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2015 Fiat 500e
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a brief history of my journey to find the perfect phone mount for my 2015 Fiat 500e. I started out with only one requirement: it had to be a magnetic mount since that's what I've always used in other cars and it's what I prefer (besides, my phone case already has a metal plate on it).

When I bought the car, it already had a magnetic puck attached to the left of the shift buttons. I tried that for awhile, but didn't like having to look down while driving when I was following directions, so this mount is now used for quick access to mints instead 馃榿:

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Next, I got a CD tray mount:

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This worked great, except I started to get annoyed that it was blocking my view of what track was playing from my USB drive. I'm also a dinosaur who still listens to CDs, so that was another reason to continue my search for a better mount.

I thought about using a vent mount, but that was what I was using before and didn't like the fact that the phone would block the entire vent (though turning on the AC was good for the phone, the opposite is true when using the heater). I've seen newer vent mounts with extendable arms that let you position the phone away from the vent, but they didn't seem all that sturdy, and the phone would be blocking the view of something similar to the CD tray mount.

This was when I started to research the TomTom socket on the dashboard. I eventually settled on a 3D printed solution. Here are the requirements for my build:
Build instructions:
  1. You only need to print these parts (2 copies of the last piece, which is the spring-loaded lock mechanism):
    110652
  2. Follow these instructions to assemble the TomTom mount.
  3. Remove the magnetic head from the vent mount.
  4. Screw the magnetic head into the end of the swing arm.
The completed mount should look something like this:

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Inserted into the TomTom socket:

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Perfect line of sight without obstructing my view :love::

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I thought I had found the perfect phone mount for my Fiat, but one day I returned to the car and found the swing arm drooped down and the mount partially ejected from the socket. After removing the mount to take a closer look, I found out that it had warped!

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I guess 3D printed plastics cannot withstand the heat that can build up inside a car on a hot California summer, especially with the sun beating down on it (I didn't use a sunshade). After being dejected for a few days, I resumed my quest for the perfect phone mount...

And I came across this post: Cheap Cell Mount in Tomtom Holder

This gave me an idea to use a 5/8" heater hose. My theory is if these hoses are meant to be installed in tough environments, they would be able to live on top of a car dashboard. I decided to test this theory out by building my own hose mount. My build requirements:
  • Dayco 70620 Curved Radiator Hose or similar part with 5/8" inner diameter (you can find these for $8-9 a pop)
  • A Xiaomi Roidmi or similar magnetic vent mount (detaching the head broke the adhesive, so I had to superglue the rubber stem back)
  • A hose cutter (I didn't have one on hand, so I used a sharp knife instead)
Build instructions:
  1. Cut between 1" and 1.5" off the long end of the hose.
  2. Push the rubber stem of the vent mount into the short end of the hose (you can wrap electrical tape around the metal base of the stem and the hose to have a more secure connection if you want).
  3. Gently push the long end of the hose into the TomTom socket until it can't go any further.
Here's what it looks like fully inserted into the TomTom socket:

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I must say, it turned out way better than I anticipated :giggle:. I always thought the 3D printed mount looked a bit toyish with its shiny cheap looking plastic and rough edges, but the curved hose mount has this organic, race-car-raw style that makes it look rather cool (it also reminds me of a submarine periscope LOL). I just finished installing it this evening, so time will tell if it can live up to the elements and my bumpy highway commutes.

Future plans:
  • Trim another half inch off to lower it a bit
  • Decorate the mount with a hose sleeve or maybe a sock puppet ;)
I'll report back in a month if it's a keeper, or back to the drawing board...
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Mine's not QUITE the same, but much cheaper & easier, from a chunk of 5/8" heater hose I had laying around, & the belt clip that came with my Zizo "bolt" phone case. It's not magnetic but I think a magnet would work fine on it instead of the belt clip:
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2016 500e eSport
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I just put a magnet mount between the stereo and HVAC controls, but I don't have the hole in the dash for the tom tom like your setups. I agree that down by the transmission selection buttons would be way too low. I always use my phone for navigation anyways, and I rarely need to use the esc or hazard buttons, so I'm happy with this set-up.

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Registered
2015 Fiat 500e
Joined
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mine's not QUITE the same, but much cheaper & easier, from a chunk of 5/8" heater hose I had laying around, & the belt clip that came with my Zizo "bolt" phone case. It's not magnetic but I think a magnet would work fine on it instead of the belt clip:
Electric Tire Shredder, your post was the original inspiration for me switching to the heater hose solution 馃榿.

Since the original post I was able to do a couple tests:
  1. Heat test: letting it bake in the sun for about 4 hours
  2. Wobble test: driving fast on bumpy roads to see how much the phone wobbles
The mount passed test #1 (it didn't warp like the 3D printed mount), but it failed test #2. What happened was even though the heat didn't melt the hose, it softened it up enough so that it would make the phone wobble too much when driving. I tried to solve this issue by making the following mods:
  • Added two flexible bamboo support rods cut from some trinket I had lying around. They were inserted inside the hose to brace it and prevent it from drooping.
  • Cut half an inch off of the hose to lower the mount, which in theory should reduce the wobbling somewhat.
  • Wrapped the hose in a nylon cable sleeve. I did it mainly for the aesthetics, but this should also offer the hose some protection from direct sunlight.
Wood Hardwood Sunglasses Eyewear Wood stain


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After a week of testing, I'm happy to report that my hose mount v2 has so far passed both heat and wobble tests with flying colors 馃コ. I'll give another update if this mount begins to fail 馃.
 

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This is a brief history of my journey to find the perfect phone mount for my 2015 Fiat 500e. I started out with only one requirement: it had to be a magnetic mount since that's what I've always used in other cars and it's what I prefer (besides, my phone case already has a metal plate on it).

This was when I started to research the TomTom socket on the dashboard. I eventually settled on a 3D printed solution.

I thought I had found the perfect phone mount for my Fiat, but one day I returned to the car and found the swing arm drooped down and the mount partially ejected from the socket. After removing the mount to take a closer look, I found out that it had warped!

View attachment 110654

I guess 3D printed plastics cannot withstand the heat that can build up inside a car on a hot California summer, especially with the sun beating down on it (I didn't use a sunshade). After being dejected for a few days, I resumed my quest for the perfect phone mount...
What type of plastic did you use for this? PLA? I haven't had any trouble with PETG for stuff that I put in my car. It's not magnetic, but the OEM phone mount seems to work well enough for me. The part number is 735664419 and it fits in that socket. It's not cheap, but you might be able to modify it to do what you want.
 
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