SYNC 3 Software and Upgrading Screen Hardware

Hello! I bought a 2020 Ford Transit yesterday which has the smaller 4" non-touchscreen display, and I’d like to swap it out for an 8" touchscreen display from a Ford Ecosport like described here (and elsewhere) to allow me to use CarPlay.

I’m able to upgrade the SYNC software using the Transit’s built-in wifi, so it’s already self-updated to the current version (3.4.22251).

I’m very tech savvy, but I really REALLY don’t want to brick my APIM, so I’m looking for some reassurance on a few things, if anyone is able to provide it!

  • In the page I linked above, it says to swap out the screen and then use the Cyanlabs SYNC 3 Updater, which in my case would just be an “update” from 3.4.22251 to 3.4.22251, correct?
  • I’m curious, though: since nothing is really being updated, is it just that the system needs a hard reset to see the new screen, which happens as a result of the “update”? If so, is there another way to reset the system? (Assuming that the touchscreen isn’t available yet until the screen is recognized…)
  • Is there any chance that the SYNC software will just detect the new screen when I start the car without needing to do any reset or anything?

I have no problem running the Cyanlabs updater, I just want to make sure I’m doing it right… when I created the USB stick I had selected “Auto-detect” for the MY20 stuff, but was never prompted to do the interrogator process, so I’m just feeling a little gun-shy.

Sorry for the rambling post… thanks for any help you all can provide!


To be honest with you, I won’t read the link you sent.
If you have any doubts on random pages on the internet, the best way is to ask questions about those “tutorials” on those “tutorial’s” pages.

Now, going forward with your goal: upgrading your screen from 4 to 8, I can comment on these:

Sync3 software for 4’’ is different than for 8’’ screens, even if the version number is the same.
Another way of resetting the APIM is via Forscan.

Screens are “plug and play”, as long as nothing else should be changed, like asbuilt values.

Since you are confident your unit is MY20, enable MY20 protection in Syn3updater. Under no circumstance you should reformat the unit.

Since we are here and you mentioned the interrogator log, do you have that?.
If so, please post it here.

Thanks for the reply. No need to worry about the link I posted; the posted just described that swapping out the display and running the Syn3updater worked for him.

Sync3 software for 4’’ is different than for 8’’ screens, even if the version number is the same.

This addresses my main concern; it makes sense now why running the Syn3updater is necessary, unless it can be done over wifi remotely (since I’m assuming the screen controls will be out of commission until the software is updated).

Since we are here and you mentioned the interrogator log, do you have that?. If so, please post it here.

I hadn’t before (it didn’t prompt me to do so as described in the tutorial) but I just created an interrogator drive and went out and did it; it’s attached.

Sync_VYB12421_1FBAX2Y80LKA09560.xml (10.0 KB)

Thank you for the log.
That shows that you curretly have NU5T-14G381-BB installed and you said that Sync3 is telling you it’s 3.4.22251, right?.
But should you use Syn3updater to update it, NU5T-14G381-AB will be provided to you. NU5T-14G381-AB is also 3.4.22251, but its size is about 800MB, almost double than yours.
So that’s why they are telling you to “upgrade” it.

Something worth mentioning: should you decide to move forward, you should not update your unit via Ford ever again, because to Ford’s eyes you would still be running a 4’’ screen, so 4’’ software would be pushed your way.

Thank you so much! I really appreciate the help, advice and warning… I’ll definitely make sure automatic updates are turned off and I’ll use Syn3updater in the future.

I’ll try this all out tomorrow after I get the screen, and will be sending Cyanlabs some financial support for the great software and exceptionally well-run website.

Thanks!, let us know how it goes.
Do you have Forscan and an adapter?.

Since you are leaving Ford’s path, I would recommend updating Sync3 to 3.4.23088. There were some reports for 3.4.22251 about a partition getting full and causing al sorts of issues, which is not your case from what I’ve seen in the logs.

But, 3.4.23088 seems has solved that, so I would stay away from 22251, just in case since recovering from that issue on a MY20 unit is harder and more complex than on non-MY20 hardware.

That’s good to know! I wasn’t sure since my car is telling me 3.4.22251 is the most recent software, I assumed 23088 was maybe not applicable to my vehicle or something. But if going to 23088 is better I will definitely do that.

I don’t have a ODBI/USB adaptor but I can get one and grab a copy of Forscan if that’s going to be helpful in the future. I’ve always driven old beaters with hacked-in aftermarket stereos so this is all an exciting new world for me.

Thanks again for the great advice!

Just a note, every other letter in the software name is 4" / 8" as far as I know, their may be some inconsistencies

NU5T-14G381-AB is 8"
NU5T-14G381-BB is 4"
NU5T-14G381-CB is 4" (if it exists)

Interesting… my prepared flash drive has NU5T-14G381-AC to upgrade to 3.4.23088. So since it’s an “A” software, it should support the 8" screen, right? (I’m installing the screen later today, so I haven’t run the installer on the car yet.)

Is Syn3updater always assuming the 8" screen, or does the interrogator tool figure that out? I didn’t see anything in the program or documentation about selecting screen configuration.

Well, I was able to get the Ecosport screen and it works great; I turned on the car and as expected I got the full screen Ford logo and then it went to the 4” interface in the upper left hand corner. So I switched off the car, opened the door, waited for a bit, plugged in the USB drive and started it up.

It lit up with the Ford logo then went to the 4” interface again, and sat there with no “installing” feedback message or anything. I let it sit for 10-15 minutes like that, thinking maybe it was installing quietly, and then finally shut off the car, opened the door, etc, and pulled out the USB drive.

When I started it up again, though, it showed the Ford logo for a longer than usual time, and the screen went black…. And it has stayed black since, despite stopping and starting the car several times since. I’m really discouraged… after all my careful research, did I still end up bricking the thing?

I’m not afraid of getting a FORscan cable and doing things more manually if that will help, but it’s probably going to have to be a few days since I don’t know if I can find one locally. Any other ideas I can try in the meantime?

Hmm, i don’t believe people that are bricked usually see the Ford logo before hand, usually this is due to a theme incompatibility, especially likely if you had a 4" apim and moved it to a 8" screen, get a cheap ELM327 usb adapter and ForScan (trial) and get back to us with yoru APIM asbuilt.

Thanks… that’s definitely encouraging! Yes, the Ford logo does pop up consistently on startup, hangs around for a while and then fades to black, and the backup camera pops up when I put it in reverse.

I’ve got an ELM327 adaptor on order from Amazon that should get here in a couple of days, since no one seems to carry those locally… once that shows up I’ll run FORscan and post my asbuilt.

In the meantime, if it’s worth anything, I made another interrogator USB and tried it, and it ran (Ford logo → black → Ford logo again). I’ve attached the log file in case that’s useful for troubleshooting.

Thanks again for all the quick help!

Sync_VYB12421_1FBAX2Y80LKA09560.xml (10.2 KB)

Hey, don’t worry, it’s recoverable. Having to change some asbuilt is not unexpected, and may or may bot be required depending on some variables. That’s why I asked if you had one.

Since now you need it, it won’t be money spent without reason.

I assume the APIM is actually operational , for instance radio or other functions, right?.

If so, if you do not want to to wait until getting the new adapter, you may try reverting the changes…

I will review the log later once I’m back at home.

Thanks! I have no problem spending money on more gadgets. Just don’t tell my wife! :smiley:

I’m assuming the APIM is operational since it ran the interrogator (that’s the APIM doing that, right?) and since it’s showing the Ford logo on startup (like @CyanLabs mentioned). However it’s completely unresponsive otherwise… no radio or anything, even if I connect my phone via Bluetooth and play using the phone interface.

And I can wait for the adaptor if I have to, but I’m more than happy to keep messing with it, especially if that gives me even the 4" interface back in the meantime… does reverting the changes just mean loading the old software back in? Would it be worth it to try downgrading to an older 8" software like 22251 or something?

I’m enjoying learning a lot about the nuts and bolts of this system. I’ll wait to try anything else until you get a chance to look at the log. Thanks!

One thing that I can’t think of is changing to your old screen, and booting the unit up. If the screen comes to life, it won’t be right since you have 8’’ software running on the APIM, and you will need to install the original 4".

At that point, you could manually create an USB for installing the 4". I can’t think of any potential issues with this procedure, specially just swapping the screens.

I mean, we know the APIM is functional since you ran the interrogator log, so it’s recognizing the USB and enabling you to perform tasks on it, even in this state.

But now that I think about it, if you want to recover it, toy may just want to install the 4" software without changing the screen… You would end up like before storing, a bit screen with a small image… But, operational, right?

EDIT: I’ve reviewed the log, everything seems ok from that side. So this is configuration related. Once you get the adapter, you will need to check this, specifically → Sync 3 APIM Database - CyanLabs - Visual Design Variants (VDV) Sync Versions 3.0 Thru 3.4

Currently, I’m not sure I’m decoding your information correctly, I’m not that used to doing that…

You don’t appear to have any theme selected in your AsBuilt, that’s probably a 4" config thing, should be able to fix it once you get you adapter

That’s great news, thanks. Counting the hours until the Amazon truck shows up!

Okay… got my adaptor and was able to get FORscan up and running. Here’s what I got when running the APIM asbuilt. I don’t want to mess anything up by poking around… what should I do next?

Have you read the link I sent the other day? → Sync 3 APIM Database - CyanLabs - Visual Design Variants (VDV) Sync Versions 3.0 Thru 3.4

That’s the configuration for the theme. You need to look at the value DE02/7D0-03-01: xxxx-**xx-xxxx, which in your case is:


You need to change the ** from the reference, so the first 01 in the middle.
From the link I’ve sent before, for 3.4 that value is now obsolete. So that should be either 00 or 03.

DE02/7D0-03-01: xxxx-**xx-xxxx

Visual Themes Sync Version 3.4
In Sync 3.4 there are 2 themes (Ford MY20, Lincoln MY20) with 2 screen variations per theme (6.5"/8", 10"). See 7D0-02-01 for custom Boot Screen Animations.
00=Ford MY20 (6.5"/8" Screens) (Old Ford Classic, in 3.4 sets Ford MY20 theme with custom Boot Screen)
01=Obsolete (Old Ford Timeless, in 3.4 sets Ford MY20 theme with custom Boot Screen)
02=Obsolete (Old Lincoln Timeless, in 3.4 sets Lincoln MY20 theme with custom Boot Screen)
03=Lincoln MY20 (6.5"/8" Screens) (Old Lincoln Next, in 3.4 sets Lincoln MY20 theme with custom Boot Screen)
04=Obsolete (Old Ford GT Blue Theme, in 3.4 sets Ford MY20 theme with custom Boot Screen)
05=Obsolete (Legacy setting for Lincoln MY20 8" Landscape)
06=Obsolete (Legacy setting for Ford MY20 8" Landscape)
07=Lincoln 10L MY20 (10" Landscape) (Lincoln 10L MY20 10" Landscape theme with custom Boot Screen)
08=Ford 10P MY20 (10" Portrait) (Ford 10P MY20 10" Portrait theme with custom Boot Screen)

Does this make sense?

Thank you so much… I actually got brave and did just that, switching it to 00, and IT WORKS!!! I was just typing this when your response came up.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help! I am beyond excited that this all works out, and now that I’ve got the tools and know how I’m looking forward to some other cautious experimenting on my new van.