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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a lengthy tutorial with photos showing how I added my dash cam and radar detector to my Mach-E

A few points before we get started:

  • While this is not a difficult project, it is not for the faint of heart. Messing with a brand new car could potentially void your warranty or cause more serious problems.
  • There are sharp metal edges behind all of the pretty stuff - wear gloves!
  • This is my fifth or sixth vehicle doing similar upgrades. The rest were 2 BMW's, an Audi, a Tesla model S, and 2 Subarus. This car was by far the easiest to do but that also could be because I have more experience.
  • Never pry plastic panels with a screwdriver. Either use your fingers or a simple plastic pry set similar to this one on Amazon:
Pry Tool
  • When you do pry these plastic components with your fingers or a pry tool, occasionally the little plastic retaining clips may break. While you can buy these from Ford, AutoZone sells them in bunches of three or four at half the price. I found out the hard way that Tesla was charging large sums of money for clips that I could easily have purchased for a Subaru at less than $.50 a pop.
Obtaining switched and constant 12 V power

The radar detector needs a switched 12 V power supply and the dash cam needs both a switched 12 V supply and a constant 12 V supply to record problems while the car is parked. In previous vehicles, I had no trouble finding both switched and constant power somewhere in the overhead mirror compartment but could only find switched on this car.

I also do not like to overly strain the built-in wires. When possible, I prefer to run new circuits from the fuse box up to the windshield to power both toys. That is what I did in this case. There is a fuse box behind the passenger kick panel. With a little experimentation, I found high capacity circuits of both types. Page 278 of the owners manual will show you how to remove that kick plate.

From page 279 of the owners manual:

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While I previously would simply tap into an existing wire, I like my toys to have their own fuses in case something goes wrong. I recently started using these "add a tap" products to make tapping-in easier and safer. The existing fuse gets moved into the bottom slot and a new 2.5 amp fuse goes to my toys.

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The physically smaller fuse it is called a Micro 2 and the larger one is called a Micro 3.

Here are the links for the add-a-taps:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082YZWSSY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R8R2T7T/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I normally have extra three conductor wire around the house however I had to purchase some for this project. I normally like 20 gauge wire but somehow accidentally bought 22 gauge wire. This is definitely capable of carrying enough power for these two small devices.

Routing Wires

I was able to easily route this wire up towards the mirror housing. First I removed this side panel using a small plastic pry tool. It is held on by six plastic clips:

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Next, I carefully pried off the A column cover with the pry tools. There is an airbag in here. Any wires you run must go behind the airbag. I prefer to zip tie them to ensure they do not fall in front of the airbag.
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I next removed the cover over the mirror housing. I did this with gentle finger pressure pulling downward to release the 5 clips.

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Next, I connected the appropriate switched power to my radar detector, switched and constant to the dash cam plug and both to negative. I prefer to solder all wires and cover with shrink wrap tubing. I also have serious OCD therefore labeled everything however in this picture you cannot read the labels because they are facing away from you. Red is constant, green is switched and the white is my negative.

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I almost forgot, speaking about the negative lead, I could not find a good metal anchoring point anywhere in that fuse box. Everything is plastic in there. Therefore, I found a nice piece of steel in that side compartment below the A column. There were two round holes. I took a metal machine screw, washer and nut and fastened the raw white wire directly to that piece of the frame. Again, with the OCD, I used thread locker liquid on the bolt to ensure it never came loose accidentally.

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At this point, I connected the red and green leads to the add-a-taps below in the fuse box, plugged everything in, and made sure everything worked as I expected with the car on and off.

Connection to Rear Camera

The next step was to run the video lead to the rear camera. Fortunately, the ceiling liner is not strongly attached to the roof as in the other cars I had to work on. Simply pull down gently using a pry tool to work under the rubber gasket. Going between the front and rear doors around the B column required a little work. Instead of using my fish tape, I took a small diameter wire hanger to thread the wire through. Once the wire hanger is visible on both ends, I simply used electrical tape and pulled it through. Note: I could not pry the B column cover off easily and didn't want to risk breaking anything. Likewise, going to the trunk, the plastic holding the liner in place felt too sturdy and I simply used fish tape to pull the wire all the way into the trunk.

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To make the job as neat as possible, I also pried off the plastic panel cover noted in the photo above. It is held on by six retaining clips. I then mounted the rear camera as high up as possible on the window.

Normally, I would run the wire to the rear camera through the "boot" between the main compartment and the hatch. This is the first car that I was not able to do so. The boot is sufficiently deep under the liner and into the hatch, that no amount of manipulation with fish tape would let me get a string through there. Therefore, I will have that little bit of wire hanging down between the liner and the hatch on the right side but it is not visible when I look in the rearview mirror.



Once that was done, it was simply a matter of putting everything back together. The only difficult part was getting the A column to sit properly. Work slowly. There is a vent built into that column that has to be seated at the base in order for the column to fit properly.



The final result:

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Glad to help anyone trying a similar project.

Jeff
 

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Thanks for all the helpful tips. The version I was looking to install is slightly different. It has an ODB2 ‘tap’ for power, which would require me to come down on the driver side.
 

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man really nice you share this. I installed my first dash cam set on an explorer yesterday and next is my Mach E, I wonder, are there any airbags on top of the doors, like where you used the hanger wire? I am worried that I would run in front of the airbag. At the explorer I used 3m clips which I sticked against the roof, so they stay put behind the airbag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
man really nice you share this. I installed my first dash cam set on an explorer yesterday and next is my Mach E, I wonder, are there any airbags on top of the doors, like where you used the hanger wire? I am worried that I would run in front of the airbag. At the explorer I used 3m clips which I sticked against the roof, so they stay put behind the airbag.
I replied on the 'other' forum. :)
 

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@MachDoc Thanks for the detailed post! Looking install a dashcam soon myself.
Question on your fuse choices to add the tap. Wouldn't it be better to choose fuses that are not used at all? or is there some rational behind using 4 and 15/16? I poked around earlier and found fuses 6 and 13 will give switched and constant power and both are not used according to the manual. Maybe these would be even better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@MachDoc Thanks for the detailed post! Looking install a dashcam soon myself.
Question on your fuse choices to add the tap. Wouldn't it be better to choose fuses that are not used at all? or is there some rational behind using 4 and 15/16? I poked around earlier and found fuses 6 and 13 will give switched and constant power and both are not used according to the manual. Maybe these would be even better?
Yes, that would be better but those 2 may not have power. I do not have time to test until next weekend (8/28). Let me know if they are powered.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did a quick test with a circuit tester and it does appear to have power.
Both the "switched" and constant behave accordingly?

If so, I would prefer to use an unused circuit because the current setup sometimes annoys the car and the main display will ask to shutdown when I first get in the car.

Jeff
 

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Both the "switched" and constant behave accordingly?

If so, I would prefer to use an unused circuit because the current setup sometimes annoys the car and the main display will ask to shutdown when I first get in the car.

Jeff
I'm pretty sure fuse 6 is switched and fuse 13 is constant. I'll double check again sometime
 
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