XM Radio Installation? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

XM Radio Installation?

Jothcra

Active Member
Joined
January 26, 2008
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
City, State
Georgia
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Mountaineer
We liked the XM radio in our Honda Odyssey so much we purchased an aftermarket unit for our Explorer. I was wondering if it would be possible to mount the unit in the center console (where the trip computer is on Limited models). Anyone have any experience with this? I don't like the idea of using a suction cup on the windshield (looks tacky) or clipping it to the dashboard.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.











Whoops! Thought I put that in. It's an Audiovox XPress. Their website is in Flash, so there's no URL I can give you. But here's the dimensions:
Height 2.8 inches
Width 4.4 inches
Depth 1.08 inches

Also, if anyone can provide info on where it would be best to run the antenna cable, that would be great. I was thinking of pulling up the carpet along the driver's side door sill, and running it with that large wire bundle to the rear, then up through the bundle that goes to the high-mount brake light and out the top of the truck through the liftgate/roof seam.
 






I am not familiar with that unit. How does it inter-phase with the HU?
 






It comes with a cassette adaptor for people who can't/don't want to cut into their factory system. There is also the option of an FM transmitter. I'm probably going to go the route of the cassette adaptor.
 






There are a few makers of vehicle specific mounts for things like XM, GPS etc. I just installed one today in my 98 malibu. Circuit City had some mounts on clearance sale for about $3 each, I picked one up for a 05 cherokee, drilled one extra hole and it works perfectly. In comparison the one specifically for my car is about $40 I think. Still would have paid it to get the pro install look. When I had it in my ex I just used the vent mount.

The one I got today was by a company called bracketron.
http://www.bracketron.com/main/index.php?model=30&submit=Go&make=Ford&catid=2&pid=11

The other company is called Pro-Fit, it's called the VSM, they look very similar and perhaps come from the same place but I cant be sure.

http://www.pro-fit-intl.com/

Edit: I just snapped this so you can see a real install using the bracketron, they have more hole options than the VSM. I think the VSM only has 4 holes so if the mount included with your express is slightly different it will be harder to use.
DSC00326.JPG
 






Thanks for the info! I am aware that you can mount it there, but I would prefer not to. Here's a quick photoshop of what I would like my install to look like.

exploderso9.jpg


I think it would fit quite well into the space and look somewhat close to professional. I could drill a small hole in the console and run the cassette adaptor cord like you did as well. I would not have thought to route the cord out through the panel joint.
 






Depending on the style of that unit you could also use fiberglass to mold the pocket for that location. I was going to do something similar in the ex just never got around to it before the trans gave out. My unit mounts to a dock port of sorts so it would have been easy to mold into a console. I will be getting a new head sooner or later, but rather than getting integrated XM I'm going to keep this, I have the home kit as well as the portable XM with am, fm and cd, so I like the many options I have with only one subscription.
 






Seeing how the unit can be used at home as well, I'm looking for an installation that looks professional, but allows me to remove the reciever if need be without tearing up my truck. I think putting it in the console is the best compromise.
 













I thought about putting my Sirius Starbase in one of those pockets, but I kinda like tossing junk in them, and I wanted a bit more stealth install.

Mine is pry going in the ashtray sometime this summer when I get ambitious...
 






Talked to my dad, and the project's a go! I've done some exploratory surgery on the ex, and I've determined how i'm going to run the antenna wire. I'm going to drill a small hole in the top pocket of the console, and run the wire through that, then I'll run it under the kick panel, then down to the floor and along the main wiring bus going to the rear, then up through the interior quarter panel and following the wire for the high-mount brake light. I'll then drill a small hole where that wire meets the outside body of the truck, run the antenna wire through that, and put the antenna about 4-5" from the rear hatch dead center in the middle. Then i'll use some silicon rubber caulk to make a watertight seal where I drilled out the needed hole, and the installation will be complete. I'll be putting up pictures and a detailed write-up along the way. I don't want to mess anything up, so I'll adhere to the old adage, measure twice, cut once.

If all goes well, i'll try to start tomorrow afternoon. I'm off to gather my materials and do a dry-run to make sure everything fits. My plan for now is to get the wiring hooked up and set, then I'll be building a hinged platform for the reciever to rest on. This will allow me to continue to store items behind the reciever (and allow me to remove it if I am worried about theft).
 






i dont know why i didnt think of this when i first posted, but you can fabricate something for your center console like i did for my dvd player. here is a pic.....

by the way, you can mount your antenna on your dash and run the wire under the dash, that way there will be no drilling at all. the signal goes through glass like there is nothing there at all. just a thought.
 

Attachments

  • dvd player.jpg
    dvd player.jpg
    98.1 KB · Views: 590






Talked to my dad, and the project's a go! I've done some exploratory surgery on the ex, and I've determined how i'm going to run the antenna wire. I'm going to drill a small hole in the top pocket of the console, and run the wire through that, then I'll run it under the kick panel, then down to the floor and along the main wiring bus going to the rear, then up through the interior quarter panel and following the wire for the high-mount brake light. I'll then drill a small hole where that wire meets the outside body of the truck, run the antenna wire through that, and put the antenna about 4-5" from the rear hatch dead center in the middle. Then i'll use some silicon rubber caulk to make a watertight seal where I drilled out the needed hole, and the installation will be complete. I'll be putting up pictures and a detailed write-up along the way. I don't want to mess anything up, so I'll adhere to the old adage, measure twice, cut once.

If all goes well, i'll try to start tomorrow afternoon. I'm off to gather my materials and do a dry-run to make sure everything fits. My plan for now is to get the wiring hooked up and set, then I'll be building a hinged platform for the reciever to rest on. This will allow me to continue to store items behind the reciever (and allow me to remove it if I am worried about theft).

Looking forward to your write-up. :thumbsup:
 






i dont know why i didnt think of this when i first posted, but you can fabricate something for your center console like i did for my dvd player. here is a pic.....

by the way, you can mount your antenna on your dash and run the wire under the dash, that way there will be no drilling at all. the signal goes through glass like there is nothing there at all. just a thought.

I thought about putting it there, but I wasn't sure the signal would be as good as it should. I'll tell you what though, I'll try both locations, and I'll let you guys know. That sure would save me a lot of trouble and time on this installation. Thanks for the idea!
 






Wow, time got away from me. I finally hooked it up yesterday. Popped the antenna on the dash and ran the wire around the passenger side and under the glovebox to the radio. Unfortunately, the cheap cassette adaptor doesn't work properly. The HU keeps swapping sides of the "tape" and it's annoying. I talked to my dad about it, and he thinks it would be possible to take out the HU, disconnect the stock tape player, and splice the wiring from that into the wiring exiting the XM reciever. I'm not quite sure as to the safety of this procedure, I don't want to invite the blue smoke, as the radio works perfectly otherwise. No one I know seems to be able to answer that question, so I figured one of you guys could shed some light.
 






As for your antenna, you can install it outside under the front cowl and run your lead into the car, or, you can pull the center bezel, unscrew the short duct that runs a/c to the center vent, and rivet a piece of appx 4" by 6" sheet metal to the top, and stick the antenna to that and put it back together. There is no metal above that and it will work just fine. That's where mine is along with my GPS antenna.

You might want to investigate PAC Audio for their solutions. Installer.com also has some SAT radio solutions. The use of a tape adapter or FM modulator is just so archaic these days and is no longer necessary.
 






Not sure about a ford factory radio (guessing that's what you have) but on GM radios there is an override for using those adapters. You would turn off power to the radio, press and hold the "TAPE" button for 5 seconds then release and push in the cassette adapter. This is supposed to tell the radio that it's not a tape but an actual adaptor, so it should stop switching sides. However in my malibu this has about a 50/50 effective rate. Sometimes it works fine other times it starts searching sides. I got frustrated and remedied the problem with a new head unit.
 






Back
Top