How to add Homelink to a 3rd Gen - step by step | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to add Homelink to a 3rd Gen - step by step


Explorer Addict
November 15, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Orlando, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
04 XLT 4x4
I've been wanting to get homelink for a while now so I wouldn't need a garage door opener on my visor. Here are the steps to add it to a 3rd gen.

My 04 has a moon roof and no rear air. So I watched eBay for a matching roof console but with the homelink option.

My original roof console looked like this

The one I found on ebay was tan in color, but I only wanted the black piece in the middle with the moonroof switch and homelink

To remove the moonroof and homelink, there are small torx screws holding them in.


2 holding the black section in, and 3 holding the homelink on to the black piece. In order to remove this black piece you will have to remove the homlink module first. Then it just swings out and you're left with


I screwed the homelink back on because I wanted to hook it up to a battery and program and test before I took my truck apart.
Programming instructions are here

There is even a video to watch which makes it really easy to understand.
Once programmed, you can disconnect the power and it will still work once you get it installed.

At this point you have to remove your roof console. Its held in place with clips so just pull it straight down. I found it easier to start by the windshield then by the moonroof.

Once removed here is what you'll see

disconnect the interior lights and moonroof switch.
and remove the black section from the original and replace it with the homelink module.

Here is my original

Here it is with the homelink module added

I found a connector that wasn't connected to anything in the roof of the explorer. I'm thinking this was intended for homelink but the connector didn't match the one I bought from eBay. With a meter I tested it and it has power only with key on, and its part of the delayed accessory so it will work until you open your door after you remove the key.

--> I will add that from my research on Google, some manufacturers have homelink with power full time, and others have it with key on only. I kind of like the key on only feature although having one on your visor is like having power on all the time.

So I decided to cut this connector off, and solder on the connector that came with the homelink module. If you don't have an extra connector you'll have to wire in power and ground from another source. You may be able to get that in the roof console from the lights already but I didn't check for it.

Here is the matching connector soldered on with some heat shrink on it

Now just plug in your lights, moonroof switch and the new homelink module and snap the console back to the roof. The final product looks like this


The homelink module is still programmed from when I tested it before the install. Works great! Now I can put the craftsman garage door opener on my Buick's visor :thumbsup:

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I did the same thing on my 02, only difference is mine doesn't have the moonroof, and my 02 had the correct pigtail/connector already on the Explorer, so I didn't have to do any splicing it literally was a plug and play on mine. I did a write up on it here a while back, but didn't take pictures, so kudos!

Bought a console from ebay for ~20 bucks, cheaper than an additional garage opener remote from sears, and a much cleaner install.

one other thought, my Homelink always has power, so who knows..

Great write-up. I added this to my 2000. I had t replace the entire visor in order to do so, but well worth it. I like mine having power all of the time. Its convenient just to pop in the car and open the garage without having to fumble around with keys. I can see it being more secure however.

I am going to do this on my 2002 thanks to your right up.

mine didnt come with a plug or pig tail with the homelink. were do you think i could get one (my connector in the console doesnt matches the homelinks)

I want to add the homelink feature to my 02. Does anyone know if the wiring harness is already there? If not, do I just need to add a 12v power source to the overhead console to do this?


I want to add the homelink feature to my 02. Does anyone know if the wiring harness is already there? If not, do I just need to add a 12v power source to the overhead console to do this?


Chances are its already there. If not, its only a 12v and ground. no special wires. The homelink unit only requires power, no other vehicle interaction.

Thanks Curtis!

I've spotted one (so far) on ebay. Hope to be doing this soon.

I was replacing my compass box today and thought, as long as I was there, I'd try installing the homelink option also, since I picked it up a year ago and haven't done it yet.

I pulled down the console and there isn't any extra plug for the homelink. However, I do have the entire wiring harness that goes down the A-pillar, which was included in the purchase of the homelink system that I bought off Ebay. It came with the auto-dimming mirror, the compass box, the overhead console that has the homelink buttons installed and the rear AC controls. I don't have the rear AC feature so I can swap that out with my original plate. Or just use my original console and swap in the homelink plate.

My question is, how hard is it to run the entire harness? It terminates with a large green plug and there's enough wire that it looks like it runs down the A pillar. I assume there's a plug-in somewhere below the A-pillar, correct? If I replace the entire harness, will that give me the auto-dimming feature also?

The harness that I bought seems to have a lot of paper/glue residue on it. Is the harness originally glued to the top of the headliner?

And the big question: How the heck do you get the driver's side visor off! I found one screw below the clip-on holder of the visor, closest to the center of the vehicle, but the pivot point closest to the driver's window is covered with a plastic beauty cover that just doesn't seem to release. Is there a trick? Or should I just pry harder?

Thanks in advance.

This thread should help with the headliner removal

I can't advise for the running the entire harness but for my homelink, I just ran a positive wire from the center to the driver side, down the a pillar and through the dash to the fuse box by your pedals, and for groudn i just spliced into my sunroof harness ground. The sunroof positive wire isn't constant 12 volts, or I would-be just sliced my homelink into that for power

That's a great link. Thanks. It even shows me the green plug I was looking for. It's tucked in behind the A-pillar cover. Hoping to be able to plug in the new harness right into that plug and have power for the homelink and the mirror/compass both.

I'm going to try this first before tapping into a hot. I'd like to use the auto-dimming mirror I bought also and using the newer harness will supply power to that as well.


I just swapped out my overhead with a homelink equipped one i found on ebay. When i removed the console, i had a harness up there not connected to anything, but it also has no power. Wires were green/orange, and black. I assume this would be for a moonroof switch?

I dont recall what color the connection was that was not used in my roof. Hard to tell from the picture above too with the flash glare.
Something tells me it was green though....

Did you have the key on when you tested it?

I didn't have the key on when I tested it, but in the process of removing that console and checking the wires I found, I believe I blew a fuse in the process which leads me to think that's why they were cold wires. Like an idiot I didn't disconnect my battery when I did all this. I'll report back tomorrow when I have daylight to work in again.

Just to follow up, I plugged in the harness behind the driver's side A pillar and it all works great. Homelink, auto dimming mirror and compass box. Best mod I've made to date.

Thanks for the update. Glad it's all working well. This is still on my list!

Sorry for the bump of such an old thread, but does anyone know if this will work with an 04 XLT that has the rear A/C option?

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