Stock GPS antenna Question. Do I have one or not?? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Stock GPS antenna Question. Do I have one or not??


Active Member
January 20, 2016
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
2010 Ford Explorer E.B.
Hey all. I have an extremely simple question, that I cant seem to find a definitive answer for.

My 2010 Explorer has the Audiophile system. It came with Satellite radio from the factory. When I got the truck, the stock radio (SYNC, non-navigation) was long gone. On the roof, passenger side, there is a black pod. I presumed that was the sat radio antenna.

Im reading that in 09 or so, they switched to a combo antenna. But when I look in my parts diagrams, it shows the satellite radio antenna being part of the main antenna mast. the black pod a GPS antenna? Combo GPS Sat. Radio?

If it is GPS, I know there is a plug shortly after the antenna, but where would the antenna terminate at? Trying to avoid tearing down the headliner and tracing wires and guessing at whether or not its a GPS haha. I want to wire it to my custom tablet install for an external antenna.



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

I have an 08 with Sat radio, and the hump on the roof is the sat. radio antenna. I do not have nav so i cannot confirm if that antenna doubles as the GPS antenna or not.

GPS antenna is inside the truck, under the dash, not exterior mounted like you might expect. Literally its below the light sensor / flashing red LED on the center stack. With the stereo trim removed you should be able to see it. It looks like a aftermarket Sirius/XM antenna - maybe 2 x 2 x half an inch. Uses a hot pink female connector. You are correct about the black passenger side exterior mounted Sirius antenna.

This is what is confusing me some. I think the switch over was in 09.

For instance, here is the navigation system for your 08. This is when the GPS antenna was in the dash itself I believe.


Here is my 2010. Showing the pod that goes on the roof.


On either of those cars, if I got into the antenna section, it points to the radio mast, and has one part number for "w/o SAT" and a couple "with sat". Basically indicating that it is part of the antenna assembly. Which is weird to me...since sat radio antennas usually look just like GPS units.

Im going to end up pulling stuff apart and checking wires arent I? haha.


My go-to for finding out things like that is usually If I'm trying to differentiate what my vehicle has, compared to options available, I will first search using my exact vin, as that shows what is in your vehicle. Then I will go back and just do a general vehicle entry (so for me '08 Explorer Limited V8) and compare the part options with the one I already know I have. Sometimes this simplifies this type of inquiry (used to do this with my Escape as well). Hopefully that will lead you to a more conclusive answer?

This may or may not be helpful but in the 5th generation Explorer (2011 +) the roof mounted antenna is for both AM/FM and Satellite. The actual GPS antenna is located under the dash.


Thanks for that reply... I checked fordparts, and got a different diagram than I had seen before.


They are calling it a combo GPS/Sat radio antenna. In the picture they even show a non-nav head unit. So I guess if its 09-10, if you have the pod on the roof, you have a GPS antenna also. Its the only thing I can conclude.

Now, I dont know if the GPS wiring is patched down like normal, or if the connecting harness just doesnt contain the GPS part. But it doesnt look like there is a separate harness either. So somewhere, the GPS should be accessible from in the dash. Thats my next adventure. I think Im going to pull the passenger side kick panel, and see if I can find the harness that comes down from the roof. Failing that, Ill pull the a-pillar trim and sun visor and see if I can put an eyeball on the wiring from there.


This may or may not be helpful but in the 5th generation Explorer (2011 +) the roof mounted antenna is for both AM/FM and Satellite. The actual GPS antenna is located under the dash.


Thanks Peter. I think it was in the dash for 06-08 also. But sometime around 09 they stopped doing that and it was a dual GPS/Sat antenna on the roof. I just havent been able to confirm if there was a Dual unit, as well as a Sat only unit. But I think I finally have confirmed that its a dual unit. Ill be able to tell for sure once I start looking for wiring.

One thing Im not sure if the GPS would connect directly to the back of the head unit...or if it would connect into a harness that would go to the head unit. Ill have to see if I can find a picture of the back of a factory nav unit, to see if it has an antenna hook up, or just the standard connections. I think it would go straight to the head unit. SO maybe the connector is just taped up somewhere. Like my subwoofer amp wiring was haha.

Ok...making some progress. I think the antenna does have both. When you get the navigation system, you get a splitter for the antenna. So the main antenna lead comes from the roof, down to the Sat radio module. If you have Sat radio, but no Nav, it stops there. If you have Nav, it looks like it splits and goes to the radio.


That cable is $140+. Im going to poke around and see if by some odd chance I have that cable. Or see if there's a way to tap into it. If I cant, Ill just live with the fact that I have an antenna on the roof that I cant use and get a small GPS antenna and put it in the dash.


It's likely not just a cable but a diplexer to separate the frequencies. I'm not sure you'll be able to just tap into it.

Yeah you might be right. I want to get a look at the connector off the antenna. If it's a standard connector with two contact points, the cable probably is more than a splitter. There is a small box at the split, but I figured maybe that just housed the split.

This is kind of fun to figure out either way haha.


This is a dead thread...but I wanted to update.

So I unplugged the antenna wire down at the factory sat radio box. It has the tan Fakra connector. I was able to fit an XM radio Fakra connector into it with slight modification. I then hard wired that to my tablet's internal GPS contacts.

Viola...I have WAY better GPS than I had with the old set up...which was the tablet GPS antenna/sticker remote mounted. Its still not perfect, but the GPS app shows 20 foot accuracy and it pulls in more satellites than my phone shows.

While it might not be idea, it sure seems that its possible to pull GPS signal from it. Maybe the splitter would clean things up even more.