eHam Forums => Mobile Ham => Topic started by: N3AE on December 16, 2001, 12:04:26 PM

Title: '97 Escort - Best way through fire wall
Post by: N3AE on December 16, 2001, 12:04:26 PM

I'm trying to install a FT-8100R in my 1997 Escort.  Wondering if anyone has found a good way to run the power wiring.  I could not find any accessable "extra" holes or grommets in the firewall, but maybe I'm overlooking something.



Title: '97 Escort - Best way through fire wall
Post by: KC0LOE on December 16, 2001, 08:37:55 PM
In the newer cars your going to have to drill.  In my beretta, I just ran the wires through the door jamb and up the fender to the battery.  I would take the under dash apart on the side the battery is on.  If you can't find a hole, drill a hole to run your wires through.  Remember to put a grommet in, so your wires don't chafe.  People I got to college with say my car looks like an under cover cop car with all of the antennas :).  Hope this helps you out

Title: '97 Escort - Best way through fire wall
Post by: K3AN on December 30, 2001, 02:10:41 PM
Before you go to the trouble, why not just try using the lighter receptacle to power the radio?

I have an IC-2100 in my '99 Honda Accord, and the radio works fine using this power source. I get full 45 watts out in the high power setting, there's no noise or QRM on receive, and there's no interference to any of the car's systems. The antenna is a 5/8 wave mag mount on the trunk lid.

I have had 2M radios in an '85 Pontiac 6000, '91 Ford Taurus, and '95 Olds Ciera in the past, used the lighter socket in every case, and had no trouble whatsoever.

Title: '97 Escort - Best way through fire wall
Post by: N3AE on January 01, 2002, 06:31:49 PM
I thought about using the lighter plug.  In fact, that's what I use now with an old 10w Kenwood rig.  Since the 8100R can run 50w, I thought I'd "do it right" and wire to the battery terminals.


Title: '97 Escort - Best way through fire wall
Post by: KC8RYW on January 02, 2002, 09:11:53 PM
I would suggest that you DO NOT use the lighter outlet to power a mobile.

In the mind of a car audio installer (think: booming-bass rap) would tell you to use your own 12 gauge or better power run. Two reasons:

1. You know the wire isn't tapped anywhere along the way, and that the wire is of good quality. Less to go wrong. Also, lessens the risk of the mystery "smoldering wire" when you turn max-out your car's sound system, or key up the rig for a long time.

2. The ground actually goes to a good ground! Sometimes car makers like to use the chassis as the sole ground connection. Sure, this works for a tail-light. But, for any electronics, it can cause noticeable noise. Copper makes a much better conductor then your chassis. Honest.

My car (1991 Toyota Tercel 4-door) provides power to the OEM stereo and lighter together on the same #20 wire. Remember, #20 is rated for a max of 3 amps. I'm sure a decent rig would take more then that.

Be smart; "do it right, do it once."
I'm starting to sound like my grandfather... hi hi


Title: '97 Escort - Best way through fire wall
Post by: KL7IPV on January 05, 2002, 02:20:15 AM
I have installed radios in my vehicles since 1966 and NEVER used a cigarette lighter. It just isn't a smart idea. I have run the FUSED power cables ( pos and neg ) from the battery thru the fender well and thru the door space into the interior thru the side of the passenger compartment. BEFORE you do that, check to see where the computer is located FIRST. If you run the leads near or alongside a computer or the leads for a computer you could be courting disaster in the form of a dead 'puter or a voided warranty. Get a manual from the manufacturer that outlines the requirements for radio installations and/or cell phones and follow their guidelines. ALWAYS fuse the power leads at the battery connections. I used resetable circuit breakers that reset themselves so they would trip if needed but reset after a time. That saved me buying fuses and also getting under the hood to reset them. They will trip in a serious lightning storm and are worth the cost to have them. Do it right the first time, do it for your safety and have fun thereafter. Good luck.

Title: '97 Escort - Best way through fire wall
Post by: N3AE on March 23, 2002, 09:25:53 PM
I thougt I'd post the solution for anyone that read this thread.

My Escort is an automatic.  The solution is to find the access hole intended to carry the clutch pedal linkage through the firewall.  In an automatic, this access is covered by a small metal plate which can be seen from the engine compartment.  There's a knock-out in the plastic/acoustic liner in the passanger compartment where you'd expect the clutch pedal linkage to be.  

I removed the knock-out and drilled a small hole through the access plate, being carefull to avoid the wire harness nearby on the engine side of the firewall.

De-burr the hole, add a grommet and the job is done.