'93 premium in place of '91 audiophile head unit swap? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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'93 premium in place of '91 audiophile head unit swap?


Well-Known Member
March 30, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
seattle, wa
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 & '93 EB, 4WD, 4-door
Driving a 1991 EB w/ the Audiophile stereo; cassette mechanism in head unit is broken. Took it out to look at it and several springs and wheels fell out on the floor. (nice).

Recently bought a '93 EB parts car that had the factory stereo/CD player out of the dash and laying on the floor. This '93 has the premium sound system, not the audiophile.

Tried installing the '93 head unit in the '91, connectors all lined up and fit but no lights, no sound, no nothing.

I know that the audiophile has a separate subwoofer with its own amp. Would that cause the '93 to not fire up? (e.g., different wires, same connectors)?

EDIT: according to my understanding of the article listed below, there is no difference in the elect. connectors between the 1991-1994 Premium head unit and the 1991-1994 audiophile head unit; the only difference is that the premium head unit puts out more watts (Premium head unit: 4X20; Audiophile head unit: 4x15).

Doubt it but thought I would ask. I can't check the CD player in the '93 as seller had home-wired an aftermarket stereo in and the wire harness is a bit messy in the '93.

Anyone have a '91-'92 factory audiophile stereo/CD player for sale?

comparison of various explorer sound packages and specifications: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25999

Premiums have an external amp seperate from the headunit. I'm pretty sure the audiophile is the same way.

In 1991-1994 Explorers, the same head units are used in both "Premium" and "Audiophile" systems. The difference is in the amplifiers - the Premium systems have one 4-channel amp driving all 4 speakers; the Audiophile systems have 2 remote amps, one 5- channel that drives the 4 main channels, with a line-out to a separate SW amp that drives the sub. So, if you have the same Model Year haed unit and amps, they can be interchanged.

One of your issues is that there was a change in the amplifier mute logic bewteen the 1991 (old style "flat-face") and 1993 (new style face with rounded edges) model radios. The 1991 radio uses a 12V signal to unmute the amp; the 1993 radio uses a 5v signal to unmute the amp. If you put the '93 radio into a '91 system, the 5v signal is not enough to unmute the amp. The remedy is very simple - the '93 radio puts out a 12V signal on the "Antenna" pin, if you just run the amp line to that pin, it will get a 12V signal and turn on (route the wire from pin #8 of the power side connector to pin #7).

This would explain why you get no audio - it would NOT explain why the radio does not light up - it should turn off/on, VF station display should light up, and the radio should be able to seek stations, etc., you just would not have any sound. Which leads me to believe you must have another wiring issue, or the head unit you bought is NG.