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How To: Focus MK3 pre-facelift SYNC 1 to SYNC 3 upgrade for late 2012, 2013 and 2014 models


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Thanks, guide updated to reflect the wiring for the button to be NO instead of NC

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Its a brilliant guide mate. Especially for our Euro spec cars as it looks like the wiring for other parts of the world may have variations. 

I was super impressed to see your guide fitted my focus exactly.

PS. Im sure we can splice the can bus from the heater controls too instead of fiddling around under the dash at the obd2 connector. 

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You can definitely splice into the HVAC if you have the dual control unit, and in fact that's what I did, but it's a little more awkward and you still need to get the other CAN bus from somewhere like the OBD2 port anyways so this is why I chose to take both from there in the tutorial. 👍

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Thank everybody for this post !!

I’m upgrading my kuga 2013 from sync 1 to sync 3. Since the upgrade, I have some dtc errors in a lot of modules. HSCAN and MSCAN modules. 

Am l alone in this case ??

thank’s in advance. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

On 3/16/2021 at 10:38 PM, JPW said:

 😎 Focus MK3 pre-facelift SYNC 1 to SYNC 3 😎

Guide last updated on 16th March 2021

Let's get the boring stuff out of the way... Please be aware this how to is provided as advice and guidance only. Should you wish to proceed you do so at your own risk and I am not to be held responsible for any issues that arise. As this requires changes to the factory wiring of your car it should only be carried out if you are confident in doing so. That said, if you face any issues or have any questions I will do my best to assist, as I'm sure other members will.

Please make sure you read the whole post before commencing so you fully understand what you need to do.


Following on from my previous topic detailing how to upgrade from the bluetooth voice control (BVC) to SYNC3, I now introduce my SYNC 1 to SYNC 3 guide.

Some late 2012, 2013 and early 2014 Focus (pre-facelift) MK3 cars in the UK (and possibly EU) were built with the SYNC 1 audio system. Other Ford models of a similar year, CMAX, Kuga etc can also be upgraded from to SYNC 3, but the parts list is slightly different.

You an easily determine whether your car has BVC or SYNC 1 by the steering wheel controls. BVC has a separate stalk for the volume and audio controls, whereas SYNC1 uses the right hand d-pad on the wheel itself (with the voice control button):


A lot of the how to is shared but there is a lot less work involved as SYNC 1 already has some of the required wiring/harnesses etc.

Now you've determined your car is equipped with SYNC 1 and you want to upgrade to SYNC 3, continue below! If you have BVC rather than SYNC 1, go here.

Parts required

The SYNC 3 system is made up of a number of different but linked parts. You will need to purchase all of these in order to have a working system. I have included the part numbers I used, but there are a number of variances from different vehicles. You can purchase the touch screen, APIM, ACM, USB Hub and Bezel from any 2016 - 2018 (not 2019+) Ford SYNC 3 equipped vehicle. Only the bracket and front fascia is specific to the Focus MK3 and is different than CMAX, Kuga etc. There are also some tools/bits required.

8" Touch Screen: GM5T-18B955-SB This is the main touch screen required for SYNC 3.


APIM: JM5T-14G370-GNC The APIM is attached to the back of the touch screen and is the brains of SYNC 3. Has navigation support.


ACM (Radio): F1BT-18C815-LP This handles the CD, DAB and FM input, as well as the output to your speakers.


USB Hub: Finis 2026703 Required for USB connectivity including Android Auto / Apple Carplay.

USB Bezel: Finis 5326708 This is a trim piece in which the new USB hub fits in to. Replaces existing USB/line-in inside centre armrest.


Front Fascia: F1ET-18K811-HC This is the front fascia with the radio control buttons and hazard switch.


Bracket: Finis 1895997 Required in order to seat the new 8 touchscreen and radio in the existing opening.



Bottom trim piece: FIEB-A046B74-ACW This is a small cover for the bottom of the front fascia panel.


2.5m/3m Mini USB to Mini USB Cable: Ebay or wherever Required for connectivity between the media hub and the APIM.

GPS Antenna (Fakra connector): Amazon (click here) GPS for the sat nav function of APIM (if you don't currently have sat nav)


Fakra adaptor: Amazon (click here) (if you have a reverse camera).


ELM327 ODB2 Diagnostic Connector: Amazon (click here) Required to update your car settings after installation.


Wago connector blocks: Screwfix (click here) Required for joining some wires together.



22 AWG wire: Amazon (click here) Required for adding a few new cables to the 54-pin APIM connector



10 x spare Pins: Mouser (click here) Required for adding a couple of extra pins to the 54-pin APIM connector. Order a qty of 10!




Step 1 - Remove the existing system

Here is the factory fitted system before I began:

IMG_20191127_100238.thumb.jpg.644a34166678de3b6d868516d74ee529.jpg    IMG_20191127_100200.thumb.jpg.b1e27b53e0cb2075e4d97a2580792039.jpg

Lets start by removing the existing components. This is the screen, ACM and SYNC 1 module.

Start by removing the small plastic grill underneath the existing front fascia (its just above the heater controls). This reveals two screws which you need to remove. All screws are torx fittings.

The front fascia can now be removed. If you have a SD card (for maps) plugged in above on your existing screen, remove first. Gently pull the front fascia away from the dash at the bottom where you removed the screws. It will come away fairly easy and then just ease it out at the top/sides. Note: There is a wire connected to the rear of the front fascia, take a look behind it (might be a squeeze) and unclip it before removing the fascia completely. You are left with this:


Next, lets remove the ACM (radio). Remove the two screws to the bottom left/right of the screen and pull the silver radio out. On the rear, there is either one or two (depending on year) large connectors and one or two antenna black/white connectors. Unclip these. These connections are known as Fakra and to release them you have to press down hard on the little plastic tab on the connector itself, whilst pulling away from the ACM. With everything removed you can now remove the ACM:


Next, remove the screen. There are four screws that hold the screen in it's bracket so go ahead and remove these. Gently pull the screen forward and on the rear you'll see some connections:


The blue connector is for the GPS (if you have sat nav). The black cable is the FM/DAB antenna and the pink cable is a loop down to the ACM which is no longer used and can be taped up. The beige or green connector is the reverse camera (if you have it). There is also a black 12-pin (FCDIM) connector which can be removed by releasing the little clip and pulling out. The area should now be clear:


Next, remove the heater control panel. There are two screws visible, and one that is hidden behind the trim just above the gear surround. You need to remove the gear surround trim. Gently prise it up with your finger nails or a plastic tool to avoid scratches. Be careful, the clips are fragile.

This reveals a small hex nut (bottom right of picture) you need to remove. Go ahead and do so:


Next, you can remove the plastic trim to the right of the gear surround to reveal the third screw you need to remove:


You can now pull the heater controls forward a little. On the rear there are four connectors that need removing. Unclip and remove.

Next, you need to remove the SYNC 1 module which is located behind the heater controls you just removed. There are four screws holding it in place.


Remove the large connector and the USB connector(s) from the SYNC 1 module. With both these unplugged you can now fully remove the SYNC 1 module.

That's everything removed! Grab a cuppa and a snack as it will take a while for the next part.


Step 2 - Modify existing wiring

You now need to modify the existing wiring. The first task is to reroute the 54-pin APIM connector (which was removed from the SYNC 1 module) up to where the old ACM (radio) used to be. There is enough length to do this comfortably but there may be a couple of cable ties/clips so be sure to use some long nosed pliers to get these out of the way.

Now, let's start with the remap of the wiring. I have created a handy table of everything you need to connect. See below:


You only need to change any wires/pins listed, everything else stays as it is now.

To help, this photo identifies all the cables:


The first step is to work on the 54-pin APIM connector which you removed from the original SYNC 1 module. Unlatch the 2 clips on the connector and slide off the cover to gain access.

In the wiring table, start moving the pins around as described. i.e. move pin 5 to pin 12. You can insert a small flat screwdriver bit in to the hole above the pin and you should be able to pull it out. Take care with pins 23 to 26 as they swap around, so be sure to kept track of the original locations before you move anything.

Label and then cut the wires going in to pin 46 and 47 around 10 cm back from the connector itself (you might need to remove some of the cloth insulation tape wrapped around the bunch), leaving the actual pin in the connector. Strip 1cm off the wire coming from these pins so you've got the copper showing, and insert each one in to it's own Wago connector (double the copper wire over on itself if it's too thin to be a snug fit). If you've not used Wago connectors before, you simply pull the orange tab up, insert the stripped wire all the way and then push the tab closed. You basically use a single Wago connector to join two wires together, without the need for crimping/soldering them.

Next, you need to label and cut pins 4, 5, 7 and 10 on the old screen (FCDIM) connector. Strip about 1cm off the end as per above and insert each wire in to it's own Wago connector.

Join APIM 46 to the Wago connector used for FCDIM 7, and then join APIM 47 to the Wago connector used for FCDIM 10.

We now need to add 5 additional pins for the APIM connector (which were not present on SYNC 1). Taking the silver pins you purchased from mouser, create five pre-wired pins, 2 of which can be around 15cm in length and three of which need to be a few metres in length. Strip 1cm of copper, insert it in to the pin and then using some pliers to squeeze/squash it and stop it coming out of the pin:

image courtesy of @Luke_Anderson

Once you have made 5 of the above, push the two short wires in to vacant slots 14 and 15 and the three long wires in to vacant slots 8, 16 and 17 of the APIM connector.

If you have a reverse camera, join the wire you pushed in to APIM pin 14 to the reverse camera fakra signal (+) wire and APIM pin 15 to the reverse camera (-) wire.

Run the wires you pushed in to APIM pins 16 and 17 out the side of the dash and behind the plastic trim under the drivers side panel (below the steering wheel) all the way across to the OBD2 port, which is located is behind the little pull down storage compartment near the drivers knee (nearest the door) Youtube video - click here. You'll need to carefully strip back some of the copper wire on pins 3 and 11 and splice the wire from APIM pin 16 to the wire from OBD2 pin 3 and the wire from APIM pin 17 to the wire from OBD2 pin 11. These are required for the MS-CAN circuit and without it the system will not work.

Run the wire you pushed in to APIM pin 8, along with another 2 metre wire that you need to splice in to the APIM wire 38, and the mini usb cable down through the dash, under the centre console trim for connecting to the new USB hub later.

The APIM wiring is now complete!

Next, you need to modify the existing Front fascia connector. This is the 8-pin connector that plugs in to the front fascia with the radio controls and hazard switch etc. Remove the red protective cap from the end of the harness:


Strip back the grey cloth tape by around 10 cm on the wiring harness so you can get access to the wires. You need to cut and strip the wire that currently goes in to pin 7 and join this to the Wago connector you used from FCDIM pin 4 that you prepared in the last step.

You then need to cut the wire in pin 2 and pop the remaining wire and pin out of the connector itself. From the front of the connector you'll see the silver pin. Insert a small flat screwdriver or paperclip and lift he pin up and pull it out the front. You need to re-insert this in to the empty pin 4 on the connector. Once done, strip the wire you just pushed in to pin 4 and join this to the Wago connector you used from FCDIM pin 5 you prepared in the last step.

Side note...

You will see that on the new front fascia you'll no longer have an unlock/lock button like the original faceplate. This is because the facelift MK3 models have the lock/unlock button incorporated in the drivers door card so it was never present on the new front fascia.

So, if you want to get a working lock/unlock button back (optional), you can purchase a simple momentary button with a built-in LED such as this from Amazon.

I mounted it just under the gear stick so the driver or the passenger can easily operate it:



You need to wire the momentary button as follows:

  • 12V join this to the wire that used to go in to pin 2 of your FCIM connector (white/yellow)
  • 0V join this to any ground wire
  • C join this to the 0V (ground) above
  • NO join this to the wire that used to go in to pin 6 of your FCIM connector (brown)
  • NC not used

The LED brightness changes when locked, and dims when unlocked so you can tell the current lock state.


Next, let's get the new USB Hub installed. In the centre armrest, we need to remove the existing USB and Line-In hub. Using a small flat screwdriver or plastic pry tool lever under the panel and it will lift up. The cables are tight, so you'll need to twist it around a little so you can get your fingers in to unclip the existing two connectors I found the USB port to be a real pain to unclip, so ended up snipping it. We cannot re-use these connectors therefore it doesn't matter if you damage them when trying to remove:


With the old USB hub removed we now need to connect the wires you prepared earlier to the new hub. As mentioned above, I was able to run these cables along the underside edge of the centre console where the gear stick and armrest is. I didn't need to remove any of it. The tricky part was feeding the cable up to the hole where the new USB hub will go, but it's perfectly doable.

Take two of remaining silver pins and strip back 1cm of the two wires you ran from APIM pin 8 and pin 38. Push the APIM pin 8 in to pin 1 of the USB hub, and the APIM pin 38 in to pin pin 4 of the USB hub. I used some duct / gaffer tape to make sure these don't move once pushed in.



Once the wires are in place, install the USB bezel in to the hole, and then secure the new USB hub in to the bezel:


If you're still with me, well done!

All the wiring mods are complete and we're ready to plug everything in! It surely must be time for another brew...

If you purchased the Screen / APIM / ACM / Bracket separately now is the time to connect these together so they ready to slot in to the dash:


Sitting in the passenger seat, slide the unit in to the dash side on, so you can see the back of it from your seat. Plug the blue GPS antenna in to the top left of the APIM. Plug the USB cable in to the black USB socket. Plug the 54-pin APIM connector in to the large black socket.

On the ACM, plug in the black fakra connector (from the old FCDIM) and the white fakra connector. Connect the two large ACM connectors.

Carefully turn the unit so the screen is facing you and slide it in to the dash. There are some plastic guides/tabs where it slots in so be sure its in these. When doing so make sure the 8-pin Front Fascia connector doesn't get lost behind he unit as you need to connect that when you re-place this fascia:


The big moment...

Heighten your senses and turn on your ignition. The unit should now turn on and boot up. Look and smell for anything untoward. Provided the wiring mapping tables have been followed and the crimp connectors done properly you shouldn't have any issues.

Don't worry about any errors/pop-ups/warnings at this stage as this is to be expected. Using the touchscreen, choose Audio and Sources, and tune to a station. Check you have sound etc.

Updating the settings

We now need to 'program' the car in order for it to work correctly, as it still thinks you have the old bluetooth module and small screen installed. You'll need a laptop on Windows. In order to update the car settings we need to find a suitable 'donor' car. This means take a look on Autotrader or some other used car site and look for a Focus MK3 (2016-2018 year) with a similar same spec as your own car (like stop/start. manual transmission etc). Make a note of the registration/licence plate number and head over to the Ford Etis website at http://www.etis.ford.com/vehicleRegSelector.do

Enter the registration number and click submit. On the right hand side, it will now show you the long VIN number (usually starts with WF). Make a note of this.

Next, head over to the Motorcraft AS-Built website at https://www.motorcraftservice.com/AsBuilt. Enter the VIN and click Submit. It may take a few minutes to load so be patient. It will come back with a page with a blue Download File icon. Click this and save to your laptop.

We are now ready to plug the laptop in to the car and upload the new settings. Download and install/unzip the following applications:

Turn the ignition on (accessory mode) but not the engine. Connect the ELM37 cable to the Focus Diagnostic port, making sure the switch on the ELM327 device is set to the HS-CAN (High) option This is located behind a small door on the drivers side dash, under the steering wheel. Youtube video - click here.

Plug the USB in to your laptop and it should self-install the driver. Open up FORScan and click the Connect icon. At this point it should say Connected to car, and load some information in. It will ask you to save a profile, so give it any name you like.

On the left hand side, click the Computer chip icon. Click the option called APIM (AS-Built format) and then click the Run Service Procedure icon at the bottom. Accept the warnings and proceed.

Next, before you do anything further, click the Save all button to save a copy of your existing APIM config. Save this to your laptop named "Backup - original" or similar.

Next, click the Load file button and select the *.ab file you downloaded from the Motorcraft website above. Click Write All and your SYNC 3 unit will automatically reboot.

You will note that the instrument cluster changes colour to a darker blue gradient. This is normal and expected and is just part of the settings change. This is how it looks on newer Focus MK3's. The functionality remains unchanged. Also note, the right-side steering wheel directional buttons are no longer functional as these are now moved to the left-side directional buttons (the ones that used to control your old radio). Again, this is how it works in the newer Focus cars.

Close FORScan and open the FoCCCus application. Click connect and load the Central config tab. Click Read from BCM. Do not panic when your instrument cluster makes some warning tones and alerts - this is normal. Yes, it appears odd, but it is normal procedure when programming. As above, before you change anything, create a backup file of your Central config first.

In the Central Configuration you should now see a load of options, filled in with your car's current configuration. Change ONLY the existing settings:

  • 123 – Audio Aux Input = 01 (without)
  • 125 – DAB Radio System = 01 (without)
  • 154 – Module USB = 01 (without)
  • 157 – Bluetooth Handsfree = 01 (without)
  • 172 – Front Display = 09 (DM8 with nav)
  • 214 – ICP = 09 (unknown)

Click Write to BCM, wait for it to complete, then Write to IPC.

At this point the programming is done. You can remove the ELM327 cable. Check everything is working including Volume Control on your steering wheel etc. Check you can make/receive calls through the SYNC 3 unit, load the navigation app, pair your phone etc.

All that remains is to get your front fascia fitted back in to make it all look brilliant. One snag, the fascia needs a little trimming in order to fit nicely. If you try and fit it, you'll see at the bottom what is stopping it from going in flush. I have posted an image below (credit to @Phil21185). I just used a junior hacksaw but you could use a dremel/multi-tool etc.




With the panel trimmed you should now be able to fit the fascia back in place. Remember to re-connect the 8 pin connector to the back of this else your buttons / hazard switch won't work. Finally, push the bottom trim piece up and in to the gap above the heater control to tidy everything up.

The Results





Wow, that was a super long post. I know it may look daunting, but it's not difficult at all and is very much worth the effort. It looks like a lot more work than it is just because I wanted to go in to every detail to make it easy for you. I have double checked the instructions and apologise if I have missed anything!

Good luck!



Wow great post could I ask please how much this cost in parts bud sorry if ya have said and I missed it thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I was just wondering if this will apply same for the sync 1 radio that isn’t the Sony one (link below) and also could a sync 2 radio be used instead of a sync 3?


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Yes, no need for the 'Sony' sync 1. You can upgrade to Sync 2 instead of 3 but the wiring is different and extra modules are required like the GPS module etc.

If you're going to go through the effort, Sync 2 is not great and it wouldn't be worth it in my opinion compared to Sync 3.

See this thread for a Sync 1 to Sync 2 guide.

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On 7/4/2021 at 9:02 PM, Ramsaldo said:

Wow great post could I ask please how much this cost in parts bud sorry if ya have said and I missed it thanks

It was around £400 for me, but depends on what you can find on eBay etc.

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3 hours ago, JPW said:

Yes, no need for the 'Sony' sync 1. You can upgrade to Sync 2 instead of 3 but the wiring is different and extra modules are required like the GPS module etc.

If you're going to go through the effort, Sync 2 is not great and it wouldn't be worth it in my opinion compared to Sync 3.

See this thread for a Sync 1 to Sync 2 guide.

Thanks for the reply I will keep my eye out for a reasonably priced sync 3 if I’m going to all that effort. 

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  • 2 weeks later...


I have few questions...

1. Is it possible not to change ACM? I dont need DAB and im with SYNC 1.

2. Can I change right door panel with facelift one(to have door lock button) to avoid installing custom button on center console? And is it possbile to connect it?

3. Im going to take sync 3(32 GB). Can i install only maps for countries around me(to be enought these 32gb)?

4. I have parking aid assistance. Do I have to update module firmware adter updating to sync 3.4?


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Also ford etis is not working for me. I can enter only VINs.

EDIT1: I switched to UK and it works.

EDIT2: Im not from UK. Is it problem if I put from UK car. Also I cant find car with adaptive cruise, would it cause problems?

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/1/2021 at 4:16 PM, Rowan112 said:

I ended up creating a sync1 to sync3 adapter loom using the wiring diagram, it fully works and no problems.
no need to cut, splice or repin anything.


Your loom looks great. I'd love to do the same to tidy up my conversion but where did you get the connectors from?

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  • 2 weeks later...

1 hour ago, jbradford517 said:

Iv done the retrofit and everything seems to be ok, the USB hub however isn't powered and the steering wheel controls do not work, what could be the possible cause does anyone have any ideas please? 

does the usb hub light up when you put your hand over it?

are you sure it's properly wired in through the apim?

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There's only two wires to connect so I assume so, which side does the mini usb need to be as there's to slots but only one on the back of the apim? 

I'll double check them when I get chance

Also is the steering controls (sync 1) down to programming? 

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17 minutes ago, jbradford517 said:

There's only two wires to connect so I assume so, which side does the mini usb need to be as there's to slots but only one on the back of the apim? 

I'll double check them when I get chance

Also is the steering controls (sync 1) down to programming? 

i don't remember about the steering wheel controls but i think so

about the usb, the usb hub should still power on (it doesn't charge devices) if you just put power in them
when you plug in the usb hub on the 2 of the 4 pins, the usb hub will turn light up and you should notice it if you put your hand over it and look at it.
if it's not lighting up then there's no power getting to it.
out of the two usb ports on the usb hub, i just say swap between the two until it actually works, i don't remember which one is which, so just use one or the other until your stereo detects it.


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6 hours ago, Rowan112 said:

i don't remember about the steering wheel controls but i think so

about the usb, the usb hub should still power on (it doesn't charge devices) if you just put power in them
when you plug in the usb hub on the 2 of the 4 pins, the usb hub will turn light up and you should notice it if you put your hand over it and look at it.
if it's not lighting up then there's no power getting to it.
out of the two usb ports on the usb hub, i just say swap between the two until it actually works, i don't remember which one is which, so just use one or the other until your stereo detects it.


I think I used pin 1 and 4 is that correct? 

I'll double check it all as soon a si get chance, think I have the USB the incorrect way though,  thanks for your help 

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@JPW I already installed sync 3 but there is many questions:

1. Navi is not starting-navigation is not functioning properly. I really dont know if my module has navi(it has fakra connector for GPS) but even with gps installed it shows me this message. I think about dissabling it from #172

2. Front fascia not working properly. Hazard light button is working always without problems. If I try to press any other button it doesnt accept it, or if it accept its with long delay and then steering wheel buttons are not working for 2-3 minutes... LED light is always turned on even when I lock the car.

3. I dont have Climate control tab in the menu. If I change something on AC it doesnt show on the display.

4. I dont have parking aid visualisation. Its just beeping.

Do you have any idea what can cause these problems? Im going to solder all wires later... Thanks for the guide!


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