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Fitting a radio to VF Calais

Aussieflyer

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Hi all does anyone have any advice for a novice please?

I would like to fit a ham radio to my VF Calais but have no idea how to remove interior trims. The radio has a detachable head unit, speaker and microphone that needs to mounted up front of the cabin whilst the main body of the radio is mounted in the boot - conveniently near the battery and to a boot lid antenna bracket. I need to run three light duty cables from the boot to the front of the center console but I do not want to drill any holes or make any permanent mods to the vehicle. The size of these cables are similar to 2 x telephone extension cables plus one speaker cable. Perhaps the wires could run under the rear carpet then under the center console and pop out at the front. I want to utilize that compartment at the front of the console, where the accessory power socket is, to sit the radio head unit. I'm open to any advice as to the best route for the wires but unfortunately I have no experience with removing a VF's interior trims. Have searched this site but haven't found any tips ... apologies in advance if haven't looked properly.

thank you.
 

redvxr8clubby

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I have a VE and I ran some cables for Electric brake controller a while ago, I find it is more difficult with these cars than older cars generally, but I did find that the scuff plates at the doors can be lifted by pulling them up - they are clipped in. Then the front kick panel there are some screws (torx) to remove to get that panel off (screws concealed behind where the scuff plate overlaps). I was thinking the centre console originally, but I couldn't get the back seat base out - I have removed back seats in cars before, but couldn't get the knack of releasing the base in the VE, so I just tucked the cable in behind the side of the back seat.
 

stockies

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Easiest Method:
Remove coin tray (Rubber mat) underneath there is two holes - this can support a home made bracket to hold your radio control head.

Microphone can go on the drivers side A pillar - Just pops off, cable tie the wire to the existing harness so it's not near the airbags, run the mic cable to the where the fuses are (Remove panel - clips off) run cable able the pedals to the centre console (keep cables above the matting installed above the pedals so it won't fall down)

Remove drivers side piece of centre console (pops off - be careful not to break the clips)
Remove the two chrome dress trims either side of the shifter(pull up and towards you), then remove shifter surround - again up and towards you
Remove the rear part of the centre console (It's just clipped in - no screws - will be tight)

Now run your power cables from the control head to the back of the console - under the trim, tuck it up along the sides if required
Do the same for the microphone cables
Install speaker in drivers foot week (if small enough - using cable ties)
run cables with the others to the rear of the console

Remove rear seat - Grab the edge and lift
Stick your arm under the carpet to the rear of the centre console, grab wires or use a "pull through" - a few long cable ties do the job

Cables are now under the carpet and beneath rear seat

Run cables to the boot in the access holes if sedan
run cables to rear of car through access port under side seat bolster (If wagon)

Connect to radio brick

Clip all removed parts back in

Power can be found from battery in boot on left hand side (plenty of room for a 4 way fuse block)

Antenna: I can't help you until I know what type you wish to install (Fixed or on glass) and location and sedan or wagon.

Note: I would go to the "Tool Shop" at your local Bunnings and buy a set of "Panel Popper Tools" for around $30
Will allow you to remove the plastic panels MUCH easier and not scratch the **** out of them.

Any other questions?
 

slleb elgnij

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Hi all does anyone have any advice for a novice please?

I would like to fit a ham radio to my VF Calais but have no idea how to remove interior trims. The radio has a detachable head unit, speaker and microphone that needs to mounted up front of the cabin whilst the main body of the radio is mounted in the boot - conveniently near the battery and to a boot lid antenna bracket. I need to run three light duty cables from the boot to the front of the center console but I do not want to drill any holes or make any permanent mods to the vehicle. The size of these cables are similar to 2 x telephone extension cables plus one speaker cable. Perhaps the wires could run under the rear carpet then under the center console and pop out at the front. I want to utilize that compartment at the front of the console, where the accessory power socket is, to sit the radio head unit. I'm open to any advice as to the best route for the wires but unfortunately I have no experience with removing a VF's interior trims. Have searched this site but haven't found any tips ... apologies in advance if haven't looked properly.

thank you.
What sort of radio HF or 2m..What type of aerial HF or 2m. name of radio etc ???
 

Aussieflyer

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Easiest Method:
Remove coin tray (Rubber mat) underneath there is two holes - this can support a home made bracket to hold your radio control head. <yes that sounds perfect>

Microphone can go on the drivers side A pillar - Just pops off, cable tie the wire to the existing harness so it's not near the airbags, run the mic cable to the where the fuses are (Remove panel - clips off) run cable able the pedals to the centre console (keep cables above the matting installed above the pedals so it won't fall down) <at this stage I'm thinking of having the mic drop out from the console just in front of the drivers seat that way I can easily unplug it from the mic extension cable and leave in the glove box when my wife uses the car>

Remove drivers side piece of centre console (pops off - be careful not to break the clips) <what piece is this? is it the vertical section of the console next to the driver's seat??? which way does it 'pop off'?? how should I pull it?>
Remove the two chrome dress trims either side of the shifter(pull up and towards you), then remove shifter surround - again up and towards you <am I seated in the drivers seat when I do this? i.e. pulling up towards the roof and then to the right towards the drivers side?>
Remove the rear part of the centre console (It's just clipped in - no screws - will be tight) <is this the section with the lid??>

Now run your power cables from the control head to the back of the console - under the trim, tuck it up along the sides if required
Do the same for the microphone cables
Install speaker in drivers foot week (if small enough - using cable ties)
run cables with the others to the rear of the console

Remove rear seat - Grab the edge and lift <I tried this and it seems really firmly held in place, does it take a gorilla type effort to pull it out? I assume you mean to grab the seat at the point where its clipped into the body??>
Stick your arm under the carpet to the rear of the centre console, grab wires or use a "pull through" - a few long cable ties do the job

Cables are now under the carpet and beneath rear seat

Run cables to the boot in the access holes if sedan
run cables to rear of car through access port under side seat bolster (If wagon)

Connect to radio brick

Clip all removed parts back in

Power can be found from battery in boot on left hand side (plenty of room for a 4 way fuse block)

Antenna: I can't help you until I know what type you wish to install (Fixed or on glass) and location and sedan or wagon. <the antenna will be mount on a Diamond 400 boot lid style mounting bracket. I plan on earthing the mount and running an earthing strap from the boot hinge to the body.>

Note: I would go to the "Tool Shop" at your local Bunnings and buy a set of "Panel Popper Tools" for around $30
Will allow you to remove the plastic panels MUCH easier and not scratch the **** out of them. <thanks I will buy these tools on the weekend>

Any other questions?
Thank you stockies this great but I just need few more details if you can put up with a few more questions which I placed within your reply ... Would be great to see a picture of the console so I can understand the components - would you know if there is such a diagram on the net somewhere?

thank you again.
 

Aussieflyer

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thanks everyone for your assistance. Stockies I tried to ask you some more questions but doesn't look like they came through. Your description is really helpful but given my inexperience I need some more clarity ... sorry, imagine you're describing it to a blind person. Could you tell me a little more about removing the console sections i.e. what are the sections that need to be removed and exactly which way I should pull to remove them.
BTW the radio is a Yaesu HF/VHF/UHF mobile ham radio and the antennas will be mounted on boot lid brackets (Diamond 400) one with a 2m/70cm and other with a HF monobander. Mic will drop out from the console on drivers side just in front of the drivers seat. Radio will sit on bracket as you described it.
Thanks again I really appreciate your guidance.
cheers
Aussiflyer
 

slleb elgnij

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thanks everyone for your assistance. Stockies I tried to ask you some more questions but doesn't look like they came through. Your description is really helpful but given my inexperience I need some more clarity ... sorry, imagine you're describing it to a blind person. Could you tell me a little more about removing the console sections i.e. what are the sections that need to be removed and exactly which way I should pull to remove them.
BTW the radio is a Yaesu HF/VHF/UHF mobile ham radio and the antennas will be mounted on boot lid brackets (Diamond 400) one with a 2m/70cm and other with a HF monobander. Mic will drop out from the console on drivers side just in front of the drivers seat. Radio will sit on bracket as you described it.
Thanks again I really appreciate your guidance.

I only have UHF Remote Head in my VF....Have 2m & UHF in my ute..but different to the VF...here are some photos that may be of assistance....for rear seat removal just open the pdf file below and enlarge to read....note you have install the aerial in this position so that boot lid does not foul the aerial when fully open....the speaker was mounted on the rear parcel shelf were you attach the baby capsule....will add picture today.

002.JPG 003.JPG 004.JPG 005.JPG 006.JPG
 

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stockies

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Quick run down of questions:

1) Thought your were using a visor type mount of microphone, not a fist mic - don't bother with the A pillar.

2) Control head should fit into the coin tray space

3) To mount the microphone head (and mic clip) - use one of these - Commodore VF (all models) - Holden - Dashboard Mounts - Device Mounts | HoldMyPhone
No holes and will allow you to tuck the excess cable under the control head when not in use

4) Boot mount sounds fine, from memory you can run you cables into the boot using the grommits for the boot lid - Seal all holes with silicone

5) Rear seat is easy, tuck your hand under the seat - about 1/4 of the way accross - there is a plastic clip holding the seat in - just pull upwards. I usually have my foot in the footwell for balance and leverage.

5) The Console:
See those big 2chrome trim pieces?- next to the shifter? They are removable - start at the bottom with your panel popper tool (assuming your sitting in drivers chair) and lift up and its kind of away from you for a short movement to unclip the bottom and then towards you to unclip the top.
Repeat for passenger side.

The shifter (carbon fibre looking piece) can be removed with the tools, starting from the top (Closest to the dashboard) and moving your panel popper tool down each side (gently) until they pop up. Then it just pulls away from the console - and just clips back in when your done.

There is enough room for a 8 gauge cable to run under the shifter trim on the front passenger side of it. Run your power/data wires here and tape them up with electrical tape to ensure the console piece doesn't rub through the cable.

I don't have photos at the moment, but if i get a chance I'll grab one of our cars at work and take some.
 

Aussieflyer

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thank you Jingle Bells (backwards), your photos and the pdf are really helpful - I'm 100% good on the seat removal and routing the cables to the console. Your set up is what I want to achieve except I will have the radio head sitting in the coin area of the console on a bracket. Did you make the stainless steel antenna mount yourself? There doesn't appear to be a commercially available bracket that I can find. The Vic police use a similar bracket to yours however it's not for sale.

thanks again Stockies, those extra instructions are great. I'm still not confident about the removing the console components but probably just need to have a go at it and hopefully not break anything. Any extra pics you can send would be really appreciated. That little phone bracket looks like it could do the trick too, didn't even know that stuff exists.

You guys have been great.
cheers
 

Maddy05

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VF Ute - running coax from cabin into firewall

Hey All, I know Im bringing an older thread back to life here. I have a VF SSV ute. Im all good with radio mounting etc and battery connection. My challange is how to get the coax through the firewall and into the engine bay. Is there a grommet a should be able to access, if so exactly where? Im not wanting to grill through firewall.
Thanks :boxing:
 
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