98 Explorer XLT radio installation issues. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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98 Explorer XLT radio installation issues.


Explorer Addict
May 31, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Gillette, Wyoming
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 Wrangler, 08 Ranger
I'm currently installing a new radio in my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT, and i've run in to the issue of none of the wiring connectors i've used will fit. What will happen is I'll get power, signal, etc, but no sound. I know for sure the pins inside the connectors do not line up. My explorer was manufactured in May 1998 and on a long shot I looked at the 1999 connectors, but they will not fit. Also, I have looked at the 1997 explorer connectors and those seem to look like they will fit. I am going to a Car Audio shop on Monday, but any suggestions on what to get, or do?

I'm pretty sure you have the earlier 97 type radio in your 98 (Ford mixed radio's both in 98) which has a external amplifier in the rear by the right rear wheel well. Do a forum search and look for the thread posted by "Joe Dirt" that explains the best how to install a aftermarket radio in the earlier 95-97 Explorer's. You can do it if you follow his directions which are the best I seen. Others here have explained it but his is clear and most simple. Good luck.

Edit link: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274434

Welcome to this forum! I've moved your thread into the audio & navigation section. Double check the wiring color codes to make sure that it's wired correctly. Check WWW.The12Volt.Com.

If you do have the 97 setup (with the rectangle and square harness plugs), all you gotta do is connect the 2 wires for the stock amp.. The amp ground is the 9th wire on the square plug which you can just ground with the main ground connec.. Then there's an amp turn-on wire on the rectangle plug that you can connect to either the power antenna wire or remote turn-on wire coming from your new stereo..