My new car has defeated me.

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by M0GVZ, Jan 8, 2020.

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  1. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I changed my car a little while back from a 2010 Ford Mondeo (sold as Fusion in the US) to a 2019 MK4 Ford Focus. Work is quiet so I decided I'd swap all my radio gear in.

    Looking at how hard it was going to be to route the power cables from the battery due to lack of room between the bulkhead grommet and engine I thought I'd better take a look at cable routing before I drilled a hole in the roof.

    Basically I'm stuffed. Ford Europe has decided to employ Audi/BMW/Mercedes/Rolls Royce levels of build quality and interior trim fit from when they were at the top of their game when putting the car together, I guess it's because they build them in Germany.

    The problem I have is I have no way of routing the coax to the front of the vehicle, it isn't because I don't know the route it needs to go but I cannot remove the trim at all. I can't even remove the rubber weatherseals around the door openings. They seem to have put the rubber seals on first then the plastic trims but the rubber seal has a flap that goes over the edge of the plastic trims and the plastic trims sit over the stiff bit of the seals so you can't take the rubber weatherseals out without removing the plastic trim. The fit on the plastic trims between each individual section is so good that whilst you can see the line you can't get even a fingernail or human hair between them so no way to get leverage. There isn't even a gap on the inner sill between the plastic trim and the carpet you can get a prising object in. Everything is clipped in so tight it's not coming out without breaking it.

    I've been beaten, I'm willing to drill a hole in the roof but I can't even route the coax down the B post.

    It gets worse. Due to the way the tailgate is made and shaped you can't even put a lip mount on it, not that it would matter because I still have the same problem that I can't route the coax inside the vehicle.

    Even trying to route a power cable from the centre console for my CB into behind the dash is defeated by the fact that even underneath the dash the same problem of lack of any gaps between the sections prevents me from getting a wire in anywhere.

    So for now I'm stuck with magmount on the roof and using the cig-lighter socket for power. And I'm getting all the downsides I'd expect from that including if I go to Ch1 and open the squelch I can hear a low level white noise version of the music the car DAB radio is playing including just being able to make out lyrics but definitely the beat.

    So on one hand, well done Ford you've put together probably the best well built car I've ever seen you do but it buggers things up for putting CBs or ham radios in.
     
  2. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would go to the dealer, or a body shop and ask them. Or a two way radio shop that does installations, if you can find one. There might be a tool or two to buy, but it will come apart.
     
    N3RMC, AK5B and WN1MB like this.
  3. N1OOQ

    N1OOQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Often, they won't go back together without some extra bits. The manufacturers don't plan on such things being taken apart, so hardware is one-way.
     
    AK5B and N0TZU like this.
  4. M0GVZ

    M0GVZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's a completely new model and unfortunately they've not sold many yet so most body shops haven't even had them in. I've got a friend who does 2 way radio installs so I'm going to let his eyeballs see if there's something I've missed over the weekend.
     
  5. NK9A

    NK9A XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Take the Flat plastic plate on the rocker panel off first . These dont always pull straight up to pop off . Some times you need to lift the front or rear edge of the rocker panel and slide forward or reverse just a bit , then they come off . . Saves broken plastic tabs . The next would be the Kick panels . A lot of these have a plastic mushroom stud fits into a hole in the metal underbody . BUT that stud , fits into a Slot hidden side of the kick panel . I believe that pulling straight backwards will release the Mushroom end of stud from the Kick panel . None of this might do any good . As usually there is no passage thru firewall behind those kick panels anyway . . When I did this commercially , I did maybe 25 cars in one campaign several 10s of campaigns over 25 years,. And ended up resorting to a motorola NMO mount hole saw which Stops when thru the firewall and doesnt drop thru to damage wires . Finally how much amperage do you need ? if a modern 50 watt VHF/UHF mobile radio, then simply finding the 20 amp accessory outlet and splicing to the wire ahead of the outlet WILL WORK JUST FINE ..for the AMATEUR. Radios negative terminal can be self tap screwed to any solid metal in car cab , I find the seat tracks afford a good ground point . I say amateur as in my service cases the biggest problem was employee derived vandalism . As for antennas , VHF /UHF mag mounts have a lot going for them now a days . The auto body sheet metal is SO thin that You are likely to gain no advantage in holding power strength via thru hole roof mount . IN fact , you may be disappointed to find How much the roof itself bends as You flex that thru roof mount . should you worry about the paint , I found that " Flex seal" product tape makes a dandy patch that you can place a Mag mount on .
     
  6. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    And further, they design the fasteners and trim pieces to be assembled by line workers quickly, and with a minimum of tools. It is often handy to put yourself in their position when trying to determine how these pieces go together.
     
  7. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I feel your pain, mobile installs can be very difficult nowadays
     
  8. SM0XHJ

    SM0XHJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It could be worth checking if the particular model you have is also sold as a police car. If so, it may already be prepared for installing radio equipment.
    When I checked the service manual for the Volvo I have, I discovered it was even prepared with cabling to a separate fuse box in a special compartment for radio equipment, next to the spare wheel :)
     
    N2PQW and N0TZU like this.
  9. N2PQW

    N2PQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    @M0GVZ,
    Your Mk IV Focus should soon be available as a Police car, but it would seem the refit is an afterthought, and not designed from the beginning. You could check with Ford UK to inquire, but I doubt the special Police equipment, wiring, or shielding will be available as consumer parts.
    Just my opinion, not based on fact ;)

    2019 Focus ST Police Prototype Composite.jpg

    Cheers,
    David / N2PQW


    Links: https://www.motor1.com/news/385170/focus-st-ranger-raptor-police/
     

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