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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I bought my 2002 Lightning it had the lame cassette deck with CD changer behind the pass. seat. One of my first mods was to lose the cassette deck for an OEM in dash 6 CD changer, and replace the stock speakers. Mine was from a Supercrew, and it was a simple plug and play, 10 minute job. I think I paid about $45 for the Supercrew unit (part #1C3F-18C815-AB).

Well, the changer portion of that unit recently gave up the ghost and put a "CD ERROR" message on the LCD display. I disconnected the unit to clear the errors, but no luck. So, I looked for a same-part # unit on eBay, Craigslist, etc., but found most want anywhere from $100-$250 for the unit. So, being a cheap bastard, I went to a nearby junkyard for a look-see.

I found a unit in an Explorer/Mountaineer and yanked it out for $25! But it was a different part #: 3L2T-18C815-FB. Note the middle digits are the same as the same on both units. Look in F150s, Explorers/Mountaineers and Expedition/Navigators, Escapes.

1. What you need to look for is a unit with the exact same faceplate BUTTONS as your original unit.

2. What this comes down to is swapping out your original faceplate and chassis half of your original unit with the changer half from the replacement unit you bought. The changer is divided into two halves: upper (changer mechanism) and the lower half (electronics).

3. Verify the replacement unit functions by plugging it into the connectors in the dash that you had to pull loose from non-functioning changer. If it works, eject any disks left in the replacement unit (mine had 3), and verify the remote changer behind the seats also functions; also the radio. My replacement unit had a third connector input that turned out to be for an equalizer function in the Mountaineer.

4.Place your old unit on a workbench and remove the faceplate by removing 4 T10 torx screws - 2 on top; 2 on the bottom. Outboard of the screws are some metal tabs that need to be pushed down while pulling off the top and the bottom of the faceplate. Remove 2 wire connector attached to the faceplate. Set The faceplate aside. You need to use your original faceplate because Ford had different ones, depending on which vehicle it was in. The one on my replacement unit was not the same as my original. Just make sure the replacement unit has THE SAME BUTTONS as your original.

5. Remove the changer portion of the replacement unit by removing the 4 Torx Screws (2 on each side). Lift the changer out of the chassis and remove the ribbon cable connection from the underside of the changer. There is a beige lockdown "thingie" on the ribbon connector that you can lift up with your fingernail (lift both the right and left side) to release and later lock down the ribbon cable.

6. Now, reverse the process by installing the replacement changer into the original lower chassis half, making sure to reinstall the ribbon cable and screws on the sides.

7. Reinstall your original faceplate, making sure to reconnect the two-wire lead.

8. That should do it. Replace in dash and wait until it initializes the deck. Verify all functions; load CDs...enjoy.
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