Ford Maverick Owners Are Hacking the Brand’s Parts Bin Into Their Trucks

Turns out buying a truck based on a crossover has some surprising benefits.

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Ford Maverick Owners Are Hacking the Brand’s Parts Bin Into Their Trucks © Ford Maverick Owners Are Hacking the Brand’s Parts Bin Into Their Trucks

Before the 2022 Ford Maverick hit the streets, people were concerned its close relationship to the Escape crossover meant it would be less a truck than an accessory. Fortunately, The Drive's Caleb Jacobs was able to get behind the wheel and confirm that the Maverick is the real deal. The news only gets better from there, too, as being related to the Escape apparently has its perks—namely, compatibility with a surprising amount of the Ford parts bin.

One of the Maverick's modding pioneers is Maverick Truck Club user Tyvemattis, who has successfully fitted multiple non-Maverick parts to his base model XL (said to be the only one his dealer had on the lot, as these pickups are in high demand.) As the base Maverick is so barebones it doesn't even come with cruise control, Tyvemattis decided to see if switching to a wheel from the Explorer would enable it, and after tinkering with the truck's software using Forscan, it did indeed. This encouraged him to try a more ambitious improvement, to the digital instrument panel from a 2020 Ford Escape Titanium, which turned out to be a nearly plug-and-play upgrade.

"You can scroll through call logs on the dash and it shows the current song name at the top of the screen, but for me, it's more for looks than anything," he told me.

This isn't to say none of these parts have gone on without issue, though. The Explorer's steering wheel doesn't use the same airbag as the Maverick or Escape, so it's currently running without one, and there are multiple software issues to work through with the Escape's gauge cluster. For one, both the Escape and Maverick store mileage data in the gauge cluster module itself, so Tvyemattis's Maverick now reads 1,200 more miles than it should.

That's not a problem for him, as he plans to keep the truck in the family, but there remain a few teething issues he has yet to address. For one, the Escape gauge cluster throws fault codes over features not included with the Maverick, the truck will no longer change drive modes, and while it now has cruise control, activation requires coming to a full stop. On top of that, the fuel tank now reads half as high as it should, as the Maverick apparently uses a single signal to display fuel level, while the Escape apparently has two.

Still, the fact that any of this works at all is exciting for Maverick owners, and it has given Tyvemattis the confidence to try incorporating a variety of other factory Ford parts. F-150 owners have apparently found switching shifters lets them add manual driving modes, so Tyvemattis has sourced an Escape shifter, with the goal of swapping out his Low gear for a Manual mode which he'll actuate with paddles also sourced from an Escape.

"Once my shifter comes tomorrow, I plan to test everything out and start cutting down on these error codes, but I wanted to combine the shifter and dash in their factory form before changing stuff to give the best shot at the paddle shifters working," Tyvemattis told me. "I also have the HVAC panel out of an EcoSport with the buttons for the heated steering wheel and seats, I'm planning on wiring that stuff up eventually. As of right now, that's it. The song 'One Piece at a Time' from Johnny Cash is my theme song at the moment."

Should it all work, Tyvemattis has even spoken of swapping for a 2.3-liter Ecoboost down the road. I'll be there for it, or rather, lurking in his Facebook group for Maverick modders, waiting to see more builds worthy of being called Maverick STs. Or, if someone dares go further, a Maverick RS, because if Ford won't build it, someone else will.

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