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Author Topic: Ford Fusion ... radio friendly?  (Read 7260 times)
K3GM
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« on: September 11, 2011, 06:34:16 PM »

I started looking for a new daily ride.  The Ford Fusion is on the short list, plus I get a supplier discount on it so it's currently is my first choice.  Does anybody have experience running HF, or V/UHF in these vehicles?

If I can take one out alone for a test drive, I plan to slap a Larsen 2/70 mag mount on it and see how it behaves.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 04:24:08 AM by K3GM » Logged
AC4RD
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 04:21:30 AM »

I don't recall where I read it, I think it was a recent issue of QST, in which a ham wrote about how the car he bought had bad noise levels on some VHF frequency he wanted to use.   In his case, the dealer let him trade it back for another car, IIRC.  The author of this piece suggested bringing radios for the bands you want to use from the car, when shopping, to see if one individual car or model was better for your needs than another.  Seemed like good advice to me.

GL!  I wish I had paid attention to this when I bought my last car, but I wasn't active on HF at the time.  The car I bought is fine in every way except S5 noise on 15 meters (probably my favorite band) and above, from the air conditioner.  I really need to work on fixing that before the high bands get better.
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K0BG
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 05:40:36 AM »

Every modern vehicle has some level of RFI. It is generated primarily by the ignition system, followed distantly by the various CPUs, and the buses connecting them together. The Fusion is not an exception.

The bugaboo mentioned in the QST article is the 41st harmonic of the color burst crystal frequency (3.579545 MHz) used in some automotive control units. The result is 146.76134 MHz. If you have a 16/76 repeater in your area, it might cause you some concerns.
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M6GOM
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 02:29:10 PM »

No problems with the European versions of any of the Ford models I've had experience of (Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo) other than some extremely slight injector noise on the TDCi's but we're talking S0 and very feint.

Whether or not the American versions are built to the same EMI standards remains a different story.
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N2SAB
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 05:30:18 PM »

I own a 2010 Ford Fusion Sport. so far I am only running Vhf and Uhf in it and have had no problems other than having to bond the trunk lid. I am running a dual band trunk lip mount.
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K3GM
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 07:28:28 PM »

Thanks, Scott.  i'm going to look at one on Saturday. I plan 2 NMO mounts on the trunk lid.  Good to know about the bonding requirement.
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K3GM
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 06:01:12 PM »

I picked up a Ford Fusion today as planned. During a test drive on Saturday, I performed a simple test by placing a Larsen 2/70 mag mount on the trunk and a radio on the passenger seat.  I made a couple of low power contacts via a local repeater and everything seemed fine.  The trunk lid is nice and flat, and should be an ideal mount location for an NMO mount. The only minor complication will be taking down the trunk liner to access the sheet metal.  There is plenty of space under the rear shelf to mount a transceiver, but I'm still looking for a good spot for the control head, as well as access thru the firewall.  The "bris" aka. punching the hole(s) for the NMO mounts will be done within the next couple of weekends.  I perform the task while the wife looks away.
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N2SAB
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 04:15:53 PM »

congratulations on the purchase. you will find that there are not a lot of companies out there that have the control head mounts. I will dig out the 1 that I found and post it.
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K3GM
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2011, 02:44:33 PM »

I removed the trunk lid liner, and there's less room than I anticipated.  Here's a link to a photo of the underside of it.  The bottom the photo is the hinge side.  Notice that there are 2 layers of sheet metal right in the center of the lid. I've never tried punching thru two layers of sheet metal, but it doesn't seem like a good idea using an NMO mount.  I can access the sheet metal on either side of the web ( off-center mount will look terrible), or mount it rearward towards the back of the lid.  That may look odd there too.  Mounting it dead center on the lid doesn't look possible.
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/2011-09-29_17-18-50_343.jpg
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K3GM
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 04:49:28 AM »

Update:

I picked up an Icom ID-880 D-Star unit over the weekend and began the installation process.  This is a transceiver where the head detatches from the radio body.  As with many new cars, there isn't a lot of places to mount the radio.  I first chose the underside of the parcel shelf, but changed my mind and mounted it on the passenger side of the console.  It's out of the way for the most part, and saves me from employing an extension cable for the mike and speaker.

The Fusion offers a couple of opportunities to route power wires from the cabin thru the firewall and to the battery.  The main bundle of wires from the engine bay fuse box features a large rubber grommet that can be punctured off to the side where a pair of large gauge wires can be pushed thru.  Perhaps the best way to get from the cabin to the battery is thru an unused grommet/plug that is available with an automatic transmission.  It is used only with a manual transmission.  When viewed from the cabin, the grommet is behind the plastic firewall liner which has been preforated with a large oval cutout.  Remove the preforated cover, and the white grommet/plug is clearly visible.  Once thru the firewall, the battery is direcly in front of the grommet, and it's a simple matter of connecting up.  I prefer not to connect directly to the battery in my vehicles, leaving the posts alone and away from corrosion.  Instead I attach to the B+ side of the fuse box.  In the Fusion's case, the B+ connection is "right there" and is very simple to connecto to.

The Ford Fusion a very popular vehicle, and it appears to be a very easy car to install radio gear in.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/control_head.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/radio.jpg
http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/nmo4.jpg
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 05:26:02 AM by K3GM » Logged
K3GM
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2011, 05:33:28 AM »

I completed the installation of the Icom ID-880 in my 2012 Ford Fusion.  As I mentioned above, access to the engine bay was very easy by way of a hole filler plug that's present with the automatic transmission.  The plug is quite large, and will easily allow a half inch diameter hole to be drilled into it.  Here's a picture of it from the interior showing the hole drilled into it:

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/pix2.jpg

The plug is located behind the brake pedal, up under the dash.  From the engine bay, the plug is covered with a foil-faced tar patch, and I found it very difficult to remove.  So I left the plug in place, and drilled the hole from the interior.  I highly recommend removing the battery to get the cable dressed into the engine bay.  Upon replacement, it is necessary for the engine computer to relearn idle settings and transmission shift points.  This is easy to do, but failure to follow the manual instructions will result in hard to impossible starting.  The most difficult part of the job was routing the power cable up and away from the gas and brake pedals, then across the console to the passenger side where the radio is located.  BE SURE THE CABLE IS SECURELY DRESSED AWAY FROM THE PEDALS!!

I decided to mount the control head up on the dash instead of down to the left as previously indicated.  In the final location, I don't have to take my eyes off the road, plus I'm right handed.  I utilized a suction cup camera mount as the stud matched the threaded hole in the mounting plate of the control head. I dressed the control cable under the windshield trim and off to the right.  There was just enough cable to get to the mount location of the radio.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a96/TwoSevenRight/pix3.jpg

In terms of degree of difficulty, this one was a piece of cake to do.  The antenna was easy to mount and run coax, and the usually difficult task of running power thru the firewall was super simple. Underway,the radio is extremely quiet, and appears to be no problem transmitting at full power.

« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 05:35:35 AM by K3GM » Logged
KD7RAT
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 07:06:21 PM »

We just purchased a Ford Fusion.  I enjoyed the info about installing a radio in it.  I plan to install a 2 meter radio in our car.

I have some questions about how you routed the coax from the radio to the trunk mounted antenna? 

The pictures were especially helpful

thanks

kd7rat
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K3GM
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2011, 05:49:38 AM »

After punching and installing the antenna in the trunk lid, I routed the coax along the existing wire bundle, tucked it behind the rear seat cushion, and routed it so it came out directly behind the console.  The rear shell of the console snaps off so the coax can be easily routed under the carpet.  Expect to use a razor blade here and there to cut thru the carpet here and there.  You'll never notice it after it's completed.  I do have a small visible piece of coax.  It's right where it exits from under the rear seat and dives into the carpet.  A short fish tape wil be of big help to route the coax and other wiring.  I used a camera suction mount purchased on eBay to mount the head.  If you have any further questions, I'd be happy to respond.  You can message me as well.
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