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Thread: Lilliput 7" Into 1999 Ford Explorer

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate cherrybomb's Avatar
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    Lilliput 7" Into 1999 Ford Explorer

    Okay, I've just recently finished my work to put my 7" Lilliput into my stock Ford Explorer bezel.

    I've never done this sort of fabrication before, and unfortunately, the result isn't as good as I'd like. But for now, it's functional, and looks better than if it were just glued to the dash, so I'm happy for now. I'll probably go back later and do some more sanding/filling to see if I can get it properly smooth. I'd appreciate any advice anyone would be willing to give.

    I used bondo brand "Bumper Repair" epoxy which is basically a 2 part epoxy which sets into a plastic. I cut a bit around the stock radio opening, and, in order, hot glued the lilliput bezel in place, then superglued it, then applied the epoxy.

    I then used 36 grit sandpaper to rough in the shape, then 60, then 100, then 220, then primer and paint. Unfortunately, as I stated before, there are some visible scratches still, and some of the area I filled in still looks a bit high, you can see this in the images included.







    '99 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer
    CarPC Progress ~= 97%. Everything is installed, and operational. Still need to tweak and tune, and do some "finish" fabrication.
    CarPC Project Web Site

    SpaceNavigatorDriver SourceForge Project

    Check out my blog.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate Homebrew's Avatar
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    For the scratches, you just need to step up to a finer sandpaper. Personally I wouldn't have gone lower than 100 grit either. You could can get by wetsanding with 400 grit and then 800 grit, but if you want it super smooth, take it up to 2000 grit. Going to 2000 is overkill though unless you trying to get it smooth as glass. I'd stop at 800 though if you're just using spray cans and not planning to color sand and clearcoat. For the high areas, you just need more sanding until your satisfied. Take your time though, it's easy to get caught up and take too much off. You can always fix it if you do, but thats just more sanding to do.

    -Kevin

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    I found when i did my explorer i had to wet sand with at least 1200 grit, the rubberised coating or whatever it is , ford has put on their trim pieces, can be a real pain to get the edges feathered properly, i like the buttons on the side , i had to cut mine off, they were on the bottom of the screen.
    where have you relocated the h/u to?

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate diosagain's Avatar
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    Yes I did my explorer as well. I sanded and then sanded some more. Then I would putty and then wet sand and then sand some more. If you want it to look perfect you have to keep on sanding! Try wet sanding up until 800 grit and then you should get yourself some black texture paint. It will fill a lot of these holes. The paint you used is pretty crappy looking; no offense.

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate Homebrew's Avatar
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    I don't think it's so much the paint he used as it just needs more sanding. In addition to the visable scratches, there's some pinholes as well, these can give the paint a different appearance. I think it will stand out a bit more than the factory color, but I think it will be fine. I forgot all about that rubber coating, that stuff is a pain. I don't know who's idea that was at ford, but it was a lousy idea IMHO. A bit more sanding and I think you'll be up to par with what you want. These pics definetly make me miss my mountaineer.

    -Kevin

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate cherrybomb's Avatar
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    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah, I removed that rubberized coating. I was fortunate enough to have gotten a replacement bezel off of ebay, where this coating was already starting to peel/bubble. I was able to rub and peel it off. Ended up with blisters on both my thumbs from doing it. *chuckles*

    I think I'll go back at it with the 100 grit in a few places, and see if I can smooth out the scratches and pits.

    millsy, I didn't relocate the head unit, I'm going to remove it entirely. My system is going to use an external sound card, run directly to power amplifiers. I have big sound system plans. :-)

    The paint I used is external trim paint I bought at a Kragen auto parts. I think homebrew is right, I just need to do some wet sanding to make it look a little better. Besides the scratches and pits, it actually looks pretty good in real life. :-)
    '99 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer
    CarPC Progress ~= 97%. Everything is installed, and operational. Still need to tweak and tune, and do some "finish" fabrication.
    CarPC Project Web Site

    SpaceNavigatorDriver SourceForge Project

    Check out my blog.

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate cherrybomb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew View Post
    <SNIP>These pics definetly make me miss my mountaineer.

    -Kevin
    Keep an eye on my project, I'm planning some pretty extensive stuff for my X. Maybe it'll convince you to pick up a used one. ;-)
    '99 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer
    CarPC Progress ~= 97%. Everything is installed, and operational. Still need to tweak and tune, and do some "finish" fabrication.
    CarPC Project Web Site

    SpaceNavigatorDriver SourceForge Project

    Check out my blog.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate diosagain's Avatar
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    He's not right. I used the trim paint also and give it a week it scratches so easily its just not worth using. Trust me check my thread I have been down this road before. I have hundreds of hours fabbing a screen into a Ford Explorer. I have used every trim paint you can buy and they all suck. They all scratch way too easily. I have the black texture paint on mine and you can barely tell its not from the factory.

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate seanz0rz's Avatar
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    hey cherry, come out to the mp3 car meet, we would all love to see your work in person!!!

    it looks very nice!
    1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6 4x4 in Evergreen Pearl Metallic, Lifted, Locked, and Armored. CarPc in custom console with molded touchscreen.
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  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate cherrybomb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosagain View Post
    He's not right. I used the trim paint also and give it a week it scratches so easily its just not worth using. Trust me check my thread I have been down this road before. I have hundreds of hours fabbing a screen into a Ford Explorer. I have used every trim paint you can buy and they all suck. They all scratch way too easily. I have the black texture paint on mine and you can barely tell its not from the factory.
    Would you mind linking the thread you're referring to? I did a quick search, and can't seem to find anything.

    I appreciate the feedback, and I can appreciate your passion on this, but you could tone down the attitude when sharing your opinion.

    I'm happy to consider using another paint product. I actually bought a "texture paint" with the primer and trim paint, but choose not to use it. What exactly did you use that you liked?
    '99 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer
    CarPC Progress ~= 97%. Everything is installed, and operational. Still need to tweak and tune, and do some "finish" fabrication.
    CarPC Project Web Site

    SpaceNavigatorDriver SourceForge Project

    Check out my blog.

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