Modularity in cars and car parts is, I think, a wonderful thing. And, really, it does exist, even though it may not seem like it to the average consumer. But cars are built on some common platforms within carmakers, and standards and parts are shared. This was proven recently by a Maverick owner who bought a Ford Escape digital dash — a full digital, LCD screen setup that’s normally not available on the Maverick — and plugged it into the Maverick. And it worked. Mostly. This bodes very well for this already DIY-friendly, hackable truck platform, and I think that’s fantastic.
The original post, from a user called Tyvemattis, was posted to the Maverick Truck Club forum:
Tyvemattis has the lowest-spec Maverick (and, what I think is the best spec) in the XL trim, which normally has an instrument cluster like you see here:
Now, this is absolutely fine, especially for a $20,000 car, but by modern standards, it does look a bit, well, cheap. Because it is! No shame in that. It’s a small color LCD flanked by old-school electromechanical gauges. But some drivers might want something with a little more oomph.
The Escape cluster that was installed, on the other hand, looks like this:
That’s a big difference, especially for a part of a car that’s right in front of you, every time you drive.
But what makes all of this so exciting is how this upgrade happened — specifically, how easy it was, which is very. Tyvemattis just plugged it in, and it worked!
Well, it mostly worked; the fuel gauge only registers half the actual values in the tank, and there are some fault codes as the computer in the instrument cluster can’t find the things that it expects on an Escape that don’t exist on a Maverick, but, still, it’s working in all the important ways.
So, you’re not gonna like this, but the Escape uses 2 different fuel level senders, the Maverick only has one. On the Escape, the 2 signal inputs are compounded to get the total fuel level. With only one input, the cluster will only ever see the tank as half full.
Some tweaks with ForScan might switch the cluster over to a single input, but I couldn’t say for sure. For reference, the Escape’s fuel level signal to the cluster is on pins 1, 2, 9 and 10. The Maverick only uses pins 1, 2 and 10.
Ah, so the Escape uses two separate fuel senders, and the Maverick only uses one. A few posts later, someone has a possible solution, involving adding the missing pin and splicing it into the existing fuel sender pin that the Maverick does have, which may let the Escape cluster see the one fuel sender as both the expected inputs?
It sounds like it’s worth a shot, and, besides, they included some schematics:
I get why these owners are excited by this. The ability to order or salvage higher spec parts and have them fit, physically and electronically, in at least some parts of the car opens a lot of exciting possibilities. And with Ford already pushing a strong DIY angle for the Maverick, this seems like it bodes well for a future aftermarket and homebrew modification scene for this inexpensive and very flexible platform.
Tyve Mattis, the man himself, has made a Facebook group just for Maverick tinkerers and hackers, so hopefully we’ll be seeing lots more interesting things as this grows.
Looks like fun stuff ahead.