• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

SYNC 3 in a 2016 Explorer


jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
I have read a lot about people wanting to swap from SYNC2(MFT) to SYNC3 in their Explorers. Everyone says Ford should have put SYNC3 in the 2016 model year. There was lots of grumbling that it was produced with SYNC2. There was a rumor that SYNC3 was tested in a 2016 by Ford but they couldn't get it to work so SYNC2 was implemented.

Recently I located a used SYNC3 screen and apim unit from a wrecked 2016 Escape Titanium. It had NAV and was the right price so I purchased it to test in my 2016 Sport.

While the price was right that doesn't mean the rest would be easy. I have spent no less than 15 hours researching the as built programming data of various models of Fords and Lincolns that were SYNC2 based and switched to SYNC3. I am not going to get into fine details but SYNC2 has 8 lines of programming data and SYNC3 has 15 lines of programming data. Deciphering this is difficult if not near impossible.

So now it was time to install it. I compared wiring diagrams between SYNC2 and SYNC3 units and there did not seem to be any issues with that. No rewiring needed. The most difficult part about that physical install were the side brackets attached to the screen. The SYNC2 screen for the Explorer is shaped differently than the SYNC3 screen used in the Escape. I had to cut and drill out the Escape brackets and trial and error fit it until I got it close enough to fitting properly.

SYNC3 uses a regular GPS antenna with a blue FAKRA connector, connected directly to the APIM. It does not use a GPSM like the SYNC2 version uses. At first I didn't have a GPS antenna but ordered a $10 one off eBay and have since installed it. The GPSM should be removed. The instrument cluster needs to come out to access the GPSM which sits behind the right side of the instrument cluster just under the dash pad. This is where I placed the SYNC3 GPS antenna using velcro.

Fired things up and things seemed to work well. Only time would tell. I have tweaked some of the programming I did. Everything seems to work but I have noticed that something strange goes on with the settings in the left side of the instrument cluster. Menus such as locks, lighting, easy entry/exit will randomly grey out and become inaccessible. If the vehicle is shut off and sits for a bit they may or may not come back for a little bit. It appears SYNC3 is interfering with network communication between the IPC, BCM and possibly driver seat module. Off course that is only the stuff I can physically see. There could be more bad stuff going on behind that scenes.

I am at the point of waiting for a 2017 Explorer to hit the build point where I can pull the SYNC3 data and examine it and test it. I will likely put SYNC2 back in it.

My recommendation to everyone at this point is don't get your hopes up of adding SYNC3 to your 2016 Explorer or earlier one for that matter.

I have also just learned that there is a new version of the SYNC3 APIM that has recently come out. Why they have a new version is not known to myself at this time.

I will update (edit) this post with pics and additional information as seen fit.

2/19/16
I actually have re-installed this. I found "better" programming data and it no longer is interfering with the settings in the instrument cluster. On face value right now it seems to be functioning.


After having this back in the vehicle for about a month I found it was still interfering with the settings in the instrument cluster, just much less frequently than before. For this reason I pulled it and am running MFT. Perhaps once the 17s hit the streets and I can look at that data I can revisit this.

APIM Comparison.jpg


Screen Comparison Small 1.jpg


SAM_2153.jpg


SAM_2154.jpg


SAM_2156.jpg
 
Last edited:

Join the Elite Explorers for $20. Gets rid of the ads!

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




fwrogg

Member
Joined
July 13, 2015
Messages
85
Reaction score
0
City, State
Colfax, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Explorer XLT
nice work and great effort, at least a glimpse of things to come in future model years.
 


jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
I actually have re-installed this. I found "better" programming data and it no longer is interfering with the settings in the instrument cluster. On face value right now it seems to be functioning.
 


fwrogg

Member
Joined
July 13, 2015
Messages
85
Reaction score
0
City, State
Colfax, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Explorer XLT
I actually have re-installed this. I found "better" programming data and it no longer is interfering with the settings in the instrument cluster. On face value right now it seems to be functioning.
Congratulations, always great when things work out, please keep us updated.
 


jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
I am actually surprised at the lack of comments in regards to this project. So much complaining went on about not having SYNC3 and wanting to add it.

I like it, something things I like better than SYNC2 (MFT) and some not. I do not like how the ambient lighting is controlled. There should be an on/off button for it like SYNC2. The way it works are each light color is on a vertical slider, up being full brightness and all the way down being off. If you really want to dim it down low I have issues with going to far and shutting it off.

The navigation works well. Used it on a 4 hr round trip the other day and no issues. I think they could spice up the looks of it a bit but its clear functionality was priority number 1 which is the right thing to do. Hopefully carplay and android auto aren't too far out on the timeline.
 


omar302

Active Member
Joined
October 23, 2013
Messages
249
Reaction score
20
City, State
Doha
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Ford Edge Sport
I think they could spice up the looks of it a bit but its clear functionality was priority number 1 which is the right thing to do. Hopefully carplay and android auto aren't too far out on the timeline.
Try using the Lincoln theme, looks less cartoonish & more mature from the few pictures & reviews I've seen.
 


jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
Try using the Lincoln theme, looks less cartoonish & more mature from the few pictures & reviews I've seen.
Already have.
 


peterk9

Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
December 28, 2010
Messages
27,009
Reaction score
1,480
City, State
Ottawa, Ontario area
Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Aviator Reserve
Callsign
VE3
I am actually surprised at the lack of comments in regards to this project. So much complaining went on about not having SYNC3 and wanting to add it........
I think part of that might be because the Sync 3 parts/unit cannot be purchased from Ford. I don't know if the other vendor links in another thread provides all the necessary modifications in order to just 'pop' the Sync 2 out and the Sync 3 in. Also, perhaps the $1000 or so price tag on the other site may make it seem that Sync 2 isn't so bad after all. :dunno:
Maybe members were hoping that you could simply get Sync 3 functionality using the current setup and display.
In any case, thank you Jason for showing that it can be done if the will and knowhow is there.

Peter
 


Lewisra

Active Member
Joined
December 14, 2013
Messages
681
Reaction score
14
City, State
Howell, mi
Year, Model & Trim Level
2017 explorer limited
I am actually surprised at the lack of comments in regards to this project. So much complaining went on about not having SYNC3 and wanting to add it.

I like it, something things I like better than SYNC2 (MFT) and some not. I do not like how the ambient lighting is controlled. There should be an on/off button for it like SYNC2. The way it works are each light color is on a vertical slider, up being full brightness and all the way down being off. If you really want to dim it down low I have issues with going to far and shutting it off.

The navigation works well. Used it on a 4 hr round trip the other day and no issues. I think they could spice up the looks of it a bit but its clear functionality was priority number 1 which is the right thing to do. Hopefully carplay and android auto aren't too far out on the timeline.
Nice. I have SYNC3 in my Focus. Only functionality issue I've come across is random reboots, though it only takes about 10 seconds to reboot. Let me know if yours randomly reboots.
 


ieee_raider

Active Member
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
362
Reaction score
5
City, State
Paris, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Ford Explorer Sport
I am actually surprised at the lack of comments in regards to this project. So much complaining went on about not having SYNC3 and wanting to add it.

I like it, something things I like better than SYNC2 (MFT) and some not. I do not like how the ambient lighting is controlled. There should be an on/off button for it like SYNC2. The way it works are each light color is on a vertical slider, up being full brightness and all the way down being off. If you really want to dim it down low I have issues with going to far and shutting it off.

The navigation works well. Used it on a 4 hr round trip the other day and no issues. I think they could spice up the looks of it a bit but its clear functionality was priority number 1 which is the right thing to do. Hopefully carplay and android auto aren't too far out on the timeline.
I'm very interested in your progress.
What is the software you're working on?
I'm not familiar with what you would actually be programming.
I would bet that you could sell your software package to people interested in making the change.
If I could spend $1000 on parts and $150 on software, I would be all over this.
 


jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
I'm very interested in your progress.
What is the software you're working on?
I'm not familiar with what you would actually be programming.
I would bet that you could sell your software package to people interested in making the change.
If I could spend $1000 on parts and $150 on software, I would be all over this.
You have a 2013...that would be starting over from scratch.
 


vp6799

Active Member
Joined
March 1, 2006
Messages
131
Reaction score
1
City, State
Massachusetts
Year, Model & Trim Level
2014 Explorer Limited
Would the process be the same for a 14?
 


peterk9

Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
December 28, 2010
Messages
27,009
Reaction score
1,480
City, State
Ottawa, Ontario area
Year, Model & Trim Level
2020 Aviator Reserve
Callsign
VE3


ieee_raider

Active Member
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
362
Reaction score
5
City, State
Paris, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 Ford Explorer Sport
You have a 2013...that would be starting over from scratch.
Since both the '16 and '13 run MFT, aren't they basically the same?
I'm not trying to argue, just asking the question to understand.
 


chazglenn3

Active Member
Joined
July 17, 2004
Messages
174
Reaction score
13
City, State
Tacoma , WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Explorer Platinum
Since my wife is coming from a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica with no tech she's pretty happy with MFT. Works for me too. The voice recognition is light years ahead of my 2005 Cadillac.
 


jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
Since both the '16 and '13 run MFT, aren't they basically the same?
I'm not trying to argue, just asking the question to understand.
The issue isn't the physical install...that is the easy part. The hard part is the programming as the 13/14/15 versus the 16 are totally different electrical platforms.
 


hockeymutt

New Member
Joined
March 5, 2016
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
2013 escape
any updates? sent you a PM. Just trying to figure out the programing side of this. Thanks
 


jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
It is functioning fine. Update is in original post.
 


Uaglio

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2014
Messages
104
Reaction score
1
City, State
.
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Sport
all that work for what amounts to a different GUI?
 

Join the Elite Explorers for $20. Gets rid of the ads!

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




jmr061

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 24, 2014
Messages
1,825
Reaction score
119
City, State
Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
16 Edge
Pr-16 Exp Sport
all that work for what amounts to a different GUI?
This is an experiment. Yes a lot of research involved. People thought it would be cheap and simple. The answer is, it isn't. Maybe down the road it will be more feasible but for the the general user at this point I would say I have proven it is not feasible.

BTW I do for the most part like it better than MFT.
 
Last edited:


Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
iTonyp Sync 3 2016 Explorer 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
P Upgrading 2016 Explorer to Sync 3 - FORScan questions 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 28
J Upgrading to 8" Sync MFT on 2016 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 5
J 2016 Technology of the Year Finalist: Ford Sync 3 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 0
S SYNC 2 USB - Song Title Not Changing 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
J Sync 2 APIM: Can you no longer replace/reprogram them? 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
G MFT Sync 2 to Sync 3 Screen Stays On While Car is OFF 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 6
D 2011 Ford Explorer Sync 2 replacement 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
E Sync 2 with MFT failing. How can I cost effectivly upgrade to Sync 3? 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 3
T Sync Update gone wrong 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
G Listening to texts via sync 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 4
J Sync 2 MFT APIM Replacement / Repair 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 1
T New to SYNC need help understanding how to display waze 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 8
N Voice dialing issue with base sync 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 1
D Sync 3.10 Update install Pics 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 3
S Sync not working in cold 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 4
J Updating SYNC Image Loop 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 5
D Help - Sync 2 to Sync 3 question for Apps 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 3
J 2015 Explorer Sport - upgrading Sync 2 to Sync 3 - have few ?'s 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 11
O How to: How to enable Navigation on Sync 2 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 11
R SYNC 2 v3.10 build 16180 is available on owner.ford.com website 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 19
T 911 Assist missing after SYNC Update 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
A Sync Features Not Available in Motion?? 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
J Just starting.... 2013 APIM Sync 3 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 1
T Sync Connect 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 7
O Restarting MFT using "Seek >> + Power" (also for Sync 3) 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 0
P How-To: Upgrading to SYNC 3, installing a stock GPS antenna and splitter 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 31
T Sync Keeps Trying to Reconnect With iPhone 8 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 6
I Sync 2 w/ MFT - iOS11 iPhone Compatibility 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 15
Jon M This is new...Sync/MFT issue 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 6
Jon M MFT/SYNC/Nav issues 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 0
V No Sound - Sync 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 10
G SYNC and USB playback HELP please............... tku!!!! 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 2
S Sync Services Being Phased Out 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 18
L Sync does not accept incoming calls 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 9
D When will there be a new release of Sync 2 software 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 33
M Sync/Phone/Camera Issues 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 3
expoman55 Sync upgrade? 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 4
J Update to Basic Sync Cut Off Voice Communication To iPhone While Connected With Bluetooth 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 0
L SYNC Destination for android 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 5
J Issue with Sync in 2011 Explorer 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 14
T Iphone doesnt connect at times to Sync 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 0
A Sync issue with USB drive 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 24
B MFT 3.8 IOS 9.3 sync drops connection mid call 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 0
A Ford Sync Mytouch replacement 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 18
F Sync update and maps 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 3
O sync speaking voice only in English 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 3
B Upgrading Sync Issue 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 6
B I Sync Card 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 5
B Sync Subscrition 2011-2016 My Ford Touch / In Vehicle Technology 3
Similar threads


















































Top