Ford F-150/F-250: How To Install a Navigation System

Adding a navigation system could get you to your destination with your Ford F-150 or Super Duty.

By Scott Deuty - November 20, 2014

This article applies to the F-150 (2004-2014) and F-250 Super Duty (2005-2014).

Factory navigation systems often get bad reviews due to the added price versus an aftermarket unit. In addition, the factory unit may have limitations when compared to the features of aftermarket units. Price is also a factor. Due to production demand, Ford units are fetching a price of $4,000 with the bezel. The bezel is the plastic face plate that goes around the screen. Ebay has units averaging around $600; however, you still have to find the bezel as it is different with the navigation unit versus the factory unit. Therefore, it is advised to do a little research in advance, maybe even go to a dealer and play with a system in a lot vehicle. If your truck didn't come with a navigation system, you most likely have a single DIN stereo. Navigation systems are double DIN units, and they require a larger screen opening in the dash's bezel. You can either purchase a bezel that is made specifically for your truck and new navigation system, or you can attempt a more difficult task and cut your existing bezel to fit your new system. You can do so by taking the measurements of your new screen, and cutting your existing bezel to match that.

Installing a unit can take several hours as you must remove the console and a number of panels in most cases. There are several instructional videos available. The best one (Ford F-150 Lockpick Installation) is featured near the end of this article; it explains the sizes of the sockets used and provides company names for aftermarket wiring harnesses. When buying a navigation unit, be sure to check that it is compatible with your specific truck, model, and year. Car audio retailers can assist you with this.

Materials Needed

  • Metric socket set
  • Battery operated screw driver (really speeds it up)
  • Flathead screw driver for prying and moving tabs
  • Pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Soldering gun and solder

Step 1 - Remove the bezel

Remove the bezel around the instrument panel; this allows you to get to the panel on the left side of the display. This trim pops right off with a flathead screwdriver.

Figure 1. Remove the bezel.

Step 2 - Remove the old system

Pull out the old stereo system, and unplug all the wires connected to its back.

Figure 2. Remove the old system.

Step 3 - Install the navigation system

Place the navigation system in place. It should fit because you bought it specifically for your truck. Plug all the wires in the back as instructed in the navigation system's manual. You may need to add a wiring harness if your manual says so. The wiring harness details and specifications will be discussed in the installation manual.

Figure 3. Install the new system.

Step 4 - Re-assemble

Assemble in reverse order.

Pro Tip

Use an egg carton, lure box, or cheap compartmented box for holding the screws. Place them in the box for easy reassembly. Some complain the factory system can only be voice programmed when moving. The system can easily be unlocked with two clicks of the phone button on the steering wheel as per this video.

Featured Video: Ford F-150 Lockpick Installation

Featured Video: GPS Radio Installation

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