I have a '98 Explorer and just experienced this problem. The radio,
CD, and tape deck are functional in every way, its just that the
clock/radio display is dark and so you can't see what station you're
on, CD track, etc. Apparently it's a common problem; I found it very
disappointing and annoying.
Thank God for D Harrison, who posted a fix in 2002 on this group. I
couldn't reply with my thanks because the topic is more than 30 days
old, but I thought I'd include a link and post my gratitude.
My specific issue was a little different, as resoldering the surface
mount components Mr Harrison indicated were his problem did not fix the
problem in my case. So I pulled the unit again, and resoldered every
surface mount component connection on the board. That did the trick.
I am just amazed that anyone could figure out this problem - all the
solder connections looked fine to me, and I wouldn't have known what a
"surface mount" component was without Mr Harrison's accurate
description of the board's layout.
I also want to post a link to a very helpful site that shows how to
fashion the radio removal tools:
Thanks to all this, a $500 problem cost me nothing but time to fix.
Thank you for this group, thanks for Google, and thanks to Mr Harrison!