98 XLT sound system SUCKS!!! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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98 XLT sound system SUCKS!!!


Well-Known Member
February 23, 2003
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT AWD
How Do, How Do All,

I have a 98 AWD XLT and the sound system sucks with a STRAW!!! I want to put a booster on the system, which is a cd player, Tape player, am/fm thingamawho. I know how to get the big behemouth out of the dash already. I have a big harness setup connecting everything to the back of the system. How do I connect my booster to it, and secondly, WHERE THE HELL DO I FIND THE WIRES LEADING TO THE REAR SPEAKERS? I want to throw a dual 10 inch subwoofer box back there.
Help me!!

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Well I assume by "booster" you mean new head unit that will replace the big factory one. The back of your stock radio will have a 16 pin harness that contains power, ground and speakers wires and possibly a 20 pin connector that controls the rear seat radio controls. To install your new head unit you will need to disconnect all connectors on the stock radio and buy a 16 pin wiring connector from walmart (Scosche FD16, Metra 70-1771) that wires up to your new HU and then snaps to the factory one. Now you have new tunes to all 4 speakers with improved power from the new HU. The 20 pin connector remains disconnected and the rear seat controls are unusable (heat/air controls work fine though).

To add a sub you can do a couple things. You can splice into the rear speaker wires (see below), either behind the dash or under the door sills, and connect to an amp with high level/speaker level inputs. Then wire the sub box to the amp. Plus of course new power wire to the battery and new ground.

If you new HU has subwoofer RCA outputs then no splicing, just rca cables to the new amp

1998 Explorer XLT Premium System w/ amp integrated into radio chassis
my truck came with rear seat controls but NO subwoofer,NO power
antenna, NO CD changer.

Stock AM/FM CD Cassette "Dual Media" part# F87F-18C868-CC

Typical harness to add aftermarket stereo - Scosche FD16, Metra 70-1771

Typical harness that connects into radio and would be needed if
stock harness was damaged - Scosche FD16R, Metra 71-1771

5----empty-------------empty--------(amp turn on for audiophile unit?)
6----Pink/Black(thin)--empty--------(pwr antenna?)
7----Black-------------orange/black-grounding dimmer
9----Black/Green-------black/white--amp ground
14---Black/Green-------black--------Chassis Ground
15---Yellow/Black------red----------switched Acc 12V
16---Green/Purple------yellow-------batt constant 12v

*Looking at stock Black connector w/red
leading edges.
____ _______ ____
| | | | | |
|1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 |8 |
|9 |10|11|12|13|14|15|16|

*I checked all wires but could not find a
12V source that was switched when the
radio was turned on for my "remote"
external amp turn on. I ended up
using the yellow/back switched Acc.

what about the grey connector

would this be the same for a 98 mounty

The large grey connector is the 20 pin rear seat controls. There are things available for around $100 that will allow you to use the rear seat controls but never tried it.

I pretty sure the wiring is same for mounty.

1998 Explorer XLT Premium System w/ amp integrated into radio chassis
my truck came with rear seat controls but NO subwoofer,NO power
antenna, NO CD changer.

Stock AM/FM CD Cassette "Dual Media" part# F87F-18C868-CC

This was an old post, hopefully you still remember.

How do you know that that particular stock stereo has an amp built in? That is my exact model number too and I was looking for specs for that stereo. I am replacing it, and it seems like it is going to be easier if in fact the stereo does have an amp rather than one in the back that I have to bypass.