How should I get power for PIE adapter? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How should I get power for PIE adapter?


New Member
November 1, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Austin, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'92 XLT, '02 Eddie Bauer
I bought a PIE auxillary adapter (FRDN-AUX) for my 2002 Explorer. It requires a power connection, and PIE suggested simply tapping into the power wire which goes to the 16-pin plug in the back of my radio. I could buy something that crimps the wire, or manually strip some insulation and wrap or solder PIE's power wire to the stripped area.

A friend with some relevant experience suggested that I should instead run a new wire from the fuse box so that I don't do anything that might damage the existing wiring harness, might come loose over time, might cause a humm on the head unit, etc. That sounds like a reasonable suggestion, but now that I've got the trim off and radio removed, I fail to see the obvious way to run a new wire for power.

How would you, the experienced users of this forum, recommend that I get power to my PIE adapter? Would you just tap into the power-line of the existing wiring harness, and if so, how? Is there anything that plugs in between the 16-pin connector and the radio and would give me nicer way to tap into it's power? If you'd run a new wire from somewhere else, please tell me what route to use and give me some advice to be able to do this without taking apart the rest of the dash. Thanks.

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I've spent some more time with my head under the dash and physically running a wire to the fuse panel shouldn't be an issue. However, I'm having trouble identifying a switched fuse and wondering if it's possible to tap into these really small fuses.

First question, do they make fuse taps for these fuses which are physically so small? Alternatively, is it really possible to just shove a wire down in there with the fuse?

Second question, does anyone know which fuse on a 2002 is switched? I thought the radio fuse (#3) might be switched, but I removed the fuse and my volt-meter shows that both sides of the fuse connections are hot even with the ignition off. I've got the owner's manual in front of me, and none of the listed fuses are something that would be obviously switched. Please help save me from pulling & testing each one tomorrow. Let me know which one you've tapped and how. Thanks.

i dont know what a PIE adaptor is... but maybe this advise might help...

id just tap in to the wire... at any auto store they sell this "T" type of connector that is used specificly to tap in to a wire without cutting it...

i did something similar for my cousins sierra just today because the wire harness was $60 and we werent going to pay that much especially since the only wire we couldnt find was the remote wire (because it wasnt there, so we had to find an ignition wire and splice in to it).

as for the fuses i dont know, ive never added a fuse to any of my setups (except for the main power wire to the amps)

isnt there a diagram on the pannel that covers the fuses telling you which is the radio? if not i think it might be in the owners manual.

color code wise... usually yellow is remote, so if your going to test and splice any id try the yellow wires first

from a Google search

"Auxiliary input converters by PIE are designed to convert the CD changer port of the OEM radio (with CD changer controls) into an auxilary input. Devices such as XM radio, DVD, VCP, MP3 and game systems can be added tothe OEM radio without FM modulation.."

I did the same thing that you are doing. I ended up just tapping into the power from behind the radio using a quick connect. Which I think is the samething Saleen is talking about. I originally tried to tap into the fuse box. I couldn't find the proper fuses to use because there is about 4 that the radio uses. It will tell you in your owners manual what does what. And I couldn't find fuse taps that were small enough. I got some regular fuse taps and tried grinding them down to the proper size. That didn't work because they made the fuse prong too thick and I ended up permantly bending the springs inside of the fuse box that holds the fuse in too much. So then the fuse would be real loose. So now I have to keep the fuse tap in there to keep it tight enough to hold the fuse in. So I just ended up connecting to the back of the radio.