How to Add Factory Cruise Control to a Ford Transit

I broke my right foot three years ago, and have never regained the strength I once had. In my old van, my foot would get tired and sore during long highway drives from constantly pressing on the gas pedal. I swore that the next van I got would have cruise control to avoid this. Smokey II not having it was the only thing wrong with it. My research before buying it revealed multiple ways I could add it, one of which was to enable the functionality already built into my van’s computer. It turns out ALL Transits have cruise control built-in, whether it’s enabled or not! It’s not surprising, since companies that buy or lease cargo vans want them as cheap as possible, so they leave out options like cruise or a nice stereo. I found this post on the Ford Transit USA Forum that explained how to unlock this hidden capability. I’ll summarize the process here to save you the trouble of reading the entire thread yourself, but full credit for discovering this process goes to the people on the forum, not to me.

Another popular option is the Rostra add-on cruise control system. This is an aftermarket system that ties into the van’s wiring to assume throttle control when activated. I didn’t care for the idea of altering the original wiring, particularly under warranty. It’s also not cheap, selling for $314.95. The last straw was the warning not to use the Rostra system in conjunction with VHF/UHF two-way radios. Between my amateur, GMRS, and FRS radios, that simply wasn’t going to happen!

Basically, you need three things to enable cruise control on an unequipped Transit:

  • A steering wheel with cruise control buttons
  • The FORScan application for Windows
  • A compatible OBD2 scanner

The hardest part will be to find the right steering wheel. There was precisely one on that said it had cruise functions, but the photos showed it did not. I found one on eBay for $125 that was in excellent condition. I would’ve preferred a fancy leather-wrapped steering wheel, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The physical replacement was the easiest of any steering wheel I’ve ever done. This video is from an older Transit with a different wheel, but the procedure is identical. First, I disconnected the negative battery terminal. After removing the trim piece above the steering column, I was able to unclip the airbag from the hooks that hold it in, then unplug and remove it from the van. (This is why I disconnected the battery.) The wheel itself is held in with a single bolt. Back in the day, you needed a special tool to pull off a steering wheel, but this one came right off as soon as the bolt was out. Unplug the wiring harness, and set the original steering wheel aside. Installation of the new steering wheel is the opposite of removal, except easier because everything clips together quickly and easily.

I’ve been playing around with FORScan, a powerful program that provides access to all of the diagnostics, tests, and configurations the dealer has, and that traditional scan tools do not. I picked up an OBDLink EX OBD2 adapter, which is what they recommend as the best interface with a Windows computer. (I had to literally dust off my old Windows laptop I haven’t used in two years since being assimilated into the Apple collective. Resistance is futile.) I’ve been doing a lot more with it than enabling cruise control, but that’s a topic for another post.

Following the instructions in the forum post, I opened up the BCM (Body Control Module) menu, found the cruise control options, and enabled regular cruise control. I did not enable any of the adaptive cruise options. I’ve used adaptive cruise in a Ford Mustang and a Lincoln MKS. It works great and even detects slow-moving motorcycles and matches their speed. But my van has none of the extra hardware required for it. No extra hardware, besides the steering wheel with the controls, is required for regular cruise control, so that’s what I enabled, then saved the settings.

You’re not done yet. Cruise is enabled, but the Steering Control Computer Module (SCCM) doesn’t know you have a different steering wheel yet. At this point, none of the buttons will work, even the ones you had on your original wheel. This part gets a bit tricky.

You need to go into the SCCM settings and alter the code inside. The SCCM, along with most other modules, were not available to me in FORScan v2.3.52, which was the latest at the time I did this. However, on the forum post, someone reported success doing this on a 2021 Transit using v2.3.50. I downgraded to the older version, tried again, and all of the modules appeared on the list, including the SCCM. I’ll look around the other modules another time, but right now I was only interested in enabling cruise.

Instead of a simple menu like the BCM provides, the SCCM screen contains addresses, and you have to change the codes within them. It’s scary, but I followed these specific instructions, and it worked perfectly. On the SCCM screen, find address 724-02-01. The code should read B028 B000 00B6. VERY CAREFULLY change this to B008 7000 0056. Save this change, then turn the ignition off and back on again, as instructed.

At this point, you should have all steering wheel button functionality, including the cruise control buttons. You can test this by pressing the button that looks like a clock. You should get a “SET” prompt on the small screen on your dashboard. This means that cruise is turned on and waiting for you to set your speed. If you’ve gotten this far, it worked! I took a quick drive at this point just to make sure, and was able to set and adjust my speed with no problem at all. It worked exactly the same as if Ford had built my van this way.

The best part is the price. While the Rostra aftermarket system costs $315, I spent $125 on the steering wheel, $60 for the OBDLink EX interface, and nothing on a two-month free trial of FORScan. (A one-year license costs $12, which I’ll buy when the time comes because I like to tinker, but if all you’re interested in is enabling cruise control, you can use the free trial to do it, then never use it again.) So for a total of $185, a bit more than half the Rostra’s price, I’ve enabled the functions already built into the Transit. That’s a pretty good deal, especially considering that Ford probably charges more than that to “add” cruise control to the van when they build it.


    1. I’m glad that was useful for you! I found the info all over the post on the Ford Transit forums, so I just compiled it in one place. It makes such a huge difference. I find I’m using cruise on any open road without traffic.


  1. Would love to hear how else you’re utilizing the FORscan app for your transit. Seems like I’ve stepped into a whole new world of customization possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t gotten too deep into it. While building the interior I disabled the key fob panic button because it kept getting pressed in my pocket while I was crawling around on the floor. I’ve since enabled it again in case something goes bump in the night outside. I’ve also turned off my daytime running lights so that I can pull into a group camp after dark without blinding my friends. I know when to turn my own lights on and off. 🙂 I’ve played with a few other things but haven’t left any changes permanent. Though I still wouldn’t mind figuring out how to change my head unit’s startup/shutdown image from the basic Ford one to the Raptor or GT, just for fun. Imagine a Transit Raptor? Or Transit GT? That would be funny.


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