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Thread: 96 Ford Explorer Premium Audio System Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Dallas, TX

    96 Ford Explorer Premium Audio System Advice

    I have a 96 Ford Explorer (Eddie Bauer Edition) with a premium audio system.
    My question is...can I use the factory amp and subwoofer with my carputer? I called Circuit City and they said the Eddie Bauer Edition doesn't have a wire harness for that system to replace the head unit. They said you have to bypass the factory amp and subwoofer. Is there any way to hardwire it so I can keep the factory stuff in?
    I'm planning on taking out my head unit completely, the radio, and all other sound will come from the computer.

    Anybody had any experience with this or anything?


  2. #2
    Raw Wave hijinks21's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Albany, NY
    a great place to ask this is the explorer forum.. they have a audio section in their forums and I'm sure you can get a quicker answer there
    '98 Explorer Sport (down atm)
    AMD 800mhz 192megs RAM 60gig hard drive 9 inch widescreen VGA
    80% done

  3. #3
    Newbie skidogg77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Have you tried an Explorer Forum website, for the wiringing layout for your model and year truck? If you can get the wire layout, I can telll you what to hook up to what. You will need to do a little hacking of the factory wiring harness and maybe some RCA audio cables. Granted, it won't sound as good as going aftermarket, but I know you wouldn't be asking if you can use your factory stuff if you had the ability to go the aftermarket route.

    Here is some information you need to get from the explorer forums. First, how many amps run the system, 1 for just a sub or 2 for sub and full range speakers. Then, find the following power inputs for all amps: the Constant +12volt, Accessories +12volt (only on when key is turned on), and the Main ground. Then you need to find out if the audio inputs to each amp are HIGH level or LOW level and how many there are, mono for the sub or 2 channels (right and left) combined. There is plenty more, but start here, and I am more than happy to help you continue from there. It is very do-able, it just takes some information gathering, time and patients. Some stills in wiring and splicing don't hurt either. Feel freee to PM me, with any immediate questions, or post here. I will try and check back on occation. Good luck

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate Change's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Call up Crutchfield and ask. A quick poke around their site turned up this:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    hard wiring ford factory premium amp

    i have a 95 ford probe gt with the premium sound system we all know factory doesnt have many options for cd player. so if you want to switch the cd player to after market but dont wanna by pass the factory amp all you have to do is cut the power and remote wire for the factory amp:

    power wire/ 12 volt +: Light Green w/t Red Stripe
    remote/ amp turn on wire: Light Green w/t White Stripe

    wire the power wire to the power wire of the deck which should b red, and wire the remote wire to the blue remote wire on deck. if you have 2 blue wires one is for power attenna and should have a white line on it you want the solid blue wire. solder for good connection. this should work it worked for my car and am impressed with the way it sounds. if you have a problem or question reply. hope this has been some helpful info.


  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Here is the radio wiring diagram for a 96 Ford Explorer with the Premium JBL Audio system. There were 4 systems available that year:

    Base (4 speakers)
    Premium (4 speakers with external amp)
    Premium w/CD (4 speakers with external amp, cd changer, rear seat control panel)
    JBL (4 speakers and subwoofer, 2 external amps, cd changer, rear seat control panel)

    I believe you have the JBL system, as you mentioned a subwoofer.

    This diagram is a little complex, but it is labeled well. There are 2 control modules and two control lines (Protocol A and B). I am not familiar with the system. These protocol lines are probably proprietary digital signals, not simply 12v or ground. For this reason, if you want to use the factory amps, I would suggest tapping into the tape or CD changer's audio signals and "hi-jacking" those inputs for your computer's audio. You could hook up a switch to go from CD changer, to computer, for example.

    Because the control module provides your input and volume control, the factory amplifier is probably useless without it, unless you can figure out Ford's "Protocols".
    ** Denotes an "in car" post
    In-Car posts made from passenger seat - Be safe, Don't Post and Drive.

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