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Discussion Starter #1
I was installing an aftermarket stereo in my '96 LX. I looked up all the wiring color-codes, and double checked everything. Being the bonehead I am, I decided to go the cheap route and cut the harness off of the old radio and splice the new harness onto it, using the color codes for the T-bird, and the codes from Pioneer. Anyway, I thought I had everything connected correctly. When I put the negative cable back on the battery, smoke started coming out from under the dash. I disconnected the battery, and tried to figure out what happened. It seems I somehow routed a ground wire from the T-bird harness to a hot source. Now I have a burned wire in my harness that goes under the dash somewhere. I am trying to trace the wire so I can remove it and repair all the damage it did along the way.
How do I remove the black dash panels without damaging them. I can't figure out how to get the panel that holds the radio and a/c controls. I am really bummed right now. Thanks in advance.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Well...

The best way to get all that out without damaging it is to drop the steering column - and even then, there's no guarantee you'll be able to get everything out without busting a tab. Dropping the column allows you to get the cluster trim out without having to flex (and risk cracking) it.

Three bolts hold the lower column cover on (there are three spring clips along the top as well, just pull it back and it will pop out). After that there are five bolts holding the cluster trim that need to come out. There are spring clips holding it to the dash, in addition to the five bolts, between the left of the opening for the cluster and left air vent as well three along the right side into the radio trim.

Then remove the console cover. There are two screws that are exposed when you open the console storage compartment. There are four spring clips; two left and two right, each front and rear. Getting it out is easier if the shifter isn't in park.

Once that's out you'll see the two screws holding the bottom of the radio trim in. The radio trim has spring clips at the top left (left of the vent) and just above the HVAC air inlet vent (above where it says STEREO or Premium Sound), and on the left in the middle.

All that said - check to ensure all the fuses in the primary distribution block under the dash are at their rated values. I haven't flipped through the EVTM to confirm, but just about every wire under there should be fused to prevent the wires from burning up like you described when correctly rated fuses are in place (the fuse will burn before the wires).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Brandon. I don't think ground wires are fused, but I could be wrong. All the fuses appear to be the correct amperage, and none are blown. I still haven't figured out how I managed to burn the wire. Anyway, I'll give your suggestion a try.


-Cliff
 

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Also, if the ground is the only one cooked, you could just run a new ground wire to simplify it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also, if the ground is the only one cooked, you could just run a new ground wire to simplify it.
I wish that were the case.
Unfortunately, the burned wire has damaged some of the other wires, and it gets hot when I try to reconnect the battery. I have to trace the wire through the harness until I find where it either connects to ground, or where the damage stops. :frown2:
 

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I wish that were the case.
Unfortunately, the burned wire has damaged some of the other wires, and it gets hot when I try to reconnect the battery. I have to trace the wire through the harness until I find where it either connects to ground, or where the damage stops. :frown2:
That sucks. Sorry to hear it.
 
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