Adding, modifying or otherwise changing factory/OEM options, an intro.

Chrome_Pony

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So I know a number of potential and/or future Bronco owners are caught between the broad lines of Ford's value engineering. Some want heated seats, but not the rest of the Mid package, or a heated steering wheel, but not Lux. I hope this thread can be a centralized area for discussing how to add things you didn't order, since we don't have a How To section yet.

Let me preface by saying I haven't been a Ford guy since I (regrettably) sold my first truck, a 1975 Bronco. Modern Fords, Forscan, Sync and the high tech FoMoCo specific stuff will be new to me, so I hope those power users that are familiar will chime in and talk about their experience. I have however been modifying a 2017 Colorado, and have some lessons learned, and techniques I will be using on my Bronco.

I will also say I'm far from a brand-whore; there is a 97 TJ, a 00 4Runner, a 99 2500 LQ4/NV4500, and a 17 Z71 Colorado diesel in the stable.

Following the return of the Colorado badge from a 3 year hiatus was an eye-opener for how a ground-up new design evolves over initial announcement and subsequent model years. Just like the Bronco, incorrect information touted on launch was discovered once vehicles started getting into customers hands. Similarly, option packages evolved, such as heated mirrors, heated steering wheels, leather availability and others became more available (also, more and more interesting models, such as the diesel, the ZR2, and the Bison evolved). Interestingly, some of these options, such as heated mirrors and wheels, had the harness pre-terminated for the option that was not even available for that model year, making some modifications very easy. It's possible that some Bronco models may also have this head start, but we won't know until those buyers crazy enough (and technical enough) to start disassembling things get a Bronco in their hands.

GM puts out two manuals on their upfitter site, a complete electrical manual and a body builder manual, giving you a head start on some OEM modifications. It labels body harness routing, seen below, and gives individual pinouts for connectors, as well as connector type (more on this later). Does Ford have a similar model data clearinghouse?

elecmanual.png


But why does this matter? Well, it will give you some of the information you need to determine for yourself whether you can add a factory option, or whether it is controlled by the BCM (sometimes you still can add, but it is harder).

For instance, if you are still reading at this point, the next series of pictures is what the process of installing a factory heated wheel looks like. Again, ForScan and Ford wiring will be different. Especially different if controlled by the BCM, which, for example, may link the heated seats, mirrors and wheel, to a temperature sensor and turn them on during a remote start below a given temperature threshold.


Time to add some heat!

A small Allen wrench around 3mm works, they only need to depress the spring about 1/4" inward to the center.

DrURXHx.jpg


Pulled airbag:

SmJuvcr.jpg


Interior view of 2 post 2017 Colorado wheel 84044758

iBFOVJV.jpg


Pulled wheel, and popped top cover shroud off, and removed 3 7mm screws from lower shroud to loosen. You can see the notch for where the heated clock spring has a slight extension.

VEIniqS.jpg


A tale of two clocksprings. On the left you can see the heated wires are missing from the clockspring, and the shroud extension at the 7:00 position for the heat wires is absent.

eAxqPQR.jpg


This is the plug that goes to the X203 connector, that is preinstalled on certain 2017 Z71s, and maybe LTs. If you want to check, pull an endoscope and look in the access hole in the lower shroud for the connector next to the steering wheel cylinder:

FkDsfNA.jpg


A view of it from the top:

n6LwIkq.jpg


And with the connector from the clockspring:

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Reassembled and buttoned up before wheel install:

zr5imvD.jpg


New wheel installed!

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Test heat!

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GMC Acadia Denali 2 post heated wheel with Colorado airbag and cover, no adapter needed:

Qvzll8M.jpg




Short, but nerve-wracking install. Disconnect the ground on the battery, then pump the brakes for 30sec to discharge the capacitor for the airbags, then wait 15-30 minutes. Remove airbags, install wheel, reattach ground to test wheel, disconnect ground and wait 15-30 min, then install airbag and reattach ground for good.
So the forum I am on that this install was pulled from is extraordinarily blessed with technically minded folks who like to tinker. Electrical engineers who have scoped the frequency of the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) on the DRLs, seen below, to sound engineers who literally tore apart a truck with 600 miles on it to replace the audio completely, and graphed each sound frequency response. I hope to find the same kinds of modifiers (and that corresponding level of insanity) here.

IMG_20191202_1911093.jpg


Some factory option installs should be simple, such as providing power to the accessory dash rail, as this thread proves people are interested in. Earlier I mentioned the connector types. This is where familiarity with Mouser, WayTek, DigiKey and other electrical component supply warehouses becomes important. OEMs use a number of different types of connectors, for instance, outside the cab, waterproof connectors such as Weatherpack or Deutsch Tech (you may know these from aftermarket LEDs such as Baja Designs (Weatherpack) or Rigid Industries (Deutsch Tech)) are the norm, where inside when water intrusion isn't a concern, connectors like Molex are the norm. This is where an upfitter manual that gives you a connector type is a huge help, to do things like move a transfer case switch from an ... inopportune (textbook dumbass engineering, identical switch to headlights, and right next to them) spot:

sizgb2a-jpg.jpg


And here is the center stack, the way it should be:


rQXlSLs.jpg



8bFCGK8.jpg


Interior Molex extension harness jumping from the left knee OEM position to the console seen here:

jA4frKD.jpg



Bracket closeups. You'll need to carefully remove the switch retaining clip for the 4x4 switch from the knee panel next to the headlight switch to make this project work. Without that particular (no part number having) piece, there is no way to hold the switch in place.


xMhmuwd.jpg



8moQlWO.jpg
So, to sum up a post that got way, way longer than I intended, adding and changing factory systems is still possible in the post-12V world, with the right group of people and information sharing.

I can't wait to see what some of you do with a Bronco.





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Overland_A51

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Forscan is great, added hdc to my 150. Button works great and all the graphics was already installed. Sync is nice , looking forward to the s4 with wireless CarPlay so my phone isn’t charging for hours.
 

Hey19

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This will be very interesting indeed. One of the things I wonder about is if the harness on non diff lock Bronco will still be wired for one. I’ll be checking back on this thread regularly.
 
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Chrome_Pony

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Forscan is great, added hdc to my 150. Button works great and all the graphics was already installed. Sync is nice , looking forward to the s4 with wireless CarPlay so my phone isn’t charging for hours.
I'm interested to see what happens with the wireless versions of Carplay and Android Auto. I suspect Apple will be able to keep battery drain to a minimum, with likely a bit higher consumption on Android. I had to scrape my Note 8 of nearly all OEM Samsung and AT&T garbage to finally get decent battery life.

I got around the wireless thing by adding "Mag-safe-esque" connectors to my phone, tablet, anything, really. Makes USB-C, Micro-USB, and whatever Apple device connectors are called use the same cord. Super handy since my wife is Apple and I am Android.

maxresdefault (1).jpg


Get in, magnet snaps on and the music starts immediately with no other action on my part. Tap the AA icon on the HMI and it fires up Waze.
 

BLTN

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GM puts out two manuals on their upfitter site, a complete electrical manual and a body builder manual, giving you a head start on some OEM modifications. It labels body harness routing, seen below, and gives individual pinouts for connectors, as well as connector type (more on this later). Does Ford have a similar model data clearinghouse?
Not from Ford directly, but Helm will have those documents soon - Helm Bronco/Bronco Sport Manuals
Bought a set for my F-350 - Invaluable resources for a 6.0L PowerStroke owner
 

HoosierDaddy

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Kickass post!

Good to know folks are out here getting ahead of this game!
If B6G owners are anything like Classic Bronco owners, there will be MANY MANY MANY tinkerers out there.
Even better, there are signs that Ford seems to know this, so maybe they have worked with us during the design process???
7th heaven would be EASILY/MODERATELY installing the winter pkg from 2023 into my 2021 Base!!! LOL
 

MaverickMan

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I am not gonna mess with the wiring and computer (except the accessory switches) until over half of the stuff stops working and my handy roll of electrical tape and pocket knife cant fix it. Then I will think about gutting it all and dropping in a small block ford run off a painless harness!

I wonder how much less the bronco would weigh if everything outside of the the motor had the same technology as they did in 77' maybe with led light bulbs? No displays, no heated butt wipers, or any of that stuff.
 

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Mattwings

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I am not gonna mess with the wiring and computer (except the accessory switches) until over half of the stuff stops working and my handy roll of electrical tape and pocket knife cant fix it. Then I will think about gutting it all and dropping in a small block ford run off a painless harness!

I wonder how much less the bronco would weigh if everything outside of the the motor had the same technology as they did in 77' maybe with led light bulbs? No displays, no heated butt wipers, or any of that stuff.
I don’t know how much it all weighs, but all of the electrical is significant. Back when I was more directly involved with automotive electronics, the manufacturers were focused on 24v and wire multiplexing because of the weight and cost of all the wiring. It seems like some of that made its way into production, but not nearly as much as was predicted. Maybe that why vehicles keep gaining weight? Back to the post, I have decided to go lower on trim level and do some tinkering myself. I will try and document my projects for others to evaluate and use in their projects too. My initial thought would be an amplifier, subwoofer and new front spekeakers (whatever I can fit in factory locations) if the mid level audio isn’t up to par. Lighting (ditch and lights and rear flood) seem like a fun and useful project too. I look forward to seeing all the Bronco owners finding cool solutions and shamelessly copying the ones I like!
 

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I would like to know if you can easily adjust the speedometer for a new tire size. I was thinking of getting a base. Immediately put on 265 70r17 tires.

Also, are shocks/springs the same on base as bd.

lastly, how hard would it be to wire trailer hitch?
 

BeerForMyHorses

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Definitely saving this post as I plan on tinkering with my Bronco, and I'm gonna depend on you smart guys to help me out 😅
 

ZackDanger

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I would like to know if you can easily adjust the speedometer for a new tire size. I was thinking of getting a base. Immediately put on 265 70r17 tires.

Also, are shocks/springs the same on base as bd.

lastly, how hard would it be to wire trailer hitch?
Adjusting tire size should be a trivial matter. Certainly the dealer, but also consumer programmers would be able to make quick work of setting tire diameter in the settings.

Everything that we’ve seen and heard, the shocks/springs are the same from Base through OBX (which includes BD). (We should leave in the potential that springs may be different based on how the vehicle was spec’d from the factory... for example Wranglers with hardtops come with stiffer springs)

Wiring a trailer hitch should be easy with a aftermarket plug and play 4-wire harness similar to what’s already available for the Ranger. The 7-pin harness that comes with the OEM option may be a different story.
 

rapidredbronco2021

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I’ll most likely be swapping out the tail/head lights depending on which trim I end up in. I’m hoping that’s not too difficult to do.

I think it’s completely ridiculous that Ford doesn’t let you option the mid package with a manual on the BB and BD. Maybe that’ll be changed for the future model years.
 

Old Guy

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Adjusting tire size should be a trivial matter. Certainly the dealer, but also consumer programmers would be able to make quick work of setting tire diameter in the settings.

Everything that we’ve seen and heard, the shocks/springs are the same from Base through OBX (which includes BD). (We should leave in the potential that springs may be different based on how the vehicle was spec’d from the factory... for example Wranglers with hardtops come with stiffer springs)

Wiring a trailer hitch should be easy with a aftermarket plug and play 4-wire harness similar to what’s already available for the Ranger. The 7-pin harness that comes with the OEM option may be a different story.
I have a second confirmation from my dealer, that tire size adjustment is not something dealer service can do anymore.

I talked to the shop owner, who the does the Ford Performance upgrades that are offered under warranty, and he says depends on the new CPU (my dumb lingo instead of the proper car module names). He says if it is like the current Ranger, then its no issue at all, but if its a different system, then he is unsure. He is guessing yes, but that so many systems are tied to wheel speed, that it cannot be assumed to be a sure thing to change.

I bounce between the Base and Black Diamond, but aside from things I can connect to the Aux switches, I am taking the stance it cannot be changed, and hoping I am wrong.
 

ZackDanger

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I have a second confirmation from my dealer, that tire size adjustment is not something dealer service can do anymore.

I talked to the shop owner, who the does the Ford Performance upgrades that are offered under warranty, and he says depends on the new CPU (my dumb lingo instead of the proper car module names). He says if it is like the current Ranger, then its no issue at all, but if its a different system, then he is unsure. He is guessing yes, but that so many systems are tied to wheel speed, that it cannot be assumed to be a sure thing to change.

I bounce between the Base and Black Diamond, but aside from things I can connect to the Aux switches, I am taking the stance it cannot be changed, and hoping I am wrong.
I think the term you are looking for is “carputer”.
;)

I saw your other posts about not being able to adjust tire diameter in the carputer... and I’m not doubting your sources... but I do have to say it doesn’t pass the “sniff” test for me.

Ford removing this ability for adjustment, particularly in a platform that is equipped with different diameter tires depending on trim, is such an extraordinary change from standard practice across all automakers, it’ll take extraordinary proof before I believe it.
 

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