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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2012 Focus Titanium with the Sony sound system. The car has about 140k miles and won't pass CA emissions due to a bad catalytic converter ($1,000+ for CA compliant converter), so it's probably about to get donated for a tax write-off. That being said, I have a '13 FE SEL w/MFT w/o Sony and I am considering swapping systems between the vehicles before I get rid of the Focus. I know a lot of people are not happy with the Sony system but I really like how it sounds in my Focus and dislike the thin sound I get in my FE with its current system.

My question is, how difficult would it be to perform this swap? Can anyone who has experience with the Sony system possibly explain what I would have to do to make it happen and would "the juice be worth the squeeze?"
 

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2019 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E AWD
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... would "the juice be worth the squeeze?"
In a word: "No".

I've not seriously considered this swap 'till reading your post but have lots of experience studying the various '13-'15 Escape audio systems in detail and installing major audio mods to the non-Sony MFT system such as you have in your '13 SEL with MFT.

The biggest challenge that immediately comes to mind is the wiring harness.
  • The Sony-equipped FE's have the remote amp/DSP module mounted under the rear cargo floor. the Non-Sony FE lacks the major wiring harness (which is bundled with other non-audio related wiring) that runs from the APIM/ACM back to that module (as well as different wiring between the ACM/APIM in the dash).
  • The Sony-equipped FE's then have wiring (again bundled with other non-audio wiring) routed from that remote amp/DSP module to the various speakers.
  • Your non-Sony '13 SEL with MFT has none of that wiring related to the remote Sony amp/DSP (no, Ford did not install a 'universal' harness, it's specific to your VIN / audio system).
Not saying it couldn't be done, you'd have to hack-together / build a new 'parallel' harness from scratch (a substantial task, IMO), then address numerous other details like swapping ACM, reprogramming APIM (not a P&P swap Focus to Escape), find and install the cargo-area sub-woofer enclosure (Focus sub is not a fit for Escape), etc, etc, etc.

You'll have all the same challenges in 'reverse' if you want to move the non-Sony system to the Focus so it has a working audio system when all is said and done.

No, trying to pull and swap the harnesses is not do-able because they are integrated with other vehicle-specific non-audio wiring harnesses and the vehicle build/layout differences are substantial.

I'd put the notion in the category of "waaay too much effort and gutting of the Escape, with likelihood of unanticipated hitches, to make it practical". YMMV, but by asking the question you reveal that you're looking at a lot of study and learning to get to point of having the wherewithal to pull it off (IMO). I'd put the project at 9+ out of 10 on the audio-mod difficulty scale (much more difficult than doing aftermarket upgrades to your current Escape system).

You could relatively easily swap the ACM from the Focus to the Escape and gain HD radio capability if that's of interest (module reprogramming involved in doing that on both ends of the swap). Info on that swap into the Escape (but not the reverse to the Focus) can be found among the links in this post:
 

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I have a 2012 Focus Titanium with the Sony sound system. The car has about 140k miles and won't pass CA emissions due to a bad catalytic converter ($1,000+ for CA compliant converter), so it's probably about to get donated for a tax write-off. That being said, I have a '13 FE SEL w/MFT w/o Sony and I am considering swapping systems between the vehicles before I get rid of the Focus. I know a lot of people are not happy with the Sony system but I really like how it sounds in my Focus and dislike the thin sound I get in my FE with its current system.

My question is, how difficult would it be to perform this swap? Can anyone who has experience with the Sony system possibly explain what I would have to do to make it happen and would "the juice be worth the squeeze?"
Nope, not worth it. In my opinion because all of the time, effort and money spent on getting a factory Sony system to potentially work in a non-sony system; Your time, effort, and money could better be spent on upgrading the non-sony system to something that would far exceed the sound quality of the that Sony system with significantly less effort and potential cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the detailed reply. It seemed like something fairly easy but apparently not. I don't have much experience in the way of car audio. Sounds like it would be easier to just add new speakers and an aftermarket amp and sub to the existing system.

Edit: One additional question - would it be possible to utilize the Sony amp from the Focus like any other aftermarket amp or is it programmed such that the amp would not work without the DSP module, reprogramming APIM, etc?
 

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2019 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E AWD
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Sounds like it would be easier to just add new speakers and an aftermarket amp and sub to the existing system.
That's definitely my opinion.

Still gonna require a bit of research and effort on your part, lots of stuff here to help with that, there's lots of options and budget-range available, search is your friend.

Have Fun! :)
 
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