Factory cd changers (18c830) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Factory cd changers (18c830)


Explorer Addict
August 29, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 XLT, 02 XLS
I was just wondering about these factory cd changers. Are they capable of hooking up to aftermarket HU with cd controls.

Also , looking on ebay, are all the 18c830 cd changer units the same. I have seen FM modulated units that still have the 18c830 part number going for cheap.
If I remember right the prefix numbers in the part number show minor revisions and the way the unit was sold, but the main unit is the same. For example a f6ff-18c830-ba was sold as a FM modulated unit, F57F-18C830-DC was sold as an OEM 96 X unit, and a XW1F-18C830-AB as an OEM 99 X unit but both have the same changer unit.

My thought was to get an FM modulated unit and buy cables to run to the HU instead of the remote and modulator.

Are both the changer controls and the changer output both contained in the cable that has the square terminal on the changer end and the round terminal on the HU end, or would it require some type of factory wiring harness?

Is this possible or Am I way off!

Also, what about the 18c829 models, are they similar.

Factory CD Changers

The part number -18C830- is the "base" part number for a Ford CD Changer. The prefix defines the model year and the application (Mustang, Explorer, T'Bird, etc.) it was originally released for. The suffix identifies the latest "change level".

All Ford factory-installed CD changers are "hard-wired". The FM modulated models were ONLY sold as Dealer-installed options. The part number -18C829- is the Ford service parts designatioon for a CD Changer "kit", which usually includes the changer, magazine, brackets, and wiring harnesses.

The FM modulated changers are aftermarket-type units that do not have the software in them that would allow them to work with hard-wired controls. I doubt you could get any FM modulated changer to respond with anyone's CD Changer-compatible head unit.

In most cases, the Ford hard-wired units will not work with aftermarket head units. Normally, you have to buy matched components (Ford CD Changer-compatible radio, Ford CD Changer; Sony CD Changer compatible radio, Sony CD Changer) etc., to get components that will work with one another.

I don't think what you are trying to do will work - you can't make an FM modulated changer respond to the CD commands of a Changer-compatible radio.



thanks for the info.
I still think that since the modulated ones carry the same base part number (18c830) that they should be similiar internallly. I was thinking they just came with a modulator and a controller instead of the hard wiring to the HU. You can get a modulator from Radio Shack and broadcast any signal. Not sure though, they have been known to do some pretty dumb things before.

But, I'm now looking at kenwood changers to match the HU already in the truck.