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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One thing that is sorely lacking in the E46 is a good solution for charging your phone and mounting it in a visible (but not distracting) location. I decided to use a magnetic mount in conjunction with a 10' Lightning cable to hardwire an always-on power source for my phone. The location is also great for me because I have the Escort Passport Max 2 which uses Bluetooth to hook up to my phone and enhance my speed awareness and ticket avoidance.

Here's how the finished setup looks:
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And as you can see, it mounts high enough to be out of my line of sight. I'm 5'11" and have no issue with the phone getting in my way.
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Here's what you'll need (links added by me):
  1. Magnetic Phone Mount
  2. 10' Lightning Cable (black)
  3. 12V to 5V USB Power Converter (also available at the Toschi Station on Tatooine)
  4. One ring-type electrical connector and one spade-type electrical connector. I already had this kit on hand.

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Start off by putting a spade connector on the positive wire and a ring connector on the negative wire of the 12V-to-USB converter.
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Next, drop the glove box (but leave the wires connected) so you have unrestricted access to the fuse box and the grounded metal around the fuse box.
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Use a self-tapping screw and power drill to ground the black wire to the metal frame, as seen below. There are other options that don't involve drilling, but I chose to drill because I had the self tapping screw readily available. The important thing is that you establish a good ground.
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Next, plug the spade connector on the positive wire directly into the lower side of an empty fuse location. If you aren't certain that your 12V-to-USB connector has an internal fuse, you'll want to use an inline fuse (5 amp should be good) to protect your electronics.
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Next, use a 3M Command strip or similar mounting tape to mount the USB converter on the bottom of the fuse box, as seen below.
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The USB converter is now successfully installed! Before routing the Lightning cable, plug it in and make sure that it's getting power to your phone. Once that's working, all that's left is to route the Lightning cable behind the trim and hide everything, then put the glove box back in!

Next, feed your Lightning cable as seen below, routing it above your rear view mirror connections.
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I found it easiest to use some small needle nose pliers to tuck the cable behind the trim, running along the top of the windshield and then down the passenger side A pillar.
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Once you get to the bottom of the A pillar, route the wire down to the passenger footwell, as seen in the photos below. You just have to push it through the trim piece and it will magically appear in the glove box area!
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Now it's just a matter of plugging the Lightning cable into the USB port and tucking everything away, then reinstalling the glove box.
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You will, of course, also need to attach a small steel plate to the back of your phone case so the magnet has something to hold onto.
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Holy obstruction Batman! That mounting location sure is convenient, but it doesn't look safe. Are you sure the local PoPo isn't going to raise an issue?
 

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I'm 6'3", so I'd have to turn on the camera app to see where I was going...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
For perspective, it's about an inch above the bottom of the rear view mirror. If the rear view mirror obstructs your view out the windshield, then this may also be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Holy obstruction Batman! That mounting location sure is convenient, but it doesn't look safe. Are you sure the local PoPo isn't going to raise an issue?

They'd be more likely to raise a fuss about the radar detector. The phone really isn't at all in my way.
 

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For perspective, it's about an inch above the bottom of the rear view mirror. If the rear view mirror obstructs your view out the windshield, then this may also be a problem.
It does actually sometimes obstruct my view ;)
 
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