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New Model 3 Radar Detector Hardwire

dgyoungs

Member
Feb 25, 2020
13
2
RI
Folks!

I'm trying to figure out the best method to connect my radar detector (Uniden R3) to my M3. Has anyone did it to a 2020 model yet? Or even a late 2019? From what i can tell, there are 3 options:

1. Rear View Mirror tap - connection is too tight to use AND power source is constant (not ideal) but i believe this radar detector has a battery save mode if I'm not mistaken
2. Fuse box on driver side - middle location of white 6 pin connector is already occupied
3. Cigarette Lighter - constant power source as well

This YT video conflicts with other forums I have read. I was HOPING to tap right into the rear view mirror mount:


Has anyone done it and/or can provide some advice? perhaps an install video? Would be much appreciated!!!
 
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Nov 4, 2018
129
102
Wisconsin
I literally installed my R3 hardwired into my 2020 model 3 last night. You can still use the fuse panel; it is true that there is a wire populated in the spot but from what I can tell and what I’ve been able to research the wire leads to the back of the car supposedly in preparation for possible trailer hitch wiring. It is safe to tap into. I can tell you right now though, it is an absolute bastard and a half to contort yourself into the position required to get to it. The pictures people take of that connection make you think it’s easy to get to when in reality you’ve got to be upside down on your back leaning into the car with your head shoved up the foot well.
Do not use a constant power source. The model 3 12V battery is not designed for power draw like that. Maybe you can use the cigarette lighter outlet but honestly that’s seems to me like it would be every bit as much work as to do it right into use the tap in the foot well.
I used a blendmount hardwire kit and it worked really well. It’s just about the perfect length to get from my blendmount at the mirror to the foot well module.
 

dgyoungs

Member
Feb 25, 2020
13
2
RI
I literally installed my R3 hardwired into my 2020 model 3 last night. You can still use the fuse panel; it is true that there is a wire populated in the spot but from what I can tell and what I’ve been able to research the wire leads to the back of the car supposedly in preparation for possible trailer hitch wiring. It is safe to tap into. I can tell you right now though, it is an absolute bastard and a half to contort yourself into the position required to get to it. The pictures people take of that connection make you think it’s easy to get to when in reality you’ve got to be upside down on your back leaning into the car with your head shoved up the foot well.
Do not use a constant power source. The model 3 12V battery is not designed for power draw like that. Maybe you can use the cigarette lighter outlet but honestly that’s seems to me like it would be every bit as much work as to do it right into use the tap in the foot well.
I used a blendmount hardwire kit and it worked really well. It’s just about the perfect length to get from my blendmount at the mirror to the foot well module.

Perfect timing! Wow.

So, the fuse panel is not a constant power source?

How difficult was it to get the wiring behind the panels?

Happen to have any pics or video to help? Anything would be greatly appreciated.
 

BuggDDS

Member
Dec 23, 2019
136
95
Oklahoma
FWIW, I used a straight (non-coiled) power cable and ran behind the screen on the passenger side and under the trim to the front of the center console and used the 12V socket...I would love a hardwired setup though!
 
Holy crap, this is a horrible project. That red wire, part of the 6-pin connecter way up behind crap on the left, that we have to tap is very hard to see, and hard to access. The other issue is that that wire is THICK (16G??). I tried to tap it at least 50 times, in and out of the car, taking a dremel to my little blue crimper to widen the biting channel... my fingers are raw and I could never clamp that wire. It's impossible to get pliers on there to close the deal, although I tried. I eventually gave up and put it all back together.

It's really tempting instead access that wire 2-3" down where access is better, but that requires cutting away some of the tape that holds the bundles together and it would probably be pretty obvious "tampering" if I needed a warranty claim.

I left my radar wires in there... still not sure if I'm going back or what my plan will be, but any sort of crimping maneuver to tap that wire probably won't work. If I go back in there, I'll get a posi-tap, probably the blue one, and give that a go.

Are you guys with the 20's using that technique or something else?

This is why I just use coil cords in my other cars... I don't like hard-wiring... I'd rather deal with a dangling cord that I just end up getting used to but Tesla put the 12v port in the worst possible place, then made it so cramped that if you use it you can't use the center console tray, and on top of that there is no indentation in the console cover to allow passage of cords.

I've hard wired 4-5 vehicles and run coil cords on another 3-4.. never have I not had a fairly good and easy option or two until now.
 
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BuggDDS

Member
Dec 23, 2019
136
95
Oklahoma
Holy crap, this is a horrible project. That red wire, part of the 6-pin connecter way up behind crap on the left, that we have to tap is very hard to see, and hard to access. The other issue is that that wire is THICK (16G??). I tried to tap it at least 50 times, in and out of the car, taking a dremel to my little blue crimper to widen the biting channel... my fingers are raw and I could never clamp that wire. It's impossible to get pliers on there to close the deal, although I tried. I eventually gave up and put it all back together.

It's really tempting instead access that wire 2-3" down where access is better, but that requires cutting away some of the tape that holds the bundles together and it would probably be pretty obvious "tampering" if I needed a warranty claim.

I left my radar wires in there... still not sure if I'm going back or what my plan will be, but any sort of crimping maneuver to tap that wire probably won't work. If I go back in there, I'll get a posi-tap, probably the blue one, and give that a go.

Are you guys with the 20's using that technique or something else?

This is why I just use coil cords in my other cars... I don't like hard-wiring... I'd rather deal with a dangling cord that I just end up getting used to but Tesla put the 12v port in the worst possible place, then made it so cramped that if you use it you can't use the center console tray, and on top of that there is no indentation in the console cover to allow passage of cords.

I've hard wired 4-5 vehicles and run coil cords on another 3-4.. never have I not had a fairly good and easy option or two until now.

My straight cord to center console works great, and the armrest closes fine and do have room for the little tray
 

Apprunner

Member
Jul 2, 2019
493
572
So-cal
i used a blendmount and tapped the 12V near the door trim. I didn't actually do the work myself but had it done at a shop that knows how to do Teslas. The easiest way is to call a high end stereo shop and they typically do work like this. I found my shop when i asked my PPF installer that does a ton of Teslas if they did work like this and they recommended the place i went to . Usually the shops that work on a lot of the Teslas all know each other so getting a referral is easy. I think the work itself was only a $150 without parts.
 
I finished the job and went through a lot of trouble trying to do the red-wire method, but abandoned it for the 12v center console source. Just so much cleaner and unobtrusive, and I'm mystified why more people don't just recommend that, like @BuggDDS says.

I was delighted to find out that the 12v port goes off with the car - eventually. It actually stays live for a while but I think it shuts off when the car goes to sleep. My detector has a power button top left anyhow, so even if it didn't turn itself off it isn't too painful to have to turn it on. I ran the cord out of the rear-passenger corner of the center console, so I never have to see it. ;)

Anyhow, here's my video evidence it does indeed shutoff at some point....

 
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not4antoher

Member
May 15, 2019
156
114
Walnut, CA, USA
I installed Uniden R3 today.
My vehicle already has an existing positive wire from Hansshow automatic trunk kit. It took me about 30 min to complete.
I used one of the factory ground for the kit and turned on the auto power-off feature since the power is always on with my setup.

IMG_0774.jpg
IMG_0777.jpg
IMG_0778.jpg
IMG_0779.jpg
 

StellarRat

Active Member
Jan 8, 2014
1,498
1,345
Pacific
The noob is in:
What is a radar detector?
An obsolete piece of equipment that detects radar waves coming from law enforcement to check the speed of vehicles for purpose of traffic enforcement. The driver hopes the device will warn him/her of radar in use ahead in time to slow down and avoid a citation.
 

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