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2007 C230 Sport
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm well into the install and having a tough time trying to find a spot for the external radar detector box and also the two front laser shifters. No real room behind the grille, only option looks like behind the center mesh under the bumper (it's a 2007 C230 Sport). Hate to have the shifters located that far away from the headlights, but they are too wide to slip between the vertical grille slats, and there doesn't seem to be enough clearance behind the grille with the hood closed. If you've done this let me know what you did.
 

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2005 230 Kompressor
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341 Posts
I also tried to install the same remote Escort detector and ran into the same problem you are encountering......no room in the front for placement without hacking into something. Looked into what it would take to mod it, but in the end took it back and got the Escort 9500ix and hardwired to the underside of the rear mirror.
Not as stealthy, but no cutting or anxiety attacks either. Good luck, and if you do find a clean install please post your results.
 

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2007 C230 Sport
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a few but no chance to post yet. I used a Dremel tool and cutting wheel to carefully slice out a vertical support on each end of the grille at top corner. Removed the brackets from the laser transceivers and they just fit into the gap and stayed there without having to hold them. I ran a bead of silicon rubber glue along the back edge of the horizontal grille slat and the transceivers, they aren’t going anywhere. The radar receiver needed depth that I couldn’t find behind the grille so I pulled the front fascia off and used the brackets supplied to hang it from the bottom of the front bumper. There's a good-size L shaped bracket that comes with the kit, I mounted it to the bottom of the bumper at the very back edge, long side of the bracket is vertical. Then used another bracket that came with the kit and bolted it on as low as it could go in the bracket slots. Mounted the radar receiver to it and while solid it appeared that it would jiggle for and aft a bit due to length of the bracket. I had a small fairly solid foam block that just fit the gap and it was black so snugged it between the top of receiver and bumper and that seemed to take care of the jiggle. I don't think there would have been an issue but wanted to avoid the bracket developing a stress crack after 50K miles or so. The front of the receiver is so close to the mesh in the under-bumper grille (230 Sport) that it almost touches, has maybe ¼ to 1/8 inch clearance.

The control unit I mounted just to the right of the ashtray, on the small plastic block that has the button that slides to release the ashtray. Since the block pops out easily and will be easy to replace I removed the button and drilled a hole for the wire. I left the ash tray out since the area where it sits is completely sealed anyway, which gives me more storage area than when the ashtray is in place. It was the easiest place to mount that was useable. I typically drive with my hand resting on the gear shift so it is easy to reach the control head there. I would have routed the wood console cover and placed it right in front of the center armrest but the control unit has an on/off button on top that would have been covered when recessed so settled for the ashtray area. I did have to trim a bit of the block off at the bottom to allow it to sink about 1/4 inch deeper and allow the door to close easily. Otherwise the fit is very snug and the back of the console door touches the top of the control unit mute button.

The display is currently resting on top of my rear view mirror; I want to place it inside the mirror when I get a chance. First I have to figure out how to get the mirror off. I'm not a small guy, and I could pick myself off the seat while trying to pull the mirror out of the clip. Fortunately I live in Houston and Sunil at Motorwerks has volunteered to pull it for me.

The speaker I placed under the drivers side dash, there is a metal bracket on the left side (left if you are facing forward) that attaches to the back of the dash and has a rectangular opening in the middle. I wrapped the speaker in some foam (left the grille uncovered) and tied the foam on with plastic ties, then snugged the speaker into the opening with the grille facing towards the driver. It doesn't make any noise and is nice and snug. I think I'm going to take a look at mounting it beneath the center grille on the front dash, I think that would be ideal if there is room. I can hear the speaker relatively well behind the dash but esoterically it seems like having the voice come from the center of the dash would be best. Also, when I have the sound system cranked I'll be able to hear the speaker relatively well since it will be behind an open grille with sound bouncing off the front glass (again assuming there is room). Maybe Sunil will be kind enough to pull the center grille for me as well, it’s a snug fit and I don’t want to damage anything.

The junction box and all the wires were mounted in the glove box. I have the six player CD so there is an opening to the side that is just right for the junction box and wires. That way I have access to all the fuses if there is ever an issue. I punched out the plug for the accessory opening and ran all of the wires through there. I plan to make a cover at some point to tidy things up, will have to sink it a bit to avoid having it block off the glove box light.

I’ll try to get some pics posted this coming weekend. The good news is it can be done, but it is quite a job to get a clean, professional-looking install.
 

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2005 C230k Sedan
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Wow that sounds like you spent alot of time.. I would love to see the pictures... I am going a differnt route and using the 9500 ix and with a different laser shifter system.
 

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2005 230 Kompressor
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Yes please post pix when convenient. You really put alot of thought into placement and installation, and it would be great to see how it turned out. Good job. :thumbsup:
 

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2007 C230 Sport
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118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Here's some pics that might be helpful for anyone considering this unit. The control unit is just below the cigarette lighter. The compartment that the ash tray was held in was completely sealed and no fear of losing anything, so now I have a bit more storage room without the ashtray.

Pics show the radar receiver hanging from the bottom of the bumper, has to be placed so that the back of the receiver is at back edge of bumper or otherwise there won't be clearance when the front fascia goes back on. The foam block is visible that I used to keep the bracket from moving for and aft and potentially generating a stress crack over time. Not sure it would have been an issue but the block was a simple insurance policy.

Transceivers are visible in right and left hand top grille slat. Used a Dremel tool with cut-off wheel to remove the vertical slat on both sides. Just take your time and keep the wheel just above the flat grille surface so that you don't have scars showing on the horozontal portion. There is a very slight area showing where the slat used to be but one has to take a close look to see it. Would cost points on a show car but for my everyday driver I'm OK with it.

At bottom are full-on front shots - overall a pretty stealthy setup. The transceivers are a few degrees off level due to the slant of the grille going down slightly towards each side but my guess is not a significant impact on effectiveness. Also the front transceivers point slightly towards each side of the road vs pointing straight ahead, but every laser unit I've seen in operation has been stationary at the roadside so my thought is this is probably a plus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
More pics

The bead of silicon rubber glue is visible on the transceivers under hood - holds very securely. Close up of the radar receiver behind the front grille mesh - mesh is metal so I don't know if there is signiificant impact on reception or not - I'll leave that up to any experts that may want to comment. Pics of the transceiver on back, one with chrome plate frame and one with black frame that I added to try and make the transceiver a bit less obvious. I may end up fabricating a frame at some point that integrates the transceiver better - that will take some time and experimentation. I suppose if I am ever stopped and the transceiver on top of the license plate is noticed, I'll indicate that it has something to do with warning system that beeps when I am backing up and an obstacle is getting close.

The display unit is going to be mounted under a hooded center grille unit on the dash. The rear view mirror on my 2007 is completely covered on the back side with printed circuit board - no room for the display. So Sunil at MotorWerks in Houston has ordered the grille from overseas, will take a few weeks for it to get here. Currently the display is sitting on top of the rear view mirror and held on with a piece of dual sided foam poster tape. Having it located under the hooded front of the center speaker grille (I have stock radio system so nothing is in there) will probably be better (assuming it is easily visible in bright Houston sun) since it won't be visible from behind the car. Nothing to give any officer that may be behind me occasion to think I have a detector. Nor will it be visible when the key is off. So close the door over the ashtray compartment and the interior is as sanitary as can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
One more - the GPS on rear deck. Sprayed it grey to match the interior. The GPS module has a magnetic base and it stays in place nicely here as a result. Need to come up with a clean-looking cover for the wire to give it the 'factory installed' look.
 

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GPS antennas will also work well under the dash. When I did a COMAND retrofit I put the antenna on top of the passenger airbag, stuck to a metal bracket there using the magnet. It works fine and I see 5 satellites most of the time, 7 occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the tip Zeet, sure wish I had known that. The Escort manual placed emphasis on the GPS being able to "see the sky" so I wound up placing it in the rear deck. Maybe some day I'll feel ambitious enough to move it.

Attached are a couple pics of the wire cover I added in attempt to reduce the 'aftermarket' appearance. Made it of some Plastruct rectangular channel that I found at a hobby shop. Sliced a channel (Dremel cutting wheel) the full length of the bottom side to slip the wire inside. Also sliced off the top side where it meets the GPS for about 2 inches so there are flat 'fingers' running underneath the GPS unit. They keep the cover in place due to downward pressure and friction between GPS and the rear deck fabric.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's the cover for the glove box compartment next to the CD player. The junction box and all the wiring is behind and easily accessible. I used some business cards and scotch tape to come up with the required shape, then used the side of a plastic 'project' box that I found at Radio Shack. Used a Dremel and cutting wheel to cut the side out of the box after tracing the template on top of it. I cut it slightly larger than needed and then used some 400 grit sandpaper on a flat surface to tailor the fit. Then sprayed with 3M contact glue and covered with cloth I found at a fabric shop that seemed to be close to the texture of the glove box. It stays in place just fine, is a nice snug fit, yet can be removed easily to access the fuses and junction box if necessary. I pushed it back until it made solid contact with the junction box. Mounted the USB interface in the middle in the event I ever need to update the software or data. I cut and wrapped a piece of the same cloth around all the wires that come from the punch-out hole on the right front side of the glove box wall and tucked the seam behind the wires so they are not noticeable. Only thing left now is to mount the display unit under a Euro center speaker screen that has a hood in the front. Sunil at MotorWerks has it on order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One of the final pieces of this install - the Euro center screen and display - is detailed in a separate thread that can be found by searching the forum for 'grey market / european parts'. (sorry gang) Here's the end result.
 

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