Explorer Steering Wheel Controls in a Ranger? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-08-2016
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Explorer Steering Wheel Controls in a Ranger?

It was a toss-up on whether to post this question in this forum or in the Interior, Exterior, & Electrical forum, but since I didn't have the required permissions to post in that forum, here I am.
Here's the question. My 2008 Ranger XLT is great, but the only steering wheel controls it has are for the cruise control. Nowadays, steering wheel controls for audio and phone have become so common that I miss not having them on my Ranger. Has anybody successfully installed a steering wheel with audio controls from an Explorer (or any other model) into a Ranger? Switches, contacts, connectors, harnesses and all would have to be compatible between the two models, which is a longshot, but I thought I'd ask. How about an entire steering column from an Explorer (or other model) -- any cross-model compatibility there?
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Old 08-08-2016
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Welcome to the forum


No, you would need to change most of the wiring harness, maybe all of it, and also the radio itself for the obvious reason.
Then you are into PATS(passive anti-theft system) with wiring changes, and that can be troublesome.


You can get Radios with remotes, some even have steering wheel options, control attaches to steering wheel and is battery operated so no wires needed.

Phone button is usually just a mute button unless vehicle has built in cell service

Last edited by RonD; 08-08-2016 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 08-08-2016
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I've only seen one person do this. Rwenzing. He managed to take the eddie bauer steering wheel and make it work. However he had to swap the GEM module out to do this, amongst a crap ton of other stuff that I don't even remember. However, I believe the limitation is to use the factory radio.

Regardless, Yeah you can, but as RonD mentioned, you'd have to change out most of the wiring harness if not all of it and get to splicing in the rest of the Ranger harness to the explorer harness from both the engine bay and the rear of the truck.

In other words, good luck. It's so not worth having to rewire the vehicle.
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