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Discussion Starter #1
We have automatic toll paying here in the Lone Star State. Formerly called either "DOT tags" (with which I started, back in the early 1990's) or "EZ Tags" (the version that the general public used), they have since morphed into something called the "TexTag", allowing us to zip around any of the state's toll roads (mostly here in Houston, up in Dallas, with one over in Austin) and over its toll bridges (here and up north of Dallas) without pitching any coin into any basket or dealing with the nice ladies in the toll booths.

While convenient as hell, they do have one drawback: you have this big blotch of a paper or plastic radio transmitter/receiver stuck to the middle of your windshield. In the past, I had largely avoided this with Toyotas by positioning the tag behind the black surround for the upper part of the rear view mirror. However, that's lacking on the Smart vehicle that we recently purchased.

However, while using my new TexTag in "manual" mode (held in the hand until I get the time to properly attach it to the glass, I found out that what is solid appearing as hell may not be all that solid in radio terms. On a whim, I held my TexTag up to the headliner for the solid roof on our Passion coupe as I zipped through an "EZ Tag" lane. I figured that it couldn't hurt to try, since if it was not picked up by the antenna above the lane, the camera image would ensure that my account was properly debited.

As I assumed, the reader picked up the tag without a problem, reading it through the plastic as easily as it would have had the tag been attached to the windshield glass. Neat!

Now, what I want to do is to figure out a way to slide the tag between the glued on plastic roof and the interior headliner, in a way where I can control where it is located, but not have to directly attach it to the under-surface. I figure that I would enclose the tag in a radio-transparent sleeve of some sort, and then slide it back from the trim panel that contains the sole interior light for the vehicle.

(And, what the hell were they thinking when they went from two dome lights (one front and one back) on the earlier Smart vehicles to the single, poorly located light that we get these days. Quite aside from the poor implementation of the front light (which has to be omnidirectional due to its location) that makes it useless as a map light when the vehicle is in motion at night, the rear of the vehicle is a dark as a tomb in any low light situation. German engineering? Give me a break, man...)

I visited Evilution and found the instructions for removal of the old style Smart roof trim, and the instructions for removal of the dome light for the replacement of the bulb, but nothing about the removal of the trim panel into which the dome light is popped.

While I might be able to finesse getting the sleeve with the TexTag in the space between the roof and the interior roof panel by inserting it through the hole left by the removed dome light, it would be nice to know how to remove the panel, just in case. Does anyone know how to do this?

Thanks for any help in advance.
 

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I think I know what you are talking about, but could you explain again what you are asking? I took the entire bage panel down to wire in the LED lights in my trunk area to that map light. Is that what you are talking about?

BTW, my TexTag sits unnoticeable behind my mirror next to my puck, and came with a sticky back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No puck on our car; we have a 2009. The panel that I would like to remove is the one in which the dome light is plugged.
 

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There are torx secrews under the sun visors. They should be T-20, but I don't remember. I should have checked when I was messing in there thid morning. You have to take them all out to drop the panel. BTW, I have an 09 also, just older than yours. I barly see the puck or tag but I'm pretty tall! Be careful not to break any tabs when you push it back in. The white tabs ( if there are any. There are a bunch everyware) are easy to break if not lined up right.
 

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I stuck mine on my windshield, but before affixing it, I sat in my drivers seat and found a location where I wouldn't see it while driving.

It appears that you don't want to see yours at all. One thing to remember; from time to time you have to install a new EZ-Tag (at TxDot's will, it seems. I've replaced mine a couple times over the years), whatever location you choose, I'd make sure you don't have to take the car apart to replace it.

I look at my EZ-Tag as a piece of necessary state crap on my car; much like a front license plate, inspection/registration stickers on my widnshield.

But I did get the No Holes front license plate bracket from SmartMadness so I can easily remove my plate when Texas becomes a one-plate-state. I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I get my trim panel off and if there is no bond between the outside panel and the top panel in the car, all will be klim blim, as my wife's ancestors used to say back in old Prussia. I even have a perfect "sleeve" to do the positioning - an old Illinois Lottery ticket holder that is just the right length.

I've always mounted them either behind the mirror (as mentioned above) or in the black mirror surround, but with the radio-transparent plastic roof, there's no reason not to put it completely out of sight.

Our car is relatively severe in appearance, and we like it that way. With black panels, black Triadon, black wheels, black license plate frames and the deepest tint that Texas law allows, there's no reason to have a big white blotch in the middle of the windscreen when there's a way around it - even if the state inspection sticker (a cheesy paper mess) and the registration sticker (with the hard to remove adhesive - the last time around I had to travel up the solvent ladder all the way to methyl ethyl ketone before I could get it all off) have to remain.

We're even going with personalized plates (partially for business reasons, but also to get back to the simple white background plate, instead of the parti-colored, "it looks like it was designed by a third grade girl" pastel mess that is the new standard plate.
 

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OH! Wow, I cant wait to see pics. I can see why you want it out of the way. WHere do you get colored plates? If you want to test to see if it works, I guess you can get an RFID scanner cheap on the net. It should work though. I found it easier to take the panel down when we had the panel to the left or right off too.

If I get my trim panel off and if there is no bond between the outside panel and the top panel in the car, all will be klim blim, as my wife's ancestors used to say back in old Prussia. I even have a perfect "sleeve" to do the positioning - an old Illinois Lottery ticket holder that is just the right length.

I've always mounted them either behind the mirror (as mentioned above) or in the black mirror surround, but with the radio-transparent plastic roof, there's no reason not to put it completely out of sight.

Our car is relatively severe in appearance, and we like it that way. With black panels, black Triadon, black wheels, black license plate frames and the deepest tint that Texas law allows, there's no reason to have a big white blotch in the middle of the windscreen when there's a way around it - even if the state inspection sticker (a cheesy paper mess) and the registration sticker (with the hard to remove adhesive - the last time around I had to travel up the solvent ladder all the way to methyl ethyl ketone before I could get it all off) have to remain.

We're even going with personalized plates (partially for business reasons, but also to get back to the simple white background plate, instead of the parti-colored, "it looks like it was designed by a third grade girl" pastel mess that is the new standard plate.
 

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Is there any reason the EZpass can't be mounted "under the hood"? There looks to be lots of real estate there. Does it have to be at a certain height? I think I will try mine there. Don't look for an answer soon, though, because I don't go the toll route too often.
 

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Thanks, HerrZ. I searched and found another thread about transponders, and nobody there suggested under the hood. I wanted someplace out of the passenger space because i have a cabrio and want to leave it unlocked from time to time with the top down. I'm going to go ahead and mount it under the "bonnet".
 

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The answer to the original question is that once the screws are all removed, the panel slides forward a little to release the hooks at the front edge of it.
 

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I'm sorry I missed the thread early on. I'd advise against putting the EZ Tag in the trim panel near the dome lights.

While the window is clear and the roof is clear, the spot behind the trim is the tridion cell - full metal reinforcement across the mindshield between the A-pillars.

The metal should be very effective at blocking most of the radio energy; some may get through or bounce around and actually work, but I'd recommend against it - it probably won't work reliably.
 

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hi a good place to hide it would be in the middle of the dash above the radio is plastic trim part that comes off realy easy and is in direct view of the windsheld i hid my gps thing under this part and is fine
 
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