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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After scouring the entire forum and online resources, I could not find anything that would meet my OCD standards of elegant and minimalist so I decided to engineer & fabricate a rear view mirror / accessory mount using the existing rear view mirror mounting pylon. Typically fabricating unique parts gets expensive, but I got lucky. I was able to do it mostly with existing parts and a cheap tablet stand off Amazon. Total cost = under $100, and no holes drilled in the van ! A mirror WAS harmed in the making of this post :)

The end product will hold a phone or tablet - the former in portrait or landscape mode, the latter landscape only , and a radar detector. The harness can power any devices up to 3A total , I have a Galaxy Tab A7, Uniden Detector and Blackvue Dash Cam powered by the harness.

Required parts :

OEM "Tri-Lobe" Ford Mirror - if vehicle came with one, use it, if not, order part # 5M5Z-17000-A
Link: | OEM Parts - total cost shipped ~ $50

Viozon iPad Pro Stand , Amazon
Link: Amazon.com: viozon iPad Pro Stand, Tablet Stands 360° Rotatable Aluminum Alloy Desktop Mount Stand Compatible with 7-13inch iPad Pro iPadAir iPad Mini Surface and Surface Pro (Silver General): Electronics

Detector Mount, cannibalized the mount that came with my Uniden - free. If you need a mount, you can buy this kit and steal the detector slider. Make sure you get the one that is compatible with your detector - the mounts are different on some models.
Link: Amazon.com: Mirror Mount Radar Detector Bracket for Uniden DFR Series Detectors: Radar Mount: Car Electronics

DC-DC Converter (for tablet / phone) make sure you get the proper end !, here is the USB C version, Amazon
Link: Amazon.com: 12V to 5V DC USB Type-C Right Angle Step-Down Power Converter, Buck Converter, 15W Output, 3A at 5V USB Type-C Power Supply, Waterproof (12V to 5V USB-C Power Converter): Home Audio & Theater

Blackvue Cigarette Lighter 90 degree cable , 10 feet, Amazon
Link: Amazon.com: BlackVue Power Cable for Dashcam (CL-2P) DR900S/DR750S/DR650S/DR490/DR450/DR430: Home Audio & Theater

8-32 screws in various lengths (you will need to tap some of the holes)
2" aluminum bar stock 1/8" thick
(all above from Home Depot)

Tools :
9/64 drill
3/16 drill
Countersink bit
8-32 tap(you will need to tap some of the holes)
A vice and drill press comes in handy but this can be done without either.

(NOTE: This is for a 2020 Transit 250, my guess is this will work in any 2018 and up - not sure about older vans, the mounting may be different and the dashboard left side power panel may or may not be present - the presence of that panel makes this MUCH easier.


Steps :

1> Remove goiter plastic - easily done by pulling it apart - don't force it, but it comes off quite easily
2> Remove OEM mirror by twisting it very hard - its very tight but it comes off
3> Locate the mounting screw in the removed mirror pylon, remove it, pull pylon from the mirror
4> Take a hammer, and smash the mirror glass - be CAREFUL to break it closer to the edge and not in the center , you do not want to damage the swivel you will be "harvesting" it. Remove all glass and discard.
5> Cut / break the center swivel away from the plastic mirror body, you will need an x-acto knife or something sharp. You will be left with the swivel assy (see pic)

I am not going to post the actual measurements and details because each install will be different - what worked for me may or may not work for you. I just want to plant the seed so you have an idea of what can be done. The entire fabrication took me an hour - the planning a little more than that. I got lucky in the that swivel / pylon was actually well made and strong enough to allow this to work - a little bit of sanding and it fit like a charm.

As far as the electrical - that too was fairly easy. Rather than waste my time trying to find power in the modules within the goiter - all most likely powered by the BCM - I ran a dedicated power line from the OEM upper dash located cigarette plug. I don't have a pic, but using a 90 degree lighter plug and drilling a small hole I was able to install it completely out of sight. A bonus is that I can unplug it when I store the vehicle instead of unplugging all the devices or pulling the fuse. I ran the wiring behind the dash , up the A pillar, over the roof panel to the goiter. It was simple and there was plenty of room to work behind the dash - (the cigarette lighter / USB panel and the panel on the bottom of the upper dash were easily removed), Total time to run the wire - about 10 minutes. If you don't have the lighter / USB panel you'll have to hard wire to the fuse panel - that will take more time, but easily done .

Once I had power to the goiter, I soldered my 3 device harnesses together and I had power to all of them. Covered it all with heat shrink and stowed it in the goiter.

I can mount a Galaxy Tab A7, or my iPhone on the mount, and my radar detector. It does not move, the entire assembly weighs a little over one pound with the devices installed. Its fully adjustable on both axises , which makes it nice. Both devices are easily removed as well .

A note about the tablet - I am using a 10.1" Galaxy Tab A7 - due to the way its installed (lower than ceiling mount) it blocks some of the view and <may> crate a blind spot. It does not bother me at all - I am tall and I pretty much see around it - but your experience may differ. I connected it via my internal Wi-Fi to a rear cam (Wyze Can V2) using RTSP so I have real-time CCTV rear view video (i.e. no internet latency or need for internet at all) I also loaded weather radar and Gaia GPS apps so it makes an awesome head unit off road. If blind spots are a concern, you can use a phone in place of the Tablet , smaller screen but works just as well. The iPad stand comes with two "grippers" that accommodate nearly any device and they are easily changeable. The radar detector mount is optional - makes the fabrication even easier .

Overall very pleased with how it turned out, feel free to use the photos to construct your own !
I have included full sized photos so you can see the detail should you need to. Once everything was finished, I cleaned up the long bolts, and painted the metal parts black. This was a prototype. I ordered another mirror ($36) and will most likely make a cleaner version.

Photos :

Harvested the center swivel from the OEM mirror, trimmed

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Everything rough mounted together.
156512


Another view - 1/8 in clearance to the detector :) Notes - swivel was removed from the iPad stand, all other metal was made using 2" bar stock. If you did not need to install the radar detector, this would be a very simple mod that could easily hold a phone or tablet for a rear view / overhead head unit.

156513




All cleaned up and test installed. Just need to clean it up and paint it black. Admittedly , its a lot more minimalistic without the radar detector , but I feel exposed driving without one so I had to install it.. :) I'm in the process of making a "Quadlock" mount that will eliminate the white clamshell / tablet holder - and shave weight / remove even more of the bulk of the assy. I will post final, detailed photos soon.

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2019 250 148 mr
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The phone mount is slick. The tablet is too much. Blocking that much of your view in my state is illegal.

Generally speaking, I leave my phone in my pocket when driving. If I need directions, I just use the google maps or waze voice directions over bluetooth. I've done this for years with a helmet intercom on my motorcycle and it's never been a problem not to see a screen. And the lack of distraction makes me a safer driver/rider.
 

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Did your van already have the mirror that you harvested parts from? For those of us without a mirror I'm not certain that just the part you linked to would be sufficient based on not having anything other than the bare "goiter" to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The phone mount is slick. The tablet is too much. Blocking that much of your view in my state is illegal.

Generally speaking, I leave my phone in my pocket when driving. If I need directions, I just use the google maps or waze voice directions over bluetooth. I've done this for years with a helmet intercom on my motorcycle and it's never been a problem not to see a screen. And the lack of distraction makes me a safer driver/rider.
To each his own. My phone is in my glove box everything I use is wireless. The mounted tablet is no distraction for me, not like I'm playing games on it. I drove trucks and large vehicles with overhead consoles for years, having a real time live view rear camera is a huge added safety feature in an RV or van, I suspect many others would agree. I don't actually touch the panel when I am driving, its all voice activated, no different really than a "hands off" phone. (i.e. Alexa - play rear view camera, Alexa - play WAZE) . Having rear view and nav up high is a lot nicer (and safer) than having it on the radio screen - where you actually DO have to look down and take your eyes off the road. Admittedly, the 10" tablet is a big large, I may just purchase an Android phone and use it - time will tell. I can always use my iPhone too.

As far as legal - not anything I'd be concerned with. Not to mention cops can't even arrest thieves and thugs these days, doubt they will waste time on a tablet rear view camera.. lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did your van already have the mirror that you harvested parts from? For those of us without a mirror I'm not certain that just the part you linked to would be sufficient based on not having anything other than the bare "goiter" to start with.

My van had a mirror, yes. I believe the bare goiter still has he mirror mount under it. Its a hexagonal plate glued to the windshield. You might not have a hole cut in the goiter for the pylon to pass through - that I am not sure. Someone here posted pics of a non-mirror equipped van - the hex plate was there, didn't get to see the goiter plastic so not sure there was a hole, a cover or if it was just solid.

You can check it quickly by pulling the goiter plastic apart - literally put your fingers on the seam and pull gently -it should easily release. Here's what you are looking for :

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I agree on the rear view camera. I have the vantop and its easily the best safety item I could add to the van. It makes driving so much easier. It is only as big as the mirror it replaces. It also adds front and rear dashcams which is another huge safety factor.

I agree on the legal aspect, but it is always something to consider. I drove a Volvo F7 turbo cab over for 7 years, and you can definitely get away with just about anything in the cabin. At least back in the old days.

I was about to go back and delete my post because I decided it was too negative. Please don't take it that way, I try to be constructive and sometimes I just sound like an a-hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree on the rear view camera. I have the vantop and its easily the best safety item I could add to the van. It makes driving so much easier. It is only as big as the mirror it replaces. It also adds front and rear dashcams which is another huge safety factor.

I agree on the legal aspect, but it is always something to consider. I drove a Volvo F7 turbo cab over for 7 years, and you can definitely get away with just about anything in the cabin. At least back in the old days.

I was about to go back and delete my post because I decided it was too negative. Please don't take it that way, I try to be constructive and sometimes I just sound like an a-hole.
All good mate - we're on the same page. I too can come across opinionated and harsh - at least no one can argue we don't just call it as we see it. You bring up good points, others should consider and apply as they wish ! You refer to the old days - some drivers had radar jammers and TVs on their dash.. lol. Today that's a revocation of a CDL ..

I wanted to use the Vantop unit - the cameras are captive though - can't use wireless , big drawback especially when the interiors are already finished - running wires from the back to the front is just not something I'd consider in a fully finished interior. Wifi live cams work very well when using RTSP, they don't work at all if they rely on internet (to slow).

Safe driving !
 

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I was about to go back and delete my post because I decided it was too negative. Please don't take it that way, I try to be constructive and sometimes I just sound like an a-hole.
Props for the follow-up. Seems like quite a few of us need a disclaimer now and then ('specially me). :)

Wondering if anyone can verify: my buddy's cargo rig has that hex mount thing but no mirror. The OP setup looks like "harvesting" the original mirror mount part. Anyone have a way to attach to that hex thing without /owning/ a mirror? Buy one to smash up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Props for the follow-up. Seems like quite a few of us need a disclaimer now and then ('specially me). :)

Wondering if anyone can verify: my buddy's cargo rig has that hex mount thing but no mirror. The OP setup looks like "harvesting" the original mirror mount part. Anyone have a way to attach to that hex thing without /owning/ a mirror? Buy one to smash up?
The hex mount attached to the glass is part of the windshield - if its not present, adding one is probably not possible - they are bonded to the glass. If the hex mount IS present but the vehicle did not come with a mirror, all you need to do is order one for $36 at the link posted in my writeup above.
 

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The hex mount attached to the glass is part of the windshield - if its not present, adding one is probably not possible - they are bonded to the glass. If the hex mount IS present but the vehicle did not come with a mirror, all you need to do is order one for $36 at the link posted in my writeup above.
Ah... order the cheap mirror. Got it! Thanks.
 
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