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Installing aftermarket GPS in 1999 sedan....

Old 10-30-2009, 04:49 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: alexandria, virginia 22308
Posts: 9
Default Installing aftermarket GPS in 1999 sedan....

Hello, I have been wanting a GPS unit for sometime now, but I do not want to use a take-out unit with a windshield bracket.

So, I was thinking about ways to mount one in the car somewhere. I thought that the small tray area under the radio housing would be a good place to start. I was thinking about fabricating a black plastic trim piece and mounting the GPS to that, and powering it off the cigarette lighter jack somehow.

I have a couple of question first:

1. Would a GPS get a signal way down there under the radio? Is is possible to get an antenna for a GPS unit like a satellite radio antenna?

2. Could I pigtail a second 12V power supply jack to the existing power jack, or would I need to run a new power jack to the fuse box?

Has anyone seen anyone do this, or have other suggestions about how this could be worked out? I saw a RX-8 on another forum where the guy mounted the GPS unit in the center console cup holder.

I guess if none of this works out, I would consider an aftermarket double DIN GPS unit, but I don't really have the money for that right now.
Old 10-30-2009, 08:17 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Miami
Posts: 3,294

You could definitely get that to work, but reception down there may be a problem. Not at all familiar with car hand held GPSs, but most marine models have a jack for an external antenna. So I would bet that you could find at least one model that will work with an external antenna.

What I would do for power is rig up a N Size Power Jack near where you are going to install the unit, and cut off the cig adapter on the GPS power cord and replace it with a N Plug. Now here is the important part,you need to check input voltage rating on the GPS. If it will take 12v-14v then you can wire that jack on the dash directly to the ACC. If it is rated for less than 14v, your going to have to use the cig adapter as a regulator. So what I would do is, wire the output form the original GPS cig adapter to the N jack on the dash you are going to use to power the GPS. Then open up the adapter and solder a pair of wires to the positive and negative wires in the adapter that connect to outer power pins. If they are not colored, the one that goes to the center prong is your positive, and the one that goes to the two outer contacts is your negative. That will give you a nice clean look that is also functional.

Last edited by t00fatt; 10-30-2009 at 08:20 PM.
Old 10-30-2009, 11:17 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: alexandria, virginia 22308
Posts: 9

Thanks for your information. It looks like several of the regular auto GPS units can be fitted with aftermarket external antennas for a fairly cheap price. Does anyone use these or have experience with these:

Now, about the power supply.....couldn't I make a removable faceplate for the whole lower console that would cover the cigarette lighter, then plug a double ended jack into the lighter behind the plate, plug the GPS unit into one jack and then drill a small hole in the side of the faceplate for the other end of the second jack to come through? Then, it would be a slightly flexible jack, like say 3" of cord hanging out, with a wire tie on the inside to prevent it from being pulled out of the faceplate. This way, the entire faceplate, and wiring "harness" could be removed, and the only screw holes to fix if I sell the car to someone who doesn't like my set up would be a few little screw holes in the compartment where I made clips for the faceplate?

I am just thinking out loud here, I have never done this kind of stuff before. I have done at least 8-10 car stereo installs, so I feel comfortable working with this kind of stuff, but not sure exactly how to proceed. My overall goal is to get something that fits tight, works simply and is easy to remove (but not to steal....) when the time comes.
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