Firewall Penetration - for power lead, antenna, cable, etc from under the dash to the engine compartment?

Ultraspaz

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Has anyone run a power lead, antenna, cable, or whatever from under the dash to the engine compartment yet? I spent about 4 hours crawling around under the dash and engine compartment trying to find a safe place to drill. I'm still not confident of my picks yet to start drilling

If you have, did you go through the passenger or drivers firewall? Do you have a rough description of where you drilled? Pictures? Any problems, regrets, flames?





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BobH

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Has anyone run a power lead, antenna, cable, or whatever from under the dash to the engine compartment yet? I spent about 4 hours crawling around under the dash and engine compartment trying to find a safe place to drill. I'm still not confident of my picks yet to start drilling

If you have, did you go through the passenger or drivers firewall? Do you have a rough description of where you drilled? Pictures? Any problems, regrets, flames?
I almost never drill through the fire wall. It's much easier to go just inside either front fender and find a way through the body to under the dash. I watched a install video a while back on youtube. He was installing an Icom ID-5100 in a new Ford Edge. Looked the same as on my Escape. I'm going to be installing that same radio in my BL when I get it. Still looking at antenna mounting spots. I hope the built in 4g modem will work ok with my open spot 3 for D-star work. Good Luck an 73.
 

NavyBOFH

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I usually pierce and then seal an existing grommet - no drilling for me.

So far my only thoughts for an antenna is an NMO to the roof. Anything else seems too difficult right now. A fender mount is going to need fabrication, and the Rigid ditch light mounts are not out yet so I cannot use them for an antenna... or even see how they'd install to fabricate something. Only other option is a glass-mount antenna - which the privacy tint on the rear glass might make that impossible.

As for power... apparently the Bronco Sport's fuse panel has 3 accessory fuses specifically for expansion - and are all ignition switched. IIRC at least one is 10A, and the others are 5A... so my plan is 50w radio to the 10A, dash cam and other accessories to the other 5A.

As for radio mounting itself - I am going to make a Hail Mary and hope I can mount the deck and speaker to the passenger seat bracket the same way as my friend did in his F150. That way my only drilling/routing will be the NMO in the roof and all cabling is internal to the passenger compartment.
 

BobH

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I usually pierce and then seal an existing grommet - no drilling for me.

So far my only thoughts for an antenna is an NMO to the roof. Anything else seems too difficult right now. A fender mount is going to need fabrication, and the Rigid ditch light mounts are not out yet so I cannot use them for an antenna... or even see how they'd install to fabricate something. Only other option is a glass-mount antenna - which the privacy tint on the rear glass might make that impossible.

As for power... apparently the Bronco Sport's fuse panel has 3 accessory fuses specifically for expansion - and are all ignition switched. IIRC at least one is 10A, and the others are 5A... so my plan is 50w radio to the 10A, dash cam and other accessories to the other 5A.

As for radio mounting itself - I am going to make a Hail Mary and hope I can mount the deck and speaker to the passenger seat bracket the same way as my friend did in his F150. That way my only drilling/routing will be the NMO in the roof and all cabling is internal to the passenger compartment.
One pretty good spot is the grommet that the door wiring goes through. Used that many times when installing radios for customers in the past. I like the idea of the NMO in the roof, but have to find out how far the moon roof opens up. I also am considering a lip mount just below the glass on the lift gate. there is a small section that looks flat enough to do it. Too much plastic on the body side of the liftgate to fabricate some kind of mount there.

I need to put battery power to the radio as I will be using it as a cross band repeater when we are down in the gullys and canyons hiking and agate hunting.

I need to know how much space there is between the under seat vent and the bottom of the seat when it is all the way down. Would like to mount the body of the ID-5100 there. I am looking at fabricating a bent aluminum flat bar that will pop into place in the cubby under the radio to hold the control head. I need to see if that is high enough for the GPS to lock on. The 5100 has a lot of audio so not a problem with that. Can use a blue tooth earpiece if I need too.
 

NavyBOFH

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One pretty good spot is the grommet that the door wiring goes through. Used that many times when installing radios for customers in the past. I like the idea of the NMO in the roof, but have to find out how far the moon roof opens up. I also am considering a lip mount just below the glass on the lift gate. there is a small section that looks flat enough to do it. Too much plastic on the body side of the liftgate to fabricate some kind of mount there.

I need to put battery power to the radio as I will be using it as a cross band repeater when we are down in the gullys and canyons hiking and agate hunting.

I need to know how much space there is between the under seat vent and the bottom of the seat when it is all the way down. Would like to mount the body of the ID-5100 there. I am looking at fabricating a bent aluminum flat bar that will pop into place in the cubby under the radio to hold the control head. I need to see if that is high enough for the GPS to lock on. The 5100 has a lot of audio so not a problem with that. Can use a blue tooth earpiece if I need too.
There is a good 4" or so (by my uncalibrated eyeball) under the passenger seat on mine - but I have the manual seats. I am looking at placing a single Motorola XTL5000 50w deck which should make it easy.

If you need battery power... you're gonna have to pierce it through the firewall like I did in my Chevy. I had a 100w version of my Motorola in the truck with a "vehicle repeater" for essentially cross-band use.

For a roof NMO - you'd want it 2-3' away from the sharkfin - which might make it tight with the moon roof unless you mount them towards the back corners of the roof by the roof rails. That is really why I wanted to mount it like a ditch light off the rain tray - or a fender mount like I did with my friend's F150: Drill fender 2018 F150 to install antenna - YouTube
 
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Ultraspaz

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I usually pierce and then seal an existing grommet - no drilling for me.

So far my only thoughts for an antenna is an NMO to the roof. Anything else seems too difficult right now. A fender mount is going to need fabrication, and the Rigid ditch light mounts are not out yet so I cannot use them for an antenna... or even see how they'd install to fabricate something. Only other option is a glass-mount antenna - which the privacy tint on the rear glass might make that impossible.

As for power... apparently the Bronco Sport's fuse panel has 3 accessory fuses specifically for expansion - and are all ignition switched. IIRC at least one is 10A, and the others are 5A... so my plan is 50w radio to the 10A, dash cam and other accessories to the other 5A.

As for radio mounting itself - I am going to make a Hail Mary and hope I can mount the deck and speaker to the passenger seat bracket the same way as my friend did in his F150. That way my only drilling/routing will be the NMO in the roof and all cabling is internal to the passenger compartment.
I considered going through an existing grommet but wasn't sure how well it could be sealed. Lots of silicone sealant I assume. I'll have to check the door route.

Definitely prefer not to drill. But it would make things easier for current and any future mods I want to do.

I asked the accessory guy at my dealer about it and he didn't like the idea of drilling any holes anywhere. He thought any drilling of the metal might cause corrosion problems regardless what kind of prevention is used. As a caveat I live in a state where cars are covered in salt during the winter.
 

NavyBOFH

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I considered going through an existing grommet but wasn't sure how well it could be sealed. Lots of silicone sealant I assume. I'll have to check the door route.

Definitely prefer not to drill. But it would make things easier for current and any future mods I want to do.

I asked the accessory guy at my dealer about it and he didn't like the idea of drilling any holes anywhere. He thought any drilling of the metal might cause corrosion problems regardless what kind of prevention is used. As a caveat I live in a state where cars are covered in salt during the winter.
The trick I’ve used is to pull the wire through the grommet and a few inches from my final pull - I throw a bead of black RTV sealant on the wire and pull it the rest of the way so the bead I just ran is in the grommet - sealing it in.

The trick works perfectly as long as you never want to pull the wire back out! In my case I did it with an 8GA power run which I fused inside the compartment then for my electronics and added a Blue Sea breaker under the hood as a main disconnect.
 

JamesT

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I usually pierce and then seal an existing grommet - no drilling for me.

So far my only thoughts for an antenna is an NMO to the roof. Anything else seems too difficult right now. A fender mount is going to need fabrication, and the Rigid ditch light mounts are not out yet so I cannot use them for an antenna... or even see how they'd install to fabricate something. Only other option is a glass-mount antenna - which the privacy tint on the rear glass might make that impossible.

As for power... apparently the Bronco Sport's fuse panel has 3 accessory fuses specifically for expansion - and are all ignition switched. IIRC at least one is 10A, and the others are 5A... so my plan is 50w radio to the 10A, dash cam and other accessories to the other 5A.

As for radio mounting itself - I am going to make a Hail Mary and hope I can mount the deck and speaker to the passenger seat bracket the same way as my friend did in his F150. That way my only drilling/routing will be the NMO in the roof and all cabling is internal to the passenger compartment.
I would like not to mount an antenna on the roof if we can figure out another way... it would be nice to keep the roof clear to be able to have a basket or the gofast super lite tent. Hope there is another idea..
 

NavyBOFH

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I would like not to mount an antenna on the roof if we can figure out another way... it would be nice to keep the roof clear to be able to have a basket or the gofast super lite tent. Hope there is another idea..
That is my concern as well which is why a roof NMO hasn’t been done yet for me. The only way I could do a roof one would be with an expensive Sti-Co or Panorama antenna that replaces the AM/FM shark fin with an LMR antenna... but that usually causes more issues as well trying to retain full infotainment usage.
 

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I had someone install my dash cam . He found a live wire (when the vehicle is off ) directly in front of the drivers feet by the pedals. no problems Using it after a week. It is a very low draw application. Might be a bad idea for higher power applications.
 

JamesT

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That is my concern as well which is why a roof NMO hasn’t been done yet for me. The only way I could do a roof one would be with an expensive Sti-Co or Panorama antenna that replaces the AM/FM shark fin with an LMR antenna... but that usually causes more issues as well trying to retain full infotainment usage.
I know we have seen Ford's diagram about antennas. Are we certain that a lip mount like the Diamond K400S-NMO is not an option? Would cause too much interference with the vehicle?
 

NavyBOFH

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I know we have seen Ford's diagram about antennas. Are we certain that a lip mount like the Diamond K400S-NMO is not an option? Would cause too much interference with the vehicle?
Depends on where you want to mount it. I was looking at the trunk/hatch as my mounting point - but the flat spot on top pivots in a way where any antenna mounted up there would be an issue with opening the hatch. On the vertical flats... not an issue. But then you need to use a Diamond/Comet mount that articulates to get the antenna where it needs to be.

On the hood - same issue. The spots that would be "safe" to clamp a mount to would require an articulating mount to aim the antenna properly. My issue is that I just plain-out do not like those mounts.

On the other hand - I would LOVE to see someone fabricate a fender mount bracket pre-bent to the hood/fender angles where I can just throw an NMO mount on it and route the coax into the cabin.
 

JamesT

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Depends on where you want to mount it. I was looking at the trunk/hatch as my mounting point - but the flat spot on top pivots in a way where any antenna mounted up there would be an issue with opening the hatch. On the vertical flats... not an issue. But then you need to use a Diamond/Comet mount that articulates to get the antenna where it needs to be.

On the hood - same issue. The spots that would be "safe" to clamp a mount to would require an articulating mount to aim the antenna properly. My issue is that I just plain-out do not like those mounts.

On the other hand - I would LOVE to see someone fabricate a fender mount bracket pre-bent to the hood/fender angles where I can just throw an NMO mount on it and route the coax into the cabin.
I’d buy that
 

NavyBOFH

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Looking at the Rigid A-pillar mounts for the F150 Raptor - I am wondering if that is how the Bronco Sport mounts are going to work... whenever they come out. Essentially Rigid has the user pull the rain cowl off under the hood, locate the fender bolt at the top, and bolt a bracket to it.

At that point - I wonder if I can bang together a mount that would work from such a location and throw an NMO on it. Would be a perfect spot on the passenger side out of sight and still far enough away from the A-pillar to hopefully reduce near-field interference.
 

JamesT

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Looking at the Rigid A-pillar mounts for the F150 Raptor - I am wondering if that is how the Bronco Sport mounts are going to work... whenever they come out. Essentially Rigid has the user pull the rain cowl off under the hood, locate the fender bolt at the top, and bolt a bracket to it.

At that point - I wonder if I can bang together a mount that would work from such a location and throw an NMO on it. Would be a perfect spot on the passenger side out of sight and still far enough away from the A-pillar to hopefully reduce near-field interference.
i'm liking that concept. I found this install video for the F150 Raptor which i think is what you are describing. Once the Rigid mounts come out.
 
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