Mounting a GPS in the Forester - Page 2 - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-17-2012, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Mounting the GPS - the week after:

In an earlier post, I suggested several alternate mounting methods for a Garmin Nuvi GPS. The one I liked best was using a home-brew 17mm ball (like the unavailable 'Bravo Ball') permanently mounted to the center console. Over the past week, I put 1000+ miles on the vehicle and this installation worked very well. Here's a pic with the GPS in position:


The Pro's:

- The unit is very stable - no vibrations, shakes or coming-unglued driving over Philly's silky smooth streets

- Visible - the GPS was easily visible, but also easy to ignore. It did not distract me from the road

- Compact installation - no moving parts - no clutter

- Doesn't interfere with other vehicle functions

The Con's:

- The unit is very close to the face of the console. You must use an 'angled' USB cable to connect power or your range of movement will be very limited

- You may want the GPS head mounted a few inches higher (see below)

Alternate Mounting position

You could easily mount the ball a few inches higher - see red arrow. It will probably need to be off-center to clear webbing behind the console. The only disadvantage of this is that the protruding 'ball' is higher - a possible risk in a bad accident.


Gadgets I have met

Along the way, I bought two GPS accessories which proved to be very useful. The first is a small "plug" gizmo that mounts in your 12v socket and provides 5v USB power output via a standard USB Type A female socket. It's on the left in the picture below. On eBay, this item was $3.83 delivered, available in a variety of colors. There is a rather bright red LED visible when the power is ON, but, you can rotate the unit so the LED is blocked by the USB cable. The cubby door will close with this gizmo in place - just unplug the USB cable - so it can become a rather permanent part of the vehicle. This item powers the Garmin Nuvi correctly - the GPS boots up in operational mode (ask if you don't understand this).

The other accessory was a replacement GPS cable - "USB 2.0 A Male - Up Angled USB Mini B Male cable 50cm" - $3.80 delivered on eBay (delivered from China - ChenYang Cable). They call this an "Up Angled" cable (not quite sure about the 'up angle' part) - a "Down Angled" cable is also available. They don't call it the inscrutable Orient for nothing. When plugged into the back of the Nuvi, the cable angles downward.

It's about 18" long and makes a very neat uncluttered installation.

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 01:58 PM
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just another idea for portable gps users willing to go fixed- or get another cable for use in other cars. I was following this thread and thinking of trying dash cubby with hardwired. Then while upgrading head unit i decided to go with a din pocket below single din radio and was thinking of using the din pocket with a motorized tray to reveal the gps when in use.

Instead i decided to hardwire to the overhead compartment. i used the bigger of the two - it barely fit but for those with same model or smaller models this works great

[IMG][/IMG]

i had to trim part of the compartment toward the bottom of the gps. As of now Its kinda in the mock up stage but functioning (usable) wedged with blue foam until i have the time to complete a more permanent clean install. I was working to many upgrades to finish all.

I used the normal garmin plug that came with gps that plugs to lighter socket and instead of cutting this cable or purchasing the hardwire type i got this
Amazon.com: RoadPro 12 Volt Socket with Battery Clips: Automotive Amazon.com: RoadPro 12 Volt Socket with Battery Clips: Automotive

i cut off the aligator clips then extended red wire to be able to run from headliner down passenger pillar behind glove box to the backside of lighter socket below climate control(this socket no longer powered). i decided against ever being able to use this socket as having cable dangling near manual stick shift gets annoying fast. Black wire is grounded at overhead compartment. gps cable plugged in to road pro socket wrapped with electrical tape, then shipping foam (no rattling) , wire tied and stuffed into headliner. When gps is needed i push compartment it rotates down / when not needed it remains closed out of site.

more pics in journal, sorry if this semms like highjack but if it weren't for your thread i would still be sticking gps to the windshield.

'08 fsxt 5 MT (mine)
'09 xt 4EAT (hers)
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 04:12 PM
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almost a week and realizing gps in overhead compartement is not the best loction to view screen. mainly because of the angle as the gps seems to close to view and the fit to compartement does not allow me to tilt or angle towards driver position

'08 fsxt 5 MT (mine)
'09 xt 4EAT (hers)
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathnerve View Post
almost a week and realizing gps in overhead compartement is not the best loction to view screen. mainly because of the angle as the gps seems to close to view and the fit to compartement does not allow me to tilt or angle towards driver position
\
Death: I liked your linstallation idea... but thanks for posting the follow-up after use. I don't like driving with those top overhead compartment(s) open.

This reminded me of my first attempt to mount the GPS in the top-of-dash cubby. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But, in use it just didn't work that well - as above, I didn't like driving with that compartment open. And, the 'clutter factor' was off the charts.

After another few weeks of use, I still like my dash mounted ball. I have about given up on finding a single 'Bravo Ball' for sale - may it rain frogs on the Pro-Fit folks. But, I did find another 17mm ball that might work as well or even better - the Arkon GN101.


This ball could be centered and mounted either at the top or bottom of the vent area. I am not sure if the adhesive strip is strong enough, but if you're a strength freak it should be easy enough to drill two small holes in the GN010 base and mount it with screws of some sort, or better yet, screws plus adhesive!
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 10:00 AM
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yeah i decided overhead as i dont think i would have liked the dash cubby open while driving either. I imagine there would be lots of rattling when hitting bumps and rough roads. Using the overhead doesn't impair view of the rearview nor does it cause any rattling noises.

to each's own - I am the type that can handle the look of the overhead compartement open while using gps, over having it mounted in the open wires visable at all times or needing to stop to pull out gps when needed.

the thing about portable gps that bother's me was it being rolled up in the glove compartment avoiding the clutter look when not needed as my situation is different...

I use gps bi-weekly at the most usually when deciding to go off route to avoid traffic.........or to a new job location which changes a few times a year
-then having to stop to pull out gps (adding to fustration)
-waiting for loading maps loosing more valuable time.
-and back to commute having to fight the dangling wires for shifting MT

the solution i use works good for me because i dont like wires being visable epecially when they are in the way . now when i need the gps i pull over or wait till next stop and push on overhead compartement to reveal gps already powered up, select destination and on my way.

the only dislike of overhead compartement is the view of the screen having a slight fadedness as I must be out of the optimum viewing angle similiar to LCD tv the further out of viewing angle the worse the viewing gets. Good thing about this gps is that it speaks loud and clear the direction it wants me to go (including street names w/ distance till turn) so i mostly look at when i am selecting locations..

for those that use portable gps in multiple cars or more visually then audibly -
I do not recommend overhead compartement

it is visable but the colors have that washed look and if you like having gps zoomed out for bigger view of map you may get confused when turning.

hasn't happen to me yet in my car although with my wifes indash kenwood garmin gps over 6" screen i did almost turn onto a 1 way street head on with police car because of two streets being so close together and i was looking at gps instead of listening and looking at the road.

'08 fsxt 5 MT (mine)
'09 xt 4EAT (hers)
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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 12:29 PM
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I pulled the liner out of my dash cubby (below the climate controls) to reveal smooth plastic to which I affixed a Garmin dash mount with the ball pointed up. I still want to hard wire, but for now it's plugged into that socket with the cable neatly behind the Nuvi in the cubby. I lose the use of that socket and the cubby, but all I ever had there was junk and I have a second lighter socket.

It was 10 minutes of work for something that looks pretty good in my opinion. I have a bigger screen Nuvi that almost fills the space and looks like it belongs there.
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 01:34 PM
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^ Any chance you can share a picture would love to see how it looks

'08 fsxt 5 MT (mine)
'09 xt 4EAT (hers)
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 02:12 AM
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After using a windshield mount for the past year I got a new Nuvi 3490LMT and have it mounted on the heater vent. It's a lot easier to view and I can enter commands without having to reach up for it.
Ran an extension from the rear power socket so that I'm able to keep the GPS cord plugged into it permanently and that allows me to have my power inverter always on the front power socket, giving me both AC and USB power up front at the same time.
I should get used to the voice commands so that I can run hands free, but I guess that'll be the next step.
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 02:31 AM
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I don't know if it was somewhere else on this forum or another Subaru forum where I read about (too lazy to go looking at the moment) somebody cooking their GPS that was hard wired into the cubby.

Peter

MY03 XS 5SP White/Metallic Grey "Casper"
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 08:33 AM
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A little late, but I'm in the same boat. Don't want the clutter, and only use GPS on certain occasions, all ready to mount in the sunglasses holder but am finding the bin won't close w/ the gps inside.
I was going to mock fit it with my old Magellan 4250 and then buy a new one w/ traffic & maps to finish, but if my old 4.3" won't fit, the newer one's may not either.
I have an 05, but looks like that overhead may be the same size accross generations, anyone have a gps model # that fits and shuts?
According to my quick research, .7 x 4.8 x 3.2 is my current model's size.

And I am totally fine to dremel down an edge or 3 to make this fit smooth, but saw this post and figured I'd throw a quick question out there.
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 12:10 PM
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I've got mine mounted over my speedometer, I can read the correct MPH or KPH and navigate at the same time. The suction sticks fine on the plastic (so its not permanent). I also did this to my wifes civic.
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-28-2012, 01:05 PM
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^^^^ great idea love it^^^^^^ over the speedo is good I would just need it hardwired somehow. would be nice if cars that come equipped with factory gps would fit them to gauge cluster and keep the audio video entertainment seperate.





spiked_fxt the GPS i fit to overhead is a Garmin nuvi 255 it barely fits, 90* cable causes it to push to far away from the back of compartment. I had to remove some of the foam padding at the point where 90* plug made contact, then i had to remove some of the trim at bottom where sunglasses would sit add a little hairy armpit and it will close.



hairy armpit view mirror

It has been working in this location since my install date (turns on with igniton) without every overheating. maybe to be safe when not using i should shut it down so far so good though. Usually with longer destinatons GPS is in use so campartment is open. Shorter distance compartment closed 30 min max maybe that protects it from overheating

Sunglass compartement works good for me
- zero wires, zero gps related hardware when not in use.
- 1 quick push of the compartement when needed
- no uncoiling or plugging of cable ever needed.
- remains hidden when not in use no need to remove from vehicle

I enjoy this solution so much-- if and when i decide to upgrade gps I would force myself to find one the same size or smaller, or i would custom make an overhead compartment to fit a larger GPS

'08 fsxt 5 MT (mine)
'09 xt 4EAT (hers)

Last edited by deathnerve; 08-28-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 04:30 AM
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I had my Garmin Nuvi cigarette lighter charger semi permanently fitted to a spare supply in my fuse box, by using an external lighter socket attachment. The other end which attaches to the GPS mount, then protrudes about 3 inches between the A pillar and the dash board. I then mount my suction cup low down on the windscreen and voila! When removed, just the little piece of cable protrudes, which I stick into the defrost vent, to hide. Will post pictures.

White, MY2010, Forester XT
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 04:41 PM
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I"m working on this custom bracket that sits in the dash compartment. More pictures to come when I'm done.




Platinum silver 03X AT
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 01:19 PM
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Finally done. sanded down bracket and sprayed it with matte black plastidip









Platinum silver 03X AT

Last edited by flaco1; 09-22-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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