2017 Subaru Impreza – Valentine-1 and Dash Cam Hardwire DIY

NOTE:  This is meant as an informational article only. Please use your own discretion when interpreting the data presented to you and making changes to your vehicle. In no way will I be held accountable for the actions that you undertake while performing this procedure, the outcomes or long-term implications that my result. 

March 17, 2017

After purchasing the redesigned 2017 Impreza, I hit the forums and googled everything I could about this car. A new car comes with no real documented do-it-yourself articles, so why not write up my findings for posterity? I disconnected the Valentine-1 radar detector and the Ausdom AD118 dashcam with their respective power adapters from another vehicle and transplanted them.

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The Valentine-1 comes with a hardwire kit in the box. Buying the kit from them (say, if you have a second car) is $19. The kit is simple and contains an inline fuse. You plug the cord into a small plastic socket with a red + and a black – cord coming out. Pretty straightforward.

The dash cam USB power supply that I used; purchased on Amazon for <$15. “DROK DC-DC Buck Converter 3A Regulator Power Supply Module Step Down Reducer 12V/24V/36V to 5V Transformer”.

I didn’t detail the electrical connections in photos, but it is pretty simple. If you are installing a dash cam and a radar detector, they have to feed off of the separate “transformers” I just describer. Each of those has to connect to a 12V+ feed as well as a ground. The Valentine box isn’t really a transformer but the dash cam has to step down from 12V to 5V. At this point, if you have absolutely no idea what the hell I’m talking about, please stop reading and do not continue.

I will start with the ground wire (black). In the photo below I am under the driver’s side dash. Brake pedal on the right, clutch on the left. If you look on the upper right of that photo, there are two nuts screwed on to studs. These are perfect ground points. I chose the one closer to the clutch.

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 Next is the 12V+ wire (red). I picked up a fuse tap from Advance for about $8 that worked fine. Note that the fuses in the 2017 model don’t have “legs” like the mini fuses in a lot of modern cars. The legs have a plastic block between them entirely, so the whole fuse it just a rectangle shape. I have no idea what the name of this style of fuse is. If you’re not sure, pull one out so that you buy the correct fuse tap. I used one of the 7.5A fuses on the panel near the driver’s left knee. The 7.5 I chose was “ACC” in the owner’s manual. It was the 7.5A fuse in the upper right corner, right under the 15A fuse. **This is on a 2017 build, your accessory fuse my be different!**. This fuse switches on and off with the ignition, which was essential.

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Placing the devices was tricky. If they were installed near the visor, the visor would knock them out of position while in use. The area above the rearview mirror would be perfect but it is covered with stippling, presumably to block out the sun. The suction cups will not grip there.

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I stuck my fingers in the front of the dashboard speaker grill and pulled up. I removed this for easier access. I must have the base model, because there is no speaker in the cutout! At least they molded the plastic for future upgrades.

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A couple of pictures so you can see where the clips are. They are not all the same. Keep this picture in mind when removing the grill so you don’t break any tabs.

Feeding the wires down from the upper dash will require a flashlight from the underside and some natural lighting from above. It was so awkward in there, I couldn’t take photos. The key point is to feed the power cable down from above, then visualize where it’s coming down through the hole and to pull it down toward the fusebox/pedals area from there.

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