Well folks, I haven't been on the forum in a while, but I've recently been forced into a newer car, so I'm starting all my CM installing all over.
I was in a traffic accident about a month ago, and my 2001 Camry was totaled as a result. No injuries in either vehicle, but I was really sad to see the car go. Just four days before the accident, I'd had all of the struts replaced, new timing belt, new water pump, new sparkplugs and new plugwires installed. I had also just finished the installation of a Wilson cell booster about a week before the crash. I was *really* hoping that the insurance would be willing to repair the car, but apparently it was going to cost too much. Gallery of the accident photos here for anyone interested:
So, after the 2001 Camry was totaled, I needed to get something bought pretty quick, so I ended up buying a 2008 Camry SE, pictured here:
Just last night, I finally got around to hardwiring my Bel STI. Still done on the Blendmount, as before, but the control pod had to find a new home, as my preferred mounting location doesn't exist in this car.
In addition to the radar detector, I've (partially) installed my Wilson cellular booster again. Before, I had it mounted to the dash using the stock mount, positioned immediately to the right of the audio system, but since that location in the new car is an airbag opening, that was out of the question. I ended up getting an Arkon gooseneck that mounts under a seat bolt as a mounting solution, and it will work with the Wilson mount with a little minimal modification. Antenna in use is a Wilson mini dual-band glass mount. The antenna is only about 4" tall, and overall the system makes anywhere from 20-30db of difference on cell signal in my tests, so well worth having.
Still on the list is the CB radio. I decided to make a little upgrade this time, so I retired my Uniden 510 and upgraded to a Uniden 520, which I had Sparky's tune up. All I can say so far is that Sparky's RX alignment really seems to help from my preliminary testing (cigarette lighter plug + mag mount antenna).
This car has what appears will be a nice location for the CB radio - a handy little storage pocket in the console. I've got to do some more checking, but I'm hoping there is enough clearance behind it to dremel out part of the back and mount the radio in such a manner that the door can close to hide it when not in use.
I'm planning on picking up a Larsen NMO27B and having a mount drilled in the trunk lid. Additionally, I've picked up a nifty little (~16") dual-band UHF/VHF HAM antenna from Comet that looks very much like the factory FM antenna on some Corolla and Prius models. Since my car lacks a real radio antenna (uses an in-glass), it doesn't look out of place at all in the location of a Corolla FM antenna on the roof. I tested it out with an NMO magmount base, and performance seemed to be as good as the Diamond antenna I was using on the old car, if not slightly better, so the plan is to have it drilled on the roof soon as well. The HAM radio I use is just a handheld VX-7r, so no fancy installation required for it.
So, there it is so far. As I get the CB done I'll either update or post a new thread. The stereo in the car (JBL factory option) is absolutely horrible, and the car has more rattles and buzzes than a vibrator in a can of BBs, so I'm looking at taking the car to a place by the name of JML audio in St. Louis to get both matters resolved (new speakers/amp + Dynamat everything). It's the sort of stuff I'd normally do for myself, but this car requires fabricating speaker brackets, plus the interior is a real pain to work with. Anyway, since they'll be working in the vicinity anyway, I may have them do the CB while they've got it, but whether by me or them, it'll get done eventually.
Any commentary/suggestions are welcome!