Mounting the small case OBDII

                                    Last update:  5/21/2015 

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Mounting considerations

Now that we have a nice compact case it makes the job of mounting it easier so that it can be more in line with the drivers forward vision and not block the windshield.  I also wanted to have the mounting method not in any way change the dashboard with screw holes, glue, Velcro etc.

After holding the gage in various places I decided that mounting it over the left most A/C outlet was a good spot. The gage was about as high and in line with the drivers vision as feasible and the base of the windshield pillar had a small opening that the connecting cable could go through on it's way to the car's OBDII connector.

To see an enlarged view of the pictures, left click on a picture or right click and select "View Image".

small OBD gage

Here is the drivers view of the gage mounted and turned on.  The FCD button is not covered by the gage.

Details of how to make the mounting hardware
moutning hardware

Two 0.020" thick "springy" aluminum clips allow for some slight mounting misalignment. Note the split rubber tube on the bottom of the case.

The hooked top clip mounting base is made from the mate of a sliding shower door wheel mount shown below the case. The base of the mount is 1/2" wide. This gives a firm attachment point on the thin aluminum case cover.  All hardware is #4-40.

The vertical right side of the base was trimmed 3/8" on the left side so it would sit within the vertical dividers of the A/C outlet. The extra holes in the mounting base were my attempts to find the correct angle for the clip. I finally just went with a single mounting bolt setup and it holds fine.

The ~10 angle of the top clip matches the shape of the top louver in the A/C outlet. To arrive at the correct angle I first used a longer clip and didn't tighten the mounting screw up completely. I hooked the clip to the top louver while holding the gage parallel to the dash and carefully removed the gage and measured the angle.  Then I had to measure and guesstimate the depth the clip would need to hook over the back of the top louver.

mounting clips overal view

The top clip is bent to have a hook that slips over the back edge of the top movable louver of the A/C outlet. This is holds the gage in place. The ends of each clip are bent to be double thickness to have a round surface so they don't scratch the dash plastic.  I also used a fine file on the edges to smooth the clips even more.

The bottom clip is used as a support bracket to keep the gage level. It is bent so it touches within the bottom of the louver opening. If you study the A/C outlet you'll get a better idea of all this.

Making the mounting clips was the most involved part of building the gage or modifying the case.  Notice that the top clip mounting base is at a ~4 angle to the side of the case.  This was done to match the angle of the louvers in the A/C outlet so the case would be horizontal.

You can find the angle to attach the top clip mounting bracket by mounting it with one screw on the left side. Leave the screw slightly loose at first so you can level the case and check that the top clip is parallel to the louvers. Then drill the second hole.

mounting clips top view

Top view of clips.

In this view you can see the angle of the top clip.  I measured the depth of the top louver to the front edge of the dash to arrive at the length of the clip in relation to the case cover.  You then have to allow a little extra length so the gage can be held at an angle to the dash (as if looking down on the top of the gage) while you are installing it unto the dash.

I will explain further down how you can mount or remove the gage in just a few seconds even while sitting in the seat.

After these pictures were made I used some liquid rubber like plastic dip to coat the bent ends of the thin mounting metal to avoid scratching the dash.

mounting clips side view

Left side view of clips and Picaxe cover.

The top clip bend has a slight hook shape so it can latch behind the top louver.  You don't want to make the hook too tall or you may not be able to get it loose while testing the fit.

The lower clip has no hook shape. It is bent to be vertical to the lower edge of the A/C outlet. It is used  to support the gage so it remains horizontal.

Notice the lengthwise slit 5/16" diameter rubber hose that is slipped over the bottom of the case. This is used to eliminate any rattling noise and to help not scratch the dash.

bottom clip outside

The bottom clip is held onto the case cover by being bent into a "U" shape where it meets the cover.  Once the cover is mounted on the back of the case the clip is held in place by the case and can't come loose or move.

bottom clip inside

This shows the inside of the cover to show how I bent the bottom clip to hold it in place.  The horizontal position and clip width is set by the vertical louvers inside the A/C outlet.  Nothing fancy about this part.

case mounted side view

Here is the gage mounted on the dashboard.  I used a 5 pin computer header as the OBD cable connection. This allows the cable to come straight out the back of the gage and go through a small opening at the base of the windshield pillar.

Whenever the car is parked I use a sun shield and cover the gage with a large cloth.  Some people might think it's a GPS and want it.
case through windshield

This is a top view looking directly down through the windshield.  The gage top seems to be too far from the dash but that is because the dash is not vertical.

I also wanted the gage to be looking slightly off vertical so it didn't reflect glare from the outside world.  Some day I may paint the back cover etc of the gage flat black.

And now the secret of how to actually mount the gage

  1. You need to obtain a special Honda Insight OBDII mounting tool. You won't find it in the Honda parts list so use a chop stick or your left index finger.
  2. The A/C outlet should be set to the closed position with the vertical knob on the right side of the vent so the gage is not subjected to the cold air. While the electrical parts can withstand the cold temperature I was more afraid of condensation from the high humidity that we have here in South Florida.
  3. Using the adjustment tab on center of the vent, set the louvers so they are aimed straight out and are set to blow the air upward.
  4. Connect the OBDII cable to the gage. Using a header as I've done allows you to easily remove the gage from the car to update the firmware etc.
  5. Carefully insert the top clip of the OBDII above the top right side louver. Angle the gage so the left side of the gage is slightly angled away from the dash when viewed from above.
  6. Reposition the gage almost parallel to the dash so the lower clip is just inside the left bottom area of the A/C outlet.  Leave room to get your finger on the adjustment tab.
  7. Insert your finger horizontally between the gage and the louvers and push the adjustment tab downward so the louvers are aimed downward. This allows the top clip to hook behind the top louver which will lock the gage in place.  Push the left side of the OBDII towards the front of the car.
  8. Lightly tug on the right side of the gage to make sure it is securely latched.
  9. DONE!
Another reason I wanted to be able to easily remove the gage from the car is to use it to check other Insights for error codes etc.  I made a duplicate OBDII power cable that draws it's power from the car's OBDII socket that has a "test/run" switch on it that shorts pin 5 to pin 9 of the OBDII connector when used to read any error codes..

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