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Question about Alpine CHM-S620 6-Disc CD Changer

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I reviewed the various trouble shooting procedures that you recommend for Alpine CD Changer models 9811, 9813 and 9815 but your scenarios do not necessarily line up exactly with the symptoms which in the "Summarize the problem" section above reflects error message "CDDJ ERROR" on the in dash LED display. I have also reviewed the one problem that had been submitted earlier to the knowledge base for Alpine CD changers that specifically described failure to eject a magazine scenario. I believe that an Alpine changer model somewhat different than mine may have been described in that article. I have not personally attempted to dismount the changer in question and/or perform any maintenance/trouble shooting at this point other than checking for a burned out fuse.
I do not know which exact Alpine model equipment that was factory installed in my 1999 Lincoln Town Car when I bought the car in 1999. The changer is a trunk mounted model and receives a 6 - CD magazine. I recently swapped out the 6 existing CDs in the magazine with other CDs and reinserted the populated magazine in to the magazine changer. The magazine appeared to self load as normal and I closed the changer cover to prevent foreign matter from entering the mechanism. That is the mode in which I leave it each time I reinstall the magazine. When I started up the car, the dash display LED indicated that CD 1, track 1 was attempting to be loaded. I then received error message "CDDJ ERROR" on the in dash LED display.

I then immediately went back to the trunk of the car, slid the changer cover open and attempted to eject the magazine via pressing on the eject button. Nothing happened and I did not hear the sound or see the usual movement that the mechanism makes while the magazine is being ejected.

Question No. 1:

We have been experiencing outdoor temperatures in the low 20s here in south central Pennsylania. Could the extreme low temperatures be contributory to the magazine ejection failure?

Question No..2:

If so, would it be worth while to apply some conservative heat to the changer mechanism area (a hair dryer or some other portable heating source, for example) to see if that "heals" the ejection mechanism?
What other work arounds would you recommedn given these descriptions?

Question No..3

Due to the age of the vehicle (over 9 years old) is the above described behavior symptomatic of an electronic changer unit which has basically exhausted its normal productive life span?

Question No. 4:

If so, should I "bite the bullet", so to speak, and resign myself to having a replacement changer unit (Alpine or some other compatible manufacturer's model) commercially installed by a competent electronics technician? Or are the mechanics of dismounting and subsequent mounting of a replacement multiple CD magazine changer straight forward and simple enough that I, a layman and not necessarily experienced in auto electronics repair/installation, could do the work myself and save the expense of the commercial work? I am a 70 year old retiree.

Question No. 5:

Are most of the replacement CD changers plug compatible or should I stick with Alpine given my circumstances?

My local Lincoln dealer has indicated that if I wanted to have them repair/replace the unit they would simply dismount the changer while I waited, send it out to their local electronics technician repair partner and have the unit repaired by them if it is repairable.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Tom Lamb

Posted by Anonymous on

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My local Lincoln Dealership wanted to dismount the actual Clarion CD changer (I thought, and unfortunately reported to you, that the CD changer manufacturer was the same as the radio/cassettee unit that is installed in my dash, Alpine) from my 99 Town Car and ship the unit out for repair for a minimum of $130.00. Instead, I went to a local Radio Shack franchise who installs/repairs car electronic audio/video systems and they: dismounted the unit from the trunk; took the dismounted unit to their workbench; removed all the housing, etc. and finally were able to manually extract the fully populated 6 CD magazine stuck within the CD changer. Additional efforts (including inserting my spare magazine into the CD changer while it was on the tech's work bench) to determine exactly why the magazine would not eject while the unit was connected via the cabling to the car's power, etc. were not productive. So I now have a totally unassembled non-functioning CD changer on my hands. The "CDEJ Error" on the LED area in the dash when the eject buttoon on the CD changer is pushed.still persists. The technician said that it would be a waste of his time and my money to re-assemble the parts of the CD changer. He believes that the motor on the unit has been burned up.

So I am now checking with all the local auto parts salvage yards (we used to call them junk yards) to see if anyone has a usable Clarion CD changer for a 1999 Lincoln Town Car available that would be plug compatible with my existing Alpine factory installed Premium CD/Cassette audio system and the former factory installed trunk mounted Clarion CD changer. The Radio Shack franchise technician has already checked with the Clarion factory people and they iindicated that they no longer have my Town Car installed CD changer model available, new, used, refurbished or otherwise.

For what it's worth, here are the part numbers and other potentially important data that appear on the "cage"/sheet metal/housing that surrounds the working parts of the CD changer itself:

Assembly Part Number: F8VF-18C849-AE

Part Number (presumably the "cage"?): F8VF-18C830-AE

Date Code: 0998

Serial Number: 0201832

Mounting Orientation: Vertical

System Revision Level: 9.2

So it looks like I may have a potentially very expensive replacement of my whole audio system on my hands. I have been quite happy with my somewhat "obsolete" audio system and I have a very large collection of CDs which I migrate between my Sony 300 CD CDP-CX350 Mega Changer installed in my entertainment center, my car Cd changer and my Sony CD/Cassette player boom box in my master bedroom.

It was suggested to me that if I have to replace the radio/cd/cassette unit installed in the dash of my Town Car that I should consider a replacement model that offers a port to receive Ipod programming as a source of music.

So things have gotten somewhat complicated since the first instance of the Cd magazine not ejecting from the Clarion CD change mounted in the trunk of my car.

Maybe someone out there on your knowledge base knows where I can acquire a used Clarion model CD changer compatible with my car's setup at a reasonable price.



Posted on Nov 26, 2008

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