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S2000.org Mods - Hardwiring a Radar Detector

Author: Todd Marcucci

No only does it make it easier than having a coiled wire flopping around your interior, you may have noticed your power outlet requires the cable run down the length of the center console and under the storage door. Furthermore, if you're like me, you've damaged the door by opening it on the power plug for the detector.

This install will be for a radar detector mounted near the rearview mirror- not only does it stay close to your line-of-sight (helping keep your eyes on the road), this location is agreed by most testers to be the optimal placement for maximum signal strength and early warning. It will also utilize an accessory tap in the fuse box that is switched with the ignition, so no more turning the detector on and off when you get into the car. If you decide to mount the detector close to the dash, the wiring will be largely the same (except shorter).

What You Need
- T25 Torx Driver
- 10mm socket, extension, and ratchet - Hookup wire (see below)
- Female quick-disconnect (for the gauge wire you are using)
- Ring terminal (for the gauge wire you are using)

Remvoing the Trim
Trim removal is relatively easy- first, to get to the trim, you will need to unbolt the sun visor. Using the Torx driver, remove the screw on the left hand side of the visor, then slide it "out" to the side:


Once you remove it, use your fingers to "pry" the A-pillar trim off. Be gentle, the lower portion snugs down next to the dash, and the top portion snaps into the trim where the visor was. Unsnap the top portion, then unsnap it from the column, and then lift "up" away from the dash:


Now, lower the piece along the upper window frame, where the visor was. Be careful not to pull too hard, as the dome light will hold this piece in at the center. You do not need to remove it to wire the detector, you only need to lower the trim enough to tuck the wire inside it. While you have it pulled down, tuck your wire inside, along the back edge, leaving enough wire to connect where your detector will mount.


A Note on Wiring
This installation is for a Valentine 1 detector, which comes with a separate cable for hard-wired installations. Your detector may have come with one as well. If not, you will need to either "carve up" your existing cable or purchase or make a second. Be sure to use a wire gauge the same size or larger as what came with the unit, and use a fuse as well. Not fusing it may cause any number of problems, especially in the event of an accident where the wire may get cut. If you cut/splice wire, solder and heat shrink all connections.

Now that you have the wire run behind the top trim, you will need to feed it down the A pillar, along the dash, down into the driver's kick panel where the fuse box is:

Once you have the wire run behind all the upper trim, you can put it back in place. Be sure you do not pinch any of the wiring in the trim clips and that it is adjusted to the proper length for where the detecor will be. You will need to re-position the weatherstripping on the pillar for the door- for reference, here's what it should look like:

This next part will require some contortionist skills under the dash. Locate the fuse box. Just above the fuse box, closer to the driver (away from the front of the car), there is a grounding lug with several grounds tied to it. Using the 10mm driver, remove the lug. Crimp the ring terminal to your ground wire and re-install the lug and all the grounds:

Now you need to crimp on the female terminal. Simply crimp it on to the positive wire:

...and now you can connect it to the "accessory" tap on the fuse box. Note where it is in the picture, on the left hand side of the fuse box- it's the third "hole" down from the top. This is the one switched with the ignition (alternatively one is for the lights, and the other for constant power). Be sure to slide the connector over the spade (male) contact in the hole.

Put the key in, turn it on, and make sure your detector works... you should be done!

As always, feel free to email the author with comments, critiques, etc.

This page last updated 10/9/01.
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