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TM-D710A install for '00 Lincoln Towncar Executive

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bReed11091

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Nov 26, 2005
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116
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Battle Creek, MI
Today was a nice day, so I decided to take some pictures of the Kenwood TM-D710A radio I installed a few weeks ago. Because of my schedule, this install took about 3 days to complete, with a total of about 6 hours of labor. After the experience I gained doing this, I'm sure that I could do it within 4 hours on one day. I'll start at the trunk.

Here is where I decided to install the main unit of the radio. After making sure there were no wired in the way and I wouldn't hit the gas tank, I drilled three holes so I could screw in the mount. I would have drilled four holes, but in order for the radio to fit properly I needed the leave the mount a little flexible at one end. It does seem pretty secure with only three.


This is the cabling from the main unit into the vehicle. Some of that on the far left is for factory installed equipment (CD changer and tail lights).


You can see where I ran the cables. I couldn't really get them under the first piece of paneling. This car is not really made to be taken apart and fitted with custom equipment.


From the driver's side front, you can see where the mic cable (blue) runs under the driver seat. The other cable along the paneling is the power cable. I left that part sticking out so I could have easy access to the fuses that are there, however, I may decide to put that under the paneling sometime soon so I stop hitting it with my feet when I get in and out of my car.


A close up of the section of power cable with the fuse. This is just a generic replacement power cable. It was longer than the OEM power cable that came with the Kenwood TM-D710A, and the cables weren't split apart.


Cables near the driver's side front door hinge. White cable is for the remote head, and the other cable is the power cable.


This is where the power cable enters the engine compartment. Unfortunately, it is also where the generic power cable ran short, so I put a connector on the end of that and attached the supplied OEM Kenwood cable.


Power cable connected to the battery


Dual-band antenna with a homemade magnet mount. The mount uses a lid from an aluminum can, hard drive magnets, an NMO connector (PL-259 at radio end), and a protector on the bottom. The magnets are epoxied on there. I didn't make this myself, but it does work really well. The antenna is just some cheap $12 NMO antenna that I bought from the same guy selling the magnet mount. It does ok, but I plan on using a different antenna and mount for spring storm spotting.


The remote head is just stuck on the dash with the adhesive tape that came with the mobile mounting bracket. I chose this spot rather than down lower so I wouldn't have to drill holes in my dash, and I also plan on getting the GPS-710 unit from Green Light Labs for APRS usage. In order for that to obtain and maintain a strong lock and accurate signal, I'll need the remote head to be on the dash.


I don't have a good place to mount the mic right now, so I just have it setting inside the center console. It sets nicely inside the center of a roll of painters tape, so no objects accidentally key it up.


This is a picture of one of the speakers I have. Because the built-in speaker is built within the main unit, I had to buy external speakers. Fortunately, I found two really nice generic speakers that I bought for $5 each at the Cherryland Hamfest in Traverse City, MI (same place where I bought the antenna and mount).


Other view of the one of the generic speakers.


Here's the car itself. Freshly washed, waxed, and Armor Alled.


Hope you enjoy, and maybe somebody can use this as information for installing a similar radio in a similar vehicle!

Bronson
 
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colby4601

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Very nice. I miss my old old 95 Lincoln. Those were the good ole days with that CB antenna sittin' a mile high.
 

Astro25

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Personally I wouldn't have put the fuses on the floor right where there's high foot traffic activity. If they wear out after a while and a positive lead touches the body, you've got a no good situation. Looming the wires in the engine compartment wouldn't be such a bad idea either.
 

crazyboy

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Split loom, wire ties, and a 3/4" hole are your friends!
 

bReed11091

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Battle Creek, MI
Thanks for the ideas. I think I have a wire loom somewhere around here that's not being used and is just the perfect length for the engine compartment. I would also really like to drill a hole in the trunk for a permanent NMO mount, but I don't want to do that for a few reasons: one being I don't want to hurt the resale value, and two being that the carpeting on the trunk lid (and all throughout the trunk, for that matter) uses those one-way plastic retainers, and it is a royal pain to remove those things. I got really light-headed when I drilled the holes in the trunk for the radio mount, but now that I've done that and it's worked out great I can do it again feeling confident about drilling as long as it's safe. Resale value was running through my mind when I did this install, otherwise I would have done things differently. I really wish I had a less valuable car, then I would have drilled for an NMO mount, put the main unit in a central location within the vehicle so I wouldn't have to run extension cables for the remote head and mic, and perm-mounted the remote head so it would be more secure.

Thanks again!

Bronson
 
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kd0ezq

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Victoria, Kansas
Ok...My two cents....

First, YOUR CAR IS NOT APPRECIATING IN VALUE...DRILL A HOLE!

Second...There is a neat item in that car, called CARPET...use it to hide your wires...the panel you cant remove in the back, you dont need to...Just pull the one in front of it up, and tuck the wires under the carpet and under that 3" piece of plastic to hide the wires...

Third...DRILL A HOLE and put the power wires through a grommet into the engine compartment! Or at least post pics of what happens when they short out cause the door catches them or the hood hinge, or something else.

I understand it took you 3 days and 6 hours, but another day and a couple more hours, and it would be a nice nice nice install, that is a Lincoln, a ride like that deserves an install that has totally hidden wires and makes people say "WOW, How did he do that!

Just my opinion...
 

commscanaus

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Jan 27, 2006
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492
Location
Melbourne VK
I agree with the other posters on this one.

A very nice car- a lover of big saloons myself, and there is the odd Lincoln on the roads over here.
It is worthy of a nice install- and you have certainly laid the groundwork.

Please route that DC cable through the firewall and use some sheathed or split loomed cable whilst you are at it.
The DC cable should use the most direct path to the battery- not around the engine bay.

Car batteries can produce some SERIOUS current- enough to easily weld stuff and start nasty fires. Also don't forget that an engine bay can get hot as heck- and contains everything under the sun that is flammable.
Also get those fuse holders off the floor pan- any water gets in there and you have another potential for disaster.
Put the fuses in the trunk at the radio end- and certainly have fuses at the battery like you have done already.
Computerized engine management systems don't like voltage spikes or surges either.

If the wiring is difficult for you- then an Auto Electrician will do it for a few dollars.

Sorry to lecture- but it makes me cringe to see wires going through doors and around engines.

Otherwise you have done a nice neat job.

Regards, Commscanaus.
 

n8emr

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Oct 20, 2005
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The layout looks nice but your power distribution needs lots of work. DONT run power between body panels. Get under the dash and run it correctly. Also the fuse near the rear seat, move it back and hide it under the trim.. As other suggest go with an NMO mount for the antenna.
 

WD4JKH

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Apr 9, 2006
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Location
Peach State
Don't let the macho meanies bully you around - if you don't want to drill a hole for the antenna, don't drill drill one. If YOU are happy with your results then that's all that matters.

However, you should work on your wiring a bit. Running a power wire around the door makes me cringe...
 

KC0CSE

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Oct 13, 2006
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KANSAS CITY NORTH....
ya thats the way I look at it too....please your self......looks good to me....dont let them tear you down..thats there life...they dont have one.....
 

bReed11091

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Nov 26, 2005
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Battle Creek, MI
Thanks again for the input. Despite of the recommendations to drill a hole for the antenna, I won't be doing that anytime soon. Like I said before, resale value was on my mind when I did this install, mainly because I want to get rid of this vehicle within the next 3 years.

Unfortunately, the weather has turned around and it looks like it will still be bad for a little while, but here is my to-do list when it gets better outside:

1. Route the power cable through the firewall
2. Relocate the fuses that are on the floor
3. Place the wiring that is in the engine inside a wire loom
4. Use a split wire loom for the cables in the trunk
5. Hide the visible cables under the paneling and carpet

I'll post more pics when I get this done.
 

jg08857

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Oct 27, 2004
Messages
40
Location
Canon City, CO
Maybe consider a trunk lip mount, if you don't want to drill any holes?

And I agree with the majority on the power distribution issues. Resale value won't matter after an electrical short or fire claims your vehicle. If you want your install to last, then be sure to do it right.
 

W9WSS

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Dec 19, 2002
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548
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Westmont, DuPage County, IL USA
Thanks again for the input. Despite of the recommendations to drill a hole for the antenna, I won't be doing that anytime soon. Like I said before, resale value was on my mind when I did this install, mainly because I want to get rid of this vehicle within the next 3 years.
I've been driving and owning cars since 1969, and I have NEVER had a car lose it's resale value because of antenna mounts. Matter of fact, I sold two cars to a guy over a period of eight years and he WANTS my used car(s) because of the pre-run antenna mounts and power distribution.

Ask any car salesman who will assess the resale value of a used car. If the car is in resaleable condition, a few antenna mounts or rubber hole plugs aren't going to make much difference if ANY. It's NEVER had an effect for me, and heck, I refuse to sacrifice performance for vanity.
 
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