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How to tell the Difference between Sync 2 & Sync 3

APIM Differences

Sync 2 APIM

This is a Sync 2 APIM. You can tell that it's Sync 2 due to it's rectangular shape, and small heatsink fins. Sync 2 units come in quite a few variations, some with two USB ports, some with only one. All Sync 2 Units will have a 54-Pin Connector on them.
What you should know:
-- Sync 2 APIMs have built in GPS, you don't need to add a GPS antenna like you do on Sync 3.
-- Sync 2 APIMs can ALL have navigation, it just needs to be programmed, and you must have a SD Card with the maps on them to use the navigation features.
-- Sync 2 & Sync 3 screens are NOT interchangeable... Sync 2 uses a resistive display (think of what touchscreen phones were like before the iPhone), and Sync 3 uses a capacitive display (like the iPhone).
-- Sync 2 does NOT support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, if you absolutely must have these features, you have to have Sync 3.
-- All vehicles equipped with Sync 2 are able to be upgraded to have Sync 3, you just need to get a Sync 3 screen, APIM, hub, and hub adapter, along with a bit of AsBuilt Programming (easy!).
Sync 2 DOES NOT SUPPORT Android Auto & Apple CarPlay!

Sync 3 APIM

This is a Sync 3 APIM. You can tell that it's Sync 3 due to it's non-rectangular shape, large heatsink fins, and the two blue connectors on the left side. Sync 3 APIMs have changed throughout the years, so keep reading to learn more... 
What you should know:
-- Sync 3 APIMs do not have a built in GPS antenna, you have to use an external GPS antenna on both Navigation & Non-Navigation units. 
-- Sync 3 Non-Navigation units need an external GPS antenna as well for syncing clocks to GPS time & giving a detailed location to emergency services in the result of an accident. 
-- Sync 3 Non-Navigation & Navigation units are completely different modules and there's no real way to tell the difference just from looking at them. They share the same type of motherboard, but use completely different daughter boards which have either 8GB of storage on the non-navigation module, or 32GB on the US Maps Navigation module.
-- If your Sync 3 Navigation module has software of v3.2 or older, you can update it to have more recent maps. 
-- You can put any Sync 3 setup into a vehicle that came from the factory with Sync 2.
Sync 3 Supports Android Auto & Apple CarPlay!

Anatomy of a Sync 3 APIM

There are multiple Generations of Sync 3 APIMS

And they all look different!

Sync 3 Gen 4

Manufacture Date: 2019+
These are the highest sought after generation of Sync 3 modules because, well, they're the newest. They feature built-in LTE for in-car WiFi hotspots, and remote vehicle starting, with MyFord Pass.

If you're upgrading a 2019 Ford vehicle that has Sync 3, but isn't navigation, to a navigation module, you'll need a Gen 4 (2019+) module to keep your Hotspot and Remote Start from Phone capabilities.

Sync 3 Gen 2 & Gen 3

Manufacture Date: 2017-2018
These are considered the most stable Sync 3 units, next to the Gen 4 units. If you need to do anything with a Sync 3 module and you don't need the in-car hotspot, or MyFord Pass remote start from phone capabilities (only available on 2019+ equipped cars--adding a Gen 4 Module to a vehicle that did not come equipped with these features will not give you these features), your best bet is going with a Gen 2-3 Module. 

Sync 3 Gen 1

Manufacture Date: 2015-2016
These are the first Sync 3 units that Ford made, so they were still working the kinks out for the first year or two. 

Many 2015-2016 units, both Navigation & Non-Navigation, were plagued with issues, like freezing, loss of GPS connection, and boot-looping.

The Sync 3 Part Number Sticker

This is just about the only way you can differentiate Sync 3 units from each other. MFG stands for Manufacture Date and dictates which generation the unit belongs to (see above).

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of data of which units are navigation and which are not. Here's a list of what we do know....

Non-Navigation Unit Part Numbers

G2GT-14G370-CM
GB5T-14G371-BF
GB5T-14G371-CF
GB5T-14G371-CG
GG1T-14G370-CM
GJ5T-14G370-CL
GL1T-14G370-CL
GL7T-14G370-CM
GM5T-14G370-KL
H2GT-14G370-KFA
HB5T-14G370-FCD
HE9T-14G370-FBD
GR3T-14G370-CM
HJ5T-14G370-GNF
HJ7T-14G370-KCA
HL3T-14G370-GCD
HS7T-14G370-GCD
GJ5T-14G370-CM
H2GT-14G370-FCD
HR3T-14G370-FCD
KJ7T-14G370-ACB
KJ7T-14G370-ACD
JL3T-14G370-HKC
JL3T-14G370-HKB
H1BT-14G371-CEC
3U5T-14G371-GDD
HS7T-14G370-GCC
JS7T-14G370-GLF
JM5T-14G370-HKC
GA1T-14G370-BM
KL3T-14G370-PCH
JS7T-14G370-GKF
HJ46-14G370-GCE
HB5T-14G370-KCA

Navigation Unit Part Numbers

GJ5T-14G370-BL
GL1T-14G370-BM
GL3T-14G370-JL
GR3T-14G370-BM
HJ5T-14G370-FBD
HJ5T-14G370-KBB
HP5T-14G371-BAF
HS7T-14G370-GBC
HS7T-14G370-GBD
GJ5T-14G370-BM
HS7T-14G370-GBE
HL3T-14G370-GBE
GJ7T-14G370-BM
HB5T-14G370-KBA
H2GT-14G370-KBA
HA1T-14G370-FBD
KJ7T-14G370-ABB
HS7T-14G380-AB
HJ5T-14G370-FBC
G1BT-14G370-BL

What about differences in screens?

8" Sync 2 Screen

8" Sync 3 Screen

You're probably thinking that these screen are identical -- but they're not. Be careful when you're buying screens because from the front they could be either Sync 2 or 3! More than likely if the screen is coming from a vehicle 2016+ it is Sync 3, but take it apart and take a look either way because some vehicles like the Taurus and the F-350 Super Duty did not get Sync 3 until 2017.

It's all about the backside...

8" Sync 2 Screen

This is where you really get to tell the differences between Sync 2 and Sync 3. As you can see, the Sync 2 screen above transmits its data to the APIM through a multi-pin connector in the center of the screen. 

8" Sync 3 Screen

The Sync 3 screen transmits touch screen input data to the APIM in an entirely different manner -- a low-voltage differential signal cable. This cable plugs into the yellow port placed at the lower-left side of the screen. 

Sync 3 Screen Variations

Here's where you're going to have to trust me, because I don't have pictures of all the different types of screens -- but I do have part numbers and what vehicles use which screen! Let's dive into the differences and what you should be looking out for your vehicle. Find your vehicle below and note the part numbers you can use for your project. Note: this is just a list of known part numbers and their associated type of screen -- there could be more! 

6.5" Screen

G1BT-18B955-TD
Fiesta 2016+
Transit 2016+
Transit Connect 2017+

8" Recessed Screen

GA8T-18B955-SB
G2GT-18B955-SA
G2GT-18B955-SB
G2GT-18B955-SC
GA1T-18B955-MA
GB5Z-10D885-G
GK4Z-10D885-C

Edge 2016+
Explorer 2016+
F-250 2017+
F-350 2017+
Flex 2016+
Taurus 2016+

8" Standard Screen

GS7T-18B955-SB
GL3T-18B955-SA
GL3T-18B955-SB
GR3T-18B955-SB
GA8T-18B955-SC
GA8Z-10D885-A
GS7Z-10D885-SA
GR3Z-10D885-FA

CMAX 2016+
Escape 2016+
Expedition 2016+
F-150 2016+
Focus 2016+
Fusion 2017+
Mustang 2016+
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