Originally Posted by W4KRR
Old thread I know, but I just acquired a 2012 Escape (I also dislike the 2013 redesign!)
Anyway, a few antenna questions: Did you install the antennas yourself? If so, how did you run the coax? Did you remove or drop the headliner, or just fish the cable through?
Mine has the moonroof, so that is an added restriction.
I've got a VHF CDM-1550 in my 2009 hybrid (same body style as yours). It has a permanent mount NMO antenna located in the center of the roof, and has the moon roof.
Keeping the antenna out of the way of the moon roof retraction path is not hard to do. If you hook a tape measure over the very back edge of the roof, where it meets the rear hatch, measure forward 25 inches. That is your forward limit. At about 28 inches, there is a lateral roof brace that needs to be avoided. Forward of the roof brace is the moon roof zone. My NMO is centered at 24.5 inches from the rear edge, and centered in the left/right plane.
For routing the coaxial cable, I removed the rear child seat restraints near the rear of the roof near the back hatch, as well as the rear dome light. I think there may have been some other clips, too. Once I had those out of the way, I was able to drop the rear part of the headliner and get enough room to get my hand up to the underside of the antenna.
I routed the coax over to the driver side of the vehicle. I used gaffers tape (think duct tape on steroids) to secure the coax to keep it from moving/vibrating/rattling. Once over to the "C" pillar (the one behind the rear door), I had to fish the cable over the TOP of the side curtain airbag. It is critical to get it over the top, between the roof skin and the air bag. Once that was done, I was able to drop the coax down behind the trim covering the internal C pillar to the cable trough that runs under the door sill. From there I ran the coax forward to about the center of the drivers seat. From there I was able to fish the coax under the drivers seat and to the center console.
I haven't had any issues with this antenna install, other than a few scraped knuckles during the work. It's been up there since early 2009. I don't use the roof rack, so that isn't an issue. The 18 inch VHF whip does tap the garage door when it's driven in, and the occasional parking garage, but no issues. With the proximity to the lateral roof brace, it's actually a pretty strong mount.
Hardest part of the install was running the power feed up the battery. Getting through the firewall on the drivers side was a bit of a task.
I was able to power the CDM-1550 directly off the battery, as well as find an ignition switched source under the center console for the CDM's ignition switch lead. The RF deck is located in the very bottom part of the center console, under the arm rest, and under the removable bin. The control head is mounted next to the shifter:
The bracket for the control head is bolted down with # 10 screws about 2 inches long over the small depression next to the shifter. The control cable is run through a hole drilled in the bottom under neath the bracket. Mic hanger is next to the nav screen. The stock speaker on the CDM-1550 head is plenty loud enough to be heard.
Let me know if you have any specific questions on the install. I can snap some more pictures if needed.