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Discussion Starter #1
This post is intended as a starting point for those interested in 2013+ Escape Audio upgrades. Most questions on this topic have already been asked, please remember Site Search Is Your Friend and if possible please add your new questions to a related existing thread (even if old) after researching to see if it's already been asked and answered.

Please remember too that when you post a question or suggestion it's important to fully describe your existing Escape year, trim and SYNC / audio system version so folks can give good answers for your situation or know if your tip likely applies to them.

Note: The linking of any procedure or product in this post shall not be construed as an 'endorsement' of any kind.

1. OEM Systems
The '13-'18 Escape is available with one of three audio systems depending on trim level and options:

1.a. Base Audio with 4.2" Display (SYNC1 aka Basic SYNC)
  • AM/FM/CD
  • 6 speakers: 2x front tweeters, 2x front woofers, 2x rear door speakers
1.b. Premium Audio with 8" Display (SYNC2 or SYNC3)
  • AM/FM/CD/Sirius
  • 9 speakers: 1x front center top of dash, 2x front tweeters, 2x front door woofers, 2x rear door tweeters, 2x rear door woofers
1.c. Sony Audio with 8" Display (SYNC2 or SYNC3)
  • AM/FM/HD Radio/CD/Sirius
  • 10 speakers: 1x front center top of dash, 2x front tweeters, 2x front door woofers, 2x rear door tweeters, 2x rear door woofers, 1x cargo area subwoofer
Each of the above also may offer other music source inputs such as SD card media, USB media/device, aux RCA jacks, and/or Bluetooth streaming depending on year model and trim/options.

2. OEM Components / Modules / Acronyms
The infotainment system of the '13-'18 Escape is implemented in many distinct but closely interrelated modules; it's helpful to grasp the general function of each and the terms used to describe the major modules.

2.a. ACM (Audio Control Module)
  • Located in the dashboard, this is the module with the CD player slot
  • Contains the AM/FM radio tuner, CD player, basic amplifiers, Sirius tuner module if equipped, and HD radio tuner if equipped
2.b. FCDIM (Front Control / Display Interface Module)
  • The display screen, whether 4.2" or 8"
2.c. APIM (Accessory Protocol Interface Module; aka 'SYNC module')
  • Located on the back of the FCDIM with SYNC2 or SYNC3; located elsewhere / remote with SYNC1
  • Manages SYNC functions for all SYNC versions
  • Manages various other infotainment related functions
  • Manages NAV functions, if equipped and enabled

2.d. FCIM
(Front Controls Interface Module)
  • The manual audio-related buttons and knobs on the dashboard
Modules 2.a through 2.d work together in combination to perform the functions associated with a traditional OEM or aftermarket "head unit".

2.e. Sony DSP Module (only with Sony System)
  • Located under the cargo floor
  • Contains the Digital Signal Processor and amplifiers for the Sony System
  • Includes active crossovers/filters for some output channels; others are managed by passive crossovers/filters on the speakers
In addition to the above listed major modules there are also a variety of incidental but important modules such as Media Hub / external interface modules, AM/FM/Sirius/GPS antenna modules, GPS Modules, microphone modules, steering wheel controls modules, etc. depending on exact system version, year, trim and options.

OVERVIEW OF UPGRADE PATHS

General Note: The '13+ Escapes all utilize VIN-specific wiring harnesses. This means that with very rare exception your car will only have the wires and connectors installed to match its exact original equipment; your car will not have wires or connectors pre-installed for any other optional equipment or module that was not part of its original equipment 'As Built' at the factory.

3. Speaker Upgrades
Probably the easiest upgrade, especially for Base and Premium systems, there's lots of info for this on speaker vendor sites (e.g. Crutchfield.com) and via Google or this forum's site search. Please see
4. Starting with Base Audio with 4.2" Display (SYNC1 aka Basic SYNC)

4.a. Nothing is "impossible" but it is generally accepted that upgrading from 4.2" display SYNC1 to the OEM SYNC2 or SYNC3 8" display system is impractical due to the very significant differences in wiring harnesses, modules and systems programming involved. There are no threads on this forum documenting that upgrade and no commercial kits for that upgrade as of this post date.

4.b. Supplementing the 4.2" SYNC1 system with an aftermarket large-screen display Head Unit is possible. Please see
5. Starting with Premium Audio with 8" Display (SYNC2 or SYNC3)

5.a.
Removal of the OEM SYNC2 or SYNC3 with 8" Display to replace with an aftermarket head unit/display is likely impractical due to the extreme integration of the OEM components (especially FCDIM and APIM) with non-infotainment functions in the vehicle.

5.b. Upgrade from SYNC2 to SYNC3 to get the newer smartphone-based audio-source and streaming app support options is possible, please see
5.c. Adding amps and/or DSP to the existing system is very do-able. Please see
6. Starting with Sony Audio with 8" Display (SYNC2 or SYNC3)

6.a. Adding aftermarket amps and speakers to the existing Sony DSP/amp is possible but IMHO the benefit is limited compared to other options. Please see
6.b. Replacing the Sony DSP/amp module with aftermarket components while retaining 100% of the great OEM SYNC features is very do-able. Please see
OTHER LINKS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST FOR ESCAPE INFOTAINMENT MODIFIERS

7.a. Workshop / Service Manual Sources (item 4.b. free wiring diagrams especially)

7.b. Remove Sirius from MFT Menu ! (proven to work for SYNC2; cleans-up your menu if you don't use Sirius)

7.c. ACM Upgrade Issues for HD Radio Addition (proven to work for SYNC2 with appropriate ACM)

7.d. Enable MyFordTouch Navigation (via software update) (proven to work for SYNC2 but the required support files sources have changed so you must read to the end of the thread for latest info and links)

Hope that helps, I'd appreciate a mod ( @jshel101 ?) considering this for 'sticky status' - it's an oft-asked question and the sticky would make finding/linking in reply to those questions easier.

;)
 

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Best audio upgrade option for 2018 with Sony sound package?

I have a 2018 Escape Titanium with the Sony sound package. The sound is decent, but not great.

What's the best path to upgrade the sound? Will I get much bang for my buck by upgrading the tweeters and woofers in the front, or is the quality of the deck so poor that a speaker upgrade won't buy me much?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the forum @Joe Hachey

FWIW all three of the Ford ACMs I've tested with an oscilloscope after they were reprogrammed for 'flat output' delivered IMO reasonably clean and accurate reproduction of test tones from 20Hz to 20kHz using USB as the test tone input. IMO the ACM is a decent component and a good building-block, especially when the sacrifices (in terms of OEM feature integration) involved with ditching the OEM ACM/APIM are considered. That's a subjective conclusion based on objective measurement - your opinion may differ and I wouldn't argue. Would I expect it to equal the performance of a $1,500 Sony RSX-GS9 "deck"? Of course not.

In the case of your Sony system obviously the Sony DSP is altering the signal between the ACM and the speakers. Worth noting IMO that if you do the research you'll find most 'serious upgraders' of late model Ford Sony systems ditch the Sony DSP but keep the OEM ACM to find their 'joy'.

As far as "best path to upgrade" and "bang for the buck" .... you're asking questions to which the answers solely depend on your expectations, your budget, your willingness and wherewithal to do modification work, etc, etc, etc. No one else can answer those questions for you, they can only give their own highly subjective opinions based on their own highly personal filters. I'm not going there.

I suggest you search and read the many threads here and on other forums where different folks talk about their specific audio mods, do your best to guess where your expectations etc fall relative to theirs (a 'guess at best' given you're reading words to describe sound and another person's preferences and tastes), and then 'roll-the-dice' ..... that's the inevitable nature of audio mods for any car unless you happen to be able to hear a system in another car exactly like yours that you like and can 'replicate'.

Have fun!


Asking other people to tell you what's "best" for you is just wrong when it comes to almost anything and everything in life - don't be that guy (or gal)! It's one of the most overused and abused words in the English language.
 
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Audio upgrade option for 2k17 Ford Escape! !!
The SE offers an optional 9-speaker system and adds SiriusXM satellite radio with a 6-month trial. A voice-activated touch screen steering system with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link are possible, as are Sync 3 and Sync Connect. The Titanium comes with a 10-speaker Sony audio system and both Sync 3 and Sync Connect as standard features.
 

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I may have missed it, but Best Buy says their is no aftermarket dash kit for the 2013 Escape with the 8 inch nav screen?

Wanted to upgrade to a after market touch screen head unit that offers Apple car play support since my ford dealership says it’s not a option on mine.

Anyone know of a dash kit?
 

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I may have missed it, but Best Buy says their is no aftermarket dash kit for the 2013 Escape with the 8 inch nav screen?

Wanted to upgrade to a after market touch screen head unit that offers Apple car play support since my ford dealership says it’s not a option on mine.

Anyone know of a dash kit?
You missed it. There are quite a few threads on this board dealing with the Sync 2 (MFT) to Sync 3 upgrades. Just do the search.
 

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2014 Ford Escape Titanium, 2.0L, Sync 2 MFT
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I may have missed it, but Best Buy says their is no aftermarket dash kit for the 2013 Escape with the 8 inch nav screen?

Wanted to upgrade to a after market touch screen head unit that offers Apple car play support since my ford dealership says it’s not a option on mine.

Anyone know of a dash kit?
Did you look at the first post in this thread? There are links provided to the information you need.
 

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You missed it. There are quite a few threads on this board dealing with the Sync 2 (MFT) to Sync 3 upgrades. Just do the search.
Not looking to upgrade to Sync 3, I was asking if anyone knew of a dash kit so I could buy a aftermarket touch screen headunit
 

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Not looking to upgrade to Sync 3, I was asking if anyone knew of a dash kit so I could buy a aftermarket touch screen headunit
There are other threads on here that discuss this. Search the forum for “lockpick”. They are a 3rd party company that offer these type of upgrades
 

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I am looking to install 2 amps. I already have a mono sub amp installed. It has speaker level inputs so I found and cut in after the Sony amp. It works but the roll off starts around 60Hz and sounds like it has a 18db slope.

I am looking at the Variable Line Level Preamp Outputs From ACM instructions and had a question.

I have a 2017 Titanium with the Sony 10 spk system and I am looking at my As Built for the codes that are listed that need to be changed and I was wondering if anyone has tested this out and verified that these work on the 17?

From what I see my vehicle looks like the Factory EQ Processing is already disabled. Is this because I have the Sony and its DSP. What do you guys think? With all the detail in this post and that not being listed as a reason I wanted to check before I started something that I couldn't finish.

Thanks!


Listed in the instructions:

ACM
727-01-01 xx59 F8x8 xxxx - Enables Line Level with Optional Subwoofer (Aux 1) and Front Center (Aux 2) Outputs Enabled*

727-01-02 00xx - Disables Factory EQ Processing

APIM
7D0-01-01 2xxx xxxx xxxx
(APIM As-Built) - APIM change required only if you have Sony DSP before completing this mod.


My Asbuilt
727-01-01 > 11A0 9000 0071
727-01-02 > 0000 5C02 008F

7D0-01-01 > AB28 4503 8074
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
A programmed-in sub Low Pass Filter starting at about 60Hz with an ~18dB slope would not surprise me. That'd be in the range of a reasonable HP filter for many true subwoofers IMO, maybe just a bit low and maybe just a bit steep, granted specifics depend on the sub and the mid-woofers it crosses with.

Sorry, I'm not able to give definitive help on your 2017 Sony System due to changes that occurred particular to that system between the '13-'15's I'm most familiar with and your '17.

Notably the allocation of speakers driven by the ACM vs the amp/DSP module changed, I'm not certain how that may affect your specific interest.
 

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Any decent pictures of where most people ground their sub amp and run power through the firewall? And what's the best location for an LOC with remote wire on the 2014 premium sound? Maybe wire colors? Which LOCs do people prefer without spending a ton of money?

I wish CarDomain was popular again. It was great for sharing pictures of your ride and what people did to customize it. There are a few people still using it.

I'm possibly doing Uber, so I plan on having something I can remove fairly easily. I have several options to choose from. I have an older silver L7 10", two of the black cone L7 12"s, a Pioneer shallow mount 12", and a few other random subs. I have a JL 1000.1 amp, a 4-channel and I think a mono block Alpine amps that match but purchased separately used about 8 years back, and maybe another one or two. I just buy stuff I can't pass up on. I picked up a JL W7 10" in a box for $65 once.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
@LunchboxBen, please add a sig block with your full vehicle info to help with answering your Q's in all posts ;)

Building on the hints of 2014 and premium audio ….


Many of your other questions (including interface / wire colors) are answered and illustrated in the first two posts of this thread


And what's the best location for an LOC with remote wire on the 2014 premium sound? Maybe wire colors? Which LOCs do people prefer without spending a ton of money?
Read all of the second post in the thread linked above. In your case, the JL 1000.1 appears to accept speaker-level inputs so you don't need a separate LOC; that amp also provides 'pass-through' pre-amp outputs so that can be used to diasy-chain to other amps that don't accept speaker-level inputs if needed.

For REM power trigger I suggest the signal sensing PAC TR-4 or TR-7 connected to a speaker level line and installed at the amp that needs the trigger.

If you still need an LOC look to PAC again - some of these offer integrated signal sensing REM turn on too. But if your amp accepts speaker level inputs, use them, you never benefit from using an external LOC if the amp will accept speaker level inputs.

I wish CarDomain was popular again. It was great for sharing pictures of your ride and what people did to customize it. There are a few people still using it.
Who needs it with most topical forums, like this one, now supporting direct posting / unlimited hosting of pics?
 

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Thanks for the informative response!

The main thing I liked about cardomain is that you could see various vehicles based on the model and it was set up like a website. Without searching multiple posts, it's hard to check get a lot of ideas that people put together. I feel like I get a lot of info with little effort. I like visual information. I'm trying to find exhaust clips and grill guards, and wishing I found better info.
 

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Has anyone explored possible structural differences for mounting the 4.2” hardware vs 8”? I see the ACM is mounted higher in the 8” setup.
 

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Has anyone explored possible structural differences for mounting the 4.2” hardware vs 8”? I see the ACM is mounted higher in the 8” setup.
if starting with the 4.2" hardware, see Item 4 in the first post. Interface issues precede hardware mounting issues insofar as going to the OE 8" system. The interface issues make hardware mounting issues moot for that OE 4.2" > OE 8" swap scenario.

As a result, AFAIK the direct answer to your question is "No".
 

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if starting with the 4.2" hardware, see Item 4 in the first post. Interface issues precede hardware mounting issues insofar as going to the OE 8" system. The interface issues make hardware mounting issues moot for that OE 4.2" > OE 8" swap scenario.

As a result, AFAIK the direct answer to your question is "No".
Are our Escapes that much different? There are successful upgrades with the Fusion models. Even re-pinning how-to.
My biggest concern are the mounting points since I believe there are two different dashes for my Escape, and the ACM mounting positions are very different.
I guess I’ll just have to explore a bit more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I guess I’ll just have to explore a bit more.
There ya go! If you pull it off, please start another dedicated thread to keep us posted on the details, you'll be a first here.

Have fun, good luck :)
 

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Hi guys. New to the forum!

I've been going through this thread and reading up on the needed pieces for this upgrade. I thought I'd share this eBay seller in Hong Kong who's selling a kit that's much cheaper than the one from Infotainment that was posted in the beginning of the thread. He seems to have good feedback so far.


In case the link expires, look for eBay seller "driwuzz"

And it looks like he'll provide the VIN APIM programming service as well. Not clear as to whether or not it will include navigation.
 
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In regards to my 2017. I plugged the DSP into my laptop and nothing came up, no new devices. If we could access the DSP via USB we could do anything. Additionally, if we get nail down that stream they are sending over USB, we could use a raspberry PI to decode it, manipulate it, and send out line level signals.
 
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