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Thread: Car fab help needed for the iBug and afkfest

  1. #1
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    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.
    http://image.europeancarweb.com/f/93..._Dashboard.jpg

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  2. #2
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    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.
    I always wondered if using the touchscreen was ever a pain.....


    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 dont know if I am eyeing this correctly but it looks to me that the iPad is bigger then the whole front dash area. Can you please take a picture with the iPad in the area. Infact take two pictures with the iPad horizontal and vertical.

    I want feedback on my plan and advice along the way, please. Be kind. I told you I stink at fabrication.
    My fab skills are just as bad as yours.... if its MDF im fine, but fiberglass and otehr materials I have no clue. Nice thing is I do have an eye for design so I can come up with stuff on paper. Im already getting a ton of ideas looking at you dash. I am going to try to google sketch up something.

    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.
    I see that there are 3 cup holders, why not use the middle one to make an add on to have a little pod for all those controls? I know it means longer extensions, but they will be out the way of the iPad.

    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 think for ease of use, a slide in style would be better and easier.

    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.
    http://image.europeancarweb.com/f/93..._Dashboard.jpg
    I dont think it will matter.... the interior seems to be a mix and match of circular and square objects, so either or will look good.

    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!
    I have to try to find the one I bought mine from, it came in a big box in individual sheets... I think it cost me $50.00 for the box.

    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?
    I doubt they have extensions because most people do not relocate their interior. All you have to do is try to find wire that matches the wire you have there so it looks close to factory as possible. Then use crimp connectors http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2151268

    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?
    i dont deal with headunits so thats out of my knowledge.

    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.
    If you can get me pictures from the side of the dash.... It will make it faster for me to sketch up. Are you going to keep the A/C vents? I think you should move them to give you more dash space. Maybe relocate to the top?
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  3. #3
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    Pics with iPad in dash. It can only fit vertically.


    Dash torn down and heater controls removed. Template is size of the iPad.


    Side view of dash opening with template in place.


    Plenty of room in the dash. The circular things are for the air vents. I think I'll have to exhaust them on top or around the side somehow.


    Side view of console.




    Fits inside okay.


    Slight angle is best.


    Side view at angle.


    I'm picturing the fab work to be cutting the opening in the console, then building a side/bottom that connects to the inside of the console along with a dock in the bottom and two channels to slide the iPad into. Also a bezel to hide the channels and make it look good.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  4. #4
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    So you want it to be recessed like in the pictures? My idea was to build ontop of the bezel... That way its easy to acsess. OK, now that i have an idea, let me start. You may actually be able to leave the A/C controls and other controls alone. It looks like it will fit.
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

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    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  5. #5
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    How is the angle to view the ipad with it that far recessed? Also what is your plan for sound? I am in the process fo deciding if I want to take on a similar project in the TT but want to find a way to lock it in and still remove it.

    One thought. If you build the arch for the top, include the plug for the headphones(to amp or whatever you are connecting to for audio, then you can slide it in, drop the arch on and it looks completely built in but still removable. Hopefully I described that well.

  6. #6
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    for abs sheet:
    http://www.professionalplastics.com/...ETFORMINGGRADE
    http://www.google.com/products?q=abs...ed=0CD4QrQQwAg

    i use tower hobbies for some of my rc car stuff, and have never had a problem, and am also a little familiar with parts express(spend lots of time on their site planning, but haven't bought anything, yet...)-- they also seem to be a great company-- no real problems that they won't fix...

    for the wire extensions-- there are kits called "amp relocation kits" these include a multiconductor speaker cable(they are meant for cars with factory amps, that you are removing the amp to replace with a aftermarket headunit-- where all the speaker connections need to get moved to the dash from where the amp used to be), but other then that, everything would need to be custom cut/made..

  7. #7
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    Thanks, guys. I don't think the recess will affect the install too much. If anything, it will help keep the glare down. It doesn't cut off the view of the screen, for sure.

    Plan for sound is to use bluetooth receiver plugged into aux amps. I want this thing to be pretty much totally wireless. I'll have a mobile hotspot (Apple Time Capsule) in the back and can plug any PC or Mac or Sheeva into it and use VNC to display the screen.

    If BT doesn't work, I'll use the dock connector for sound as well.

    Thanks for the pointers, Soundman. I saw some ABS on Tower's site but wasn't sure if that was the best place to get it. I've used them quite a bit in the past. I'll also check out some of the other links as well, including the amp relo kit. Maybe I should just forget the HU and go with an amp but the Monsoon system in the Beetle works with the HU and I don't want to rewire everything on the sound side just now.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  8. #8
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    Oh yeah - I think I'm also going to put an iPod touch on a slide into the rear view mirror. That would hold most of my music and have a wired connection to the HU.

    I considered using one way glass so you could see it through the mirror but I think that might negate the night dimming feature.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  9. #9
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    OK, after fussing with Sketch up, I have given up... Its easier to explian it. Why not make the bezel the way the guy that made the iPad Subaru Bezel did? That was the idea I was going for..... All you would have to do is buy a new bezel to mock up. That way the car can be returned to factory easily. Only thing is the AC vents would still have to be relocate to the top rather then the front, but thats still easy.

    Here is the link to what I am talking about, infact you posted in there too. It looks awesome and yet its so simple to do. I can see this being done easily to you car. Maybe even have him fab it for you. iPad - System Wide Voice Control
    Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

    1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  10. #10
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    Yep, that's the style I'm going for. Returning it to factory doesn't really matter at all. The dash is already hacked beyond any sort of 'factory' return and I always drive my cars until they blow up or get donated, so it's really not an issue. I own it, it's mine, if someone wants to buy it from me, this is how it comes.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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