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My 2010 Escape LTD HU Replacement

29986 Views 39 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  Strejcek
Well like most of us that didn't feel like spending $2,000 on a factory nav system, I decided to put in my old nav system out of the truck I traded in on my Escape. It's a Kenwood DNX5120 with Sirus and Bluetooth module add ons. One of the coolest things about these HUs is you can adjust the system colors to match your vehicle; so from green to sea blue it went. Anyway here are some pictures of my install.

Factory Radio Installed

Step 1: Remove the AC Vents / Information Center Trim (pull straight out)

Step 2: Remove the chrome trim ring around the gear shifter (pull straight up)

Step 3: Remove the center console storage bins / black surround (pull straight up)

Step 4: Remove the lower center stack unit under AC controls (pull straight out)

Step 5: Remove Center Stack and trim (unscrew the 4 bolts; two at top, two at bottom then pull out)
Disconnect the radio (four harnesses; one Sirus antenna; one AM/FM antenna)
Disconnect the AC unit (two harnesses)
What you have left is a wire nightmare :D

Step 6: Remove the AC unit from the factory center stack bezel and attach it to the replacement bezel, in my case a factory Ford replacement in the gloss black trim that comes standard on the LTD (AC unit is screwed to the bezel with four torx screws)

Step 7: Install replacement HU. In my case, I had to go and purchase four speed nuts and clip them over the holes where a factory Nav system would be screwed in. I guess Ford did not see fit to install these on the premium or standard radio installations

Step 8: Attach the replacement center stack / AC unit bezel; the lower stack, and the AC vent surround as well as the center console trim and storage bins (installation is opposite of removal)

After Pictures

All in all, everything went very easily; I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone that is considering a HU replacement that you purchase the harness kit; this way you don't have to cut into the factory harnesses and it's a truly plug and play installation. Installation took me less than four hours from start to finish which included the trip to Lowes to get the speed clips and the installation of the SWI-PAK kit to enable the steering wheel controls.
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Good write up and accompanying photos. Did you replace the speakers as well? Or is that another write up?
No, no speaker replacement yet. Eventually; gotta take the wife on her cruise first :)
Looks good! I'm dying to put an aftermarket HU in my 2010, but I'm worried about losing some functions. Have you lost control of anything or lost any functions (does your SYNC and stock USB port still work)? I noticed that your stock radio display up top doesn't read "FORD ESCAPE" like they usually do when you replace the radio. Does it read anything other than "DVD"?
Display reads DVD only; strange that it doesn't display Ford Escape like every one else's, and I haven't figured out how to make it display anything else. I am probably going to just unplug the darned thing anyway. It's pretty useless now. As far as Sync, it goes away the moment you remove the factory HU; but Sync is really only Microsoft's friendly name for voice activated Bluetooth. Most modern HUs now come with BT built in and some of the higher end units are voice activated as well, so no big deal there. The front USB port is disabled as well; however, you can modify the holder to accommodate a USB port. I chose not to because I don't really care for an exposed USB port so I put mine in my glove box. I can tell you that there is no comparison between the "premium" Sanyo stereo (yes Sanyo) and my 1 year old Kenwood; the Kenwood blows the Sanyo away.
Looks great! Great write-up. Ford is really making things more difficult to swap out. Not that it's hard, it's just a lot more work than the old radios with the U-shaped tools you can remove in 10 seconds. My Sport Trac was also a pain (about the same procedure).
Looks really good. I had one of those dash panels on backorder for months on end. Would you mind PM'ing or linking here on your thread, where you got it from?
The Sirius feed went right into the new HU? It's my understanding that the Sirius receiver is under the pass seat. No issues there? I'd love to add the stock Nav unit, utilize steering wheels controls and SAT, all with minimal amount of work. I've doen this recently on a cousins Dodge, but don't know the effects on my rig. I guess I'll do some more searching too.
How tough was that top vent piece to pull out? I have been trying for weeks, freaking out mostly that I'll break something.
The Sirius radio is built in, evidently, into the new factory HUs. All I had to do was unplug the antenna from the factory HU, remove the plastic housing around it, and plug it into my Kenwood Sirius interface. There is nothing under the front passenger seat, which is the first place I went looking after reading some of these forums. It must be one of those small model year changes.

The top of the center stack pulls straight out. Easiest way I found to pull it out was to get my fingernails behind the very top of the unit and then pull straight out. It's built pretty well so there should be no worries about breakage.
I'll give it a try. I must not be trying hard enough since I can get the top/thinner part to flex and then I start to have second thoughts.
On the factory center stack w/ Navigation is the opening the same size a a double din? I was wondering if it would look better to by a factory center stack from Ford than to use an aftermarket one.
The factory bezel has a larger opening. After market bezels have the smaller openings. The bezel I used is a Ford OEM part which required me to use an adapter which I had left over from my old F150 install.
Hi Strejcek,

I have a question I'm hoping you can answer since you've dismantled your center stack (nice job BTW)

I have a 2010 Merc Mariner (2 days old!) and I'm looking for the Sync module, there's a second USB port on it that can be used if one can find it, it takes a mini-USB style plug and I plan on running a cable to my glovebox so I can leave my iPOD in there plugged in.

The Sync module is in different places depending on whether you have a Ford Focus, Flex, etc., I haven't been able to find anything about where it is on the Escape/Mariner.

Before I go dismantling my stack, I thought I'd ask you if you came across it either behind or as part of the stack, or in the center shifter console since the Escape and Mariner are essentially the same vehicle.

Any help you could provide would be most appreciated!

My apologies if you also received this a PM, I decided to post it here since others could possibly benefit from your reply.

Dean Stacey
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I may be wrong, but I believe it is built into the factory HU starting with this year. I only say this because the Sirius radio is built into this HU, which I discovered when I went looking for it and only found that the antenna plugged directly into the factory HU. All of the aux jacks and USB port also plugged into the factory HU, so I am guessing the Sync is also built in. I can tell you there are no other modules behind the HU, in the center console, or under any of the seats.
Ok, thanks.

If only there was enought room to get my hand up behind there from below, but there doesn't appear to be, I've tried. Looks like I'm pulling the stack.

Thanks again
The Sync module is in the floor to the front left of the shift lever in the picture with the console opened up. Congrats on the swap it looks great!
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