'08 Dodge Dakota, Console Fab, Install Pix
Ok, well the time has come to install carPC V2 into my truck. This truck has provided quite a challenge for the reasons that I want to retain the OEM radio and sound system. I normally would remove all of that but this is the first vehicle I purchased (always leased before) and it came with Alpine speakers and amp, and sounds really good, and goes very loud. It also has steering wheel controls and a 6 disk in-dash changer, so I am leaving it. I am going to tap into it via the AUX input. For this I am going to dissemble the OEM radio and solider on a lead to the AUX input so I don't have wires showing in the front.
First item on the agenda is obviously screen mounting. After studying the dash over and over contemplating where the screen should go I decided to mount it below the OEM radio and climate controls. I have to relocate the 4x4 switch but that is easy enough. The OEM power circuit is right there so I can power the screen and PC with this (20 amp). The PC itself is going to be inside of the console, it fits perfect! Once everything is done the PC will be completely hidden but will allow me easy enough access to its I/O ports and will be bolt-in. For the exposed screws I am going to use tamper proof torx style to deter theft.
The bezel is fabricated from .063" aluminum, and is extremely rigid. It holds a full unmodified lilliput in place without any modding. It is not nearly finished, this is rather a start. Once completed it will have the sides enclosed and either be covered in leather with a nice padding at the bottom where my hand will be resting while using the touch. If not leather covered I am thinking some sort of black or gray wrinkle finish. Time will tell.
Anyway here are the pics of the parts so far. It is a complex 3d part that I designed by first making a cardboard template, then designing the part to scale in a vector program, finally CNC machining the shape and using a break to bend the angles. It uses the OEM mounting points on the top, and I drilled some holes in the bottom.
Since the center console is a bit offset to favor the driver from the radio bezel, I had to design to accommodate. I plan to add some switches, USB ports, etc. to the front. Also the position keeps the screen glare to a minimum, it's low and recessed so the sun rarely hits it.