I did not like my Valentine One Radar Detector attached to my vehicles windshield via suction cups.
The ideal solution has been available for some time now. Automotive enthusiasts have long determined that the ideal location for a radar detector was immediately below the existing rearview Mirror, a location that allowed unrestricted visibility, forward and rearward, to the road.
BlendMount seems to have harnessed this idea into a Company which manufactures mirror attachments for a vast number of automobiles.
(BlendMount Mirror mount photographed below courtesy of J28 Design).
After procrastinating for some time I decided now was the time to get my Radar Detector off the windshield and moved to an ideal, permanent location.
This project starts by identifying the Mirror on your car. There was some ambiguity in identifying my Mirror (2005 FX35) on BlendMountís website. I sent a picture of my rearview Mirror to Mark of J28 Design (www.BlendMount.com) who was kind enough to help me identify and order the correct Mirror mount for my vehicle.
The package arrived a few days later. Note that the wiring necessary to power the Radar Detector (MirrorTap) is not included with the mount. That had to be ordered separately (from the same website). I ordered the long MirrorTap wiring because it gave me more flexibility.
In reading the instructions I decided that this install needed to meet my own standards, which meant no flopping wires and or exposed connections.
First, remove the suction cups (red arrow) from the current Radar Detector's mounting bracket. In the photograph below the bracket belongs to a Valentine One radar detector.
Note BlendMountís orientation. Using the screws provided securely bolt the BlendMount to the Radar Detectorís bracket. (red arrow)
Test fit the mount to the detector, making sure the orientation is correct. Note the gasket ring (red arrow) inside the mounting ring. This compensates for a smaller Mirror stem.
Now might be a good time to see if the mount needed the enclosed gasket ring. Note that mine is loose around the Mirror stem, (blue arrow) meaning that I will need the enclosed gasket.
The project starts my removing the wire cover that hides the wires going down the middle of the windshield to the Mirror. The cover snaps off by withdrawing it upward from the base.
Remove the plug from the rear of the Mirror. With the wires now accessible, use a meter to determine the identity of the wires. There are three wires terminated at the plug.
1) Black/Red. 12 volts available at the run position.
2) Black/Grey. Ground
3) Black/White. Constant 12 volts.
You need the ground and 12 volts in the run position wires to power the detector.
Now is a good time to disconnect the battery. Do it now.
In order for this project to meet my requirements, I initially wanted to power the detector from the fuse box below the drivers kick panel. There were two issues. One was the difficulty in removing the sunglass/interior light surround from the roof. I needed access there in order to snake my wires. Another issue. Bringing down another set of wires behind the existing cover on the windshield would not work, there was just not enough room. The decision then was to source the necessary power from the existing wires behind the Mirror. Note that I am not installing an inline fuse here. The Mirror power source is already fused; I see no reason to add another.
Using the MirrorTap wire assembly that was ordered with the BlendMount, determine how much wire you will need to source voltage from the Mirror power wires identified earlier.
Before cutting the MirrorTap wires, I identified the red and black wires inside the sheath as Positive (red) Negative (black) as determined at the wire ends.
After cutting the MirrorTap wires, remove the wire sheath to expose approx. 2 inches of wire. Use the appropriate size heat shrink tubing to seal the end of the wire sheathing. (red arrow)
Remove a small amount of insulation from the ends of the red and black wires. (red arrows)
In order for this project to meet my requirements, the wire connection had to be under the existing sheath. That meant I needed to move the sheath up to expose the wires underneath. Use a hair dryer to heat the sheath.
Once the sheath becomes pliable from the heat, you can move the sheath up to expose approx. 2.5 inches of wire. Keep the wires exposed by using a tie wrap to hold the sheath in position.
Using a razor blade carefully remove a small section of the outer insulation from the Brown/Red (12 volts switchable red arrow) and Brown Grey (Ground blue arrow) wires. (Photographs below)
Wrap the wires from the MirrorTap around the two wires that the insulation have been removed from. Make sure you observe the correct polarity. Solder the connections.
Apply electrical tape to the soldered connections. Use no more than two wraps of the tape to keep the area as small as possible.
Using the hair dryer, heat the outer sheath of the wiring and massage it over the soldered connections and the end of the heat shrink MirrorTap sleeve. If you do it right it should look like the photograph below.
Test fit the assembly to determine wire routing.
Replace wire cover against windshield between the Mirror and headliner.
Take your time on the final installation, wire routing and detector adjustment. Detector should be as close to the bottom of the Mirror as feasible, pointing forward and level with the vehicle parked on a level surface. You donít want wires hanging all over the place. Note that I have routed my wires in a slot between the BlendMount and Mirror stem.
Reconnect ground battery strap.
Test unit. Detector should come on when vehicle is started, and go off when the engine is shut off.
You need to take your time and sweat the details. Expect to spend a couple of hours on this project. When completed, this should look as if this was a factory option from the vehicle's manufacture, not something you cobbled together.
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