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Where did you mount your CB Ham or Scanner radios in your 90s Econoline (pics please)

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1968-2013 Full Size Vans Econolines. E150, E250, E350, E450 and E550

Where did you mount your CB Ham or Scanner radios in your 90s Econoline (pics please)

 
  #1  
Old 06-07-2019, 09:03 AM
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Where did you mount your CB Ham or Scanner radios in your 90s Econoline (pics please)

Howdy all, I'm working on my 98 E150 and unlike my old 81, I can't mount my radio gear from the headliner. Where did or where would you mount this stuff. I've got a full sized Uniden CB radio and a small scanner.
Thanks and a lift of the lynch lid for your responses.
Gus
 
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:26 PM
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Is your E-150 a basic cargo van or higher trim package? Above your front headliner panel is a rib to support the roof, is that not accessible for some reason? The door-top grab handles would provide a sturdy shelf for a precisely cut, arched section of luan plywood to make a headliner. I think it would support the type of weight you're talking about.
You'd want to anchor it with some hardware. Anyway, just throwing out some ideas.



My conversion van has a lowered headliner that seems to be interference fit for some pieces. That might explain why Mark III is out of business.


 
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:39 AM
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Building on JeffreyClay's idea I'd remove the headliner completely----you'll find a formed roof support running side-to-side where the actual roof sheet metal is attached--this also acts as an upper mounting area for the windshield. FWIW the vertical supports for the roof are called A-Pillars, just behind the front seats would be a similar horizontal support we'll call the B-Pillar.

IIRC there should be a space between the top of the headliner and the bottom of the roof sheet metal measuring at least 3/4"----running a solid piece of poplar between the two upper horizontal pieces and properly tied in would give you plenty of solid support for the radio gear. I'd use Tee-nuts and bolts to hold the gear mounting brackets in place. Even though that gear isn't excessively heavy its always best having anything overhead as firmly in place as possible.

This might require a few trial fits, once the wood is in place you'll need to see how the headliner fits, how much space has been filled and whether it'll be a solid as you need.

Just another way that comes to mind---if its not a direct idea maybe inspire you to another workable and safe idea?

Let us know what you end up doing---should be interesting---best of luck with this.
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:19 PM
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Ooh! A subject I know a little about and lets me help out in this community

Ok...Picture first:





I would suggest that Installing overhead is a great idea at suggested by jeffreyclay, but also to reinforce the upper area using 1 inch by whatever needed as suggested by JWA . I have run 3, 1x3 into the area for current and future electronic installations.
I suggest considering Are you or your passengers tall, will you have passengers in the passenger area, Dimensions of Radio. Location of Overhead install.


Now for some seriously unsolicited miscellaneous information:


I am Currently Using Firestik antennas for both CB (USB & LSB) and 10 Meter Ham communications.
I am using the Firestik II FSB4-B (4-foot antenna) at this time but will be upgrading to the FSB5-B (5-foot antenna) Just be aware of your ceiling clearances. You will be unable to go into most underground parking and will most likely not clear Bank Drive-throughs or Drive through restaurants ceiling heights.
I use the Firestik antennas as these are "Top Load" antennas and work Brilliantly for Ball or side mounting CB antennas.
Ultimately I will be going with a Predators 10k-27 when I can afford it. The Predator line of Antennas are a Mid-Load coil antenna, and the coil must get above the roof and any Ladder racks and/or storage containers may be above the van roof as well.
Make sure you attach all Two-way-communications antennas to a grounded surface. So if you have a Fiberglass roof that you intend to mount to, you will either need to find a non-ground plane antenna or get very inventive with your mounting.
Avoid using mirrors directly...UNLESS you can fully verify that your mirrors are metal and direct mounted to the metal surface of your vehicle, and even still you may need to add an additional ground strap from the door to a solid metal (fully grounded) part of the vehicle's interior hull (Easier than it sounds ).
If you are considering running dual CB antennas...DON'T...Simply put, the proper needed distance between dual antenna install is no less than 107 inches. The Ford E Series van cannot make this distance side to side. You can install front and rear antennas on the roof, but this will change the directional dynamics of your communications.


Coaxial (antenna cable) runs can be easy or a nightmare depending on how/where you do your runs.
Be aware of that depending on your antenna location, you can quickly exceed the needed 18 to 20 feet of coaxial needed for CB or Shortwave radios. Also if you are close to your radio you will need to figure out how you will handle the excess coaxial. Cutting below 18 feet is not a real option (somewhat) for 10 and 11-meter frequencies.


Great place to install small CB and Ham radios as suggested by jeffreyclay be sure to reinforce the area above the ceiling panel as suggested by JWA as I have also done.
Please refer to notes and previous considerations before installing in this area.


This is the location I decided to go with my radios equipment for many reasons. Mainly to keep all this equipment in one place and the Missus and I can use it at the same time.

WARNING HERE!!!:

Be aware of Radio depth, cable management, and coaxial connection points. Antenna and power connectors can add significant depth to your radio of choice, and if you install in this area, you must install such that power lines do not get damaged and that coaxial is not significantly bent or pressure placed on radio and coaxial connect. this will damage the radio and will limit communications capabilities. I ran into this issue and my SO239 connector on the back of the radio got damaged traveling dirt roads/washboard. I had to remove the case, tighten up the connector in radio and re-solder the interior antenna connection points.
So be aware and avoid this issue at every point of install.



But there is the short synopsis.
There is a ton more information that I am more than happy to pass on and links to additional products, resources, and information that I will freely pass on if desired.
I am a firm believer in CB and HF radio communications and have over 45 years of Radio Communications use and installation experience.

As a final note:
May I suggest that when installing any radio equipment you use 12-gage AWG pure copper wire (10-gage would be better and OFC (Oxygen Free Cooper)) if you can find it) run directly to your batter or Auxillary battery even better.
I would avoid simply running a wire to the fuse block or tapping into any pre-installed power line.
A direct line to your battery with a proper inline fuse every time. This may really save your bacon in the future. I know from experience

There is so much more information I could pass on, there can be as much or as little as you need your system to be, and none of which that is incredibly difficult. Most are simpler than it sounds

As my Grandfather would tell me; "Those with the ability to properly communicate can and will survive.". and even though this statement covers well more than Radio communications...it is still relevant

If we can help in any way, let us know there is a wonderful community of people here just waiting to help and lend information.
If I can help you with your install in any way, please do not hesitate to ask

Hope this helps
Let us know and show us what you decide to do when you are done
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:31 PM
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These guys put the cb radio on the headliner in a 4th gen van.
 
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:33 AM
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I couldnít even find a decent place for my trailer brake controller, and itís much smaller than what you folks are talking about.
 
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:00 PM
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I installed my Break controller on the Kick panel, below and right of the steering column by the doghouse, about 6 inches below dash cover.
 
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:15 PM
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If you don't want to build one yourself, could do something like this:

https://www.carid.com/vdp/shelf-it-b...4aAvUuEALw_wcB

https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/arb-ro...a-668137086666

Or if you're handy you could make your own overhead out of plywood and L brackets. When I was a youngster, it was fad around our area, we'd make these consoles for our trucks to run from the windshield to the back window. mine had 3 tiers, one for the stereo, one for the power amp and one for the CB, then it had slots cut in further back to hold the half dozen favorite cassette tapes that were the flavor of the month.
 
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Old 06-14-2019, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike1 View Post
If you don't want to build one yourself......

Or if you're handy you could make your own overhead out of plywood and L brackets. When I was a youngster, it was fad around our area, we'd make these consoles for our trucks to run from the windshield to the back window. mine had 3 tiers, one for the stereo, one for the power amp and one for the CB, then it had slots cut in further back to hold the half dozen favorite cassette tapes that were the flavor of the month.
Boy howdy those links took me back when upfitting vans was a huge rage---middle 70's onward IIRC.

I did a simple Google search for "arb radio console" and Wow what a great bunch of images pops up. Its worth a look if going overhead is the goal.

It does seem the Jeep and Toyota FJ Cruiser crowd have a lot of choices---perhaps something there could be used?
 
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:35 AM
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PO must have been a tiny little man... he mounted the CB on the driver's side of the doghouse and it was so much in my way it was the first thing I removed when I got the van. I'd do the headliner install if I were to re-install it.
 
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:03 AM
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I'm really not wanting to mount the radios to the engine doghouse for times when I need to service the engine. I'm still leaning on building a plywood box to mount on the floor between the front seats. Then a locking lid to protect the radio.
 
 


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