Josh Wardell's Ford Focus Mods
Radar Detector/Accessory Mod

I have a Bel 980 radar detector for the ultimate in radar detecting technology. The problem with radar detectors is that they are hard to place and wire. I have mine velcroed to the front left dashboard; it's out of immediate view, yet its screen can still be easily read when needed. It's also much less noticable from the outside. I had the straight wire run down the side, over the steering wheel, to the cigarrette lighter. This worked OK, but the Focus lighter is always on, it is not powered only when turning the car on.

So I solved these problems by wiring it into the fuse panel below the steering wheel. Follow these instructions similiarly if you are just trying to tap the accessory power to power another low-power accessory only when the car is turned on. Instead of directly wiring the wire, I put in another accessory socket, so I wouldn't need to damage my cable, and also taking odvantage of the fuse in the detector's plug.

Price: $5.99
Time: 30 minutes
Tools: Wire cutter/stripper, socket wrench, fuse puller (located in fuse box under hood)
Parts: RadioShack Dash-Mount DC Accessory Outlet 270-1539A (if needed/or similar) or
- Lighter Socket $1.87 from PartsExpress
- Add-A-Circuit $7.45 from PartsExpress

1. Pull of the door to your interior fuse panel (below left of the steering wheel).

2. Pull out 7.5A fuse #50 (Radio/central timer). This supplies the accessory ignition signal to the radio.

3. Now get the new outlet. Cut the positive (RED) wire a little shorter--about the same as the black wire. Cut the washer off the black wire. Strip both ends.

4. Note: I now recommend using an Add-A-Circuit for easier and safer fuse tapping.
Otherwise, flatten the stripped part of the positive (RED) wire and make a 180-degree bend. Place this over one of the spades on the fuse. Use some electrical tape to hold it into place.

5. Now put the wires through the included mounting bracket and click the socket into it. You'll have to disconnect everything if your realize you forgot this later!

6. Run the wires underneath, not through the fuse doorway. Push the fuse back into its socket, making sure the wire is going into the BOTTOM socket so as not to bypass the fuse. It will take a bit of force, and may not go in all the way. Also be sure the wire isn't frayed out and close to touching other fuses or the other spade. (Pic below)

7. Use the correct size socket and remove the screw on the upper-left of the fuse panel. Wrap the stripped black ground wire around it and screw it back in.

8. Mount the new socket. I jammed it in the side metal as pictured and secured it with zip ties. Feel free to do it a better way.

9. Plug in your radar detector's plug. Run the wire up the side, preferably by pulling off the molding and hiding it behind, as pictured below. Coil excess wire inside the fuse panel. Replace the fuse door. Plug in your detector. You're done!

Complete installation. Click for larger.

Where to run the wire under door molding.

All done!


Updated 9/10/2001
© 2001 Josh Wardell