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There is a product on 4dtech dot com that supposedly allows a person to upgrade from SYNC 2 to SYNC3 with CarPlay.

This is especially enticing for me; I have been deciding whether to trade in my '13 Escape SEL MFT with 60k miles for a newer vehicle, or to live with what I've got...

The biggest sticking point for me at this juncture is that there seems to be zero upgrade path to CarPlay/Android Auto, and the Nav/Audio has been frustrating since the day I got the car.

This site is promising SYNC 3 for $2k, which would be significantly cheaper than a new car...but I'm even questioning whether that's worth it.

Besides SYNC 3, are there any aftermarket solutions that would allow me to have CarPlay/Android Auto AND keep things like steering wheel controls and rear camera?

Any input would be much appreciated!!! THANK YOU
Kenny
 

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Welcome to the forum ! Glad to hear that you seem to be happy with your '13 Escape, albeit lacking the latest infotainment technology.

I've no experience with the SYNC 2 > SYNC 3 'packaged' upgrade kits but IMHO there's nothing that inherently prevents them from delivering all they promise.

We know from threads on this forum that Ford has not (yet) delivered on the promise to enable CarPlay on the early SYNC 3 Escapes that did not have that capability from the factory, but we also know that the later SYNC 3 is delivered with CarPlay enabled. So, it would follow that if the kits use the latest modules and programming they should deliver the same feature performance that the latest Escapes include.

You might want to search and read threads/posts about the latest CarPlay-enabled Escape user experiences to ensure that the Escape-specific implementation of CarPlay actually has all the detailed features/capabilities you hope to enjoy.

IMHO only you can decide if sinking significant dollars in the upgrade would extend your '13 Escape satisfied ownership enough to make it worthwhile. If happy with the vehicle otherwise and secure with your projected future maintenance costs I can certainly imagine a 'payback' vs buying new car for some owners .... but only you can assess that risk/benefit for yourself.

There is always the risk for anyone with current-tech phone-based infotainment features that those will be superseded/obsoleted by yet another 'step in progress' by smartphone manufacturers at any instant in time. There's never any guarantee that Ford will 'keep-up' with CarPlay (or any other 3rd-party system/app) as it evolves over time. And even if they do, is there any guarantee that the 'unauthorized' SYNC 3 kit will 'accept' and work right with future Ford OEM SYNC 3 updates? It's quite likely that, if so inclined, Ford could make updates that only work with OEM SYNC 3 installations (who knows if they would or would not go to that effort)?

Noting that there's at least one other vendor offering a similarly-priced (in the same ballpark) competitive upgrade MyFord Touch Sync 2 to Sync 3 Upgrade it seems likely that's the 'going rate' for such 'complete kits'. And no, so far there doesn't seem to be any other upgrade path (other than SYNC 3) that offers the same level of integration of CarPlay into the SYNC 2 Escape systems.

The other 'option' would be for you to DIY the SYNC 3 upgrade rather than buying a pre-packaged kit - http://www.2gfusions.net/showthread.php?tid=3881

No question that these emerging SYNC upgrade kits offer some interesting possibilities ... please do keep us posted if you go with one, so far I don't recall anyone here that has shared first-hand experience with one.

Again, welcome to the forum !

:)
 

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Centex is correct about the kits. The only other advice that I would offer is to be sure how future software upgrades would be handled with the "converted system" if that is what you choose. I believe that there are posts here from folks that have the "kit" and also questions about getting software upgrades. You might see if the IVTeam will comment on this.

My "loose" understanding (read, I really do not know) is that this is a closed system and that software upgrades are make, model, and possibly VIN specific. This if the Ford database knows that your vehicle has MFT is there even a way that you could get a software upgrade for Sync 3?
 
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Has anyone yet installed one of these SYNC 3 upgrade packages on their '13-'15 Escape? I've got my eye on the one from 4DTech (which the board won't let me link to yet). It's expensive, sure, $2100 for the navi enabled one, but it looks like it includes everything necessary for a plug-and-play install, and it seems easy enough to do as a weekend project.

I'll probably wait to do it until after my 16S30 recall is done, just to keep my dealer from wondering why my '14 Titanium suddenly has SYNC 3. :D
 
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Hey!

I've been thinking about updating my '14 Ford Escape as well. The 2gfusions forum has a fairly extensive thread where people talk about their experience with updating their Ford Fusion to Sync 3. I can't post a link to the thread, but if you google for the g2fusions forum you'll find the thread "Ford Sync 3 Hardware Update" in the "Interior & Electrical" section. Looks like it's a fairly easy process. I imagine it would be the same for the Escape. They also mentioned over there that you might be able to get a better deal on the hardware if you contact Jason from infotainment.com directly. His contact information is somewhere in the thread I linked above.

Hope you'll report back here with your experience if you go for the update!
 

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So I emailed 4D Tech a week ago asking to see their install instructions, got a reply in about 5 minutes. This was after 8:00 at night, mind, so good on them for customer service. I ordered the kit from them very late last night and it shipped out (of Kentucky, apparently) this morning, I should have it Monday or Tuesday. This afternoon, I got the hankering to try taking the dashboard apart to see how difficult it was. Even DIY-challenged me can do this. :)

If there's interest, maybe I'll do a video or a live stream of the install process for you folks to follow.
 
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I would love to see a video of how this is installed in the Ford Escape. I'm also curious to hear back from you how you like the new system once it is installed.

Did you get the system with or without Nav?
 

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Did you get the system with or without Nav?
I bought it with nav, because my MyFord Touch has nav and even with maps via CarPlay, I couldn't see downgrading in functionality. I'll have to figure out where to put the SYNC 3 GPS antenna (it doesn't use the car's GPSM like MFT does) but under the dashtop trim near the center channel speaker looks like a solid option.

At the moment I'm debating installing it by myself, especially if it arrives on Monday, or on Tuesday going over to a friend's house (and his heated garage) to install it with him. I may not be able to resist its siren song if it shows up Monday! Either way I'll probably at least record a video of the install and throw it up on YouTube.
 

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So I got my kit today and immediately after work set to installing it. The install was as pretty much easy as I imagined it to be. I got video of the whole process, but I need to edit it together to make myself look like slightly less of a doofus. Come to think of it, I'll have to figure out how to post it, given that I can't post links yet...

The tools you'll need:
  • 7mm nut driver or socket driver and 7mm socket: This is to remove and replace 6 screws - two in the top of the trim panel in front of the screen, and the 4 holding the unit in.
  • Torx T8 screwdriver: This is to move the mounting brackets from the old screen to the new.
A couple of install notes:
  • When you put the brackets on the old screen, make sure you match up the screw holes, holes for the Philips screw heads, and alignment bumps exactly the same as the old screen. Else you'll end up putting the brackets on the screen upside down. Not that I would have done such a thing, of course. ;)
  • For those of us with the Sony audio system, there's a spot just aft of the center channel speaker that's almost perfect for the retrofit GPS antenna. I'd thought about putting it further forward next to or in front of the speaker, but I wasn't sure that the top trim would snap back on. Looking at it now it probably will, but it works out pretty darn well where I put it.
  • Also on the topic of the GPS antenna - there's WAY WAY WAY too much coax cable on the antenna for the distance it needs to cover. Though I can't find an antenna of this type with a shorter cable, must be just how they generally come. There's a little "cubby" underneath the screen that's perfect to coil up the extra GPS cable in, I just tied it up with a couple of twist ties.
  • When unplugging the "automotive grade" USB connectors on the APIM and the media hub, you may have to push the tab on the connector down a little more firmly than you'd expect to get them to come lose. I did the stupid thing and used a screwdriver to push the tab down on the media hub side and ended up partially breaking the tab. It still holds, but not as perfectly solidly as it would had I done it right.
  • The only problem I'm having, per se, is that the media hub with the new adapter won't snap securely into the slot in the center console. Trying to unplug a USB cable from the hub results in the whole thing coming out. I've emailed 4D Tech and asked if they have a good quick fix for this.
Finally- some initial impressions:
  • Holy cow! This is what MyFord Touch should have been all along. Fast and fluid as all get-out. The graphics are much simpler, but it's one of those situations where less is more.
  • I'm going to have to test a bit more (ideally with one of those USB power testers) but I'm pretty sure that the new USB ports fast-charge, at least for my iPhone. No more wimpy 500mA USB ports!
  • CarPlay - great, but with some limitations. One big one that's not necessarily obvious: if you have CarPlay turned on and your iPhone connected, the native phone and navi apps are not available. With CarPlay, if you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound.
  • Even though the built in navi supports pinch-to-zoom, Maps in CarPlay does not (yet?).
 

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Good to hear that installation was easy. I'm especially interested in the GPS antenna. Do I understand it correctly that you were able to hide the antenna inside the dashboard somewhere and it is not sitting (visibly) on top of it?

Thanks for the detailed post of your experience!
 

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One more question, if you don't mind: Can you confirm that all features of your vehicle are retained with the update to Sync 3? E.g. does the active park assist show up properly on the new screen? Does climate control and the back up camera work as expected?
 

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Good to hear that installation was easy. I'm especially interested in the GPS antenna. Do I understand it correctly that you were able to hide the antenna inside the dashboard somewhere and it is not sitting (visibly) on top of it?

Thanks for the detailed post of your experience!
Yes, the area underneath the dash top trim is actually quite spacious with several good options for placing the GPS antenna while still keeping it hidden. This hopefully will be shown pretty well in the video once I produce it, else I can pop the trim piece off again and take some pictures.
 

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One more question, if you don't mind: Can you confirm that all features of your vehicle are retained with the update to Sync 3? E.g. does the active park assist show up properly on the new screen? Does climate control and the back up camera work as expected?
All of the above still work exactly as intended. The temperature adjustment now has a new pop-up indicator when you turn the knobs that looks just like the new volume indicator. The UI for Active Park Assist and the backup camera actually appear to be slightly updated, so it all looks consistent. Also, the backup camera and Active Park Assist will still take over when CarPlay is showing, as it should.
 

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Thanks for sharing all those information. Were you able to get the USB hub fixed after all?
Not yet. I emailed 4DTech again a few minutes ago and they replied suggesting that I call their support phone line, which I'll try after work.

My install video is up on YouTube, though I can't link to it here yet. On YouTube, search for my nickname and Ford Escape SYNC 3 Upgrade Installation and you'll find it. The YouTube video ID is Vc3pdSkJj7c.
 

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Cool video! Thanks for putting it together. Looks like the installation is really pretty straight forward. Now I have to decide if I really want to spend that much money on it... So tempting...
 

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I called into their support line this afternoon and talked with Steve (for some of his "legendary support", as the call handler message says). They're shipping me out another bracket, and Steve also suggested that I take the bracket out of the car and heat it up with a hair dryer/heat gun and see if I can bend the tabs a little bit to get them to snap in a little more securely. Going to try that a little bit later.

Glad you like the video. Once I get the other problem resolved, I'm probably going to send it to them. I'm also planning, maybe this weekend, to make a video about use of SYNC 3/CarPlay and some of the stuff I've learned.
 

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Question: are you able to hook it to wifi and does the camera now have the lines that turn with the wheel? Great video BTW looks easy in the Escape!
 

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Question: are you able to hook it to wifi and does the camera now have the lines that turn with the wheel? Great video BTW looks easy in the Escape!
I do have it connected to my home Wi-Fi, the only current reason to do that right now though is for updates. (And I updated mine to 2.2 by flash drive.) I also considered connecting it to my work Wi-Fi, but the Wi-Fi radio in the APIM seems to be not very strong, so it won't pick up any Wi-Fi that bleeds over from the building or from our outdoor access points that are a fair distance away from the parking lot.

My backup camera has always had the lines that turn with the wheel, I think that's just a setting you change in the gears menu in either MFT or SYNC 3.
 
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