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dbv    1

Well, it's a done deal.   My Suzuki LX died two weeks ago, with stretched timing chain and tons of wear in the motor despite religious oil changes, so I went shopping.

Last night I scored a 2017 connect with 000024 miles on the clock as a "used" car, with full warranty. :)

I did look at the transit, but I decded that employing a stewardess for the passengers and keeping jets from landing on the roof was just too much trouble.

I've already more than doubled the mileage, just getting it home!


One question:  How hard is it to add factory remote start?   It wasn't enough to turn me off from the deal, but that's one feature I've wanted for years, and I'm not willing to turn my vehicles over to the amateur hour installers that abound with their kludgy after market devices.


I'm also a ham, KC6ETE, -9 on APRS as soon as I figure out power and antenna cable routing. I'd love to hear from other hams about their installs.

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Welcome to the group.

You said "factory remote start". If it does not have to be "factory" you might get a after market group like a car audio place to do it for under 200.00. The locals here in Chesapeake, VA advertise lower prices but they always find ways to get the final figure to a point where it makes sense for them to open the garage door.

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dbv    1


I will look around, but the last couple shops didn't impress me.  I'm an engineer, but I don't always have time or energy to play automotive contortionist anymore.  When I was looking into mounting the radio in the XL, I went to car toys with a specific request, Ground and positive routed up to the glovebox, with #4 wires on both, with both lines fused at the battery.  The tech tried hard to convince me I didn't need the ground lead, that a #8 would be fine, and then came the capper, he insisted that they don't stock wire on spools, I would have to buy some number of "kits" and use the stock lengths of wire.  I also saw them using Scotchlock 557 connectors which I gave up on DECADES ago because they go intermittent over time.   So I left, and did the work myself.


Plans for the new ride, sort of in order:

LED interior lights. (need to know sizes and if they need anything special to not annoy the car computer)

Position to mount radio chassis where power and space are available (FTM-350).

Position to mount radio control head where I can see it while driving and the mic cord doesn't get in the way.

Routing for cable between control head and radio chassis.

NMO antenna mounts in roof and coax routing to radio chassis.

Aftermarket predictive backup camera and integration into the existing radio (sync)

Remote start (before winter certainly)


With this somewhat taller ride, I need to find out what is the typical minimum clearance for parking garages.  My expedition had a Diamond SG7900 on, but I always had to watch for low hanging trees, and drivethrus were frequently an issue.  The antenna folds down, but is still about 8 inches above the roof when folded.


I had a nice driving day yesterday, finishing up with about 350 miles on the clock.  Both pump/calculator and the car computer tell me I'm getting 25.9 MPG average.  That fits well with the claimed city/hwy mileage.  Nice performance on climbs, not a sports car, but I have no doubts that when I make my next road trip it won't be struggling on the continental divide.

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I was an ET in the Navy and taught electrical engineering in the university, so I know where-from you speak.

My sense is that while the customer may not realize it, he probably does not want the shop to have any spools of wire for fear their techs might try to use it. I think the reason why they use the scotchlocks is that they can be installed without the use of sharp instruments.

The people there (as you imply) are really just kit installers. (At least that is the case at most of the shops here.)

My antenna hits the open garage door but that is about the only problem I have (Mine are 2011 and 2012 models), but I don't do Ham radio. Heck I almost never listen to the FM radio in the darned trucks.

I love LEDs. In this day and age, they are the only option that makes any sense.


Edited by Doc Hoy

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Just a thought.  You may want to visit SuperBrightLeds  at https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/led-accent-lighting/

They specialize in automotive led's.  I've used them for a couple of years now and they are a good company to do business with.  Good luck


Edited by Loafer

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