For question four, this product looks promising:
Now that I have selected my 8.4" NEC panel and IRTOUCH IR touchscreen, I am digging into the fabrication side. I have started reading the sticky threads. I will use the IR TS as my bezel but I plan to mate the bezel flush, with just a gasket seal. I don't have the touchscreen yet, just studying pictures. I plan on ordering another console piece and working on this at my leisure so my interior doesn't look like a train wreck during fab. I found the following on the HondaPartsDeals.com website (Ill. No. 10), I think this is all I need:
77250-S84-A01ZA 010 PANEL ASSY., INSTRUMENT CENTER(NH167L) $48.17
Based on the size of my LCD, I will need to relocate my climate control buttons, the fan blower control knob, and the temp. control knob. I think I can fit these into the storage area below, but I will need to find a piece of plastic to drill out. I searched through the accessories links on some of the Honda sites, but I didn't see anything that would drop in here.
I thought about using a fusion brain to control these buttons, but what if I need to cool the car to start the carputer, then I have a catch-22 and I would burn alive in the summertime Also, when I had the car in for service, I would have to be logged in and that would be a pain...so, I will keep the real controls. I sized the controls with cardboard. Everything will fit, although I may remove the lighter plug to allow better symmetry with the rotary knobs. I will pull the Alpine head unit and use only an amp.
1. Any suggestions for the storage area backplane piece? I will search some more to see what I can find.
2. How strong is the chemical smell from fab? If I work in the garage will it seep into the house? If I seal the entry door frame with plastic, will that do the trick? The kitchen is located next to the garage and I don't want to catch an earful from the wife...
3. Does anyone know of shops that will do this for you? I saw turbocad6 mention $400 plus materials in the Perfect Bezel Thread. Is this the going rate? This is steep and pushes me in the DIY direction. Although, there would be a ******** of sanding in my future. Maybe I could contract out only the climate control piece?
4. Can you buy special keyed screws for the dash to make if difficult for a car thief to quickly disassemble the console and lift the LCD? This is similar to keyed lug nuts. I was wondering if anyone went this route.
your standard "security screws" work pretty well. They are basically a Torx with a small bump in the middle so that you'd have to take the Torx bit and drill a corresponding hole in it in order to use the bit, no fear you can buy the special Torx at the same place as the bolts (Fastenal has them I believe, and I'm thinking Lowes, and Home Depot might as well.
Truth be told, theives do not use screwdrivers, they use pry bars....
The IR TS has a protective glass plate. I would either mount the TS to the panel, or mount the TS to the bezel. An industrious thief may pry off the bezel, but he/she would need their A-Game to lift the panel...
It's been awhile since I installed the Alphine HU, so maybe I will need to mount both the panel and TS to the bezel, since proper alignment with the mount-to-frame option will be too difficult??? I found a dash tear down that provides a better glimpse of the 2-din metal mount.
1998 Accord Dash Disassembly
Man, what am I getting myself into . . .
As I continue to read, I think the easier choice would be to use http://www.emachineshop.com/ to construct the climate control panel. This would be a drop-in replacement. I could apply primer, SEM, and final black coat. I see $150 for single quantity. Is this realistic??
I could also construct a square plastic housing for TS and panel, since I have the detailed drawing specs. I would "glue" this block into the Honda part (dremel out the space), so just some minor plastic welding and sanding, then primer, SEM, and final black coat.
Could I really do this for $300 total? Sounds too good to be true?? I would much rather spend time in CAD versus in the garage sanding....
Check my Y2K Accord setup. The Accord double DIN is very decent size. Maybe you just trim a little more to get it to hold a bare 8.4" panel. There are lot of room left for a 7" install. No need for a climate control relocation.
If you need a spare radio bezel, hit the usual place, yeah, fleebay. KQL or one of the salvage yard sell for a bout 30 bucks and depend on location, you can pick up the piece.
I placed the 8.4" (4:3 ratio) panel on the dash and it is too big. I will explore the MDF option, but I need to order the Honda dash bezel to get a better idea. Further research reveals the climate control is a single piece with light guides. The total assembly is $156 dollars if I want to eventually restore to factory stock condition after hacking into three pieces. I'm thinking I will mount the entire assembly in a black plastic panel box and mount in the arm rest console area, this would be cheap and easy. I would have to extend the wiring, but that won't be too difficult.
http://stores.ebay.com/LKQonline Sometime they have one for about 30 - 40 bucks with/without the bezel.
I found a better disassembly guide for '98-'02 Accords:
After further consideration, I think relocating the entire climate control in the armrest console will be annoying. I may pass on the 3rd DIN and mount climate controls in storage area. Still deciding... It appears that there is a PCB backplane with IC, so I can't just cut this whole assembly into three pieces. I can cut the fan knob off easily. I would have to de-solder the switches and pot knob, then wire from front bezel back to a PCB. Of course I would have to extend the lighting as well. I need to see this up close to inspect the traces, number of PCB layers, etc. to make a more informed decision.
Here's a view of the PCB:
Note that I brought my NEC panel out to the car tonight before digging deeper into the climate control relocation to quadruple check the size. Yep, I will have to relocate the climate controls!
Note that on my way to the car, I noticed an issue with my front left tire. See photo below. Suddenly I remembered intermittent vibrations that started a few days ago. I threw on the spare before I snapped the photos. I would have missed this in the morning rush. To think about a complete tire separation at 70 mph.... Man, dash fabrication may well have saved my life! Well, I checked the other tires, and the front right is also showing noticeable wear. Rear pair is fine. Need to check warranty, tires shouldn't be that old
Well, no need to bore you all to tears about tire problems in a fab thread. I will recommend you check your tires after reading this post! Also check your spare (mine was a little low). I carry a portable air compressor in the car, with valve tool, spare valve caps, pressure gauge, and plug-kit. Of course all of these will do nothing for the case of a separated tread.