Car fab help needed for the iBug and afkfest
Okay, I stink at fabrication but I'm the only one within 100 miles that has any idea how to do it, so I'll start by saying that I doubt the end result will look very good, but that's how you get better at it.
I'm ripping out the old fold up screen in the iBug. I did the fab work on that with a friend but in truth, most of the work was behind the dash with just a cut and very little external alteration to the dash itself.
Anyhow, the screen has served its purpose for the past several years and is getting retired in lieu of an iPad install. One of the shortcomings of the fold up display was that it was a bit of a stretch to touch the screen. I want to fix that by actually burying the iPad in the dash like a proper OEM-style screen.
Here's a before when I had the Mac Mini in the radio slot:
Notice the heater/ac controls and the seat heater and emergency flasher switches that look like VW forgot about them and added another box underneath at the last minute.
Here's what the dash looks like all torn down. Ignore the plexiglass stuff. That was for the Mac Mini dock and it's all gone now.
I want feedback on my plan and advice along the way, please. Be kind. I told you I stink at fabrication.
1. I will move the heater controls down to the spot where the flashers/seat heater buttons are. The cables are actually long enough to do this and I think I can fab a metal bracket to hold it in the right place. I've checked the shifter knob and it doesn't seem too close.
2. By moving the heater controls, I have enough room to put the iPad in the hole I've created. I'll post pictures on this later. What I'm struggling with is whether I should make the iPad sit in frame that is hinged and swings out like an old style cassette door or should I leave a slot at the top to slide the iPad in.
I sort of had the idea of putting a circular arch over top of the screen to mimick the speedometer. Here's a picture of a pristine New Beetle dash.
3. I have been all over the place looking for ABS plastic. Can someone please point me to a good online supplier. This is getting ridiculous. BTW, I had no idea plastic was so expensive!
4. I'm going to have to extend the left and right seat heater switches, along with the emergency flasher. What is the best way to do this besides the standard cut and extend? Are there extension harnesses made or do I have to do it the hard way?
5. The radio currently lives in the glovebox. I want to put it under the seat and extend the faceplate to put it up near the visor at the roof. I've been looking for harnesses for the radio that fit the VW but I'm not a car audio guy. I already rolled my own when I moved it to the glovebox but that was a hack job. Where can I get a professionally made harness to extend the wires?
6. The computers are not a problem. I'll take care of all that myself.
That's it for now. I'll post more pics later. Any constructive input is welcome. I hope to have most if not all of the fab done for afkfest in August. That's aggressive, but I need a deadline to get this thing up and running.