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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi to the gang here.

We got a new 2018 Trax LT last week and I need some help to be able to install a Ham radio. Unfortunately, there is no service manual available for purchase so I hope that someone here can help me learn how to remove interior moldings and one side of the headliner. My plan is to:

1) Run two wires (12ga THHN) from the battery to the rear (trunk) area
2) Run two small cables from the rear area to the driver's area (remote control for the radio and audio for a speaker)
3) Mount an antenna near the middle of the roof (through a 3/4" hole that I have the proper hole saw to make) with a cable run to a side pillar and then down to the rear area where the radio would be.

What I need to learn is how to remove the moldings and release the headliner so I can do detailed planning and then installation of the system. I've done this sort of work in a few other cars but the Trax body seems to be built differently from the older cars.

Many thanks in advance.

Skip Douglas
 

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Don't imagine it's different than the 2016 that I have and I don't know how far you want to go.

1. You will have to remove the grab handle, 2 screws



2. The sunvisor if you need to bring the front down, a cover and 3 screws



3. "A" pillar is just snapped in with clips, be careful of the tweeter if you have the "BOSE" system



4. Center pillar has one screw at the top then
snaps.



5. Rear panel has one bolt then just pulls out from the top.



Be careful the liner easily kinks.

13
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks for that, Traxy. There appear to be a few differences that could be significant to me. Probably the most obvious is the fact that the center pillar in the 2018 Trax houses a crash-protection air bag. I don't think that I want to fool with that without proper instructions.

I may just do a temporary radio setup for a while with the cable from a magnetic mount antenna just snaked through the rear hatch and either wait until a service manual is made available for me to buy or possibly employ the dealer's body shop talent to help. The body shop manager told me that I can use his team's help at their hourly rate. I can't go into their shop but he'll let his mechanic come outside to work with me.
 

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So does the 16 as pictured. It just says to disable the SIR system. So just disconnect the battery which you would have done before any electronic installation anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the update.

The biggest planning problem now is where to mount the radio and the remote head for it. We don't have quite the same space that our old (but now dead and gone) 2005 Pontiac Vibe (basically a redecorated Toyota Matrix) had so we need to do a few things differently.
 

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Would it fit in one of the 2 cubby holes behind the wheel wells? That plastic piece comes off. 2 caps and 2 screws on the driver's, the one on the passenger is just snapped in.




45
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would it fit in one of the 2 cubby holes behind the wheel wells? That plastic piece comes off. 2 caps and 2 screws on the driver's, the one on the passenger is just snapped in.
I've given the one on the passenger side some thought but need to check out the one on the driver's side. Do you know what's on the opposite side of the plastic wells that are visible from inside the car (with the covers off)? What I need to know is if there is enough clear space behind it to allow use of screws or pop rivets to mount a bracket for the radio to the plastic well.
 

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Just pop it out, passenger side is easier and it will give you and idea. You just need a plastic pry tool so not to mark or scratch.



66
 

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Hey Skip, What are you installing? I assume a 2M. I have a 2M/70cm Yeasu FT-7900 equiped into my 2016 Trax using a mag-mount antenna along with a CB with a whip. These cars dont have much room inside. In about a month I'm getting ready for a road trip (Yellowstone) and am planning on remote mounting the main unit under the passenger seat. My Trax doesn't have a package tray underneath so it will fit just fine. Not exactly sure where I'm going to place the head unit yet.



KE8JLG, 73 ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Skip, What are you installing? I assume a 2M. I have a 2M/70cm Yeasu FT-7900 equiped into my 2016 Trax using a mag-mount antenna along with a CB with a whip. These cars dont have much room inside. In about a month I'm getting ready for a road trip (Yellowstone) and am planning on remote mounting the main unit under the passenger seat. My Trax doesn't have a package tray underneath so it will fit just fine. Not exactly sure where I'm going to place the head unit yet.



KE8JLG, 73 ...
We use Yaesu FT-8800 and FT-8900 radios. I had not given the under-seat location any thought but definitely will. I plan on using a remote head (which, fortunately, is rather small) but have not hit on a location for it yet. I need to see what sort of space is under each of the rear seats as that may be a better speaker location than under the front passenger seat.

I want to punch a 3/4" hole in the roof for an NMO antenna mount and find a path behind moldings to run the cable down to the radio.

I want to run two 12ga THHN wires from the battery to the radio for power. I'm told there's a place near the front wheel well to get the wires past the firewall and then they will run under the moldings that go underneath the doors.
 

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I don't believe there is any extra room under the rear seats. If you fold them down you will see what I mean. I have the head relocation kit for my unit. I may end up using a suction cup unit either for the windshield or dash pad. Or fab-ing a bracket to come off the CB bracket. The 2016 has 2 extra upper dash 'boxes' that yours don't. Maybe do a dash mount there. There is a pss through. Look to the left of the steering knuckle from the inside. With my 2016, the rear package area has 2 storage cubicles, 1 on either side. They may be large enough for the main units but not sure how much air they get.
 

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Update ...


I was out looking for a place for the ham radio head and body. The body fits cleanly under front passenger seat and would look to fit nicely under the drivers seat. While sitting in the drivers seat I spotted a site that the head would work just fine. It now lives between the shifter and the passenger seat on the console just ahead of the cup holders.
 

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I found a spot for the 2M radio head to live and a place for its main body. The head beside the shifter on the console and the body under the passenger seat. I went to the little local hardware and got a piece of strapping, used a small bolt to attach the remote head receiver and used sheet metal screws to attach to the console side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Traxy - where did the drawings you've put into this thread come from? I have a paper service manual for our 2018 on the way and I hope to see that stuff and more for our car.


Thanks.
 

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It was a downloadable pdf, $20, unfortunately some of the manual info is corrupt and seller wouldn't come good on his product. Luckily for you what you were looking for was good data although for 2016. That manual must've been expensive.

253
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That manual must've been expensive.
That's a fact. I looked up the orders for the GM book sets from Helm Inc. for our 2002 GMC Envoy (which we still have and is in pretty good shape) and our 2005 Pontiac Vibe (which died recently and got replaced with the Trax) and the price for the Trax book set is about the same as the two other sets totalled up - a little over $400 shipped. I feel a strong need to be able to understand my cars and be able to do most of the PM and troubleshooting plus a few mods that I make to customize the car's functionality such as making "permanent" ham radio installations rather than powering them from a cigarette lighter socket and using magnet-mount antennas. Thus, the service manuals are very important to me. I'm retired from a 39-year career in industrial process control systems and the mind-set that made me good at that makes me take control of things rather than paying someone else to do it for me.
 

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That's why I'm trying to set myself up with GDS2 and GM MDI. Just so I don't need to rely on the dealer for little stuff. It's proving to be more of a challenge than I expected. The laptop has to be "virtualization enable ready" in the BIOS. My Panasonic Toughbook wasn't and neither is my Toshiba Satelite. So I may need to buy yet and other laptop just for this purpose.

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