How To: 2nd Gen OEM Parking Sensors | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How To: 2nd Gen OEM Parking Sensors

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City, State
Bonita Springs, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT, V6 OHV
Hey Explorerforum. I've been on this site for a while now and it's helped me out a lot over the years, so I'm happy that I can contribute something in return.

I've always wanted to post a "How To" thread, so here it goes. A while back I considered buying and installing aftermarket parking sensors to help with reverse parking, since I almost always park in reverse. But then I saw a second gen bumper on eBay with factory parking sensors already in it. I was excited that I could install parking sensors without having to cut or drill into my original bumper, but I was even more surprised that Ford offered such an option in 1999 :rolleyes:

Before we get started, here's some info on Ford's Reverse Sensing System or RSS.

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So basically, the system is engaged when the vehicle is set to reverse. The four sensors on the rear bumper report ultrasonic data to a module located in the jack compartment, which calculates the proximity of any objects behind the vehicle.

So now we can review the required parts and steps to install this system.

Note: Before you buy anything, make sure that your truck has the required connectors. From what I've seen, most 99-01 Explorers have these connectors.

First off you'll need a bumper with the parking sensor holes in it, or you can drill your own, but this seems tricky as the four sensor brackets each have a unique opening and they must be placed at 90 degrees on the sloped bumper. I got mine at the local junkyard but I've seen them on eBay as well. Here's the bumper that you'll need:
EC6F24A5-BD1E-4BA3-82E5-9563C257D393.jpg


The first connector that you'll need is located behind the passenger side rear brake light, and it's often mistaken for a trailer plug. It's only held on by a retainer similar to the interior door panels, just pull it off.
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It has a plug over it to protect it from the elements, which you can pull off with pliers.
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I took those pics in the junkyard ^^^, my truck isn't that dirty :D Once you have your old bumper off and the new one installed, simply plug the harness in:
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You'll want to make sure that your bumper isn't sagging in order for the sensors to function correctly. I did this by pushing up on the center of the bumper while I tightened the bolts.
 



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The next item you'll need is the RSS module, I got mine out of a 99 Eddie Bauer. Here it is next to the RSS switch.

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Next you'll have to locate the connector for the RSS module. It's located in the jack compartment and it's also held in by a retainer clip.
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It's connected to a dummy plug, to remove it you just push down on the connector(1) and then pull the latch forward(2).
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Pull the dummy plug off and connect it to the RSS module.
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The module mounts to the vehicle body with two 7 mm bolts, identical to those in the dash. Don't be afraid if it feels like they don't turn easily, as they kind of have to thread through the metal.
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Good. Now we move forward to the third connector and we also make our way to towards the front of the vehicle.

The third connector is for the RSS speaker, or parking assist buzzer as Ford likes to call it. This connector is located behind the driver's side B pillar, to reach it you must remove the seat belt bolt and remove the trim panel. It is also held onto the body by a retainer clip which you can simply pull off of the connector. Here's the connector location and a close up of what it looks like:
9B46C6BA-18C4-44EB-A1C8-19ED5A49F4EF.jpg

7F089E6E-BAC4-4C97-9BEA-4F112E3CC65D.jpg


The speaker that I bought was listed as 4L1T-15K864-AA
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It plugs right in and is held in by an screw which I didn't have, so I just cleaned the surface and mounted the speaker with the double sided tape included on the back. I'm not sure if this speaker is required and I don't see why you can't just splice into the wires and connect your own speaker. But again, I'm not sure so I just bought the Ford speaker on Amazon.

The final step is to remove the dash cluster bezel. If you've been back there before you may have noticed a mysterious connector plugged into the rear right side of the bezel. I found these pictures here on the site:
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I recommend using the cluster bezel from the donor Explorer if it matches your interior. Unfortunately I couldn't use the one that I found so I had to use a hot knife to cut the hole in my bezel for the switch. The switch is the one on the top:
F118CFFE-8986-4E55-B33B-E2C92A0F4199.jpg


After everything is plugged in, try them out by putting the X into reverse and seeing if the sensors detect whatever object you see behind you. The sensors that came with my bumper didn't all work so I ordered 4 new ones off Amazon. They were from an Excursion, but I had to sand the sensor connectors a bit since they were too long for my bumper's harness. I plan on ordering sensors from an 02-05 Explorer to see if they fit better, but so far the Excursion sensors work fine. You can use any Ford parking sensor that looks like this:
8BBC1F57-71C2-4DE7-A435-AF945F629A24.jpg


And that has this connector:
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Once again, just make sure you have the necessary connectors already in your truck before beginning and good luck with your install.

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Post below if you have any questions and I'll try to help. Enjoy your new parking sensors.
 






Nice write up and a very clean 18 year old truck!
 






I had no idea Explorers came with these. Will have to watch for them in the junk yards; although bumpers up here in the Rust Belt are usually not worth dragging home.
 






very cool , i think my 97 sport has all those empty plugs, im def gonna look into adding this either way
 






Nice write up and a very clean 18 year old truck!

Thanks! A lot of people are surprised when they ask and I tell them it's a 2000 :)
 






I had no idea Explorers came with these. Will have to watch for them in the junk yards; although bumpers up here in the Rust Belt are usually not worth dragging home.

Good luck. They're rare but you can definitely find one. I know there's some that are painted to match mountaineers and limited explorers. So there's a lot of different choices.
 






very cool , i think my 97 sport has all those empty plugs, im def gonna look into adding this either way

Go for it :thumbsup: It's a fun mod and very useful too.
 






I've been wondering about this, since my 01 didn't come with them and I want them, and I know where a parts 01 is that somebody cut the harness up in, shame too, that car was gonna be my V8 project, but can't do much with it all cut up, unless it was a dirt cheap deal, looked like they needed the heater core, and just cut the harness out the way as they went. Your truck is insanely clean, looks detailed, those smoke puffs look new, my set of those was wrecked other than my 5th wheel spare, because I like matching spares. As for clean Exs, these things still get around, it's not so much they're all rough, but rather people could care less, I get compliments for my Eddie B all the time, and you well bet I'm proud of it, bought it when it was mostly junk and built it back up, got at least half what I paid for it in parts, but I've enjoyed it, actually looking at one just like it for the V8 rollover project, since this thing is a SOHC and that speaks for itself

IMG_20161208_120023230_HDR_zpsphnwgrr8.jpg
 






Thanks! A lot of people are surprised when they ask and I tell them it's a 2000 :)

Yeah, I get the same reactions with my '01 Eddie Bauer. People think it's much newer than it is.

BTW, Someone here was just asking about the unused wire connector they found in the "B" pillar. Now we know what it's for.
 






I've been wondering as I gut my 99 what the one close to the radio bezel is, now I know, I'm gonna have to do this conversion, and better yet, it makes the car worth more. As for the compliments, it's amazing what clay, polish, and wax do
 






I've been wondering about this, since my 01 didn't come with them and I want them, and I know where a parts 01 is that somebody cut the harness up in, shame too, that car was gonna be my V8 project, but can't do much with it all cut up, unless it was a dirt cheap deal, looked like they needed the heater core, and just cut the harness out the way as they went. Your truck is insanely clean, looks detailed, those smoke puffs look new, my set of those was wrecked other than my 5th wheel spare, because I like matching spares. As for clean Exs, these things still get around, it's not so much they're all rough, but rather people could care less, I get compliments for my Eddie B all the time, and you well bet I'm proud of it, bought it when it was mostly junk and built it back up, got at least half what I paid for it in parts, but I've enjoyed it, actually looking at one just like it for the V8 rollover project, since this thing is a SOHC and that speaks for itself

IMG_20161208_120023230_HDR_zpsphnwgrr8.jpg

Nice truck :thumbsup: Yeah it's a shame how these trucks are often neglected. My neighbor has one just like yours, but the paint's peeling and it has body damage. I always see explorers at the junkyard with things like a v8, message center, and moonroof. I'm amazed how people just junk them instead of taking care of them. I've pretty much upgraded mine too. It takes a lot of work, but they look great.
 






Yeah, I get the same reactions with my '01 Eddie Bauer. People think it's much newer than it is.

BTW, Someone here was just asking about the unused wire connector they found in the "B" pillar. Now we know what it's for.

Yup I've learned that wax is my best friend when it comes to detailing :D Unfortunately I didn't start applying wax until a couple of years ago, so the Florida sun has taken its toll on my roof and hood. I don't have to worry about rust, but the summer sun down here is pretty bad for cars too. Hopefully I can repaint soon. I'm glad I could help with identifying the connector. There's one under the steering wheel that's still a mystery to me.
 






How many connectors are the buttons on the premium steering wheel?
 






Has anyone confirmed that the 99-01 sport 2 door is prewired for the rss?
 






Has anyone confirmed that the 99-01 sport 2 door is prewired for the rss?

I haven't seen any in person, but I have read about second gen sports with parking sensors, so I know they came that way from the factory. However, I don't know if they're all pre-wired. To be sure, download the owner's manual for your truck at the Ford website. It's free and it will mention the RSS system if it was available on your sport.
 






Is this possible on a 95? I know that the bumpers are obviously different but still?
 






Is this possible on a 95? I know that the bumpers are obviously different but still?

I haven't seen any 95-97 explorers with them at the local junkyard, only the 98-01 models so I'm not sure how the sensors are mounted on the bumpers of 95-97 trucks. All I know about those years is that the speaker for the sensors is located in the driver's side footwell. From the posts I've read on the internet.
 



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I haven't seen any 95-97 explorers with them at the local junkyard, only the 98-01 models so I'm not sure how the sensors are mounted on the bumpers of 95-97 trucks. All I know about those years is that the speaker for the sensors is located in the driver's side footwell. From the posts I've read on the internet.
This post was th first I've heard about parking sensors for any year. Your truck already had th wiring you just had to hook it up?
 






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