Installing an iPhone Mount

As stated elsewhere on this website, The Navigation System is pretty useless.

In addition, updates seem hard to get and when you do get them invariable they are outdated.

Here in Florida, where sub-divisions spring up every 3 hours or so, and updated navigation system is vital if you do any kind of traveling. It might make the difference between getting where you want to go or ending up in a canal with pissed off alligators.

Thatís why, in todayís environment, one's smartphone is generally used for directions. The primary reason is that your smartphone's maps are ALWAYS updated. (or as least they should be).

The goal then was to install a smartphone holder in my Aston Martin. No small feat, as there is virtually nowhere to install the holder other that clipping it onto one of the HVAC vents on the dashboard.

For me, blocking one of the HVAC vents was unacceptable. The challenge was to find another solution.

I reluctantly decided to use the CD slot as it was essentially unused.

The process starts by purchasing a holder made specifically for mounting in the CD slot and compatible with my iphone. I purchased model MCM3 made by MPOW which seemed to meet both my criteriaís. (see photograph below)

Opening the package reveled the contents. (Photograph below)

The part that slides into the CD opening (Black arrow)

The "Ball" of the device that allows adjustability and connects the two parts together. (Blue arrow)

The part that holds the phone (Green arrow)

The button thatís pressed to release the phone from the holder. (Yellow arrow)

Finally a ring that's not attached to the ball of the CD mount? REALLY? (Red arrow)

We have a problem. The ring should have been installed BEHIND the ball of the CD mount at manufacture. I decided to do something drastic and read the instructions.

The instructions states (photograph below) that the ring (Red arrow) should be FORCED over the ball (Green arrow) in order to assembly the mount. I had to read this again because I thought they were joking.

You donít have to be a mechanical engineer to know that this is a bad idea. But I decided to play along. I forced the ring over the ball and assembled both parts of the mount. (Photographs below)

As expected, the ball popped out of the ring under light tightening of the ring. This was useless. I decided to write the manufacture demanding a refund and pointing out the fatal design flaw in their product.

Then I thought, why don't I just fix the damm thing.

First I put on the rubber pads that cushion the CD mount attachment "feet" that enters the CD unit (Red arrow photograph below).

The problem with the ring staying behind the ball is that the ring's rear opening is too large, itís essentially the same diameter as the ball itís supposed to stay behind. I sourced a copper washer from my parts bin to fit in the bottom of the ring. The idea was to reduce the rings rear opening so that the ball cannot pull through under tightening. (Photograph below)

The outside diameter of the washer was too large; it would not fit inside the ring. A combination of the grinding wheel and a flat file fixed that problem. (Photographs below)

I then cut the copper washer at one point of its diameter. This would allow me to install it behind the ball. (photographs below)

Twisting the washer at the opening and then squeezing with a pair of pliers allowed me to install the washer behind the ball and in front of the ring. (Photographs below)

Initial fitment revealed that the inside diameter of the modified washer was too small. The ball was now located too far away from the threads of the phone's holder. Another modification was called for. (Photograph below)

Using a combination of a round file and a grinding Dremel attachment the inside diameter of the washer was enlarged.

With some patience, the finished product should look like the photograph below.

In order to get the ball even deeper into its receptacle. I decided to enlarge the part on the phone's holder that the ball screws into. I started with a 1/2 inch drill bit and finished it with the Dremel. (Photograph below)

The ball would now enter the holder enough that the threads could be tightened adequately, with the modified copper washer preventing the ball from exiting the back of the ring. (Photographs below)

Now that I was sure the holder was properly modified; I inserted the "Feet" part into the CD slot in the Vantage.

In order for the phone holder to stay in CD slot, the middle part of the device is raised against the top of the CD slot by tightening the screw. (Photograph below) Use common sense here. Do not over tighten. Just tighten enough to prevent the device from falling out of the CD slot. There will be some slight up and down play, however if you can't pull the device from the CD slot you are OK. Note that if the rubber pads are attached to the "Feet" properly, they are the only part of the device that contacts the CD slot.

Photographs below show the device attached to the CD slot with the phone holder removed and then installed.

Photographs below show my iPhone attached to device. This is not an ideal solution, but, as the case were technology has bypassed an original design, a compromise.

The good news is that the ball allows significant adjustability so the phone can be positioned in an easy to read position without blocking any of the HVAC vents. Although the first picture does not show it, the phone can move up and be positioned vertically so the gearshift lever is unencumbered.

The great news is that unit is very easy to remove from the CD slot.



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