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Author Topic: Radio mounting in a '98 Taurus  (Read 382 times)
KC8VTE
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Posts: 2




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« on: March 21, 2005, 04:20:25 PM »

Greetings!

I just purchased a 1998 Ford Taurus LX sedan, and I am facing a question I am sure some of you have solved.

I have seen many issues on here regarding antennas and RFI issues with these vehicles, but my question has to do with the mounting of the radio itself.  Specifically, where on earth should I mount the thing?  The interior of this car is very "organic" - there isn't a semi-flat surface anywhere.

As a technician class license holder, I currently only use 2m while mobile.  The rig I want to mount in the Taurus is a Radio Shack HTX-252.  This is a tiny little thing, but it does not offer a removable face, so preferably it will be mounted somewhere easily within safe usage and reaching distance from the driver's position.

While this is a used car, it is important to me that the mounting be as aesthetically pleasing as possible, and preferably not interfere with the movement and use of the center console.  This is the column-shift variety of Taurus, so it has the center console that looks like bench seats with an armrest, or can be flipped up for cup holders, etc.

The current plan calls for the use of a glass mount antenna.  A compromise at best, I know - I'm skeptical about these antennas, but I have heard good things about them.  The price of the antenna was right, so I'm going to give it a try.

Thanks you all for any suggestions you may have!

~Bryon
 KC8VTE
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2005, 05:07:51 PM »

I had an HF rig installed in a 89 SHO, which isn't any different than the 98 you're driving. I mounted the rig under the AM/FM radio using existing screws. Took all of and hour to install.

As for the antenna, I don't know where you heard "good things" about a 2 meter glass mount from, but someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. What you should do, as about everyone who frequents this forum will tell you, mount a good quality NMO mount in the center of the trunk lid. A Larsen NMO2/70 is a good choice.

BTW, don't get caught up in the gain-game and buy a collinear that won't work as well as the aforementioned and will not look nearly as good.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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KC8VTE
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2005, 07:37:47 PM »

I believe Ford changed the interior layout of the TauruSables in 1996.  The stereo in the newer models is high in the center of the dash, in a common fascia with the climate controls.  This provides for another bit of fun - I'm installing an aftermarket stereo, requiring a $70+ kit as it includes a replacement fascia for the climate controls as well.

Regarding the through glass antenna, perhaps I should define "good things" as "Functional for the local repeaters." I know that it is very much a compromise antenna, and I am very skeptical - but for the $21 it cost me, I figured it was worth the gamble.  I'll let you know how it works out when it gets here.  I don't have very high expectations for it, but it doesn't need to be spectacular.  A co-worker, K8SU, used one for some time until changing vehicles and seemed to have acceptable results.  Thankfully our repeater has great coverage in the areas I regularly travel.

If the through-glass antenna is truly horrid, then the NMO mount that you recommend will most likely be my next plan of attack.  I had considered using a trunk lip type mount, but I'm a bit concerned about the aluminum trunk lid flexing too much at the edge.

~Bryon
KC8VTE
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KB0GUS
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2005, 10:38:51 AM »

I mounted a 2m radio using two screws into the bottom of the ash tray on my 98 taurus... The radio was light enough that it caused no problems.  

When I tried to mount my 857 HF/VHF/UHF to the same spot, it was too heavy and it pulled the ash tray out when I accelerated.   Now I have the radio under the driver's seat with a speaker mounted to the ash tray.  

Again, The light 2m radio worked great just screwed into the ash tray... It looked good and when I removed it, you could not see the holes that were drilled into the bottom.. .

Josh - KB0GUS
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K8LEA
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2005, 10:47:16 AM »

My daughter's got a Taurus of that vintage - everything in the cockpit is round....

Floor shift (automatic), which confuses me, but if she'd let me, I'd just hang something tiny on the far side of the shifter's "console" and let the passenger worry about not hitting it.  (The Yaesu FT1500M is a great candidate.  About the size of a couple packs of 100mm cigarettes, but a bit thicker, and mostly rounded.  Mounts almost dead flat, too, on a strange little flat mount.)

I would _not_ use an on-glass antenna....  I've got one on my '99 Town Car and regret it.  It was the quickest way to do it at the time.  It was quick, but an HT on my belt tends to "hear" better when I get out a ways.

The Taurus had a radio in it at one time - this was some salesman's car - dual exhausts, big (but not SHO) engine, etc.  Crappy gas mileage, too.  Nice bit of heavy wire from the battery to a molex inside.  Kid won't let me hang a radio in it, though....

About the only serious RFI issue might be the cruise control.  Can't say much except that my TC doesn't mind the 50 watt Yaesu at all.

My mom bought my niece the car originally.  When she couldn't take it to College, the other kids decided to give it to my daughter.   You know you've got a problem when the kid is good at "but Officer, you're not filling out that ticket correctly."....

Good luck!

Stu K8LEA
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WB2AZE
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Posts: 21




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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2005, 03:13:11 PM »

My wife has her Alinco 2 meter rig mounted in the car,
just under the dash.  I took it to a place that installs car radios/cb's as I did not want to mess around with any of the car's wiring. I remember reading in QST about someone who really did a large amount of damage on their car by installing it themselves. A professional audio installer mounted the radio and wired it.  For the $60 they charged me and peace of mind it was worth the purchase.

However, the antenna was different, as the trunk lid was not made of any metal that would allow the magnet mount antenna to stick!  It may be aluminum.  So check before mounting your antenna.  She had to settle for a Diamond dual band trunk lip mounted antenna.

73 dave
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