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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Installing a Radar Detector In Dodge Magnum Overhead Console.

Parts:

  • Escort Redline Radar Detector
  • Escort SC55 GPS Receiver
  • Escort Cigarette Lighter Power Plug with Cord
  • Several feet of 4 conductor zipwire from Radio Shaft
  • Electrical Tape
  • Tie Wraps
  • Acrylic Plastic Sheet from Home Depot. I think it is 3/16” thick.
  • 3M Dual Lock “velcro”

Plan:

  • Remove the overhead console; this costs me the garage door opener, sunroof controls, front courtesy lights, and apparently the compass.
  • Install the radar detector and GPS in the overhead space.
  • Conceal wiring back to the shelf above the ashtray; have the mute button in that shelf.
  • Cover the radar and GPS with acrylic sheet.
Remove Overhead Console:
Remove the overhead console and unplug the 3 connectors.
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Drill holes in plastic

I drilled a few 3/8” holes in the plastic which blocks the RD’s view of the road. Probably this does nothing, since radar penetrates plastic, but I figured it would not hurt anything. Be careful when the drill bit goes through that you do not penetrate the headliner on the other side of the plastic.


Prepare the Acrylic Plastic
Cut a rectangular sheet of plastic on a tablesaw; be careful as the acrylic is brittle and can shatter and sharp pieces can fly back at you. I cut it at a 45 degree bevel; but the edge was so chipped up that I had to smooth the edges on a benchtop belt sander.

Put about a 3/8” bend into the acrylic using a heatgun. It wanted to bow upward because of the beveled edges; I had to push down on it with a paper towel to get it to bow downward.


Prepare the 3 acrylic mounting brackets

These attach to the car and acrylic sheet by 3M Dual Lock.
Cut rectangular pieces with a table saw, then bend them with a heatgun. They are roughly 2 inches long; the one toward the back of the car is longer than the two side brackets.


Test fit the acrylic sheet and brackets on the car
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Prepare the metal bracket to mount the radar detector.


Most use a system where a metal bracket with slot in it fits inside the detector. I used sheet metal from an old PC case, tin snips to cut it, drilled a few small holes for the slot, then used a diamond file to smooth out between the holes. Deburr the steel with sandpaper so you don’t cut yourself on it or scratch things up with it.
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Wiring
I used the regular power plug that came with the RD. The remote wiring kit and display would have been nice, but my wife would not let me spend any more money on this project!

While cutting and splicing wires, I noticed that the wire in the Escort power cord is fairly thick gauge; thicker than regular phone cord. I would guess that a phone cord might not handle it without a voltage drop.

The wire tucks easily into the headliner. Then open the driver’s door, and pull off the plastic trip piece. Then pull of the door gasket. Then pull off the top of the A-pillar cover; you can now fully hide the wire all the way to underneath the dash.

Pull the center dash. Top pulls through the AC vents, then I used a plastic trim tool to pull the middle two snaps and the bottom two.

I ran the wire under the dash, then cut off the power plug. Fished the wire from the driver’s right knee area through the dash; there is a hole available by the driver’s right knee.
Vehicle Car

The two wires running out in the picture are: 4 conductor to extend the power wiring since it was too short to continue, and 2 conductor to attach to the wiring behind the cigarette lighter.

To attach to the cigarette wiring, I used a soldering iron to burn the insulation off, then soldered wire to it. Red is 12Vdc, black is 0V.

I pushed both wires through the back of the cubby hole in the dash--the shelf roughly 1 inch tall, 6 inches wide, 6 inches deep). There are already small holes in the back of it.

I attached the wire onto the power plug. Remove the spring loaded button from the tip of the power plug, solder the 12V wire to it, and put the button back into the power plug. The 0V wire I wrapped around both spring tabs on the side of the power plug, and wrapped it in electrical tape.

Reinstall dash. The Escort power plug is not visible at all, and you still have the mute button accessible.

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Installation is now complete! :beerchug:

Note about the GPS receiver:

On my car, the Escort GPS unit (SC55) does get a signal while located in the overhead space. I was surprised that this works, since it is up against the metal roof. I do have the sunroof, so possibly the GPS signal enters the car through the sunroof space.

Future things to do include:
Make a second acrylic cover, and wrap it in fabric matching the headliner. I’ll lose sight of the RD, but it is OK to use it by sound only, and running this way would make it 100% invisible even to someone in the car.

Buy and install laser jammers. Can’t afford it right now though. There is plenty of room in the overhead console area for the laser jammer control head.

Add an on-off switch.

Find a rear view mirror from a junkyard with courtesy lights built-in, and install it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Onelook, if you look at the 4th picture in the article, you can see what the overhead console looks like completed. The center dash console I did not take a picture of, since it looks unchanged.
 
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