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Ford Maverick Wizard Swaps in F-150 Shifter to Replace That Silly Dial

Some Maverick owners hate the truck's dial shifter, and it turns out an F-150 replacement is an easy fit.
A stock Ford Maverick shifter versus one with a Ford F-150 shifter
Ford, Ivan Gonzalez

Ivan Gonzalez of Fast Mavericks is one of the foremost pioneers when it comes to modding Ford’s smallest pickup. He was the first to transplant the 2.3-liter EcoBoost into the truck, and makes a range of performance parts for it. Now, he’s found time to address one of his smaller gripes with this Ford: its divisive shifter.

From the factory, the Ford Maverick doesn’t use a prindle like many automatics do, but a smaller, presumably cheaper dial. Some owners have complained the dial is too easy to mis-shift or knock out of place, and Gonzalez—who likes resting his hand on something solid—told me he “never liked the dial to begin with.” So when Gonzalez read online that the dial shared a plug with the 2021 F-150 shifter, he knew he had to see if it would fit.

Ford F-150 shifter in a Maverick
Swapped shifter. Ivan Gonzalez

Gonzalez got a hold of an F-150 shifter and disassembled his center console, finding that like many other Mav mods that this too would be almost plug-and-play. The shifter worked, but it wouldn’t quite mount. So, he made a few cuts, rerouted the harness, and it all fit together snugly. Just for security’s sake, he added a couple screws on the underside of the console where they couldn’t be seen. And for looks, he polished it off with an aftermarket carbon fiber shifter surround.

While the F-150 shifter had buttons for its manual mode, Gonzalez wants to keep his hands on the wheel while shifting, so he decided to try integrating paddle shifters too. While it’s already known parts like the Ford Escape’s steering wheel and digital dash fit, Gonzalez has also found that the European-market Focus ST’s wheel with paddle shifters does, too. (The leather and available heating are just cherries on top.) The airbag plugs right in too, though the buttons had to be swapped over from the Maverick steering wheel, and the paddles needed extra work.

“For the paddles to work, you need to get three OEM pins for the PCM and three for the steering module,” Gonzalez said. “The connectors have the spot for upshift, downshift and signal. Once you add the pins to the connector, you connect both pigtails with wire and tuck the new ‘harness’ [in] with the OEM one.”

Ford Focus ST steering wheel (Europe) in Gonzalez's Ford Maverick.
European Ford Focus ST steering wheel in Gonzalez’s Ford Maverick. Ivan Gonzalez

A similar process was required to get the shift buttons on the F-150 knob to work, and both required an ECU tweak using a special Forscan diagnostic device. That’ll already be familiar to anyone who has swapped different OEM Ford electronics into their vehicles, though.

“Other than looking better and feeling better, the functions are the same. I could wire it to fold up and down with the door but I’m happy how it is,” Gonzalez said. “I love the truck feel of a shifter and a spot to rest my hand.”

Gonzalez says people have asked for an F-150 shifter swap kit, but that there isn’t much to offer, considering how much is OEM. Of course, he sells the parts, but he’s just as happy to show others the path he followed. It’s the kind of knowledge-sharing that the car community needs more of, especially as modding options and maintenance info only become harder to come by.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com