Valentine One Radar Detector Install

Mustang install of a Valentine 1

Written by Ross Hevener

Ford’s latest generation of Mustangs is able to reach jail-worthy speeds without breaking a sweat. With all this power at our disposal, it’s nice to have a little extra insurance in the form of a radar detector – the Valentine One (V1) in this case.

Many radar detector users prefer the clean and professional look of a hard wire installation over the use of a cigarette lighter power adapter.

While any project that involves interior wiring can seem daunting, with a little preparation, you can knock out a V1 hard wire (direct wire) installation in about an hour.

This how-to will cover hard wiring the V1, as well as the optional concealed display. If you don’t have the concealed display, simply skip the steps that are concealed display-specific.

What you need
Valentine One (obviously)
Mount of your choice – I used the suction cup mount, but this guide will work for virtually any type of mount
Direct-wire power adapter (included with the V1)
8’ RJ11 telephone cable – For powering the V1 (included with the V1)
14’ – 15’ RJ11 telephone cable  – For powering the concealed display (the concealed display includes an 8’ telephone cable, but this cable is not long enough for this application)
Add-a-circuit for ATM fuses
Wire strippers, cutters, and crimpers
Sticky-back Velcro and/or double-sided tape
Cable ties
10mm deep well socket
¼” flat washer (for hooking up the ground connection)
¼” ring terminal connector for 16-14 gauge wire (optional, but highly recommended)
Prepare the direct-wire power adapter
Look at the leads on the direct-wire power adapter. The positive (hot) wire will have a female spade connector, and the negative (ground) lead will have a fork connector.
Snip off the spade connector and solder or crimp the add-a-circuit onto the positive lead.
If you opted to get a ¼” ring connector, snip off the fork connector and crimp it on. You can get away with using the fork connector, but the ring connector will give you a more secure connection.
Insert the top fuse into the add-a-circuit as shown below. I used a 5 amp fuse because it’s what I had on hand. A 2 amp fuse will also work. This fuse isn’t critical because the direct-wire power adapter has its own fuse holder with a 2 amp fuse that will blow if anything goes wrong.

Insert the 5 amp/2 amp fuse in the top slot. Don’t worry about the 10 amp fuse yet. We’ll get to that later.

Remove the A-pillar covers
To remove the A-pillar covers, stand outside the car, work your fingertips underneath the cover, and gently pull outward. There are three clips that will disengage. There are also hooks that slip in to the dash.
If you aren’t installing the concealed display, you only need to remove the passenger’s side cover.
Remove the Smart Junction Box (aka fuse box) cover
The smart junction box is located underneath the passenger’s side kick panel. There is an access panel that snaps in.

Mount your V1
Mount the V1 in the location of your choosing. The manufacturer recommends mounting the detector fairly high on the windshield to get the best performance. Here is where I mounted mine.

 

Run the concealed display cable
Now that you have access to everything, it’s time to start running cables. If you’re installing the concealed display, start with that cable.

There is a small gap between the dash and the A-pillars where you can drop the cables down.
For the concealed display cable, drop one end down the driver’s side A-pillar gap. It helps to have someone else put their hand under the dash to grab the cable and pull it down as there are a lot of things under there that the cable can get snagged on. Be sure to pull enough cable to reach up to where the concealed display will be mounted.

Tuck the cable into the headliner and run it over to the passenger’s side. Drop the other end of the cable down and route it to the SJB.

Run the detector power cable
Drop one end of the cable down the passenger’s side A-pillar and route it to the SJB. After that, tuck the cable into the headliner and plug it into the detector. Tie a knot in the cable where it exits the headliner and tuck the knot in. This will keep the cable from falling out.

The power and concealed display cables running down the passenger’s side A-pillar

Mount the concealed display
Start by running the concealed display cable up to the dash. To do this, tilt the wheel all the way up and slip the cable between the bottom of the steering column and the dash, then pull the cable around the side of the steering column and up to the concealed display.

Tilt the wheel all the way up and slip the cable between the steering column and the dash

If your car has the base gauge cluster, the concealed display will fit into the area of empty space below the temperature and fuel gauges almost perfectly.

If your car has the premium gauge cluster, I recommend mounting the concealed display on top of the steering column.

Once you’ve determined where you want the concealed display, mount it using some Velcro.
Tilt the wheel up and down a few times to verify that the cable isn’t interfering with the tilt operation.

3.7L Mustang Valentine 1 Radar Dector Install
If your car has the base gauge cluster, the concealed display will fit into the area of empty space below the temperature and fuel gauges almost perfectly.

Hook up the positive lead
Now that you’ve got all of your cables run, it’s time to get power to the detector.
Begin by plugging power and remote display cables into their appropriate jacks on the direct-wire power adapter.

Next, plug the add-a-circuit into the SJB. For accessories like this, you generally want to use a switched circuit (meaning that the circuit turns on and off with the key).

In this instance, I used circuit #37. This is a switched circuit with a 10 amp fuse. This circuit is hot when the key is in the “start” and “run” positions.

Remove fuse #37 and insert it into the bottom of your add-a-circuit as shown in the illustration above. There is a little white fuse puller on the back of the fuse cover that you can use for this.

Once you have that done, insert the add-a-circuit into the SJB where the fuse used to be. You want to insert it so that the red wire is pointing towards the rear of the car.

The add-a-circuit installed in the SJB (Sorry for the crappy picture quality. It’s extremely difficult to photograph the SJB due to the tight space.)

Wire up the ground
For a ground, I used the SJB mounting stud.
Remove the nut from the stud using a 10mm deep well socket. Next, slip your ¼” flat washer over the stud, followed by the negative lead from the direct-wire power adapter. Finally, thread the nut back on and tighten it down.

Test everything out
Now that you’ve got everything hooked up, turn the key to the “run” position and verify that everything powers up.

Notch the fuse panel cover
Now that you know your installation was a success, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Since you’ve got a wire running from the fuse panel that wasn’t there before, you’ll need to make some slight modifications to the cover.

I used wire cutters to cut a small notch in the cover for the wire to run through. See the pictures below for the location of the notch.

 

Due to the added thickness of the add-a-circuit, the fuse panel won’t snap back on completely. Personally, I’m not worried about it because the panel still snaps on securely enough not to fall off. If you’re not comfortable with this, grab a Dremel and get creative.

Tidy up the wiring and re-assemble
Mount the direct-wire power adapter to the car using some Velcro or double-sided tape, bundle up any excess cable and use some cable ties to tidy everything up.

When you’re satisfied with the wiring, put everything back together and go for a drive!

 

 
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