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1987 420 SEL
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2,097 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use a portable Magellan GPS unit when traveling and have to plug it into the cigarette lighter but I hate the look as the adapter wire is always hanging over on the passenger side while the ash tray has to remain open. Since I don't smoke, I was wondering if there is a way to rewire the cigarette lighter to the gps lighter adapter permanently so that it is hidden. Also, I like the idea of an additional power docking station away from the ash tray area to be used for the charging of cell phones, ipods, etc.

I found this image after searching for a custom gps install in google. I was wondering if a custom install similar to these photos would work in our car.

My main concern is what kind of wiring is under the dash that I need to be concerned about before attempting something like this?

Give me your thoughts or further ideas!!!
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1991 560SEC AMG
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10,146 Posts
The one on the right is mine, on the coupe, that gives me 4 power point plugs with the cigarette lighter included, but it is messy lookig, thoiugh functional, when in action.

mclare is the expert, one of the best, on here, for this, I feel. Ask him what he did and for pic's. You should see his setup, very cool and neat and professonal. Very neat rig, using a flip up system.

I think he is the guy to talk to. I think he would be willing to explain for you.

He has a reputation for sharing knowledge.
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe - RIP
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10,014 Posts
I have a "Valor" in dash unit, single height: It's very cramped behind there, but it can be done. If you look at the top corners of the windshield, you will see where I mounted the two Satellite antenna's. One is for the GPS and the other is for the XM/Sirius Radio.

I mounted the Navigation box and the XM radio unit in the space under the Passenger foot well where the factory alarm is mounted. There is enough room you will fine to mount things if you know how to route the wiring.

Use a strong adhesive to mount your antenna's and then run them down the and under the chrome window mouldings. Then you can run the drivers side one across the rear of the firewall. The Pass side one comes down and the two meet up. Then you have to take out the battery and tray and under it you will see a pass-through for the wires. They go under to the passenger footwell. While you are under there run a yellow 12 GA wire to the positive lead on the battery and make sure it has it's own 20A fuse. That powers the screen motor and the GPS. DO NOT tap into the car's power system for that high power line. Run its' own fused line from the battery.

If you have front and rear cameras as I do you will need to run a "Shielded" Video line front and rear too. I ran the front line in the same place through the pass side and I already had the interior out of the car so running the lines to the rear was no issue either. I also ran all new monster cables (6GA) speaker wires too. I also installed all new high end speakers while I had it all apart.

The rear camera is a license frame mounted camera for backup and the front camera was mounted in the bumpers spoiler. I say was because I didn't mount it in the new Euro bumper. I have a new Hi-Res Infra-Red camera that I intend on mounting in the grille star or up by the Rear View Mirror mount up top. That will be for zero viz night driving.

To select between the two video sources, I removed the roller style fader switch and replaced it with a modified Mercedes Horn switch. It fits in the same hole mount and looks like it belongs. I do have two horn switches, the one for the two horns and this, but Oh well.

The rest of the install is fairly easy of you have done any type is installations. When I worked for "Integrated Auto Alarms" in Tarzana doing my first computer job, I had worked there every day doing programming. I would always watch the guys and then I started helping them so I learned the tricks. For a while there my best friend Jimmy and I had a Cell Phone sales and installation business up in San Jose. That was in '84-'85. I would do installs on MB's, Ferrari's, Porsche's, Rolls. I did an Aston Martin once that had this BEAUTIL wood dash and the guy wanted my to drill the mount in the dash. This was a 150 grand Aston Martin Lagonda back in the day and I was scared to death, but he was so caviler about it. "Just go ahead... Who cares??""" Um, I do!
 

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1987 420 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Cool! But I want the unit somewhat higher so I don't have to look downward. I'll mess around with some thoughts in my head while sitting in the car for proper access! I guess my neighbors will be like..."what's he doing to that car now"? Lol!
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe - RIP
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There's really not that kind of room under there, that's why I went with what I did. I was originally going to do a "Heads up Display" like you showed, but there is no room under there for that, so I scrapped the idea.

But good Luck!
 

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1987 420 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I figured that after looking at some other info I have. I will probably go with the gps unit windshield mount more on the driver's side dash. Will still prefer to hook up a permanent wiring attachment to where the wires can be concealed and then I can just plug in the unit when it's required. I'll keep you posted! Thanks for your input!!!

There's really not that kind of room under there, that's why I went with what I did. I was originally going to do a "Heads up Display" like you showed, but there is no room under there for that, so I scrapped the idea.

But good Luck!
 

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'84 500 SEC Euro 040 black Lorinser 2005 sl500
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I installed a Garmin Nuvi 1490t earlier this year where you do not see any cords at all. This unit is also a bluetooth which means I can keep my phone in my pocket or pug it into the charger outlets I hard wired into my glove box and leave it there while driving.

The glove box has a 3 auxiliary outlet 12v power source that is hardwired into the glove box light power and grounded to the car. This allows me to leave my phone plugged in out of sight in the glove box and if I get a call or make an outgoing call I just use the touchscreen on the GPS (also has speakers in the GPS so it is a stand alone...no need to wire to the stereo).

The GPS power cord that came with it is plugged into the power source in the glove box, then routed behind the dash and out through the instrument cluster.

So, no unsightly cords, no visible auxiliary power sources to run power cords to that are visible and I can put my phone away in the glove box while driving, so no tickets!

A couple of pictures:
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe - RIP
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It is very easy to get power on the drivers side there.

Under the "Dead Mans Pedal" there is a power block. If you are just using one of those little GPS units, you can tap power from right there. I did a writeup of which rows are on which circuit. One row is hot 24/7, the other is switched to the key and the other is the lighting circuit. Look up my post on my rear shade and you will see it and the connector you need.
 

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1987 420 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I like that set-up! I got the brain juices flowing now!!! Lol!

I installed a Garmin Nuvi 1490t earlier this year where you do not see any cords at all. This unit is also a bluetooth which means I can keep my phone in my pocket or pug it into the charger outlets I hard wired into my glove box and leave it there while driving.

The glove box has a 3 auxiliary outlet 12v power source that is hardwired into the glove box light power and grounded to the car. This allows me to leave my phone plugged in out of sight in the glove box and if I get a call or make an outgoing call I just use the touchscreen on the GPS (also has speakers in the GPS so it is a stand alone...no need to wire to the stereo).

The GPS power cord that came with it is plugged into the power source in the glove box, then routed behind the dash and out through the instrument cluster.

So, no unsightly cords, no visible auxiliary power sources to run power cords to that are visible and I can put my phone away in the glove box while driving, so no tickets!

A couple of pictures:
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe - RIP
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10,014 Posts
Nice setup Greg. If you go with in on the drivers side outboard like you wanted PC, then you do not need to go through the cluster like he did. You can route it along the outside trim and down very cleanly.

But Greg's is perfect for an inboard mount like his. I like that it has BT too!
 

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1987 420 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah I like "You can route it along the outside trim and down very cleanly." Sounds simple enough! Once it's done, ill have pictures. Thanks gentlemen!


"
Nice setup Greg. If you go with in on the drivers side outboard like you wanted PC, then you do not need to go through the cluster like he did. You can route it along the outside trim and down very cleanly.

But Greg's is perfect for an inboard mount like his. I like that it has BT too!
 

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'84 500 SEC Euro 040 black Lorinser 2005 sl500
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Yeah I like "You can route it along the outside trim and down very cleanly." Sounds simple enough! Once it's done, ill have pictures. Thanks gentlemen!


"
Unfortunately, your power cable will not be long enough to reach from the glove box to the drivers left side of the dash. On my Garmi, the power cord is also the live traffic converter, so if I were to mess with the cord it would defeat the live traffic function, which is why I bought it in the first place.

If you place the power block close enough to the drivers door to have the cord reach, you will need to place the power receptacle under the dash which would defeat the simplicity of plugging in your phone for a charge and hiding cables which is why I elected to place the power receptacles in the glove box.

I also tried to figure out which direction felt natural for me to look at the nav and decided it was to the center of the dash since that is the general direction I look while driving anyway.
 

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1987 420 SEL
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good thought! I'm gonna copy the way you did it then. Lol!

Unfortunately, your power cable will not be long enough to reach from the glove box to the drivers left side of the dash. On my Garmi, the power cord is also the live traffic converter, so if I were to mess with the cord it would defeat the live traffic function, which is why I bought it in the first place.

If you place the power block close enough to the drivers door to have the cord reach, you will need to place the power receptacle under the dash which would defeat the simplicity of plugging in your phone for a charge and hiding cables which is why I elected to place the power receptacles in the glove box.

I also tried to figure out which direction felt natural for me to look at the nav and decided it was to the center of the dash since that is the general direction I look while driving anyway.
 

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1986/1990 W126
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17,720 Posts
These all look cool. Makes me want one.. I also really like Mustangs install in a recent post, but its quite involved cos he's removed the console and is designing a new bit, having re-sited the stichgear etc. Very cool though.
 

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'89 420SEL, '93 300E and '07 Hyu Santa Fe
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567 Posts
lol....seems like someone thought about this even before me. i just bought sun visor of ebay without insert for same idea. But my gps is gonna much more then this. it will allow me to see videos from ipod/iphone or usb/sd, bluetooth, backup camera....pretty much everything that in-dash units does but at small size and price($150).

Mercedes Benz w126 driver side sun visor w/o insert: eBay Motors (item 350208976605 end time Oct-27-10 11:08:58 PDT)

Check pioneer F500Bt and you guys will know what i'm talking about.

Then again I might go with MBinIL's route to not come into eyes of cops for watching videos. Before any one says anything it's must for me in socal traffic, i keep my distance from other cars and eyes are more on roads then on screen...it just gives me company in 20 mile 1&1/2 hour drive.
 
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