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E46 "stealth" installation location advice?
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Good { morning, afternoon, evening },

I have a 2005 M3 (production date 02/2005, if it matters). In addition to being my autocross machine, it's also a semi-daily driver.

I've gotten my RaceCapture/Track tied into CAN signal, OBD-2 power supply, and loaded it with the E46 CAN presets, and it's working. After some struggling with WiFi I was able to get it to work by downgrading the 2.13 to 2.12 firmware (based on advice in another thread).

I'd like to have a "stealth" install, and keep the RC and wiring out of sight if possible.

I figured out that there's plenty of empty space in the center console (and there are some clever things I can do with the coin holder to make more room for the unit underneath).

So, I fished the signal wire from the center console, under the dash and over to the driver's side kick panel where the wiring is, tied in to power and CAN, and stashed the RC inside of the center divider, just under the coin holder.

The device is working great, except that it can't get GPS signal. :-(

I am assuming that GPS signal is required for useful features like track mapping (my first order of business is to map out my autocross track), and so running the RC without ever capturing a GPS signal is not an option.

There are three other locations in the car that I can think of where I could install the RC and run wiring without having to disassemble significant amounts of interior trim (which I'd rather avoid):

1. In the overhead console where the light switches and sunroof controls are. (I ordered my car as a slicktop, so there are no sunroof controls and just a blank panel.)

2. On the rear package shelf, either tucked in a corner or stashed behind a speaker grille. (I would prefer not to do this for various reasons, but it is an option if I can get connected to power and wiring.)

3. On the windshield next to my EZ-Pass transponder (although it's getting a little crowded up there) with some Dual-Lock to hold it in place.

(I considered putting it in the sunglass pocket, but I assume I'd have the same GPS reception issues as in the center divider.)

So I have questions:

1. If I go with the rear shelf, are there any locations nearby where I can tie into power and CAN with a shorter wire? Or will I have to pull a Cat6 wire the length of the car?

2. If I hide the RC in the overhead console, will it be able to get GPS signal?

3. In any location, does the orientation of the RC matter? Can it be mounted vertically (or at an angle off the horizontal) or upside down? Or is anything OK as long as the RC is square to the long axis of the car?

And one final detail: it looks like OBD-2 power is always-on. If I leave the RC connected all the time, will battery drain be an issue? Or should I plan on disconnecting the unit anyway when it's not in use?

Thanks very much for any advice. :-)

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Is there a spot way under your dash where there's no metal blocking it's view of the sky, through the windshield? If so, that might be an ideal spot.


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Brent Picasso
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That's a good question! I could certainly try to find one. :-)

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I ended up tucking it in close to the mirror at the top of the windshield, as in the attached. It's held in place with 3M Dual Lock and I think the windshield will come off before the RC does.

I fished the wire behind the headliner and down the driver's side A pillar behind the airbag; it came out right where it needed to.

The RC is getting GPS lock in that location and seems to be working fine, although I haven't left the driveway with it yet. I'll report back once I've had a chance to drive around with it.

[img]https://photos.app.goo.gl/PKCwy7gtqRntmHNX2[/img]

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Great. Thanks for the update!


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