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Thread: My stealthy Escort Passport 8500 Smartcord install

  1. #1
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    My stealthy Escort Passport 8500 Smartcord install

    ...Just in case anybody has the same detector as me...

    I remember seeing a post a while back talking about where they should mount their Smartcord display, and now that I had finally been faced with the same dilemma, I decided to take it apart and make it stealthy.

    I had to take all these pictures with my phone, so ignore the blurriness





    I decided to go with the little pop out panel next to my foglight switch. I'm not sure what even belongs there, but obviously my car isnt equipped with it.



    The remote is quite larger than the small panel I wanted to use, so I took it apart to find that the insides are much smaller, and will actually fit perfectly on that pop out.



    After taking the casing off of the remote, I popped the small panel out and made some marks for where I needed to drill for the mute button and LEDs.



    After the holes were drilled, I decided to use the overlay from the front of the original remote to give it a cleaner look...



    I then lined up the LEDs with their corresponding holes and covered the whole backside of the piece with some high temp hot glue.



    Here's a nice shot of the finished product



    Here's what the panel looks like popped back into the dash piece



    Routing the wires from this location was extremely simple. I had direct access to the back of the radio where I tapped the switched 12v and ground wires for the display, and another quick run of the phone cord up to the detector.



    I just tucked the cord up the pillar and into the headliner to where it pops out to plug into the detector.



    This project took me only an hour (look at the time on the pictures) and made great use of that blank piece on the dash. Hopefully there's someone else on here with the same setup who can appreciate this quick write-up.

    PS anybody need a hardwire cable for the Escort radar detector?
    Last edited by defaz; 03-30-2009 at 04:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    Great job. Love it!!!

  3. #3
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    Dude that kicks ass - very slick job, looks factory! Just too bad you can't hide the radar detector itself better...

  4. #4
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    That is awesome! Right now my remote connection is down by the OBDII plate which isn't the easiest place to get too! I will definately be doing this. Thanks!
    Current Bimmer: '89 E30 DD, '89 E30 Project
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  5. #5
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    radar detectors

    Very nice job on the install. Just a small hi-jack question to you radar guys - I read that the lifespan of the good detectors is only 18 months or less. Is this what you guys are experiencing? btw, I'm very interested in getting a valentine or escort/bel, so trying to decide.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by supark View Post
    Dude that kicks ass - very slick job, looks factory!

    I'll be doing the same with my 8500.

  7. #7
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    I thought about putting my mute button there but decided against it since everytime I went to hit mute (which is quite often with all the false alarms lol) I would have to reach up to the middle of the dash and press a button. too much for me. I just went ahead and put the the 'smartcord box' near my right knee where blacksapphire did since my right hand usually rests there anyway, its only a few inches away to press the button

    very, very clean job with what you did though. very nice.

    same place that I installed mine...
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=733274

    2004 BMW 545i sport: current
    2005 Cadillac Escalade: sold
    2005 LR Range Rover: sold
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  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Just curious, but what is the point of this?
    You can call me Rush.
    1999 528i Sport, 117K, 5K Xtec HIDs
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  10. #10
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    Man, you did a superb job. I totally appreciate your attention to detail. It looks great - thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by VakhariaINC View Post
    Just curious, but what is the point of this?
    there really is no point to the remote display. theres an annoying green 'power on' light, and another red one that flashes when theres an alert, and the most useful part: mute button...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by defaz View Post
    there really is no point to the remote display. theres an annoying green 'power on' light, and another red one that flashes when theres an alert, and the most useful part: mute button...
    Wow..... you said "no point" and "most useful part" in the same statement.

    Yes, the mute button is key. However, it's also more cool/custom than a standard install. If we only did things that had function behind them, we'd have a whole lot less to discuss on here!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by simpson2 View Post
    Very nice job on the install. Just a small hi-jack question to you radar guys - I read that the lifespan of the good detectors is only 18 months or less. Is this what you guys are experiencing? btw, I'm very interested in getting a valentine or escort/bel, so trying to decide.
    My radar detector is well over 4 years old and still catches cops all the time. I had an 8500 that broke on me and then I lost it...I have an old school escort now and it works just as well.

    ---

    Pretty sick. I have my escort hardwired the same way, its just so old I dont have the little display...


    Nice install.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by defaz View Post
    there really is no point to the remote display. theres an annoying green 'power on' light, and another red one that flashes when theres an alert, and the most useful part: mute button...
    I find the remote display rather useful. its much easier to press the mute button there than reach all the way over the dash/up to the rear view mirror to press the button on the actual detector. also when your driving and have the music up pretty loud and cant really hear the beep alert, the (yellow on mine) light that blinks to alert you is very helpful. I think it would suck not to have it...

    2004 BMW 545i sport: current
    2005 Cadillac Escalade: sold
    2005 LR Range Rover: sold
    2006 Infiniti M45 sport: sold
    2001 BMW 540i sport: sold

  15. #15
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    sweet set up but isnt the valentine 1 a better radar/laser?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by drsrt8 View Post
    sweet set up but isnt the valentine 1 a better radar/laser?

    1999 528iT (5-spd manual)- Oxford Green (DD) - 220k and counting!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by defaz View Post
    ...Just in case anybody has the same detector as me...

    I remember seeing a post a while back talking about where they should mount their Smartcord display, and now that I had finally been faced with the same dilemma, I decided to take it apart and make it stealthy.

    I had to take all these pictures with my phone, so ignore the blurriness

    I just tucked the cord up the pillar and into the headliner to where it pops out to plug into the detector.

    This project took me only an hour (look at the time on the pictures) and made great use of that blank piece on the dash. Hopefully there's someone else on here with the same setup who can appreciate this quick write-up.

    PS anybody need a hardwire cable for the Escort radar detector?
    Although I would not go through the trouble of installing the remote display on my V1, I must commend you on your install. It looks really nice and professional. Most of all it does not stick out like it was not meant to be there.

  18. #18
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    Update: I got tired of looking at that extremely bright green "power on" LED, especially at night, so heres what I did...

    I took a small square of the backing from 3M double stick tape (the industrial stuff with the red backing) and wedged it between the green LED and the face of the display panel.



    It just so happened that the red plastic mixed with the green light put off a shockingly stock looking dim orange color that goes with the other dash lights perfectly! Here's a night pic:



    The little dot to the left of the foglight switch is my new "power on" LED.
    Last edited by defaz; 08-09-2007 at 01:49 PM.

  19. #19
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    haha, thats pretty cool. Good stuff!

  20. #20
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    Sir I must say this was "well played" Kudos!

    Another FP5241 Creation
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  21. #21
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    I don't know where you got that impression but i've had the same V1 for 10 years now and it still outperforms the k40's, escorts, bells, etc that my friends have tried almost every year since.

    Valentine will also update your unit to the latest spec for a very modest fee if you want. I've never felt the need to update for the above reason.




    Quote Originally Posted by simpson2 View Post
    Very nice job on the install. Just a small hi-jack question to you radar guys - I read that the lifespan of the good detectors is only 18 months or less. Is this what you guys are experiencing? btw, I'm very interested in getting a valentine or escort/bel, so trying to decide.

  22. #22
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    Sorry to bring up an old thread, but I was searching for ways to hardwire my new escort. What do you guys think of using the ash tray for the remote mute display? I'm trying to think of other ways that look oem besides just that blank!

  23. #23
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    I just did the RX-45 because I wanted full stealth, and I didn't want someone smashing in a window to grab the detector...

  24. #24
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    Whoa. Me likey. Definitely going to work on doing that asap.

  25. #25
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    I like it, just not how the writing is sideways. That's why I was saying the ashtray because all I use that for is change haha

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