Ford Explorer & Mercury Mountaineer
Message Center Install

I started my project by disassembling the screen and cleaning all the dust and dirt out of the module. Then I plugged the wiring harness in to the display and keyboard module I removed all the tape around the wiring harness and cutd all the important wires out of the console harness that were important to the message center. Note: Some of the wires go back and forth between the two different plugs, so make sure you remove all the tape and trace the wire locations before cutting.

These are the three important plugs.
There are also plugs and wiring for the lamp out module which was offered in 1995-early 1998 explorers, although I removed this because I did not need this function and it required a lot of extra wiring.

SOLDER YOUR CONNECTIONS. I have learned that this is the best way to go in the long run!

WIRING AND PIN-OUT GUIDE …. Yes the number do correspond to the pin locale and the connectors are labeled with numbers. (Thanks to Big Country on the Explorer forum UBB board for this info)
message center harness: the bigger harness connector
pin/wire color function/ and location

1 L. Green goes to the M/C...already done
2 Blue/Red illumination: dimmer module
3 Yellow/ White fuel level input: at the cluster
4 not used
5 Blue/ Pink fuel flow input: at the PCM
6 Yellow/ Red lamp out warn. module by the M/C
7 Green/ L. Green goes to the M/C...already done
8 Red/ White engine temp sense: at the cluster
9 Green/ White oil temp input: middle harness under the fuse box in engin compartment
10 Grey/ Yellow hot at ignition: i wired it to stereo
11 Grey/ Black speed sensor:4wabs mod. by battery
12 Pink/ White air ride control. dont have it, forget it

message center harness: the smaller harness connector
pin/ wire color function/ and location

22 Green/ L. Green air rid control: dont have it, forget it
23 White/ Pink low oil level input: botton of oil pan
24 Red english/ metric output: EATC
25 Tan/ Yellow chime output: GEM pin 20
26 not used
27 L. Green/ Yellow hot at all times: i wired to stereo
28 Black/ White power ground to Data Link Conn.
29 Orange/ Black lamp out warn. module: by the M/C
30 Red/ Green lamp out warn. module: by the M/C
31 Pink/ Yellow low washer fluid sensor: fluid bottle
32 Black/ White chasis grd. not w/ other Blk/Wh wire
33 not used
34 Tan/ Yellow tach input: at the cluster
35 not used
36 Black ground....chasis

Message center harness:
the harness to the buttons
pin/ wire color function/ and location

1 Green/ L. Green to the M/C....already done
2 not used
3 Black/ White power Data Link Conn.
4 L. Green to the M/C....already done
5 Black ground...chasis
6 Red/ Black illumination: ash tray or stereo

Lamp out warning module harness:
pin/ wire color function/ and location

1 White/ Green left headlight: fuse panel pin 4
2 Red/ Green headlight out warning: to the M/C
3 Orange/ Black rear park lamp out warning: to M/C
4 Yellow/ Red brake lamp out warning: to the M/C
5 Dark Brown rear park lamp input ark lamp relay
6 White/ Green park lamp output: left/and right rear light
7 Grey/ Yellow hot at ignition: i wired to the stereo
8 not used
9 Black ground...chassis
10 not used
11 L. Blue/ White left headlight output: left headlight
12 L. Blue/ Green right headlight input:fuse panel pin 8
13 Green/ Orange right headlight: fog lamp relay
14 L. Green stop lamp input: brake pedal switch
15 Red/ White stop lamp output: left/ and right rear stop light
16 not used

With the wiring harness ready to be tapped in to the vehicle, I set it aside and started taking apart my vehicle. You will need to remove your center console tray inserts, dash bezel and instrument cluster. (for the easiest access to important wires.)
I started out in the engine bay by tapping in to the Fuel Flow rate wire. The 5.0 engine harness already had the wire in the engine harness, but it terminated at the big connection between the body and engine harness. Using a drill, I drilled in to the body harness and installed a factory pin and wire from the junkyard. This was an easy step, and allows you to remove your engine (if needed) without having to cut the wire.


Once the pin was clicked in I ran it under the heater box and in through an existing grommet in the firewall:

After the wire was inside, I ran it up through the dash and in to the center console.
Next I located my Fuel level and tachometer input wires behind the instrument cluster, and tapped in to them. The wires were ran through the dash and down to the center console.

(Picture of fuel level and tach taps)

Next I tapped in to vehicle speed harness. This wire can be found in multiple places, (ie: GEM module, Instrument Cluster, ABS computer, etc) I tapped in to the wire nearest to the GEM since it was the closest and easy t get to. The power and illumination wires were all found at the big square center console plug near the floor. Using a volt meter and by matching color codes I was able to find all the appropriate tap locations. Ground wires were attached to a nearby chassis point. Note: I did not connect the wires for Oil level, Engine Temp, Lamp out, and Washer fluid sensors, I decided that these connections were redundant or simply to much of a hassle for the R.O.I. Note, When powered up the display console for the first time, I did notice that the Low washer fluid warning kept flashing. Well, needless to say, it bothered me after about 10 minutes of having to constantly push the reset button to clear the code. To elimante this problem, I simply grounded out the washer fluid wire to a nearby ground point. This closes the circuit and fools the computer in to thinking the washer bottle is full. None of the other unused sensors needed this modification. (ie: the washer fluid warning was the only circuit that used an open circuit to set off an alarm. This may be different between the different years of modules though)

With removed it looks like I took this pic at the JY.


In the tedious process of wiring and testing all my connections. It looks messy now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This is what the display console looks like after all the wires have been routed and wrapped in electrical tape.