How To: Whistler Pro3600 Radar Installation

DynoBunny

Aussie
:
2007 MS3 GT/2012 5 GT
This is a pretty thorough walk through on installing a Whistler Pro 3600 radar detector in a Mazdaspeed 3. I’d like to note that from the time of this last edit I’ve had this installed for 2 1/2 years without any troubles, so I’ll give it 4 very well earned stars and explain a little of why it doesn’t get the fifth. To start with this is a bargain at it’s price; to be able to get a remote radar unit that performs this efficiently at under $250 is amazing. I considered units from Passport and Escort, but after looking at professional reviews, the distances weren’t much different, yet this was 3-4 times cheaper! I’m not going to go into performance specifications, there’s plenty of better resources for that, I’ll just state that this thing has saved my butt countless times since installed.
Some may ask why go through the trouble of a remote unit. I have three good reasons! One is theft, how many times have you heard of or known of people getting their window smashed in so some bloke could grab their radar detector off the dash. Yea I know you should take it off the window when leaving your car unattended, but that’s a pain in the rear, really I don’t want that hassle. Two, I take lots of road trips, one frequent trip involves a course involving 350 miles through Virginia. For those of you unaware, Virginia like many other states doesn’t allow radar detectors. With this remote mounted unit there’s no big ugly box hanging from the windshield, so you can utilize all your detecting power unnoticed through these unfair places. Three, performance; check the numbers if you want but anytime you can get the detector out in the front of the vehicle and lower to the ground, you’re gonna get a better result and better performance.

On to the install!

The fantastic Mazdaspeed 3
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The Whistler Pro 3600
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The best place I could find to mount the unit.
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I couldn’t fit a drill in comfortably with the front bumper on so I removed it. It made everything much easier and helped with a cleaner install
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You can see the area I marked with the grill on. This was where it lined up best so the optic didn’t have any interference in front of it.
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It said to mount at a 45* angle like this for best performance. It also fit the best this way.
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The other sensor is a temperature sensor. I’m not sure if it has any effect on the radar but it does read the same temperatures as my cars ambient temperature sensor; that made me feel a little better about it’s accuracy. It’s also very easy to mount and discreet.
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I looked for a while at different options to run the wire into the cabin and came up with this location. There’s one nut on this heat shield to remove and it will allow you to access a grommet that runs into the passenger footwell.
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Now you can go inside and pull the glovebox and other trim pieces in the way. There’s not much to dissemble, just a couple screws. When it’s out you’ll see the cutout in the carpet to pull away giving access to the grommet.
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There’s a little square in the plastic that you can drill a hole in, it’s perfect to run some wires through. This wire has a built in plug that plugged the hole I made.
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There’s going to be some wires left in the engine compartment, I zip-tied them up and stuck them behind the heat shield. They are well hidden with it in place.
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Mounting the control box; the first pic is what I wanted to do, until I tried to put the fuse panel cover on and it didn’t fit. I had to go with the second pic, the cover hides it and it’s out of the way, definitely the best spot I found to keep everything accessible.

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Get one of those “add a line” fuses and hook it up to the door lock fuse. This is a constant on and will allow you to use the faux security LED when the car is off. It also saves you from having to cut into your wiring and perform some ugly splicing.
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Run the power down around back and you can see where I grounded it out. Pick whatever ground you want, this worked for me.
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Before going further, it’s a good time to plug everything up and see if it works. Everything checked out for me so I decided to put the front bumper back on.
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After spending a lot of time deciding where to put the controller the wife says, “why not here.” We agreed that the “Multi Function Audio System” was lame and needed to disappear anyway. I was hesitant about cutting into the dash, but I decided to check it out.
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I saw a picture of an oversees unit with a cassete player built in and hoped for some room behind it. Lucky Me!
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You want to unscrew the faceplate and see what you have to work with. The good thing is this part is easily replacable and cheap, so if you ever wanted to reverse the procedure it’s a cinch. Same thing goes for the bezel around the LCD that I’ll drill through later.
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This comes with a stencil, so make a copy, drink some coffee to calm down (yes your about to hack up your radio, but again these are easily replaceable pieces), and now measure and trace the stencil you cut out.
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I recommend if you’re not use to using a dremel on something like plastic you practice on something else first.
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I could have sanded it down nice and smooth but I didn’t see the point, it fit perfect, better to leave it be!
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Run the wire out of the back and put the radio back in.
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This model comes with a warning LED to help get your attention. I thought the bezel around the lcd display was a perfect place. Drill a 1/4 inch hole and use the supplied pieces to mount the LED. I did have a problem with the back piece; it was supposed to snap on and hold it in, but since the plastic was too thick I just super glued it. It holds great and seems sturdier than the cheap plastic snap ring. 2 1/2 years later and still securely in place.
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Here you can see how I ran the wires down. This is also where I put the speaker. Unfortunetly the speaker has the volume control on it so I wanted to mount it somewhere that I could reach to adjust it. I like it here, the wires are hidden and it doesn’t get in the way. It has a clip on the back I slid in between those pieces that holds it very tightly.
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I stuck all the wires here and zip-tied them neatly in place.
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Here is everything finished. Most people don’t even know there’s a radar detector in it when driving, until they here it go off. Then some ask if the car came with it lol. I think it fits in very well with this cars scheme.
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So why only give it four stars? For one I wasn’t really happy with the speaker design. Everything else is flush mounted, and while it’s not a huge deal, I would have liked something more discreet and built in. The radar also has annoying false alerts, but I have NEVER used a radar detector that doesn’t. Even high end Valentine Ones and Passports have had the same amount of false alerts. Lastly, I sometimes have to shut it off and restart it for a “connection fault.” I’ve been through all the wires numerous times to rule out any shorts or bad connections, so I’ll just chalk this up to a $250 price tag, but it hardly happens and is quickly and easily remedied. Overall this thing is great for the money and performs exceptionally. I highly recommend the Whistler Pro 3600 as an option for enthusiasts looking for a radar detector that is discreet and performs with the best.
 
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Rotus

I am not Rotus8
:
07 MS3
nice write up. Why did you choose to go with that whistler unit instead of say an Escort or Valentine 1?
 

DynoBunny

Aussie
:
2007 MS3 GT/2012 5 GT
Mainly I wanted a remote mounted unit. I didn't go with the Bel or Escort because this one showed very comparative results for the class it was in and was half the price of their closely priced units. The high end bel and escort units will all run around a 1500-2000 bill. I also have/had some Whistler units before, one currently in my Mazda 5, and have had really good luck with them, so I'm a returning, happy customer.
 

DynoBunny

Aussie
:
2007 MS3 GT/2012 5 GT
Just wanted to give a performance update on this.

-I haven't had any functioning issues with it, so this is a plus for the install and the unit itself
-The range has been terrific, it has picked up police well out of my site range so I am thrilled there
-The false alarms have been few and far between, this is also a huge plus
-It has a simple interface which has made it easy to change settings

-I suppose the only downside right now is there is little to no rear protection. I need to purchase the rear radar/laser antenna and that should solve this problem. It's only around $60 so it's not a bad price, it just wasn't included with the kit.
 

DynoBunny

Aussie
:
2007 MS3 GT/2012 5 GT
Bumping this two years later to say I updated the links. Everything also still works hassle free, good to know.