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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #1
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Another GPS mount solution - "Erector-RAM"

I promised in another tech thread I was working on something.... and here it is (not sure if this is a FARKLE or Tech).


I wanted to be able to mount my GPS (Garmin Nuvi 265W) behind the windshield, without obstructing my view of the gauges, and without the need to shift my field of vision too much or need to refocus so close, like on the handlebars. I liked the idea of the RAM mounts' abilities to be modular and thought I would use it like an erector set, hence the name I gave it . I may still fabricate a mount similar to the one in this thread http://www.ninjette.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15442
but am testing my "Erector-RAM" currently.

Here are the RAM parts I used (purchased from CycleGadgets.com).
1 ea. Nuvi 200W-series Cradle ($9.50)
1 ea. Compact Base / Cradle Ball Adapter ($6.00)
2 ea. 1-3/4" Black RAM Arm ($11.00)
1 ea. RAM-BARBELL ($15.00)
1 ea. 9mm mounting hole w/ offset angle ball ($18.50)
Total = $71.00 plus shipping. (A little more than I planned to spend.... especially since I did it over two shipments)


This is an image of the power source I wired in (from GPSgeek.com for $27.27 after shipping).


I then purchased a spare Battery Tender Harness from Amazon.com ($12.14 after shipping). I cut the harness in the middle and decided to use the quick-connect end to plug into my existing harness. I did this instead of wiring directly to the battery because I won't use it for my everyday commutes, and don't want yet another harness connected directly to the battery (it is getting like a bowl of spaghetti in there).


All I have to do to connect it is reach bellow the left side cover and connect the two ends for power (shown with cover removed).


Here is where I zip-tied in the transformer (I will likely relocate it and clean it up a bit the next time my bike gets naked).


Here the Erector-RAM is installed, without the GPS unit installed (sorry pic is so grainy).


And a side view.


I am taking advantage of the extra space my ZG DB gives me, but suspect that anything less may be too tight, like stock windshield or possibly even the Puig may be difficult without positioning it out more - it might possibly block the view of the gauges.

I just drove it to work, and it vibrated a little more than I would have hoped for, but I'll check the tension on it before I head for home. I suspect it comes from the length and number of joints I put in it.

Last futzed with by headshrink; May 18th, 2009 at 08:03 PM. Reason: spelling/grammer
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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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Tip on zip ties... after you tighten them as much as you want, clip off the "tails" flush with the body of the tie wrap. Exposed tails like that will cut up your hand when you reach under there later on. This is from experience working in electronic racks with hundreds of tie wraps used for cable runs.

Good job on the DIY.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #3
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Ahhh, I guess it is a DIY..... My first DIY. This is a big day!

Thanks for the zip tie tip - I'll rectify that next time I'm naked

Update: I tightened the mount before coming home, and it definitely helped. Bumpy roads may be too much, but I'll continue to test.
I also rememberd that I forgot to hook-up the headlights.... dohhh!!! Glad I didn't get pulled over - fixed before I headed for home.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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Nice work. Looks very clean.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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This is very nice! I might have to copy
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Old May 19th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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Update: I just took my second trip to work with the new install.

Before I left the neighborhood I discovered the power cord would not stay connected at the unit. It was physically still plugged in, but would only make contact if I held it tightly - obviously I can't ride that way. So I had to ride to work on battery power alone, which a) defeats the purpose of on-board power and b) dims the screen a little.

Grrrrr..... and one have any ideas what I would do about this (preferably cheap and easy)?
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Old May 19th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #7
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Looks nice!

What are you using for a clock just below the key hole? Is that a watch?
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Old May 19th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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I just noticed. Did you turn the GPS on a plane, or does your ninjette go that fast?
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Looks nice!

What are you using for a clock just below the key hole? Is that a watch?
Yes... I velcroed a cheapo watch that has an :Indiglo" light on it.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I just noticed. Did you turn the GPS on a plane, or does your ninjette go that fast?


Ahh ha - I wondered who would be the first to see that

That speed was acquired by adding 2 washers to each carb needle
.... but the 737 didn't hurt either.



*** Bump for post #6 ***
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 06:22 PM   #11
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Update: Hopefully the power plug situation will be solved, as I have FINALLY found an obscure customer feedback comment on some site that said the cradle I am using does not allow the power cord enough room to seat. I checked this out, and it is true. I had not noticed that before. I circled the piece that causes the problem in the below picture. I cut out this piece and the cord seats MUCH better. If this weekend's ride happens as planned, I will hopefully be reporting back my success.

REMOVE THIS PIECE
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 07:47 PM   #12
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Good find.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 05:58 AM   #13
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Old May 25th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #14
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Update: After a 134 mi. ride through both twisties, and freeway, I am happy to report that I had no issues with the power cable.

I'll call this issue solved, unless something pops up down the road. Hehe - "down the road."
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Old May 26th, 2009, 03:43 AM   #15
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how is the shaking issue ?

you had mentioned that there was alot of vibration .. did you resolve that issue as well ?

thats a very nice install
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Old May 26th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
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how is the shaking issue ?

you had mentioned that there was a lot of vibration .. did you resolve that issue as well ?

thats a very nice install
Thank you.

Since I tightened the mounting screw and knobs the vibration greatly improved. There is still some, but not bad. Of course I wasn't on super bumpy roads either. Time will tell how much of an issue it is long-term, since after all, the Nuvi was not designed for motorcycles.... at least that is what they say. I imagine if I used one RAM arm, instead of two, it would cut vibration a little more, but I needed the added articulation.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 07:17 PM   #17
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I'm about to order a RAM mount and the 9mm mounting hole w/ offset angle ball but i was wondering if that would put too much weight where you have placed yours. Bob, have you had any problems since you installed yours? Any feed back would be great.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 07:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I'm about to order a RAM mount and the 9mm mounting hole w/ offset angle ball but i was wondering if that would put too much weight where you have placed yours. Bob, have you had any problems since you installed yours? Any feed back would be great.
Good question..... I have not had any problems, but I also don't use it very often since I mainly commute on my bike. The longest I have used it at one time was for a 100 mile ride and a 325 mile ride, but I didn't have a problem that I could notice. The bolt I attached to is connected to the metal rear-view mirror bracket, so I am hoping/expecting it will be enough to support it long-term without stressing the plastic. I do have a ZG db, and don't think it would fit with a stock screen, without sticking out. If you don't already have a db or touring screen, I do recommend one anyways.

Hope that helps.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 11:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkim View Post
Tip on zip ties... after you tighten them as much as you want, clip off the "tails" flush with the body of the tie wrap. Exposed tails like that will cut up your hand when you reach under there later on. This is from experience working in electronic racks with hundreds of tie wraps used for cable runs.

Good job on the DIY.

twisting them with a pair of pliers till they break is a easy way to make sure there are no sharp edges.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #20
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The Timex is too cool. Great idea.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 07:15 PM   #21
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The Timex is too cool. Great idea.
Thanks. I have since moved it to a spot on the dash, after adding a water temp gauge to that spot.
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Old July 30th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #22
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I finally received my RAM mount with the aqua box that i ordered through gpscity.ca. After asking for headshrink's permission here are some pics of my setup. I quickly realized that my garmin craddle does not fit the 1" ball that RAM uses so i have to purchase the RAM craddle. I'll have to play with the setup. I wanted the aqua box because i live and ride near the ocean and there is usually some salty mist in the air but seeing how bulky it is I will definitely buy the RAM craddle and might put plastic wrap around my Garmin on certain days.

I have received the following:

RAM Mount Aqua Box GPS Cradle Wide
RAM Mount Round Plate with 1 inch Ball
RAM Mount Standard 1.0 inch Socket Arm
RAM Mount Steel U-Bolt Motorcycle Mount Base
RAM Mount Mini Motorcycle Mount Base 9mm Hole
Gilsson Bare Wire Power Cable

[IMG][/IMG]

Here is my Garmin in the aqua box with all 3 pieces of foams (0.12", 0.25" and 0.5" thick) included. I find the aqua box big.


aqua box closed and the gelly cover works great on the touchscreen


Here it is on my handlebar and i just noticed in the picture that it is hidding my side mirror but will have to go for a ride to see if it really is in the way


finally here it is on the windshield ball mount which hides the speedometer but can still see my tach and fuel gauge. I use the gps now for more accurate speed. It may work better with the craddle.


If anyone is wondering i have a Garmin Nuvi 250W
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Last futzed with by BlueRaven; July 30th, 2009 at 09:30 AM. Reason: added information
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Old July 31st, 2009, 10:01 AM   #23
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Nice setup BR. Even though the aqua box is large I like the idea that it protects the gps unit from rain and seems to protect it from damage.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:59 AM   #24
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The aqua box is an interesting idea. I never picked up from the photos online that it had a flexible cover..... but I guess it wouldn't work without one, being touch screen and all

Although my GPS is basically a brother to yours (265WT), I wasn't worried about it getting wet because I only use it when I'm touring, and only ride wet when I'm commuting. Good idea though - gotta love those RAMs! One thing I did learn the hard way though, was to really think through and measure (the best I could) for ALL the parts you think you may need before ordering..... I spend WAYYYY to much money on shipping and handling figuring out the final configuration through multiple orders. I'm keeping the handlebar mount though, even though I don't currently use it in my current configuration, because I think it may be the appropriate mount for the 650r (if and when).

Let's see some more ideas!
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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:42 PM   #25
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It's ashame that we don't have stores that have RAM mounts and accessories so we could actually see what we need and possibly try them out on our bikes in the parking lot so we wouldn't have to multiple ship items we think we need.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 12:25 PM   #26
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Another variation

I recently purchased a Garmin C580 (Color Bigger Screen) to replace the Garmin GPS V (Small Screen...Waterproof) on my bike. Thanks to Headshrink, I modified the "Erector Ram" setup he used. Since I already had RAM pieces with the GPS V, I only had to purchase the C580 adapter (Mini Ball Mount), the RAM dumbell, the RAM 9mm mount. and a 1 3/4" RAM arm. I reused my 3 1/2" RAM arm and RAM Compact Base / Cradle Ball Adapter.

I had to use my phone camera for the following pictures, since my wife (Realtor) is working and has her camera with her. Maybe I can use her camera later and replace these with better pics.

You will also notice I still have the ball mount on the left clipon. This was used for the GPS V. Since the C580 is NOT waterproof, I have it under the ZG Sport Touring windshield and will enclose it with a ziplock bag as needed.

The blue arrows in the second picture show how I routed the power cable from the battery.







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Old August 1st, 2009, 01:56 PM   #27
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Awesome g21-30. Does your handle refer to your collection of .45s?

I'm glad you where able to implement this with at least partial existing parts. I think you will really like it. Your unit looks a little heavier than the 200W series, and the like, so let us know how the vibrations are with your new unit. Also, since your second arm is twice as long as the mini one, it may also contribute to a little more. I bet having the touring windscreen gives you a lot more breathing room for the GPS, which is nice.

I forgot to mention in my OP, that I routed the power cord straight down the nose, front and center.... there is a natural space there, so no modifications where necessary.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 02:47 PM   #28
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Hopefully costs will go down soon to get some good practice in on that other collection.... but the current administration has certainly effected the affordabilty/availability at the moment.

Yeah, that doesn't sound right about the mini=ball mount. It shouldn't move at all. I really can't make it out well in the pic, but to me it looks backwards.... the cradle shouldn't have a quick-disconnect from the arm. Edit: I just saw you aren't using a cradle, at least not in the same way I did.... perhaps that would be the solution.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 03:33 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Edit: I just saw you aren't using a cradle, at least not in the same way I did.... perhaps that would be the solution.
The factory housing is the cradle! Check out the recommended mounting kit for the handlebar. The 2 - $6.00 items (GA22 and Compact Base/Ball) are what you see in pictures 3 and 4. They connect together and the GPS just snaps into the GA22. I wish RAM made an additional cradle that would "cradle" the GPS!

http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products...?prod=RAM-GA22

The GPS snaps onto this:



Which is connected to this:



Which then connects to the 3 1/2" arm -> dumbell -> 1 3/4" arm -> 9 mm mirror bolt mount

EDIT: I decided to check out the RAM (the manufacturer) home page. I found this note on the GA22 mount page:

"Notice:
THIS MOUNT IS NOT INTENDED FOR HIGH VIBRATION APPLICATIONS SUCH AS MOTORCYCLE OR OFF ROAD USE. FOR HEAVY DUTY APPLICATIONS APPLY PVC PLUMBING GLUE TO RAM-HOL-GA22 ADAPTOR PRIOR TO ASSEMBLY. NOTE: ONCE GLUED THE MOUNT WILL BE PERMANENT."

If I went the glue route, I would then have to get a new ball mount for my Jeep, in order to use the GPS!
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Old August 1st, 2009, 05:43 PM   #30
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That is interesting. I can't believe they recommended PVC glue - LOL. Well, that is what I would do then.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 09:34 AM   #31
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I think this is much better than the lobster mount I'm using for my iPhone.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 11:28 AM   #32
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I ordered the RAM 3.3" Suction Cup mount with ball from Cycle Gadgets today.

Update: www.arkon.com sells mounts that work with the StreetPilot C580 and other models. I also ordered one of these from arkon: http://www.arkon.com/manuals/APGN-VSM.pdf

I will see which mount is best.

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Old August 2nd, 2009, 11:44 AM   #33
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I wouldn't recommend a suction cup mount... it may hold, and it may not.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:25 PM   #34
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Custom Nuvi Install

BR and g21-30, two thumbs up on both. I think I will use that approach for my mini DVR which came with an aqua box.

I'm pretty much done with my mount. I set out with a few goals:

1) Cheap
2) Clean - zero visible but GPS unit.
3) Speedy removal
4) Swappable between car using same mount.


Pretty much the full instructions and pictures are here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/edmcquee...26864818887138



Because it was so cheap, I might try it again after the summer with some improvements.

I now move on to my next project, a custom head phone, mic and hopefully display install to Arai Quantum M-II of G1 Android
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 07:37 PM   #35
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Ed what type of windshield is that, doesn't look like a double bubble.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 09:04 PM   #36
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It is a ZG DB:

Part Brand: Zero Gravity
Surface Finish: Dark Smoke
Manufacturer Part Number: 16-281-19

It's just weird lighting. The screen is very dark and the garage is some underground Cold War Era fallout shelter.

I will say that I was amazed at the difference between the factory screen and this one. The wind no longer hits me in the chest and really helps vortex around the bike making it much more stabile at speed.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 11:17 PM   #37
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I skimmed the thread(sorry if i missed something i should have seen) any thoughts about doing the same thing w/ an iphone? tomtom is coming soon i know they have a holder for the iphone and it looks really nice
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Old August 4th, 2009, 01:59 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headshrink View Post
I wouldn't recommend a suction cup mount... it may hold, and it may not.
I just realized, you thought I was going to use the suction cup mount on the bike. I ordered it to use in my Jeep, if I go the PVC glue route. At least then I can still use on the bike and vehicle.

Last futzed with by g21-30; August 6th, 2009 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Since the Arkon mount works, I will continue to use the original Garmin windshield mount in my Jeep.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #39
g21-30
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I solved my mount problem without using any adhesive. The first picture below shows (left to right) the RAM solution, the Garmin windshield mount, and the Arkon/RAM solution. The Arkon mini-ball fits the GPS mount very well (tight), even more so than the Garmin windshield mount. The only thing left to do is design a safety retention system (other than the power cord)! The second picture shows the Arkon/RAM combo mount on the bike. You can also see the power cord to the right of the fuel gauge.



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Old August 20th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #40
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Do you think I can make this same set up work with the OEM windshield, using my iphone as my gps? The phone fits in the spot just fine but im not sure how much room i would need behind it
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