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2018 Z71 4x4 Extended Cab
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I wanted to follow up with the results of the installation of 2 radios & 3 antenna mounts in my 2018 Z71 Extended Cab. The job consisted of installing one Yaesu FT-7900 (2M/440) and one Kenwood TK-630 (VHF-Low) radio with control heads, mics, and speakers. 2 NMO antenna mounts went on the roof and one spare antenna mount on the driver side fender using the COMET no-drill antenna bracket referenced in post 140 of this thread. A friend who is experienced with 2-way radio installation led the install effort.

Both radio chassis, a power distribution/fuse box, and spare power port were mounted on a piece of plywood, painted black to match the floor and cut to fit behind the driver's seat. We used the previously-mentioned clutch pedal punch-out in the firewall to route the power lead to the battery and PA speaker lead. Instead of the boot-type grommet, the cables were routed thru the firewall via an outdoor/weatherproof cable grommet as used in the electrical trade. The PA speaker lead (shielded 2-conductor outdoor cable) went to a spare spot under the hood on the passenger side where a small PA speaker would fit. Installing that thing was as pain, as access under there is very tight. And I can tell you (with some shame), that I have the dealer replace the battery when the time comes, as that beast is also a pain to get out!

Speakers were mounted behind the passenger seat, on the removable trim panel that provides access to the spare tire tools. The dual-bander speaker is an amplified one, which was modified to switch audio to either the speaker itself or to the under-hood PA speaker. The 2 roof antennas' coax was routed thru the trim panel behind the driver's seat, and we removed the rear dome light for access. We did not drop the headliner. The NMO mounts were installed to clear the cross-brace and it was tedious, but went well. Be careful with removing/installing that dome light, it's in there pretty tight.

Finally, the control heads were mounted in the usual spot in the console cubbyhole in front of the shifter. Due to the tight space there, the FT-7900 head was mounted on top of the Kenwood head with some 3M outdoor mounting tape. It worked very well, and has held fast since October 2018. Because I would lose access to the USB port and AUX line -in jack, short extension cables plugged in, so I could still use those jacks. The 2 mics were hung on the passenger side of the console.

It all went pretty smoothly, and took about a full day to install everything. It's worked very well, the only glitch being glare on the control head displays coming from the passenger side window, from some angles. That was addressed by tilting the heads down a bit and with some anti-glare film from an Amazon vendor. I'll put a few pics below (I don't know what the pic limit is, I took a lot of pics).

Many thanks to all the posters in this thread with their great ideas, it made this job a lot quicker!

IMG_4975.JPG DSC_2254.JPG DSC_2253.JPG DSC_2245.JPG
 

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1,231 Posts
What would be the best spot to install the antenna? I use a Wilson Magnetic base and place it on the top of the roof about dead center.
 

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2020 Colorado Z71 Trail Runner
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135 Posts
Got my ham radio installed today. Main unit is in the center console, head unit and speaker are in the cubby with the USB ports and lighter socket. Had to tear things apart a wee bit but overall, not too bad.







You can see the speaker behind the face plate:

 
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