Taking Bronco Offline - disconnecting cellular / telematics connectivity (Technical Discussion, Please)

TheShu

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Folks,
I'm hoping to start a purely technical discussion on disconnecting the cellular/telematics connectivity within the Bronco.

I know there are strong opinions and a lot of riducle that hits this specific topic, so I'm asking if we can please keep it to technical discussion on HOW, and not long-running thread of WHY/WHY-NOT/What-Hiding/etc. Please. For those that like your cellular/connected options, please enjoy them.

In some previous vehicles, I've physically pulled TCU's (telematics control unit) out entirely, however in the Bronco it appears that Fuse 20 in the in-cabin fuse box is the Telematics module, and Fuse 160 under the hood is "Smart Data Link" module.

Questions:
1) Has anyone actually yanked fuse 20? Are there other offline systems impacted or excessive warning lights? (specific to the mid package) Understand connected Nav, any Ford OTA updates to the Sync system etc would be blocked.

2) Has anyone located the TCU in the Bronco? How hard is it to pull, and what other systems are impacted (i.e. in some Subaru, if you pull the Starlink module, you loose some of your front speakers, as they are wired thru the ADAS system for audio interrupt/voice. Aftermarket wiring harneses addressed this.)

3) My last Ford was pre-connectivity, and I cannot find a lot of details on the "Smart Data link" module (fuse 160). Any engineering folks on here know specifics of this sytem and its connectivty capabilities? I believe it is an offline data link for onboard devices, not a telematics device with connectivity unto itself, but would love confirmation.

4) Last resort is to find the antenna and pull. Lots of forums out there for other cars with Shark-fins being removed. I'd like this to be last resort and actually simply just disable/remove the connected modules.

Admins, I know this topic has come up in other threads, but I searched/read for quite a while and did not find a detailed technical implementation, hence the re-ask.

Regards and thanks in advance
Shu
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goatman2

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Interested in this as well.
 

JediMcMuffin

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I wouldn't mind a list of what can/cannot be deactivated in software. I understand your pulling hardware approach, but clicking a button is always faster.
 
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TheShu

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I wouldn't mind a list of what can/cannot be deactivated in software. I understand your pulling hardware approach, but clicking a button is always faster.
Agreed, but I will prolly even kill the option for OTA updates, as I am not personally wild about things like Amazon Alexa being pushed to the system. I'm guessing Ford will not provide an easy "off" button to stop things like software updates.
 

GoTigersGoBronco

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I would crack the thing open and pull the SIM card. That way, you can still do an update via WiFi at home.
 

Bo-Ronco

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Agreed, but I will prolly even kill the option for OTA updates, as I am not personally wild about things like Amazon Alexa being pushed to the system. I'm guessing Ford will not provide an easy "off" button to stop things like software updates.
I have this exact same concern. My IT guy at work is working on the solution for how to get rid of or disable all features like this (namely Alexa) for when my Bronco arrives.

If he comes up with a good solution I will share it here.
 

Paul Gagnon

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You can do this with menu options in the radio.
 
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TheShu

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@GoTigersGoBronco, Have you located the TCU module on the bronco? Is it fairly straightforward to pull the SIM card? This would possibly be an even better option than what I had proposed.

@Paul Gagnon, Can you please provide screenshots? YOu are saying it is possible to disable all cellular connectivity via menu options? Would be a nice simple option for folks.
 

Paul Gagnon

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[/QUOTE]i



@Paul Gagnon, Can you please provide screenshots? YOu are saying it is possible to disable all cellular connectivity via menu options? Would be a nice simple option for folks.
Under Settings/Connectivity/Connected Vehicle Features then turn Vehicle Connectivity off.

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A81FE7DF-C3A4-4749-9E0F-5FBC78AA3EFE.jpeg
 
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TheShu

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i

Under Settings/Connectivity/Connected Vehicle Features then turn Vehicle Connectivity off.

367B5D4C-58F3-4F08-90C4-307667604183.jpeg


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[/QUOTE]

Sweet! Thank you for sharing the info.
I'm very happy to see Ford allowed this type of option to customers.
 

D2dhanover

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I wouldn't suggest removing the TCU. I can't say it will cause issues but with the Gateway Module in this vehicle it does send data to various components as well as receive data. The GWM is the master hub for throughput of the vehicle data. Modules interconnect through it. There is quite a list of DTC's related to the TCU and I would imagine this will cause some kind of DTC to occur, either quietly or possibly illuminate the check engine light. Worst case is you pull that fuse and see what happens, I couldn't find anything else on that circuit at all, though it has a backup battery. Be prepared to clear codes and no promises that if they do show up, they return to normal.


Please understand I say this with great demeanor and in a joking fashion but the paranoid about the Remote Data Link Connector was funny to me. I get it though you don't know what it is and I'm sure many wouldn't assume to know either given the name. It's just the OBD port for diagnostics and programming.

The TCU is located behind the radio screen. You have to remove the APIM completely for access. As pointed out, you can toggle these features off from the APIM screen however.
 

PSUTE

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My 2012 Sierra was not equipped with OnStar, last year for opting out of that. Still running the factory battery. Coincidence? I think not...
 

BroncoAZ

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My 2012 Sierra was not equipped with OnStar, last year for opting out of that. Still running the factory battery. Coincidence? I think not...
You can still get WT trim Silverado trucks without onstar. Since I use onstar for telematics I specifically have to order it as an add on for our work trucks.
 
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