Finally finished - for now. The 9500ix has been installed for a while but I just swapped out the Escort DirectWire kit for a lower-profile one from Safe-n-Sound.com. I bought the LI a couple of months back and had been running it via a homemade switchbox and with the head wires running through the door jamb.
Last week I had to take the S in for its 5k service and paid the tech a few extra bucks to run the wires through the ECM box on the firewall. It's the best way to access the interior without any threat of water intrusion, and no cutting is required. However it's a bit tricky so figured I'd better get the expert to do so. This and some advice from the forum is the only outside help I needed.
My overriding factor in installation is I didn't want to have to drill anything. A call to my parts department taught me there aren't any good panels I can easily replace without spending big bucks. Therefore, my setup works like this - the 9500ix is hardwired to the fusebox with a separate alert LED, power LED, and mute switch. I kept the power LED hidden since I don't want a full time blue light. The alert LED is clipped behind a piece of trim above the steering column (left side). The mute switch is stuck to the left side of the column, out of view.
In the above picture the left LED (under tach) is the 9500 alert, the right LED (under speedo) is the LI alert lamp. The LI control box is 3M taped under the dash. The two front heads (rear to come soon) run behind the dash, out the ECM box, along the edge of the engine compartment and to the front grill.
Gotta love not needing a front plate. Gotta hate NC speeding laws. The power switch is connected to the headlight washer fuse via a remote switchbox. The remote fob is velcro'd under my armrest for quick access to turn on and off. The power switch stays on at all times but can be viewed by looking under the dash. I can enable/kill the LI simply by curling my finger under the armrest - no need to raise it and it stays completely out of view.
Finally, my piece de resistance is my custom wired alert lamp. Thanks to the forum members, I took a standard 3v green LED and wired it to a 270 ohm resistor. This was connected to the 12v power lead (downstream of the remote switch), and the negative end was connected to the radio mute lead of the LI. When an alert sounds the radio lead is grounded inside the LI control box. This in turn completes the green LED circuit and illuminates the lamp. No alert=no light=no annoying green light in the cockpit. Pretty slick, thanks for the advice. This LED is clipped to the right side of the trim above the steering column (see pic above), as a mirror image of the 9500 alert lamp.
I'm pretty happy with it now. Add-ons to come include LI read sensors, a custom made housing for the PA/JAM switch in the center console, and if I can verify the light switch is separate from the surrounding trim, dash mounted alert lamps and power switch. I hope you like it. Here are some gratuitous shots of my car from last fall.
My wife's car is the next project - although she doesn't know it yet...
Now - most important - I need to get it tested! Raleigh/Durham area anyone??