Note: In deference to our mobile, dial-up, and deployed amigos, I'm using small photos. The smaller photos are hyperlinked to larger ones if you'd like to see them.
I've had a Yaesu FT8900R in my Nissan Xterra for a while. When I bought my TJ, I decided to move it over and install it properly, instead of Southern Engineered like my X. I'm taking my time, and the install is divided into three parts: the radio, power, and antenna.
In the first post, I'll focus on the radio, because while the antenna and power are ran well enough to test the radio, they aren't ready to post... yet. I'm not quite decided on where to put the remote head. Towards the end of the post, I'll put a few snapshots up, and solicit the opinions of those wiser than me. I'm not going to walk through the mundane details. For example, I'm starting the install after removing the front piece of the center console. If you need to know how to do that, Youtube is your amigo.
Here's there area where I'm going to mount the radio under the front half of the console. Notice the bolt just in front of my shifter boot. That's the magic bolt which will hold the radio mount.
Note: I've ran the antenna and power just so I can test the radio.
Next, I installed the FT8900R mounting bracket. Notice I tried to use the bolt just in front and to the right of my final mount location. That position wouldn't fit under the console, so I moved it to the center bolt. I only used one bolt because no drills I have will fit in the rather confined area holding the radio. Because the console itself helps hold the radio and bracket, I'm not worried about it being too loose. I also gorilla tightend the bolt down... it ain't movin'.
Next, I put the front half of the center console on to check for fit. It was good to go. Following that, I installed the radio. Astute hams will notice the FT8900R is mounted upside down with the speaker facing the tub. I did this so my heat sinks faced upwards. Why? Heat, Grasshopper. There's a chance that the area I've mounted the radio in can get rather warm, and I'd rather my heat sink NOT function as a heat absorber and for reasons you shall see below.
I plugged in my remote wire, and ran it under the radio and out the open end of the console.
Here's shot of the radio from the passenger floorboard area. I will actually be able to reach behind the console and plug in a data cable if I want to do some packet radio.
And a view of the back from the driver's floorboard. Notice the remote wire, antenna, and power. It will be a pain, but I an reach behind and remove and plug both power and antenna. The remote cable will likely require me to remove the console.
Here's another driver's side view. Notice that I had to unseat the cable bundle you see just on this side of the radio. It's stable now, but it's a tighter fit than I'd like in the console.
Once the radio was mounted, and all my cables checked, it was time to see if all of this hassle would pay off. Aaaaannnndddd... Profit! Here you can see the radio before I install the shifter's boot. The console is fully seated, and the two mounting screw holes are lined up.
Most of the time, I do almost no talking, so the radio never gets warm. If I do decide to do some heavy duty cycle stuff such as long rag chews,, cross-band repeat, or run packet, cw, etc., I can just pop the coin tray, exposing my heat sync to fresh air. This is the reason I mounted the unit upside down.
During normal use, I have my coin tray in place.