1998 5.0 XLT Electrical Gremlins. PATs and horn problem. | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1998 5.0 XLT Electrical Gremlins. PATs and horn problem.

The spring holds the tilt wheel lever tight.

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Yeah I think the spring is likely the tilt mechanism.

My THEFT light was flashing randomly way back when I had bought the truck, but after I had taken the column trim off. When I discovered the blue clip and that part loose there, holding it in, my truck would always start, pulling it away would make the THEFT light flash. I've always figured that was part of the key code reception circuit. If it's just to sense the key being there(dinger), then I don't know why my issue back then never came back. It was simple to gently push it in where it goes, and tape it in place as I tested the THEFT light issue. After I decided that was the problem, I removed the piece of tape, dabbed RTV on it, and taped it to hold it while it dried. It's been untouched since 2006.

For your truck, that wiring mess can be the source of many gremlins. I'd begin by finding out if the main ignition wires are hurt. Remove the tape, and if they are okay, take the added wires off and tape/cover the OEM wires well. Those are critical wires, high current and something you don't want any shorts to or from. Those added wires are hot along with the main circuits, those are potential fire hazards depending on where they go. That non stock module is probably not valuable, or would be big trouble to restore functions of it. I'd remove it completely, new remote start systems are not expensive, partly because of how fragile the wiring is, the low quality of parts in general they are made with.

I can't get to it until later this week. I guess I will start with taping that blue clip down and seeing it that is my problem with the PATS. Next I will try to remove that black box and tape up all the exposed wires.

Holy exposed wires batman!! I took some pics, pretty much a **** show.

I tried taping the blue clip and yes it is for the door dinger, didn't matter if it was in or not as I removed the PATS ring and held it to my key and theft light went out every time I held it to the key and theft light stayed on of course when I pulled it away from the key. So for some reason it's not reading far enough? So do I just grab another used one as I assume the dealer charges an arm and a leg... Is there a way to fix it other than taping another key to it? lol

Tried popping off the black box(s) as there was 2 and it is a nightmare. Wires taped and spliced everywhere, exposed wires, wires hanging around to who knows what.

Sorry pics are so big. I think hr black box is an aftermarket alarm, no idea about the smaller box. First pic I think the box is for electric trailer brakes?


Lovely exposed wire there at the end eh?

So how do I approach this? What is the simple way that shouldn't screw anything up? just trace every wire one at a time and remove the wire and then tape up any thing exposed?

after a quick online dig, the AstroFlex 2006A is a keyless remote start.

They were bought out by Directed at some point. You might be able to contact them for support or a manual.

If you don't have those systems working and all components, I'd remove it all and restore the stock parts to be more secure from shorting or damage. It might be harder and still not free to repair or get those things to operate again, plus it could take as much time as buying new systems etc.

The exposed wire was most likely taped over, but tape lets go. The main ignition wires are the big ones to worry about, you don't want any of them to be damaged. A short could fry a section of a wire, and that can be a huge problem to trace and repair. So prioritize the main wires, those are precious and you don't want to ever have to mess with them.

If your key code works by moving it nearer to the PATS receiver, that's great, you shouldn't have to deal with dealer programming(still if you have two good keys). The PATS module stores the key codes in it, the rest of the components you can replace as needed.

Yea I don't care about remote start/electric trailer brakes....etc.

Which ones are the main ignition wires? I plan on being careful with all of them but I'm sure I want to be extra careful with those lol

Why is that great if the receiver still works when it is close to the key? Does that mean I can use it still or do I still need a new/used one?

I'm going out here today since the weather isn't bad (+1c) and going to remove the battery/battery tray and check out the horn. I'm going to bring 2 wires and put 12v directly to the horn and see if that works.

The two horns are bolted down with just one bolt(maybe two), I can't recall if you can see it in front of the battery tray . I've got a picture with everything out, just a minute;

The main wires are the biggest ones at the ignition switch, the pictures show them with tape over a wire on each. If they just made the wires bare and soldered to them, you can gently cut the new wires close and tape it up, a liquid electrical tape might be a nice first step(I forgot about that, I had some which dried up after a few years(you rarely use it)).

The PATS device that you're placing the key near, that might just be the problem, it not sensing the key in the ignition every time. I'd swap that part out and see if that fixes it.

My problem went away after I "fixed that blue piece" and put the column trim pieces back on. Since the key sensor isn't related to the PATS, I must have at the same time moved something else also, fixing my THEFT light issue. The blue piece is all I recall doing much with there.


ARCModule 092.jpg


Thanks for the pics. Probably would have helped if I saw that first as I removed something on the other side of them that had vac hoses and looked to be part of the AC system. The hoses were pretty dried anyways so I'm going to hit them with vaseline when I put it back in.

So found why my horns didn't work. UGH. One thing after another. Did I mention I hate wiring? Maybe I just hate bad wiring.... That red wire had tape around it and was just sitting out in the open not attached to anything.

I think there might be a metal plugin tab or 2 missing? I can't figure out where the power and ground need to go. They work as I hooked them up to the battery and they fired away. Anyone have a pic or proper wiring diagram?

Oh and if I didn't say it before, thank you everyone for the help so far.

Looks like a horn tab is busted off. Why are they so oil covered?

But is it busted off? Where is the ground? or does it ground to the chassis?

I get my truck krowned every fall. Rust belt.


After looking at a wiring diagram I don't know why there is a red wire added in there. the one connector powers both horns. it sucks too because I have the battery/tray out so I can't hook them up and test what the red wire does.

The horns ground through the bolt/chassis, so only the power wire goes to the terminal.

What a pain in the ass. Is there an easy way to get at the horn with the battery and battery tray installed?

I know horn button works and has power since when I press it I hear the relay clicking in the power fuse box under the hood. Can relay's go bad and still click? I doubt it is my problem, I don't have a relay checker. If the relay is good then either something is wrong with the blue power wire or it isn't grounding properly.

What I will try first is I will get a sanding block and rough up the area it bolts to (can't see it and it could be rusty) and rough up the contact surface on the horns. I will clean the terminal and use some dialectic grease on the terminal. It worked and then stopped and then worked again and then stopped so something is up. It would be weird if the blue wire connector is broken and they soldered the red wire in and connected it somewhere on the horn..

When my RAP module was acting up, I unhooked my horns on my 96 from underneath. No battery or tray removal needed.

The hold down bolt should make a fine contact if it's tight. First test the relay, simply swap the relays around to test them. They all interchange, the two sizes used in the late 90's.

If the relay is okay, then it's likely the power wire, which you could test by jumping power to the output side of the relay(with it out). Be careful probing into any connectors, the terminals are fragile and can be pushed through etc.

Alright so I cleaned the contacts on horns, cut that red wire off and sealed it up and reinstalled them only for them to not work. Still relay clicking so I tried what you said and swapped the relays and HOOONK. I thought if the relay was clicking that it was working. Lesson learned!

I cut out most of that black box, I got the ignition wires freed and sealed up (one wasn't even soldered on) but now I'm stuck. I'll post pics tomorrow.

I tried hooking up the PATS transceiver ring and now it doesn't even work when I hold the key up to it so it's finished. I ordered a used unit from ebay with the same part number as mine which is F8SB-15607-AB so I'm assuming that I just plug it in and it should work with my keys???

It’s just a pickup so it should be plug and play, no need to program anything.

Ok so now that the horn problem is dealt with and I'm waiting a few weeks on the PATs ring, I'm now going to finish off this black box. I'm hoping you guys know the wiring under here lol.

Ok so I freed the ignition wires and sealed them back up.

Here is what is left under the dash. These are from the remote starter box and the electric brakes controller (I'm assuming that is what it is).

That tiny black box is attached to all this. I'm assuming I can cut the red wires and little dual wire coming though the firewall?

The old stereo type wire is confusing and there is some wire spliced into the wire coming out of that yellow connector.


Another pic of the yellow connector


Here are the last wires coming from the black box remote starter. I can't see where they go unfortunately. I don't see why the black and beige wire go to the side. Any ideas? I'm assuming there is no other box they go to in the truck....


A remote starter has to make a connection to the brake switch, they call it the BOO circuit. That yellow connector looks like it's to the brake switch. Hopefully they didn't damage that one brake wire, it's very important to normal operation besides the brake lights. Check your brake lights regularly, that's the easy way to know if the switch is working right.

The wires through the firewall are probably going to a power tap near the battery or fuse box. Be sure you disconnect the battery while working on those odd wires, they're likely connected to some live wires.

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I will track it through the firewall and see if I can find the source.

What about the ones in the last pic, one splices into a purple wire but the flat black one and the beige one go towards the fuse panel but if I recall correctly they don't splice into the fuse panel but go into the chassis...

My PATS transceiver ring came in today. I will try to get out today and install it. I really hope this works!!!!

I haven't touched the truck since I posted the pics because the weather has been cold and crappy. This week it's supposed to warm up to 0 so I will get it all done then hopefully