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Thread: E46 - CarPC Work Log

  1. #1
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    E46 - CarPC Work Log

    Car: BMW E46 2004 330Ci
    Options: 6spd - sport package - premium package - AND Navi

    Bought the car in July '08 in Florida and drove it back to NY. Not even half way through the trip navi froze up and wouldn't respond. Few hours later it gained consciousness again and back to normal. Ever since then I said to myself - CarPC! So for almost a year I've been doing a lot of research and thinking how I want my system to be laid out. A few weeks ago, I was able to sell the MKIV DVD drive and the BM53 radio tuner and purchased a Lilliput 629 and a pre-assembled Mini ITX Carputer Car PC.

    Fabrication started:

    I wanted to maintain as stock of a look as possible and use the stock monitor bezel as the base for housing Lilliput. If someone questions why would I ever rip apart a stock monitor like that - the answer is, the monitor died 3 months ago and I really don't like the way the bezels that are sold for 7" screens look in stock location...I'll let the pictures do the talking.

    1. Since I really want to keep the look of a stock monitor but have little to no experience with molding/shaping I wanted to provide as little work as possible when it came to sanding curves and weird angles. So I came up with the solution:

    The Plan


    The Process:

    "Giving me enough clearance at the bottom"









    Next - even though I ripped the whole monitor apart, I kept the mechanism that controlled monitor's tilt function ( all it is, is a simple dc motor rotating a shaft via gearsets) I am going to re-use that to give me access to Lilliput's buttons which will be molded at the bottom of the screen:

    Lilliput's Buttons Repositioning


    "Measuring"


    "Lilliput's Buttons Frame"


    "More measuring"


    "Monitor cut out for button's frame"


    Mia inspected and said "Thiz gonna be sick!"

    stay tuned and suggestions/recommendations are all welcome

  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate Crinos's Avatar
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    Can I haz pwn?

    Love your cat!

    And, like the approach you've have gone...
    I have a E46 myself, and in my planning/programming stage.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! Mia is awesome and a great "helper" (I still can't find the little package with the buttons from the monitor
    Planning/programming is the hardest part of the project and then the will and desire to do it. Good luck to you!

  4. #4
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    thekl0wn's Avatar
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    I must admit... I'm usually annoyed by pet pics in project threads. However, the quote made it worthwhile!

    Looks like you're off to a great start!
    Play with it, 'til it's broke.

  5. #5
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    Instead of butchering the factory screen bezel, you could have sold it as one piece and get a double din bezel with the touchscreen which has a better look too, and left with some change as well.. Why you didn't follow this route if I may ask?

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate Crinos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paris View Post
    Instead of butchering the factory screen bezel, you could have sold it as one piece and get a double din bezel with the touchscreen which has a better look too, and left with some change as well.. Why you didn't follow this route if I may ask?
    There have been others doing the very same thing here. Even I have considered doing something like this.
    Having quick buttons ready is realy great and strongly under judged.
    When your going down the road in 100km/t (aprox 55Mph), you do not want to keep your eyes off the road more than needed.
    Hardware button like this for changing from ie radio to mp3 is way much better than having to look down and press a screen.
    Hardware buttons can be opperated without looking at them.

    Allso, what the bezzels do not have, is the motorized part that reveles (is this the right word?) the CD-ROM.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate bes51659's Avatar
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    I considered the same thing, but found that I could not fit a 7' LCD panel and still have the motorized screen working as well as physical room for the button pcb's behind. So I went with a 6,5' screen.

    Have you been able to fit a 7' with CD and buttons still working?

    My job

  8. #8
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    thekl0wn: Thanks a lot!

    paris: I explained this already. The LCD was toast and I knew I wouldn't get much for it anyways maybe just enough to buy a double din bezel, but I really don't like the way it looks. There is something about it that just doesn't appeal to me...Plus I get the option of a motorized panel which leaves me with a ton of options.

    bes51659: First of all, I must admit that you have one of the nicest set-ups! I've read through most of the pages on your page way before I started my project. Great Job!!
    Yes, you are right that the 7" screen does not fit without modifications to the bezel and that is why I had to increase the opening by coming up with a solution (see picture 2 in first post) After fitting it, I am able to fit the screen, the board and the buttons and still have the motorized function. Look out for updates

  9. #9
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    So finally I had a free evening yesterday so I proceeded. I have come to a conclusion that I do no want to have stock button on the front faceplate so I began sealing them yesterday. I used aluminum tape used for HVAC applications and that created a backing for Bondo. I put one layer and when it set a little, I used a razor blade to scrape the excess clean. Second layer went on and I did the same thing with the razor blade and left the bezel overnight to set.
    Here are some pictures of the process:




  10. #10
    VENDOR - Nexations Creations Nexson's Avatar
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    It looks like you have a solid start. The only problem I forsee is that the bondo that fills in the buttons is not a good idea. What will eventually happen is that you will actually see the outline of the original radio buttons after the sun gets to it. Since Bondo should not be used in that matter and does not bond well to plastic the way it is being used, the following will happen. When the sun gets to it, the bondo will slightly expand and then shrink. When it shrinks it will pull away from the plastic (inner lining of the button holes), thus creating the shape of the original buttons. I would probably fiberglass over them to create a solid layer so that the above problem will be prevented.

    Let me know if you have any questions aabout the above
    Brian @Nexations Creations

    Specialist in Custom Interior Fiberglass OEM Replication Work.

    AIM: Exus28
    E-Mail: [email protected]

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