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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Below is a step by step guide of how to hard wire an Escort radar detector with the direct wire smart cord kit from Escort. I mounted the smart button/light unit in the blank slot next to the VSA button but you can choose whatever location best suites your needs.

Parts Used:

Escort 79-000041-01 Direct Wire SmartCord kit
ATM 7.5 amp mini fuse w/ long base (see pictures)
ATM 2 amp mini fuse w/long base
ATM Mini Fuse Add-A-Circuit
3M double sided automotive trim adhesive

Step 1:
Remove the lower dash piece below the steering wheel by simply starting at a corner and pulling. It will sound like you are breaking it when pulling it off but don't worry the clips are just very loud when they come off. To completely remove it, unplug the wire going to the VSA button.




Step 2:
Take the inline power fuse that was wired in with the positive side of the escort kit and cut it off. I did this for two reasons: A) Its very large and would require a big hole to be drilled in the blank dash slot to feed it through and B) It would have been redundant since the add-a-circuit includes its own slot for this circuit's fuse.




Step 3:
Drill a hole in the back of the blank dash slot to run the wires through. The hole needs to be big enough to allow the phone cord style connector to slide through as this is the biggest part of the wire harness.




Step 4:
Thread the wires through and decide how you want to mount the "smart button unit" in the blank slot.




Step 5:
Cut and apply the 3M double sided adhesive to the smart button unit. I decided to mount mine with the front face horizontal with the edge of the blank slot. The button unit face itself is angled with the sides so you will have to decided how to mount it.






Step 6:
Attach the add-a-circuit to the positive (+) wire left from cutting off the inline fuse. I forgot to take a picture of this step but it simply consisted of stripping the wire, feeding it into the wire crimp already attached to the add-a-circuit, and crimping the wires together. The add-a-circuit should now be wired to the positive power of the escort harness.

Step 7:
Thread the wires through the opening in the dash directly in front of the fuse box. I decided to hook up the positive (+) and negative (-) connections at this point so the entire system could be powered up to check all my connections before I ran the phone cord for the detector.

Step 8:
Pull fuse #16 for the A/C as this is where we will be attaching the add-a-circuit. I chose this fuse because it's power is shut down for the second or two when you are cranking the engine. If you choose to use another fuse like the windshield wipers, the radar detector will stay on while the engine is being cranked and during this time beep a low voltage warning. It is not good on the detector to be on during this short period from my experience.


Put two fuses into the add-a-circuit. The A/C fuse is a 7.5amp and the radar detector needs a 2 amp. I only bought 7.5 amps when I installed it so I put them in both add-a-circuit slots. The picture below explains the slots.




Step 9:
Positive (+) connection: Slide the add-a-circuit into the now empty A/C fuse slot that you just removed the fuse from.




Step 10:
Negative (-) connection: Remove the chrome screw attaching the plastic dash to a metal bracket. Insert the already wired negative ring connector between the plastic dash and the metal bracket. Re-insert this screw and tighten back down.




Step 11:
Begin wiring the black phone cord connector that will be going from the Escort smart button unit to the radar detector itself. This is the most tedious part of the install but taking your time shouldn't be more than 30 minutes. The following pictures show the path I ran the cord using red dashed lines. I didn't remove any trim, just worked the wire underneath the edge using my fingers.








Step 12:
Turn on the vehicle system power, the detector should once again turn on. Now start the car, the detector should turn off for the brief second the engine is cranking, then turn back on again once the engine is running.

Step 13:
Zip tie up any excess wires around the fuse box location. When everything looks good, plug the VSA button back into the dash piece and snap the dash back into place.



 

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nice!!! thanks!
 

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Great writeup man!
 

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Just in time lol. I'm going to steal your idea for routing the cable up to the detector. I'm going to change where I'm putting the mute button though. I have been messing around in the car and want to put the button in the cubby under the 6-disc cd player and above the 12v outlet and the "this is not an ashtray" tray. Will have to take apart the center console a little to pull that tray out to drill the hole for the wire but should be a fun project. I'll post a write up when all the parts(fuses,fuse splitter,etc...) come in.

On a side note...Nice writeup!!!
 

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I just bought a 2008 Honda Accord and was thinking of doing mine similarly. My only question, is why the extra work of getting the fuse and add-a-circuit instead of using the hardware that came with the SmartCord?

I installed a SmartCord on my Honda CR-Z, using a wiring diagram I found online...but I cannot seem to find any similar diagrams for the Accord. Can anyone point me in the direction of a color coded diagram, or just let me know what the best color to connect it to would be?

Thank in advance for your help, and thanks for the great idea/post!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just bought a 2008 Honda Accord and was thinking of doing mine similarly. My only question, is why the extra work of getting the fuse and add-a-circuit instead of using the hardware that came with the SmartCord?

I installed a SmartCord on my Honda CR-Z, using a wiring diagram I found online...but I cannot seem to find any similar diagrams for the Accord. Can anyone point me in the direction of a color coded diagram, or just let me know what the best color to connect it to would be?

Thank in advance for your help, and thanks for the great idea/post!
I just saw your post, I went with the add-a-circuit connector so that I wouldn't have to cut any power wires on the Accord to tap into for power. With the add-a-circuit, it was a simple plug and play install that can be 100% reversed if I ever need to. It also gave me easy access to a power connection (A/C system) that turns off when the starter is cranking. (I fried my original Escort 8500 years ago in another vehicle because of the voltage fluctuations when starting the vehicle I believe)
 
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