How to Install a Message Center | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How to Install a Message Center

I just received the wiring harness for this console, and I will be doing the install tomorrow...

At the front end of the harness is a big terminal block that all of the wires connect to......

Does anybody know if this block attaches somewhere up under the dash, or do I have to wire it up to all of the connections inside the dash?

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it is not a plug and play feature, you would have to run all your lines...

you can forget about wiring the wires to your lights...cuz in 98 ford rewired the lights in parallel instead of series...
that saves alot of time on this project...but I would rather have it but I cant

yep, i figured that out when i pulled everything apart.

install was a success......much easier thanks to your write-up.

i will post pics when i get a chance.

thanks again!

congrats on your success...does everything work?

yeah it all works great.....i still haven't installed the washer fluid sensor, but the wires are already run.

and i have the wrong wire for the oil temp sensor....i couldn't get to the one under the fuse panel in the engine compartment, so i tried it under the dash at the firewall, and must have grabbed the wrong one. i'm going to run it out to the sensor itself, which i understand is on the bottom driver's side of the engine.

if you know exactly where it is, let me know.

yup, driver's side bottom of pan...2 wires coming out of it...I didnt have the sensor so I put it under the fuse wire...but still didnt work...but on my message center, it said chang oil some of the system worked...hehehe...

did you have trouble or shaky about hooking up your fuel flow wire to your PCM?

although it was a PITA to get to (i had to take off the whole connector in order to reach the right wire), once i got it it was easy.

since i had the service manual i knew exactly which one it was, although the pin numbers ran in reverse order to what the connector layout said. good thing i noticed the numbers stamped into the connector at the end of each row. :cool:

Would a message center and console from a 2000 explorer fit inside a 1992 explorer?

If I'm able to salvage a wiring harness made for the M/C, won't it be just a matter of putting in the correct sensors and attaching them to the appropriate place in the harness?

bizzzzzzzzzump to the top - I just installed my message center this evening!

I was able to score one from a 2000 V8, and much to my surprise, I did not have any incompatibilities with the year difference. Also, the 2000 ones did not have the 'lamp out' module, so that's one less thing to worry about.

I tapped into all of the sensor lines on the body side of the engine harness, after the C115 plug on the firewall.

The only thing left is to re-make my custom center console for my Autometer gauges. I've got something special planned here, it'll be badass. Hint... The message center buttons won't be in their normal location. ;)

I also need to get the oil sensors and windsheild washer sensors.

Hey V8.. how much $ do you have into this project?? If you don't mind me askin. :D

As of right now - zilch!

Sort of....
1) I was able to snag the message center for free, I pulled a bunch of parts from a junkyard in the spring, and the guy let me have the lot for next to nothing. I grabbed the message center as a 'what the heck' dealio.

2) To make my wiring harness, I used the remnants of the Factory audio harness that I ripped out to do my stereo install. Wouldn't you know, I found almost every color wire I needed.

3) I used lots of heatshrink tubing and crimps, but I buy those in bulk, or 'borrow' them from work.

I need to figure out the windsheild washer and oil level/oil temp senders, and also my custom console now. Right now the console is topless, :D and there are lots of wires and loose gauges taped down.

Great pics.

Neat tip on grounding out the washer fluid sensor. I might try it untill I get the actual sensor, it is something I would like to have.

Rather than tap in behind the cluster, I tapped everything at the firewall. six or half dozen. My V8 harness did have the fuel flow wire, pin 27 on the C115, going into the body. I didn't bother to trace it further, my guess is it terminated under the fuse box.

Next on my list of interior mods is an ETAC, if I can get a 1997 head cheap enough. I have most of the other sensors already.

And there is always the t-case swap....

Ok... couple questions, hopefully they can be answered here without starting another thread.

1) Does the "miles driven" menu that you get by pressing "range," mimic the dash odometer? Example, if i reset the Message Center "miles driven" and the dashboard trip odometer at the same time, will they be the same?

2) I think my VSS connection is either flaky, or something isn't working right with the year 2000 message center in my 1997. It's updating the "miles driven" counter rather intermittantly, and the miles/gallon calculator is way off - it's showing about 3.4mpg. I know this truck is a gas hog - but damn!

3) In 1998, when ford took the VSS out of the t-case, did the signal change at all? Should I tap into the rear axle abs sensor?

4) Is there a way to test the VSS signal at the wire I ran to the message center? Is it an a/c voltage I can measure with a DVM?

Or.... should I get off my computer and check for a loose wire??

When asp84 did this.. he said a lot of his readings were way off for the first week or so. And after a while of driving.. everything sorta worked itself together correctly.

As far as the VSS. I can tell you the signals are different coming from the tcase than the rear end. I've plugged my VSS into the RABS and weird things happened. :D However, plugging the message center into the RABS may work. I'll try and get asp over here and see what he says.

Hey guys, I haven't done it either, but my Mountaineer has the options, as did my 99 Limited donor vehicle.
Do you know anyone who could use a dark grey steering wheel? It has two or three glass cuts from the windshield, and no airbag. This is the wheel with EATC and radio controls. I need the regular four spoked Explorer steering wheel.

V8BoatBuilder, do you have a BW4405 out? Could you take a couple of pictures of the front transmission mount area? I'm looking for an AWD BW4410, and I'd like to have some idea that the mounting pads are the same. Thanks,

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Allright - played around with the M/C a little more this morning on the way to work. The "miles driven" feature is basically a trip odometer.

It works perfectly when the dash speedometer is at 40mph or higher. The tenths of a mile count exactly the same as the dash trip odometer, and the gas milage calculater also works pretty darn flawlessly.

However, if I drop below 40mph. the counter stops resonding, as if the truck was standing still.

I'm wondering if this could be a ground issue - on the M/C harness, there are several grounds, one is labled "sensor ground." I just chassis grounded it, but I'm wondering if I should run a wire to the C115 body harness plug.


Don, I do have the 2000 V6 4405 Control trac case (25spl/5bolt) sitting on my garage floor, I'll snap some photos when I get my camera back.