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#1
For those of you who have read my previous threads. I am in the process of installing a bearcat 980 in my 2012 gmc canyon.
I wanted to post an up date. This past weekend I installed the radio and power source. I have yet to install the antenna (waiting for a day off, plus researching options). The installation looks good and the voltage looks fine. I will post pictures later on today.

Back to the antenna. I am contemplating a roof install. I currently have all the parts (larsen nmo mount, larsen nmo27, and a bracket just in case). The local shop that quoted me $50 originally now says that the $50 is without the labor change. Plus they are backed up for a few months. So I am now looking at either doing the roof installation my self or just using my fender bracket for now.

I have a crew cab so the dome light is probably centered. Should I attempt it myself?

One other option is, I see a guy in the next neighborhood has a van in his driveway for a wireless communications company. Do you think it would be out of place to ask if he could do the work on the side, being it is a company vehicle. How much should I offer to pay?
Also I don't know if he has no experience with vehicle installs. I don't want him to just say yes and mess something up.
 
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#4
Pictures look good. I'd recommend getting a short piece of split loom tubing from your local auto parts store to put over the power and antenna cable. It'll hide it, protect it, and generally look better.

If the neighbor is an employee of a 2 way radio shop, then it wouldn't hurt to ask him. I've done NMO installs for free before. You might offer him a cold six pack of his favorite adult type beverage, or $50 to cover his time. Trouble is, asking an employee to do it opens the shop up for some liability if things don't go right, so be prepared for a negative answer. Or, they'll happily do it and you'll make a new friend.

The hole saw you linked to will work, but it doesn't have the stop that the NMO saws have. It's OK if you are -really- careful when you drill the hole.
I'm sure someone will chime in with some comment about not using the "correct" hole saw, but if you can control the depth, and it makes a round 3/4" diameter hole, then it'll work.
Personally, having tried hardware store hole saws, chassis punches and "official" NMO hole saws, I'd spend the extra money and get yourself one of these: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-hs34-1647.html
That will reduce the chances of making a truck damaging mistake. The extra cost is worth it, in my opion. Now, if I was on the proverbial desert island and for some bizarre reason I needed to install an NMO mount, I would not hesitate to use the hardware store hole saw to get the job done. I'd just make darn sure I didn't go too deep.
 
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#5
OK, I don't have access to a crew cab at the moment, but here's the dome light hole of a 2007 Colorado extended cab. Bottom of the photo is towards the back of the cab. Coax runs to the drivers side and down the back pillar of the cab. From there it runs forward under the door sill to a point adjacent to the drivers seat. The RF decks for the radios are mounted under the seat:


Here's the roof shot. The VHF whip in the center is mounted at the dome light position:
 
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#6
Pictures look good. I'd recommend getting a short piece of split loom tubing from your local auto parts store to put over the power and antenna cable. It'll hide it, protect it, and generally look better.

If the neighbor is an employee of a 2 way radio shop, then it wouldn't hurt to ask him. I've done NMO installs for free before. You might offer him a cold six pack of his favorite adult type beverage, or $50 to cover his time. Trouble is, asking an employee to do it opens the shop up for some liability if things don't go right, so be prepared for a negative answer. Or, they'll happily do it and you'll make a new friend.

The hole saw you linked to will work, but it doesn't have the stop that the NMO saws have. It's OK if you are -really- careful when you drill the hole.
I'm sure someone will chime in with some comment about not using the "correct" hole saw, but if you can control the depth, and it makes a round 3/4" diameter hole, then it'll work.
Personally, having tried hardware store hole saws, chassis punches and "official" NMO hole saws, I'd spend the extra money and get yourself one of these: http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-hs34-1647.html
That will reduce the chances of making a truck damaging mistake. The extra cost is worth it, in my opion. Now, if I was on the proverbial desert island and for some bizarre reason I needed to install an NMO mount, I would not hesitate to use the hardware store hole saw to get the job done. I'd just make darn sure I didn't go too deep.
OK thanks. I bought some loom, I am going to put it on when I finish it up. I already put some on the power wire in the engine and it looks pretty good, I will add a picture later to the album linked above. I used one of the center hump consoles, that have the teeth on the edges to hold it in place. So far the radio hasn't shifted at all. Even on some sharp turns.

I will look at the proper saw. If I can't get in contact with the other guy.

Generally speaking, if I do it my self. Would the dome light be a good location. I took the dome light off. There is nothing there except black painted metal would that be the actual roof, or is there wires sandwiched between the actual roof and the metal l see.

Is it pretty straight forward. Drill the hole stick the mount through and run the wires. I have side air bags in the pillars. how would I route it after I get past the headliner. Can the routing be done with out removing the headliner?
 
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#7
OK, I don't have access to a crew cab at the moment, but here's the dome light hole of a 2007 Colorado extended cab. Bottom of the photo is towards the back of the cab. Coax runs to the drivers side and down the back pillar of the cab. From there it runs forward under the door sill to a point adjacent to the drivers seat. The RF decks for the radios are mounted under the seat:


Here's the roof shot. The VHF whip in the center is mounted at the dome light position:
Thanks I didn't see this before I posted the other post.
So that is the actual roof above the dome light. It is painted to match the body. You ran the coax to the rear of the truck. Is that because of the side air bags.
 
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#8
Correct. The roof is single skin.

What may be different on the crew cab is that there may be a stiffening brace going crosswise. That'll be fairly evident if it's there. You don't want to drill through that.

I routed to the rear of the cab since it was an extended cab with the suicide doors. The options were either front pillar or rear pillar. I chose the rear since I already had two coax cables run down there. I could have easily run it to the front if I'd wanted.
The air bag modules are pretty obvious if you pull the roof liner down a little bit. You should be able to do that from just above the drivers side door. You'll see a metal tube or a piece of fabric. You want to avoid the fabric. If you do have to cross it, you go between it and the roof skin. The metal tubes are not an issue as they just pipe the gas from the gas generator to the bag.

Since your truck is a crew cab, you should be able to come down the pillar behind the drivers seat if you wanted.
 
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#9
The underside of the light looks just like that. There is a brace a few inches behind the opening. How hard is it to take the front pillar cover off?
I went ahead and ordered the official saw from the link.
Do I have to put something on the o-ring that's between the roof and the mount? Dielectric grease?
 
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#12
I added some pictures of the wiring from the battery to the inside of the cab. To the original link above. Let me know how it looks. Don't mind the wire ties. They are only temporary till I finish everything up. In case I have to change the routing or add more wires. I used heat shrink terminals on the wires plus electrical tape. So they should be weather resistant.
There was a stud on the positive terminal already, I believe it was for an accessory. I used the ground on the chassis you can kind of see it in the one picture. The ground screw was from the factory it has a harness attached with a few other ground wires. Should that be good, or will there be engine noise? should I put it to a separate screw? Is it ok to ground the radio chassis to the same point or should that be separated also?
 
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#13
The underside of the light looks just like that. There is a brace a few inches behind the opening. How hard is it to take the front pillar cover off?
I went ahead and ordered the official saw from the link.
Do I have to put something on the o-ring that's between the roof and the mount? Dielectric grease?
The A pillar cover just pulls off towards the steering wheel. Start at the top and pull.

I think you'll feel more comfortable with the proper saw.
Put down a layer of masking tape where you are going to drill. Lay it out a couple of inches in each direction. When you are measuring where to drill you can make marks on the tape. When you are done drilling, shop vac up all the chips and pull the tape up. Make sure you put a drop cloth or towel down on the inside to catch the chips and screaming hot metal slug that'll fall inside on the seats.
Drill carefully, not too much pressure. Let the saw do the work.

The NMO mount should have come with a little tube of grease to use on the O-ring. If it didn't, use a bit of dielectric grease. It's just to help it slide when tightening the mount, and add to the waterproof-ness.
The mount grounds from the underside of the roof skin, so the grease won't impede a proper connection.
 
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#14
I added some pictures of the wiring from the battery to the inside of the cab. To the original link above. Let me know how it looks. Don't mind the wire ties. They are only temporary till I finish everything up. In case I have to change the routing or add more wires. I used heat shrink terminals on the wires plus electrical tape. So they should be weather resistant.
There was a stud on the positive terminal already, I believe it was for an accessory. I used the ground on the chassis you can kind of see it in the one picture. The ground screw was from the factory it has a harness attached with a few other ground wires. Should that be good, or will there be engine noise? should I put it to a separate screw? Is it ok to ground the radio chassis to the same point or should that be separated also?
Looks good. That was where I tied down the positive lead in my trucks. I'd recommend routing the wire along next to the heavy positive lead, behind the battery and then to the firewall. This will keep it out of the way of the battery.

I think that is the same grounding point I used, if it's the one just behind the battery. I found attaching the negative power lead direct to the battery picked up a lot of alternator whine. Not something you want on an AM/SSB CB radio.

Looks pretty good. I'd recommend using black zip ties to secure everything under the hood. When you get it all dressed in the wiring will sort of disappear in with everything else under the hood. Done right, the cable job should be nearly invisible.
Also, add a touch of RTV type sealant to the point where the wire enters the rubber boot on the firewall. This will help ensure it stays sealed and keeps water out.

Looks really good so far. Let us know when you get the antenna mounted. That's going to be a nice setup.
 
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#15
I'll add that grounding is very important with radios. It can help reduce unwanted noise.
Relying on the ground and the end of the coax cable (antenna mount) or the ground at the end of a long power lead, isn't always ideal.
I've had good luck grounding the chassis of the radio to a nearby body ground. You can back out one of the chassis screws and use a length of wire with fork terminals on the end. Look behind the dash for a place you can ground.
Might not make a huge difference, but I've done it for the last 10 years or so and never had an issue.
 
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#16
Looks good. That was where I tied down the positive lead in my trucks. I'd recommend routing the wire along next to the heavy positive lead, behind the battery and then to the firewall. This will keep it out of the way of the battery.

I think that is the same grounding point I used, if it's the one just behind the battery. I found attaching the negative power lead direct to the battery picked up a lot of alternator whine. Not something you want on an AM/SSB CB radio.

Looks pretty good. I'd recommend using black zip ties to secure everything under the hood. When you get it all dressed in the wiring will sort of disappear in with everything else under the hood. Done right, the cable job should be nearly invisible.
Also, add a touch of RTV type sealant to the point where the wire enters the rubber boot on the firewall. This will help ensure it stays sealed and keeps water out.

Looks really good so far. Let us know when you get the antenna mounted. That's going to be a nice setup.
thanks. I do have rtv sealant, and zip ties. I am hoping to finish everything up within the next few days.
 
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#17
I'll add that grounding is very important with radios. It can help reduce unwanted noise.
Relying on the ground and the end of the coax cable (antenna mount) or the ground at the end of a long power lead, isn't always ideal.
I've had good luck grounding the chassis of the radio to a nearby body ground. You can back out one of the chassis screws and use a length of wire with fork terminals on the end. Look behind the dash for a place you can ground.
Might not make a huge difference, but I've done it for the last 10 years or so and never had an issue.
Thanks for the help.
I remembered you mentioned grounding the radio in my other thread. I would not of known that it was needed. I grounded to one of the screws on back of the radio.
 
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#19
With regards to the nmo mount. The roof seems thin am I going to have a problem with the roof deforming or the mount ripping out with that big of a antenna.
No. The roof will flex a bit when you are drilling, but that's OK. The cross brace near the mount will help.

The NMO-27 isn't any taller than the NMO-150 VHF antennas I've seen run.

True, truck sheet metal doesn't seem to be as thick as it used to be.

Pulling out won't be an issue.
 
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