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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2007 Mazda3. There's an Aux In jack in the armrest console, of course, but is there any access to that jack from outside of the armrest? I'm thinking of getting a GPS unit w/ MP3 player and it'd be great to hook that into the stereo.
 

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Where are you planning on putting the GPS/Mp3 player? If you're going somewhere on the dash then I have two suggestions:

-Drill a small hole in the forward wall of the center console below the ACI, and 12v plugs (near the bottom) just big enough to fit your wire through. If you ended up selling the car then I doubt anyone would see that hole hidden down there.

-Run the wire under the shifter/cupholders, have it come up through the back section of the e-brake hole and then go over the edge of the center console compt. and to the ACI. There's a little channel along that edge for a wire to run without being pinched.
 

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Thanks for the advice. The GPS will be mounted near the dashboard or windshield (though I'd prefer the latter, it's illegal here in CA, so we'll see... :)). After looking more carefully at the center console, it looks like there's already a small hole beneath the upper tray of the console that leads directly into the large lower area. In fact, I'm guessing this is the "little channel" you mentioned in your reply?

Now what's the best way to get a wire beneath the cup holders and through the e-brake hole? I've never taken apart anything on this car.

Also, and this may be irrelevant, there's a small horizontal plastic cover just behind the two center cup holders. It looks like it could be pried off with a thin screwdriver but I haven't tried this. Any idea what's under there?

Thanks again!
 

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No problem, happy to help.

The hole in the bottom of the upper tray in the armrest console is so you can plug an Mp3 player into the ACI and then have the player up top on the pad instead of knocking around in the bottom. That way you can still store stuff without worrying about damaging the player. The channel I'm talking about is actually the front lip of the compartment. In this picture it's in the top left corner (left is towards the front, right is towards the back, and up is towards the passenger side.

from sromero2

That channel is right above the hole for the ebrake, so getting the wire from the e-brake to the console will be easy. It will of course leave several inches of wire visible.... I don't know how you are, but I dislike non-hidden wires. For taking stuff apart... this is the easy part. To remove the cupholders: open the armrest storage bin, set the e-brake, grab the front lip of the storage bin (where the channel is) and pull up to release the tension clips holding the cupholders in, slide it over the ebrake handle and set aside. To remove the gear shift surround: remove the cupholders, if MTX unscrew shift knob (ATX ignore this step), grab the surround and pull up to release the tension clips. To remove the ashtray/lighter section: unscrew the two phillips head screws uncovered by the gear shift surround, remove lighter from plug, grab the ashtray section and pull backwards (it helps to put your right thumb in the lighter so make sure the car's off. ;)), there are wires for the airbag light/lighter which you can either unplug or just push the section out of the way for you to run wires.

It sounds hard and a little scary, but it's really really easy. :D

The little rectangular cover behind the cupholders is just an access to adjust the tension on the e-brake. I don't really know why they put that there when it's so easy to remove the cupholders, but oh well.

I guess mounting stuff on the windshield is illegal in CA? If so you could look into the mounts offered by www.proclipusa.com. They have one that clips into the left/center vent, and another that mounts on the right of the HVAC panel. Neither involve any cutting or drilling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great pics and great explanation. The channel you point out is actually the same one I had in mind-- guess I never noticed it before today. I haven't tried it yet (since I haven't gotten the GPS yet either) but it sounds like running the wire under the cup holders and brake will be an easy job too, so that should be a good solution!

One of my coworkers just got a GPS for his car and bought a mount from www.proclipusa.com too. I'm a little nervous about having the GPS sit right in front of the vent, especially in the winter hot air will be blowing directly onto the unit, but that may still be the best option here in CA.

Thanks again for the great information.
 

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[quote author=pan2 link=topic=68233.msg1178267#msg1178267 date=1170221140]
Great pics and great explanation. The channel you point out is actually the same one I had in mind-- guess I never noticed it before today. I haven't tried it yet (since I haven't gotten the GPS yet either) but it sounds like running the wire under the cup holders and brake will be an easy job too, so that should be a good solution!

One of my coworkers just got a GPS for his car and bought a mount from www.proclipusa.com too. I'm a little nervous about having the GPS sit right in front of the vent, especially in the winter hot air will be blowing directly onto the unit, but that may still be the best option here in CA.

Thanks again for the great information.
[/quote]

I suppose it could depend on which GPS you're using, but after about a decade of GPSing with a variety of units, I've yet to find a Garmin that cares about temperature, hot or cold, on dashboards or motorcycles. Here's a recent post I tossed up about the ProClip solution with a Garmin 276C. No complaints...
http://www.mazda3forums.com/index.php?topic=66827
 
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