Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I purchased my first Ford product (96 Mercury Sable GS Wagon) a few weeks ago. Overall, I love this car (I'd been brought up by my parents to hate anything not made by GM but have pretty much come to hate GM after going through hell with an Oldsmobile).

Of course, the 1996 model year didn't come standard with a CD player, and only has a tape player and radio (that oval dash board kind).

I'd really like to be able to play my iPOD through the stereo, and thought I'd make due with a tape adapter for now. Unfortunately, whether I put the adapter in or a real tape in, the left channel is completely dead, and the right occasionally makes loud popping noises. This only happens when a tape is playing - the radio works in all four speakers.

I took apart the radio and checked that the wires were all connected. I also cleaned the tape head with alcohol. For a couple of days, everything worked perfectly and I could hear tapes in all speakers. Then there was some fluttering, and the system returned to only playing in the right channel.

There is a mild, high-pitch whining noise that occurs when I accelerate, and it made me worry that I have transmission problems. Well, I turned off the radio and noticed the sound went away immediately, so it must be a ground problem. Could this be the same problem causing my tape to only play in one channel and come in and out?


I realize it might be easiest to eventually just replace the head unit and buy one of those oval-shaped dash kits which lets you keep your AC controls, but if I can fix the problem on my own without spending a couple of hundred dollars, I'd certainly prefer that.

Thanks for any help!

Richard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Was the stereo for that car in the dash or in the truck? If it's just the tape player in the dash, you could probably find a used one pretty cheap. Sounds like the tape player is bad. If the radio plays normally, and the tape player doesn't, I would say the tape player is bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Was the stereo for that car in the dash or in the truck? If it's just the tape player in the dash, you could probably find a used one pretty cheap. Sounds like the tape player is bad. If the radio plays normally, and the tape player doesn't, I would say the tape player is bad.
Stereo is in the dash, the oval type with radio and tape player:
http://i994.photobucket.com/albums/af67/hondahedz/058-6.jpg

Yeah, the radio has no problems whatsoever, so it must be the tape player then. Do tape heads get de-magnetized? I guess it'd just be best to replace the head unit, or just buy a cheap modern one for under a hundred bucks that plays CDs/mp3s too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
That's not your radio. Your radio is in the truck of your car. Open your truck, and pull the carpet down that is on the same side as your radio antenna. You will see a couple of ground wires, and the actual stereo. The part you have pictured is cheap on Ebay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's not your radio. Your radio is in the truck of your car. Open your truck, and pull the carpet down that is on the same side as your radio antenna. You will see a couple of ground wires, and the actual stereo. The part you have pictured is cheap on Ebay.

right right, I realize that's just the head unit. I'm sure they're cheap on e-bay. I just wondered if there was some wire loose or if it is possible to open the unit and clean or re-solder part of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
It's probably not worth fixing. If I'm prepared to replace something, and I don't care what happens to whatever it is that I'm having issues with, I will take it apart myself, and see if I can fix it. If I can't fix it, then I was allready to replace it any way. If it was me, I would take it apart, and see if there is something I can clearly see that is wrong with it, you have nothing to lose. I really don't think anyone out there will fix it. They would just replace it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's probably not worth fixing. If I'm prepared to replace something, and I don't care what happens to whatever it is that I'm having issues with, I will take it apart myself, and see if I can fix it. If I can't fix it, then I was allready to replace it any way. If it was me, I would take it apart, and see if there is something I can clearly see that is wrong with it, you have nothing to lose. I really don't think anyone out there will fix it. They would just replace it.

That's a really good rule of thumb. Thanks for the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
For what it's worth, no Gen 3 (1996-1999) ever came with an in-dash CD player. But any Gen 3, with the possible exception of the base G model, could have an optional truck-mounted 6 disc cd changer. In dash CD players didn't come into play until 2000.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
right right, I realize that's just the head unit. I'm sure they're cheap on e-bay. I just wondered if there was some wire loose or if it is possible to open the unit and clean or re-solder part of it.
If you remove the carpet cover of the left hand side of the trunk wall you will see a square metal box. That's the amplifier (and supposedly more than that). Somewhere in the area close to it, on the wall, there is a bolt that fastens a wire to it. I suspect, that's the unit's ground. Check it out to see if there is any rust on it. Clean with sandpaper if necessary. Or try to trace the wire to its origin.
 

·
Devoted Member
Joined
·
2,426 Posts
As posted above, CD changer in the trunk was an option, and in 96 you could get a higher powered JBL Premium system with stock amplified subwoofer as well. On your wagon, the radio/amp and CD changer units are mounted in where the spare tire goes, on the left side IIRC. I would check the junkyards, recyclers in your area, you might find something nice for a good price. Club member Durasel also has a lot of components for sale from time to time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
May I suggest to get an after market head unit and a cheap amplifier like this one

Jensen Power 5500 (POWER5500) Class B 5-Channel Car Amplifier/Amp

(Or get a more compact 4 channel amp from Crunch or something)
I know that many people will cringe at the idea of sinking $500 or more into an audio system of a 10 year old car, while the audiophiles will cringe at the idea of buying a Jensen amplifer. However, IMHO, if you're ready to start playing with higher end audio stuff, this unit is awesome beginner amp for the money. You can amplify all four speakers and also a 250-300watt sub (wired for 2 ohms), or like in my case bridge the speaker channels and send 160 watts to each of 110watt component speakers plus a 300watt sub wired for two ohms. This amplifier has enough guts to shake your car (literally). I posted that review at sonic electronics. (Maybe I was a little harsh about the enclosure. The thing is huge, but the heatsink is massive and never overheats). And this will solve all problems with ipod connectivity. Almost every HU has USB port. Just make sure you get one with three sets of preamp outputs. I have a Kenwood x994 and love it. All my music is in 320kbit mp3 format on one 16GB flash key and I never need to carry CDs into the car.

But yes, if you want to stay on a low budget, get the OEM JBL stuff or something. It's a drop in replacement with no headaches about wiring and installations associated with an after market amp.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top