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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
RESOLVED Danged RADIO conked out!

Hi there,

Anyone have their late-90s 'football' radio fizzle and die?
(EDIT: Which part number is correct for 1997 GL--F7DF-18C858-AA or F6DF-18C858-AK?)

First symptom: radio switched stations spontaneously from my setting to the 'end' of the AM dial: 1710 kHz.

Next symptom was all functions and sound cutting out--but unit and clock stayed 'on'. Restarting the engine seemed to clear this but then problem came back and radio froze out again.

Next: radio AM frequency went to '000' then to 1710; then accepted my reset. I've never seen a digital freq display go to zero.

Next symptom: radio display went black and unit dead. Heater/AC controls and their lighting still functional. Restart did nothing.

Final symptom: radio spontaneously returns to normal! Then after an hour repeat all of the above. Happened again today.

The clock keeps its set time when the radio comes out of its coma, so maintenance charge is there.

Is my OE digital radio simply dying after years of use? Or is this a loose plug?

Thanks!
 

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No, not a loose plug, but likely a regulated power supply dying of old age. I would look on ebay for a replacement or someone who OH's them like they do the instrument cluster.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, not a loose plug, but likely a regulated power supply dying of old age. I would look on ebay for a replacement or someone who OH's them like they do the instrument cluster.
Thanks. I suspected as much. Any user-serviceable parts inside?

I guess I can hunt up a 'football' from a wrecker--with a CD. Would you believe mine has a cassette player?

Now, which model years and/or other models have the same 'football' radio as my Tau? :hmm:
 

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Any user-serviceable parts inside?
Unfortunately, no. But if you're a tinkerer, you might look for a burned solder joint on the circuit board. They usually occur where a red (power) wire or the connector pin is connected to the board.

Hey, I've got some cassettes. I play them in my '91 F-150.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
you need to source a football from '96/'97. '98/'99 have different elec. conn. I paid ~$20 at the jy.

I've found a couple but they're missing control knobs. Anyone know how these pop out to transfer to a replacement unit?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No, not a loose plug, but likely a regulated power supply dying of old age. I would look on ebay for a replacement or someone who OH's them like they do the instrument cluster.
Could this be a TRS issue? I replaced mine back in April 2018 as the OE part went bad.

The radio came back on this morning when I started up. There was clock with correct time but station went to default 1710 AM. Switched to my station

The radio froze after I shifted to Drive. The digital display stayed on--just no sound, no function.

I replaced the TRS but I'm wondering if the new sensor is bad; or maybe a wiring fault.

However . . . the radio freezes like a computer does! TRS issues can't cause that. Right?
 

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Could this be a TRS issue? I replaced mine back in April 2018 as the OE part went bad.

The radio came back on this morning when I started up. There was clock with correct time but station went to default 1710 AM. Switched to my station

The radio froze after I shifted to Drive. The digital display stayed on--just no sound, no function.

I replaced the TRS but I'm wondering if the new sensor is bad; or maybe a wiring fault.

However . . . the radio freezes like a computer does! TRS issues can't cause that. Right?

My past '01 wagon, the radio would quit in reverse. Turns out the backup light wire was shorting to the speaker wire.


-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My past '01 wagon, the radio would quit in reverse. Turns out the backup light wire was shorting to the speaker wire.
-chart-
I did replace the brake light switch back in June with some wiring splicing needed; also the ignition selector switch. Could those replacements do anything--?

The radio doesn't shut off, though; it freezes its display and won't accept inputs from function keys or on-off button. Restart the car and the radio stays off. Then sometimes it pops back on but starts acting weird again; then freezes out again.

The only input to radio is the 12V supply and antenna. Right?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
No, not a loose plug, but likely a regulated power supply dying of old age.
The trouble was rather more simple and yet odd: the 15A radio fuse had worked itself loose in the engine bay electrical Power Distribution box.

:blush:

The fuse had popped out of its slot like a toaster ejects a bread slice. The fuse's feet were sitting loose on the spring terminals so there was only intermittent contact--meaning voltage was correct but amps were low, jumpy, or none at all. That explains all the freakish spontaneous displays and behavior.


I jammed the fuse back down and tapped it snugly into place. Never saw a fuse just work itself loose before. I should have checked that possibility in the first place!

So if anyone's radio has gone suddenly wonky, then dead, check the junction box too!
 

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That's the first time I've heard of that but it certainly explains the problem. (Apologies to circuit design engineers at whoever made the radio)

Thanks for posting the fix as I'm sure it will save somebody down the road some trouble. 90% of everything is having seen it before.

"There is more on heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy."
- Shakespeare
 
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