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Adding Sync to base explorer

jonredcorn

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Hey everyone,

I know that when I picked up my base 2012 explorer, I had the option to custom-order one with the SYNC. At the time, everyone on this forum mentioned how much SYNC sucked, so I decided to just pick up the one they had (which had everything I wanted)...

Does anyone know if I can add Sync to the 2012 Ford Explorer Base? I have the standard radio - no NAV, no DVD, no Satellite radio. It's just a radio.

I know that the SYNC was a ~300 dollar option and used a very similar radio.

I understand that a new Mic would have to be put in the A-pillar, but does anyone know if a part like this (SYNC upgrade for 2011-2013 explorer) exists? I haven't been able to find it anywhere online.

Thanks! You guys are great!
 


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VinceL

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Not sure if it is possible, but would probably be quite expensive even if it were.

Keep us posted on what you find out :)
 




dco43054

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Does anyone know if I can add Sync to the 2012 Ford Explorer Base?
The basic answer is "no" - unless you want to spend a lot of money and can find some Dealer who might be able to activate it in the vehicle computer(s).

And you are asking about Sync, which is the companion product to My Ford Touch (MFT). MFT has the voice commands, touch screen controls, etc.

We regularly bitch about MFT for all the bugs and flaws. Sync is a separate product. I don't find it particularly useful itself.

(edit) I do use the voice dialing in Sync. That is a function of Sync and not MFT, though it is integrated with MFT when MFT is included.
 




Razziel24

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Im on the same boat, I have a 2012 explorer base model, with the plain radio with cd player, no MFT, or anything like that.... ill just love to have the SYNC to use it with my phone, it sucks not to have bluetooth integration on a "modern" vehicle like the EX, ive seen some 2012 explorers with the same radio as mine (not MFT), but with the SYNC badge, I want that !

The option was never offered to me when I purchased the vehicle, well then again... im in Ecuador... so not too many options down here... :(
 




13Sport

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I would love if the Sport came w/ the base radio... you could sink(not sync) the money into a nice aftermarket 7/8" infotainment system with navi. It's not worth trying to retrofit sync into the car when there are so many really great aftermarket systems available for the same or less money than it would cost you.
 




Razziel24

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I would love if the Sport came w/ the base radio... you could sink(not sync) the money into a nice aftermarket 7/8" infotainment system with navi. It's not worth trying to retrofit sync into the car when there are so many really great aftermarket systems available for the same or less money than it would cost you.

Have you seen the panel layout on the base model ? To retrofit an aftermarket DVD/NAV unit, looks like a pain... a lot of plastic cutting and fiberglass molding may be needed.
Id really love to see someone trying this, it should come out good if it is done properly...

0.jpg
 




13Sport

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Have you seen the panel layout on the base model ? To retrofit an aftermarket DVD/NAV unit, looks like a pain... a lot of plastic cutting and fiberglass molding may be needed.
Id really love to see someone trying this, it should come out good if it is done properly...

Didn't realize there were no dash kits available for the explorer... You could always do something like this

http://clarion.com/us/en/products/2012/smartaccess/nextgate/SC1U/us-en-product-hi_1259594573422.html
 




13Sport

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Honestly thought that the picture you linked was of the base w/ sync, I can't believe that they did a non-standard dash layout for base w/ base radio. I would imagine you could get the center dash plate from a model that has MFT, but what a pricey endeavor. Bummer...
 




Razziel24

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yes, this sucks, id be all over an aftermarket unit if someone comes up with a practical solution.

I was hoping for those Chinese guys from www.caskaglobal.com to do something, but still nothing.
 




Jadams47

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I just purchased a 2015 Explorer Base and thought it had Bluetooth simply because there was a "Phone" button on the radio and the keypad had letters on just like a phone does. I was just investigating this myself and was told it was available for the 2015's but they discontinued it because of the labor intensive aspect of it taking over 8 hours to install.
I saw a 2015 with exactly the same radio as mine (matching faceplate) and figured it was a simple add on plugged in to the back of the radio because I can't see them making two identical radios one with sync and one without as it wouldn't be cost effective. They say no, it's not possible but from my previous knowledge concerning electronics, I am betting they just don't know or are offered that option. There is probably an open female connection on the back of the radio just waiting for the sync unit to be added that will interface with the radio automatically with no additional programming. Suck.. can't figure out why they don't just put sync in every vehicle. Apparently it's rare that they don't and I had to pick out one that didn't have it.
 




jmr061

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I just purchased a 2015 Explorer Base and thought it had Bluetooth simply because there was a "Phone" button on the radio and the keypad had letters on just like a phone does. I was just investigating this myself and was told it was available for the 2015's but they discontinued it because of the labor intensive aspect of it taking over 8 hours to install.
I saw a 2015 with exactly the same radio as mine (matching faceplate) and figured it was a simple add on plugged in to the back of the radio because I can't see them making two identical radios one with sync and one without as it wouldn't be cost effective. They say no, it's not possible but from my previous knowledge concerning electronics, I am betting they just don't know or are offered that option. There is probably an open female connection on the back of the radio just waiting for the sync unit to be added that will interface with the radio automatically with no additional programming. Suck.. can't figure out why they don't just put sync in every vehicle. Apparently it's rare that they don't and I had to pick out one that didn't have it.

No adding sync isn't that simple. It would involve an entire tear down of the dash and console....replacing the main dash wire harness with one that is used for the models equipped with the base sync system, adding all the hardware missing in a non sync equipped vehicle and then undocumented programming changes to the vehicle. I priced it out once for an interceptor model once and stopped when the hardware alone went over $1000. It's a $295 sticker price option.
 




Jadams47

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No adding sync isn't that simple. It would involve an entire tear down of the dash and console....replacing the main dash wire harness with one that is used for the models equipped with the base sync system, adding all the hardware missing in a non sync equipped vehicle and then undocumented programming changes to the vehicle. I priced it out once for an interceptor model once and stopped when the hardware alone went over $1000. It's a $295 sticker price option.

I really find that hard to believe simply because of the cost to add it from the manufacturer being $295. That radio is probably already set up to add sync. It would be cost ineffective to make two different radios. That said there is probably an open socket in the back of the radio to add the sync module that would automatically interface with the radio. No programming necessary. The hardest parts about it would be mounting the sync unit and adding the microphone. (that could entail dash removal) There is probably nothing involved with any wire harnesses or programming.
I was told the main reason they discontinued it on the 2014's and earlier was because of the 8 hours labor involved and that people didn't want to pay that much. I can't see hardware having a cost of over $1,000 when the add is only $250. That said alone, I wonder why they even make one without sync. It's really dumb for that add not to.
Can't beat the system though which is why I just ordered a 7" Garmin with blue tooth for about the same cost as the add. Only thing I will miss is auto muting of the radio but there is a mute button on the steering wheel. Guess I'll have to get used to it.
 




jmr061

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I really find that hard to believe simply because of the cost to add it from the manufacturer being $295. That radio is probably already set up to add sync. It would be cost ineffective to make two different radios. That said there is probably an open socket in the back of the radio to add the sync module that would automatically interface with the radio. No programming necessary. The hardest parts about it would be mounting the sync unit and adding the microphone. (that could entail dash removal) There is probably nothing involved with any wire harnesses or programming.
I was told the main reason they discontinued it on the 2014's and earlier was because of the 8 hours labor involved and that people didn't want to pay that much. I can't see hardware having a cost of over $1,000 when the add is only $250. That said alone, I wonder why they even make one without sync. It's really dumb for that add not to.

Feel free to look into it. It really has nothing to do with the radio which is known as the ACM...audio control module. The display is the FCDIM and is not the radio. The ACM is the CD Player. The SYNC module is known as the APIM. And YES PROGRAMMING is involved.

The SYNC module mounts in the center console so if you feel up to it see if there is a plug inside yours that isn't used. It would be roughly a 50 pin plug.
 




peterk9

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I really find that hard to believe simply because of the cost to add it from the manufacturer being $295.
I believe it. You can order a 2nd row console for $150 when 'building' your Ex. Before they could be ordered, someone did the work and figured it would be around $1000 to get the parts and put it together.

Peter
 




Jadams47

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If you guys were audio engineers for FOMCO, I would trust what you say rather than bank on information you may have been fed.
 




jmr061

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If you guys were audio engineers for FOMCO, I would trust what you say rather than bank on information you may have been fed.

All I will say is good luck. I haven't been fed information its based on real world experience.
 




peterk9

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If you guys were audio engineers for FOMCO, I would trust what you say rather than bank on information you may have been fed.
It seems that your posts are based on a lot of guess work and assumptions. So why discount so quickly the information that jmr061 is trying to offer? Members are here to try and help and offer assistance to others.

Peter
 




Jadams47

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It seems that your posts are based on a lot of guess work and assumptions. So why discount so quickly the information that jmr061 is trying to offer? Members are here to try and help and offer assistance to others.

Peter

"Seems" (is that also not an assumption?) My opinion is also based on real world experience. I don't know them and they don't know me so neither of us know what those experiences are.

It is a discussion on opinions and mine are equally valid as much as theirs, no need to get judgmental about what I listen to or dismiss as you have no idea what those thoughts are and are also assuming.

If you can call real world experiences as asking dealers what it will cost, that is not valid as their opinions are also based on assumptions.
Logic says if an option can be added during production for a little over $200 there isn't a high cost in material used. If costs are high "aftermarket" then the costs are based on labor charges, post production. That's a pretty darn good assumption to make.

If their responses come from audio engineers who know the design layout and can give concrete answers about the truth and also provide schematics maybe it will change what I think is truth and also not assumptions.

It's not my intention to get into a pissing contest with anyone. I certainly hope others in this forum aren't so sensitive about having their assumptions challenged. (which is all it is if they have not actually done the work themselves and relying on what they were told)

Actually doing the work is after all what leads to the truth. Before that all it is is assumptions and discussion.
 




jmr061

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"Seems" (is that also not an assumption?) My opinion is also based on real world experience. I don't know them and they don't know me so neither of us know what those experiences are.

It is a discussion on opinions and mine are equally valid as much as theirs, no need to get judgmental about what I listen to or dismiss as you have no idea what those thoughts are and are also assuming.

If you can call real world experiences as asking dealers what it will cost, that is not valid as their opinions are also based on assumptions.
Logic says if an option can be added during production for a little over $200 there isn't a high cost in material used. If costs are high "aftermarket" then the costs are based on labor charges, post production. That's a pretty darn good assumption to make.

If their responses come from audio engineers who know the design layout and can give concrete answers about the truth and also provide schematics maybe it will change what I think is truth and also not assumptions.

It's not my intention to get into a pissing contest with anyone. I certainly hope others in this forum aren't so sensitive about having their assumptions challenged. (which is all it is if they have not actually done the work themselves and relying on what they were told)

Actually doing the work is after all what leads to the truth. Before that all it is is assumptions and discussion.

Have you made any progress?
 


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Jadams47

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Have you made any progress?

No, I gave up and bought a 7" Garmin Nuvi with bluetooth. If I could talk with an electronics Engineer from Ford I could probably get a truthful answer, but there is a fat chance of that. Till then I will believe there is simply a sync module and a wiring for the microphone as being the only thing really needed for the upgrade. Logics tell me this simply because of the add on cost and what I know about electronics. If I was younger and in good enough health to delve into it myself I would probable do it, but no longer work on cars myself to that degree. Removing the radio in the 2015 Explorer looks like quite an involved process and seems to no longer be a simple single or double din application.
 




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