nothing in the sub. Maybe I got IAmTodd's radio? :)
    I have no "RDS" mark, just "Auto" and "Clk".
    Who wants to trade? Mine looks like this one (not mine, just an example).
     
    Last edited: April 20, 2012
  9. MountainSplorer

    MountainSplorer Member

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    same thing here
     
  10. IAmTodd

    IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran

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    Nope, I had a Premium in the 2000 and it had the RDS button. Took a while to track the replacement down but it had the full spectrum going to the door speakers where as the Mach I got the truck with didn't.
     
  11. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    All the "PREM" that I saw on eBay don't have the RDS label on face. It might be a variation based on the manufacturer exact part number...
     
  12. 99SportX

    99SportX Well-Known Member

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    Ok then, if a premium unit exists WITH an RDS button, then the only difference between that and the MACH is the subwoofer output? If the premium unit is not designed to work with the sub, then I highly doubt it would have the pins installed for the connector.

    As far as the OP is concerned, they are not wired for the MACH system, so they need to make sure they get a premium unit. I am sure the non-RDS units are much easier to find.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-Explor...t=Car_Audio_Video&vxp=mtr&hash=item23110fb0de

    This doesn't appear to clarify anything because they say 3 connector, premium, subwoofer in the description.

    I finally found one with a picture of the label:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/98-01-Ford-...t=Car_Audio_Video&vxp=mtr&hash=item2ebd313235

    It does have the pins in back as well...wtf ford...
     
    Last edited: April 21, 2012
  13. IAmTodd

    IAmTodd 4x Explorer Veteran

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    The ones with RDS on them will display the time as well as track/radio info at the same time. It will also do the light switching on the buttons depending on the mode the radio is in. The RDS ones also have issues with the display going out. CLK ones do not.
     
  14. MountainSplorer

    MountainSplorer Member

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    So basically where finding out there is 4 different head units that look extremely alike?

    2 "RDS" style head units, one MACH and one PREM that have a more informative display that reads out radio/rds info and track info and has a separate clock on the display, and can be had as a MACH with sub out and PREM without it. So only the label will tell?

    AND NON "RDS" which just has the clock in the center but can be EITHER MACH or PREM based on what the label says?
     
  15. 99SportX

    99SportX Well-Known Member

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    No, there are 3 head units (of this general face plate format in 2nd gens). Two with the RDS button (MACH and PREM), and one without RDS (PREM). There are no MACH units without the RDS button.

    MACH is setup to function properly with the 4 door speakers and a subwoofer while the Premium functions with only the 4 door speakers.

    In the 1999 ford explorer brochure offered at dealerships, they show the premium unit as having no RDS button, and the MACH as having an RDS button.

    Since the OP's 98 had a premium w/ rds, my 99 came with a prem w/o rds, and Todd's 00 model had prem w/ rds, there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which vehicles got which radio. As far as the dealership was concerned in 99, you either ordered am/fm/tape, am/fm/cd, am/fm/tape/cd premium, or am/fm/tape/cd mach. You could get the 6 disc CD changer with the premium or mach as an option.
     
  16. MountainSplorer

    MountainSplorer Member

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    So I have a subwoofer in my eddie bauer that doesn't work and a stereo with no RDS button, so some one replaced mine with the wrong unit. Hence I now need a Mach stereo correct?
     
  17. 99SportX

    99SportX Well-Known Member

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    Yes, if your subwoofer is not working properly, a good place to start would be getting a MACH headunit.

    It is too bad dealers go about replacing the head units with the wrong ones. Todd had it happen the other way around. Just about every head unit ever made with the RDS button had issues with the display power board. There was probably a lot of swapping and replacing going on. I re-soldered every connection on the power board in two MACH units and they have been working fine for years now.
     
  18. MountainSplorer

    MountainSplorer Member

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    Shitty I kinda may go a bitch out the dealer, since I know where it is and have the paperwork and make them replace it with the proper one.
     
  19. 99SportX

    99SportX Well-Known Member

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    I guess as long as you can prove that they were the ones who changed out the radio, you may be able to get somewhere. Otherwise you might as well just hit up ebay and get the right one.

    The mach in my sport is acting up. I get a weird eject error even though there is no cd in it. After the error comes up none of the buttons except volume work, so I am stuck on one radio station until it randomly starts working again. lol I thought it was due to my ipod adapter, but I removed it and the issue remains. It must be vibration related because I can run it when the engine is off for hours without an issue. Once the truck starts, it acts up almost right away. Oh well. I may be hitting ebay up for one as well.

    Oh, and FYI, my mach (from a 98 limited) says 'MACH' on the label in the same spot where 98ExplorerGuy's says 'PREM'.
     
  20. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    I have 2 premium units with RDS, both out of 98s with no subwoofer and have 3 plugs with connections on the back. Both of them have intermittent display. 1 had a 6 disc in the console and it worked
     
  21. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    I guess my EB's MACH radio was replaced with a PREM/no RDS at some point due to the faulty display. Oh well, at least I know now why my sub is not working.
     

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