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what the ?????? Radio problem

Discussion in 'Explorer Audio & Navigation' started by myklt8, December 21, 2004.

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    1. myklt8

      myklt8 New Member

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      City, State:
      Roanoke,Texas
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '97 XLT 5.0
      I have a 97 XLT 5.0 with the Factory radio and CD changer. It has developed a bad habit of getting stuck in scan mode, Radio or CD it does not matter, just does it by itself. can turn it off, turn the X off. still does it. sitting overnite cures it for a while.
      any ideas?
      Thanx
      myklt8
       
      Last edited: December 21, 2004
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    3. 97BlackX5.0

      97BlackX5.0 Active Member

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      97 X XLT AWD
      yeah ive had this happen to mine too.... it usually goes away though.... or ill pull the fuse and then put it back in ... still wondering what the hell it is though
       
    4. svande8952

      svande8952 Active Member

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      You can fix this by installing a nice Kenwwod from www.crutchfield.com They give you everything you need for the install, it's worth it, get rid of that factory crap.
       
    5. myklt8

      myklt8 New Member

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      That is in the future, but I have more mods higher on the priority list.
      I just want the factory radio to work until I replace it.
       
    6. jtison

      jtison Member

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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '94 XLT/155 Kmiles 4x4
      Clean your switches, perhaps?

      I just picked up a very used 94 XLT. The volume wouldn't turn down ... I could turn it up all I wanted, but any attempt to mash on the '-' button wouldn't work at all. The problem in my case was that the switch contacts were dirty ... cleaning them fixed it. Here's what I did.

      1. Remove the radio. This requires a pair of "radio pullers" for FORDs ... you can find a pair at your local mass-market auto parts store for about $4.00. Stick one each into each pair of holes on the front of your radio, then push each towards the doors as you pull the radio out. You don't have to unplug anything ... you only need to get to about 1" deep along the side of the radio unit.

      2. Remove the faceplate. The faceplate is held in by a pair of Torx screws (very tiny ones, T15, I believe), one on each side. You can't miss them. Remove the screws. Now you can separate the faceplace from the unit. The faceplate is electrically connected to the radio unit by a 12-(?) prong plug ... disconnect that and take your faceplate to a clean, well-lit place.

      3. Separate the PCB from the faceplace. There are about 8 Phillips-head screws (very small) that fasten the printed circuit board to the faceplace. Turn the faceplate assembly over and remove them. The PCB will just lift out of the faceplate now.

      4. Find the switch contacts. Turn the PCB over so that the display is facing you. The switch contacts are part of the PCB itself. The contacts themselves look like little silver "E"s ... each contact has two of them, and the second "E" is turned around so that the arms of the "E" intermesh with just a little (< 1 mm) distance between them).

      5. Clean. You can do this with a clean soft cloth: just rub the contacts so that they're free of all dust (dust apparently shorts or outs these contacts). Blow the entire PCB clean with compressed air.

      6. Reassemble & reinstall. Installation is the reverse of disassembly.

      This sounds like it could be your problem. Anything that happens "by itself" or "intermittently" does have an explanation. These PCBs seem like they're very susceptible to dust & humidity. I used to have an 88 F-150 with the same problems: had I only known it was so easy to fix.

      Peace,
      --Jim--
       
      Last edited: December 24, 2004
    7. jtison

      jtison Member

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      I just picked up a very used 94 XLT. One of the many typical "used car" faults it had was that I could raise the volume on the radio, but I couldn't lower it. It was like mashing on the "down" button was useless.

      It turned out that the switch contacts were dirty. All I had to do was clean the contacts. This might be worth a try in your case: nothing really happens "by itself".

      Here's what I did:

      1. Remove the radio from the dash. This requires a special tool, a FORD "Radio Extractor", which look like a pair of "U"s about 2" deep with special ends. You can get these at your local mass-market auto parts store for about $4.00. Stick one each into each pair of holes at the front of the faceplate, and push each towards the nearest door as you pull the unit away from the dash. You don't need to remove it entirely -- you only need to get at the sides of the unit about 1" back of the faceplate.

      2. Remove the faceplate. The faceplate is fastened to the radio unit by a pair of Torx (very tiny ones, T15, I think) screws, one per side. They're obvious. Remove them, then pull the faceplate towards you. There's a 12(?)-prong plug that needs to be disconnected. Disconnect that and take the faceplate to a well-lit, clean area.

      3. Remove the PCB (printed circuit board) from the faceplate. Turn the faceplate over, and remove the 8-or-so Phillips head screws (very tiny) that retain the PCB in the faceplate. They're obvious. Remove them, then lift the PCB out of the faceplate bracket. Turn the PCB over so that the display faces you.

      4. Clean the switch contacts. On the PCB, you'll see quite a few silver "double-E"s ... the second "E" shape is turned over so that it's arms mesh with the rightways E. There's only a very little space here (fraction of a millimeter), so that when the rubber nipple on the faceplate switches touch it, the E's come together and make your connection. Since this space is so little, any dust or moisture can make or break the contact for you. Clean these contacts with a clean, dry rag. Blow the PCB with compressed air when you're done, and you'll want to blow the faceplate assembly, too.

      5. Reassemble the faceplate & reinstall. Inverse of disassembly.

      This only takes about 15 minutes, and all you have to lose is the 15 minutes. It just might fix your problem.

      Peace,
      --Jim--
       

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