Installing Dual Band Icom IC-208H ham radio in the 2006 Monte Carlo

Chat on the road, monitoring and safety. Gotta have a transceiver in the car. Since this car is the first 'all mine' car in a while (since having a company truck..) I am having fun personalizing it and not worrying about others driving it.

Son says the setup makes it look like some kind of undercover narc car.

First step was to route power to the radio location - under the passenger seat. I could have went from the battery straight to the mount point, but I wanted to plan for the future. Linear amp, giant subs, who knows. I'm running some 4 gauge wire from the battery all the way to the trunk.

12 volts at the battery post of the fuse block, added my own 30A fuse.

12v at the fuse block

Fusebox covered. My power lead follows the rest of the bundle .  .
Fuse box covered

 . . and in the fender.

CLICK FOR UPDATE - I found the grommet in the firewall and re-routed the power wire.  

wire routing in fender

Wire enters cabin through the door wiring grommet. I took this route instead of through a floor grommet. Might regret it, I think the right speaker is picking up alternator noise.
Wire Routed through door grommet

Power wire is high & dry here. Runs down behind fuse panel and along rocker
Power into cabin

Easy route along the rocker
Cable run along rocker

Under the harness
Cable run along rocker

This was my halfway point
Cable run along rocker 3

To get to the trunk without pinching the wire the back seat cushion needs to come out. The strip with the baby seat symbols pulls out.
Back Seat

Need an 18mm socket for this .
18mm socket

Two bolts hold the seat in. The front edge snaps into the floor.
Remove lower seat cushion bolts

Seat out. Yecch! Who was eating crackers back there?
Seat cushion removed

At least there is some found money with the cracker crumbs.

This is the way to the trunk. There is no grommets or other obstructions. Push the wires up to the trunk.
Free path to the trunk

Dress up the wire
Follow the harness

Put the insulation back on.
Follow the harness

Cable ties secure the power wire.
Dress the wiring

Back in the trunk, the wire follows the harness.
Power entering the trunk

I am going to use the XM Radio bracket as a fuse point. Here the power wire shadows the harness.
dressing wires in the trunk

Here is the fuse panel and ground block.
Fuse block and ground block

Powerfeed to the fuse panel
Power to fuse block

Secure the wire.
Dressing wires to fuse block

Testing the install. We have power to the trunk!
Testing power

Now to get down to radio stuff. The antenna is a Larson dual band gain antenna with a trunk lip mount. In order to keep the antenna from hitting the glass, it is mounted of to the side.
Antenna with trunk open

Antenna clears the glass.
Antenna with trunk open

Follow the 3rd brake light wires to get to the trunk without pinching the coax or creating leaks to the trunk.Antenna mount

This grommet was big enough to let the cable through
Antenna coax trough grommet

Coax to the cabin

Back inside, solder the connector on.
Antenna Coax Connector

Power cable to the radio. The fuse block accepts smaller gauge wire with an adaptor.
Radio power leads

Seen it before? Along the wire harness, down under the back seat.
Back to the cabin area

Dress the wiring with cable ties.
Power to the radio

Replace the trunk liner. Sano!
Replace all liners.

Back where the dirt and cracker crumbs are, the power lead and coax emerge.
Under the back seat

I diverted the power and coax to the rocker panel path to keep the power wire short as possible. Really, it would not reach if I went the other way along the harness.
Under rocker trim

The old needle nose plier in the seat track. Keeps the seat all the way forward.
Needlenose in the seat track


Remove the seat bolt cover, the coax and power leads go to the radio mount pont.
Coax cable in feed

Power lead for the radio.
Power cable feed

Radio bracket. Yes, it's nerve wracking to drill into a floor.
radio bracket on floor

Bolt in the radio
Tighten radio mounts

Attach the power and antenna coax
Power & Coax attached

Smoke test. The control panel can be used on the radio face or remote mounted.
smoke test

The remote cable was another where I had to take shortcuts to conserve cable length. Here it goes beneath the carpet under a seat track trim piece.
control wire routing

Heads up by the kick panel
Control wire up behind fuse panel

Routed behind the fuse panel
Control wire

Tied once to this massive metal thing that is behind a snap off end panel.
Control wire up under dash

Cable snakes around the windshield pillar and up.
snaking around pillar trim

Exits at the center over the mirror.
resting on the mirror

Another smoke test. It works!
resting on the mirror

Eventual mounting point, under the overhead console.
Eventual location

For now, this will do :)
This will do for now

A trip to the non-auto/non ham radio store of choice, Office Depot, comes up with a low cost bracket. A business card holder in mesh metal. Cost : 99 cent
Business Card Holder

Flatten the back.
Bend the back flat

I'm going to use magnets from the junk box to hold the control head to the bracket.
Magnet on bracket

Control head will get these two cabinet latch plates attached with 3M double sided foam tape.
Cabinet Latches

For now there is no cutting or drilling or gluing. This homebrew bracket wedges in between the overhead console and the headliner.
Overhead install

Connect control cable and this part is done.
Control cable

 Control head in easy view, and reachable.
Control head driver view

Speaker lead follows the control wire.
Speaker wire from under seat

Speaker and it's wire under the dash
Speaker wire under padding

No, not going to drill here. We'll do the Velcro-Fly.
Velcro Fly

Speaker stuck to the heater box.
Velcro to the heater box

Sound comes out here.
Sound comes out here

73 de K6AYB

Update - November 2011

The fender-to-kick panel route is slapdash, I admit. Lets find the right way.

There is a grommet in the passenger side kick panel.  
Kick panel - gommet location

If you try poking it with a screwdriver or such, the grommet will feel impassable without fear of hitting the wire harness. Fear not, there is a thick rubber block that comes right out.
Grommet block 

Take the block out, poke the boot with a screwdriver, push the wire in. Put block back on both wires (or drill a new hole if you are installing anything bigger than 4 gauge wire). 
Wire in grommet done

Using this route, I changed the path to the center, between the seat and the console. Route to trunk is same. You see lots of dirty messiness when you take the seat out..
Look ma, no seat

Back in the engine bay, the cable comes out below the alternator. I removed the coolant overflow bottle to make the job easier.
Power wire at firewall

A few cable ties to dress it up
Dressed wire

And reconnected to fuse.
12v connection at fuse

I still need to move power tap to battery post and install a noise filter. Moving the power wire out of the rocker panel reduced a lot of interference but some remains.

Back to the cabin routing part