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Message center installed!!! With WRITE UP and PICTURES!!!

Ryon40

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Cincinnati, OH
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1998 Explorer Sport 4x4
Just got the darn thing in and all cleaned up! The only issue I have thus far with it is the mpg is jumpy to say the least and I have a half tank and its saying I have 11 gallons left I serisouly doubt the little Sport has a 22 gallon tank. All other readings come out great saying I have 205 miles to E which if it was full itd put me at 410 which seems about right I made a 413 mile trip on a full tank but just barely.

Another issue if anyone can help my X had DRL(daytime running lights)now theyre gone and I dont see how as I didnt fool with the lights, only unplugging the harness to the switch to remove the instrument cluster. My lights would stay on about two minutes after I turned the car off now I have to do it manually, anyone have any idea about that?

Im going to be doing a write up on it tomorrow thatll be detailed with some pictures, if anyone is doing the mod and having troubles shoot me a pm Im fresh with knowledge know :D all in all it was an easy mod just time consuming

Write up:

This link makes it alot easier I only used the first page: http://www.zeropointusa.com/EF/message_center_installation.pdf
Thanks to 98formulaLS1 for the link!

First off I highly recommend you get tap-in squeeze connectors they are like $2 for 7 at radio shack youll need two packs. I also recommend going through and taping every wire you plan on using making a "flag" type looking thing lol just as a label, it saves alot of hassle.

First youll need to tap into the fuel flow rate wire (if equiped) you can find this wire in the pcm which looks like this:
pcm-1.jpg

Youll need to loosin up the bolt in the center of the plug, and pull the plug out, also pull off the plastic cover piece to expose all 23856298735 of the wires. Mine already had the pin so I just had to tap into it, if you do not have the pin http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80670&highlight=install+message+center tells how to go about putting a pin in.

Second I hit up the washer fluid sensor and ran both the wires into an existing grommet back behind the brake pedal, then up threw the side of the center console.

Next youll need to remove your radio bezzel, knee board and the housing around the instrument cluster and finally the instrument cluster. There are a couple wires that get tapped into back there(the harnesses that connect to the instrument cluster). I ran these with the existing harness wires to the opening where the radio was and down to where the m/c is going.

Finally there are three wires you need to tap into on the radio harness the battery, ignition, and illumination.
harness-1.jpg



harness2-1.jpg

Thats a shot of the tap in connectors as well.
First image: the battery wire being circled in green, ignition red, dont mind the yellow x thats a mess up.
Second image illumination circled in blue. Mine had two red/black wires I simply just checked both for the illumination. CAUTION: YOUR WIRES MAY NOT BE THE SAME AS MINE SO MAKE SURE YOUR READING YOUR PINS CORRECTLY!

ground.jpg

This is where I put my ground I fed two grounds into a solderless terminal and crimped it as the other two grounds were connect via Im guessing Ford because it worked out lol.

harnesses-1.jpg

Theres a look at it near completion, the red circle is just to show what I meant by labeling the wires, it ended up helpin out a bunch. That should be it if there are any question feel free to ask and I will get back to you asap!
 


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jlsparky7

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Pictures pictures!

:ttiwwp:
 




BrianDye

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Didnt the automatic lights wire up into the message center and the mirror?

I just read a write up about that...I know the 2nd gens with the auto lights..the controls were in the rear view mirror, which was wired into the message center

You might have disconnected something...who knows lol, but good job getting it working and installed, cant wait so see some pics and a write up
 




Kiloaman

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Alamo, CA
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'99 XLT
My lights would stay on about two minutes after I turned the car off now I have to do it manually, anyone have any idea about that?

That happened to me and i finally figured out that it was the autolamp switch. Mine got switched to max, and that delays the lights turning off for 2min. You need to move the slider all the way to minimum. It should be located on your rear view mirror.
 




Ryon40

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer Sport 4x4
From the nasty
shit.jpg



To the good
good.jpg



Looks worse than what it was
sick.jpg
 




vroomzoomboom

Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS!
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cool, i am doing this very soon.
 




BrianDye

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Sweet man
 




Ryon40

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1998 Explorer Sport 4x4
Didnt the automatic lights wire up into the message center and the mirror?

I just read a write up about that...I know the 2nd gens with the auto lights..the controls were in the rear view mirror, which was wired into the message center

You might have disconnected something...who knows lol, but good job getting it working and installed, cant wait so see some pics and a write up

Would you happen to have the link on the write up?


That happened to me and i finally figured out that it was the autolamp switch. Mine got switched to max, and that delays the lights turning off for 2min. You need to move the slider all the way to minimum. It should be located on your rear view mirror.

I liked having that little delay in there, so the max setting allows the lights to stay on that extra little bit?
 








jlsparky7

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Looks good. :)

Thanks for the pics.
 




Ryon40

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1998 Explorer Sport 4x4
Also I went to try to tap into the gem to get the chime output and have faild lol. Has anyone done this? I know its the 26 pin harness on the GEM, pin 20, and I followed what I thought was the chime output wire(tan/yellow) down to the big grey plug in the center of the center console under the radio since it was easier to get to yet I have no chime? Anybody have any idea, also my auto lamps still arent working having to do it manually searched and searched to find nothing. If anyone can help with either issue Id appreciate it!

Additional details about the auto lamp, I didnt cut into any wire but radio harness wires, instrument cluster wires and washer fluid sensor.
 




Kiloaman

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'99 XLT
Yeah, the max setting delays it for the extra bit, which is like 2 minutes.
 




vroomzoomboom

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how long would you say this took for you to do.
 




kyleyz762

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can this be done to a 97 xlt?
 




Ryon40

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how long would you say this took for you to do.

It took me about two days but thats just because Id do a little and then go to class all in all without the brakes it took maybe 3-4 hours


can this be done to a 97 xlt?

Yes just get a message center from a 95-97 EB or Limited
 




ChriszTruck

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'96 XLT 5.0 AWD
This friggin rules. I'm doing this and an EATC mod to my 96 that are coming out of a 96 Eddie Bauer. The dashboard in the EB is the same color as the interior of my truck, so should I just pull the entire thing out and swap that way instead of pulling wires and separate parts?
 




99SportX

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I got my message center to better match the capacity of the sport fuel tank. I honestly cant remember the details but all it involved was grounding out a pin internally on the MC. You get into a diagnostic screen on the MC and a sequence of 1's and 0's show up. You need to ground out a pin to make one of the digits a 1 or 0, I can't remember. All the details are in the ford service CD, although I don't believe they directly tell you how to change it.

If you have one of the CDs, take a look around. Otherwise I can try to look back and try to remember what I did. I wish I could remember but a lot of these memories got replaced with useless knowledge gained in college, haha.

Edit: I found my post explaining what I did. It is posted on the "other" explorer website but cannot be linked here. :rolleyes: I will post it here because I am a nice guy........ :p:

99SportX from EXPLORER X DOT COM said:
Hey guys,

Today I believe I have figured out how to get the message center to recognize that I have the smaller sport fuel tank.

All that was required, was to ground pin 21 on the larger connector going to the message center. This also how the MC determines V6 or V8, although that uses a different pin on the same connector. I soldered a jumper inside the MC unit itself to ground the pin, since that was the easiest for me.

I hope the range estimates and fuel remaining are now a little more accurate. I guess it pays to sit at home and read a ford CD on a saturday night, haha.

They were pretty vague about changing the fuel tank size, it wasn't on the wiring diagrams, only the different engines were on the diagram. It was in a table of binary codes though, which you can see when you enter diagnostic mode on the MC to determine any problems with the MC a 0 on digit 3 is a large tank, and a 1 is a small tank. On digit 0, a 1 is a V8, and a 0 is a V6. This similar logic is used for washer fluid, oil level, etc.

I also fixed my oil change reset and englisg/metric buttons. They were not working, which is why I had ripped the MC out months ago. I saw it last night while cleaning my room and decided to figure out what was wrong, which then spiraled into this other modification. Anyway, I had somehow managed to crack the circuit board for the button, breaking a thin copper contact in the process. A little scraping with an xacto and a blob of solder did the trick.

All is well now, and I am really going to enjoy this thing!

If anyone is curious, you can enter diagnostic mode on the MC by holding the "range" and "system check" buttons while turning the ignition key to on. After that you can then cycle through the different tests by pressing "range" and there are also sub tests (so to say) within some tests which you can get to by pressing "english/metric" while in a test. You will get a tach signal error, unless the motor is running, so don't be alarmed.

That is all.
 




Ryon40

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I didnt do anything to mine and after about two or three days the MC synced right up with my smaller tank :thumbsup:
 




vroomzoomboom

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I didnt do anything to mine and after about two or three days the MC synced right up with my smaller tank :thumbsup:

mine didn't, and has drove me nuts ever since. i will have to try it when i get a chance.......if that ever happens.

oh, btw ryon40. i don't know if i was telling you that i was trying to shade the screen blue with some paint they use for making stained glass? well that didn't work. it still made the screen green. :(
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

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99SportX

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Mine did not change automatically. It drove me nuts when the thing said I had more fuel than my tank could even hold! I knew there had to be a way. I was quite pleased.

I got my MC to change to blue. I had to scrap the green tint off the glass. I then layered a piece of blue transparent plexi over it. It worked out very well.
 




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