Question about X 97 stock head unit? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Question about X 97 stock head unit?


May 10, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Wakefield, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Sport 4WD SOHC
Hi all,
Newbie here, in fact this is my first post here. Im glad I found this site, there seem to be some real knowledgeable people that post! I've been doing some research and I was wondering if anyone has replaced their pre 98 stock head unit (only has a cassette deck and CD input) with a 98+ stock system (one that has the CD or CD+6 integrated). I looks like the wiring harness is completely different from the pre 98's to the 98 + head units... although the face looks the same size the body is half the size for the 97's.
If you can swap in a 98+ head unit, are there wiring harness adaptors or do you have to splice in the existing?
If there is an adaptor where do you get it???
If this can be done, and recommendations on which stock head unit to get?

Diggman33 :roll:

The physical sizes of the radios are the same, so you shouldn't have a problem snapping in the newer one. You may run into problems with the wiring though, depending on if you have a factory amplified system or if the new radio came from an ex with a factory amplified system. You can get a couple of harnesses (one to plug into your ex and one to plug into the new radio) to addapt them. Problem is still going to be with the amp/amp not issue. I'm not sure if anyone has tried this with your year and situation yet. Honestly, if all you are looking for is a cd player, it will definitely be easier, and quite possibly cheaper (depending on factory radio prices) to just go get a lower line pioneer or kenwood for about 120.

I doubt you will be able to find a wiring adaptor for it but you can probably just splice all the wires and it will work. Just look up the wiring colors for each radio and mix and match them.

But I agree with what was said above, unless you have a 98 radio sitting around for no reason that you want to use, just buy a new one and install that, you will be happier with the quality and it will be easier to install.

If you do want to try adapting, the harnesses needed are Metra numbers 71-1771 (to plug into the new ex radio) and either 70-1770 or 70-5600 (plugs into your ex). The 70-1770 has two long skinny plugs where as the 70-5600 has one long skinny plug and one smaller rectangle (not like the one of the first gen ex's). Once you pull your old radio you'll be able to tell real easy, and you'll also need one of the "70" series harnesses to put in an aftermarket radio anyway.