New Console Fab in 2002 Dodge Caravan
Just bought a new Dodge Caravan and the mp3car bug has bit me again. First, it was with my Eagle Talon (a project I never finished) and now with my new economical family van!
I've been holding onto a display for quite some time that is perfect for this application. It's a 1000nit VGA planar screen that has flourescent(sp) backlighting. WAAAY too bright at night but absolutely no problem viewing it at high noon. Everything I've done so far has been the result of learning from these very forums. This is THE top resource for any carputer enthusiast.
I took the plunge after purchasing an additional center console so that I can hack away at it and not be worried that I could ruin the original. Ebay is your friend (and foe at times). So here is a pic of what it is I won:
After removing all of the controls I dremelled out the entire area of where the head unit rests and on down to where the AC controls were at. Once that was done I did a few test fits and then epoxied the LCD frame into place. This LCD took about an hour to tear apart as it is built like a tank! Lots of little ribbon cables and hardly any quick disconnect-type connectors. Here is a couple epoxy'd shots:
I used Power Poxy from my local hardware shop. It was cheap and the product said it bonded with something like 3500lb test strength. Now I start the bondo process. After letting the epoxy cure I sanded it and cleaned it off and started pasting on the bondo. Now I've never bondo'd before so the pics you see are purely amateur. I have quite a bit of sanding still to do as well as some filler for the pockets. I need to shape it a bit more as I am trying to get this to look as factory as possible. Problem is, the whole console is bevelled and the LCD frame is flat. So I've got to create a nice curved surface. It's actually coming along really well and am quite enthused as to what it will look like all primed and painted.
Bondo Shot with test fit:
I test fitted the LCD last night and she fired right up. The pics don't do it justice.
Here is another:
The guy in the pic is my brother-in-law. We geeks help each other out ;)
For anyone interested in the backlight setup here is a clean shot of how bright the back of this thing is. It has 2 internal fans attached to the outer casing to cool this bad boy!
Please feel free to give me some tips and constructive criticisms. I know this setup won't look as nice as some of the others I have seen on here but I know in the end I will be happy to have this thing finally up and running!