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Thread: New Console Fab in 2002 Dodge Caravan

  1. #1
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    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:

    and

    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!
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  2. #2
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    Just finished putting on a coat of primer. Found some rough spots and am sanding and filling it in. I will post pics soon of the finished product. For doing this the first time I think it's turning out quite nice. I wouldn't say 'factory appearance' but it's hopefully going to be pretty close.
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  3. #3
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    Looking good so far, keep it up!

  4. #4
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Pics man, pics! Looks good so far!

  5. #5
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    Pics soon to come!

    Question though. I just finished laying the last coat of primer on. How long should I wait to apply the first layer of paint? Should I let the primer sit over night and then apply paint tomorrow? I want to make sure this is done correctly as I have already had to sand this back down to fix up the mistakes I missed when using Bondo. Please let me know as I am eager to get painting!

    edit: also what grit of sandpaper should I be using between coats? the lightest I have is 220 so I may need to head to the hardware store.
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  6. #6
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    Here are some pics of the primed console:


    AND


    Sorry but those are all I have right at the moment. I will post more once I've got it all painted up with the LCD in it ready to go!
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  7. #7
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    Looks good. minus the corners i'd say pretty stock bro

  8. #8
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    Exactly. I couldn't get that "fresh" and perfect look as the corners protrude due to the bevelled contours of this console. Eh. Oh well...I've been a perfectionist far too long with this. I just said screw it and lets prime! I've laid down some paint only to realize I purchased matte instead of semi-gloss. So I will have to sand it up a bit and see if I can still get the semi-gloss to stick. Ergh.
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  9. #9
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyClown
    Exactly. I couldn't get that "fresh" and perfect look as the corners protrude due to the bevelled contours of this console. Eh. Oh well...I've been a perfectionist far too long with this. I just said screw it and lets prime! I've laid down some paint only to realize I purchased matte instead of semi-gloss. So I will have to sand it up a bit and see if I can still get the semi-gloss to stick. Ergh.

    After you've sprayed the last coat of paint, when it's still a little wet, softly and evenly spray some dash silicon spray on it, that should give you the semi gloss look.

  10. #10
    Tainted Love Cris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SillyClown
    Pics soon to come!

    Question though. I just finished laying the last coat of primer on. How long should I wait to apply the first layer of paint? Should I let the primer sit over night and then apply paint tomorrow? I want to make sure this is done correctly as I have already had to sand this back down to fix up the mistakes I missed when using Bondo. Please let me know as I am eager to get painting!

    edit: also what grit of sandpaper should I be using between coats? the lightest I have is 220 so I may need to head to the hardware store.

    Let this one dry over the night. Then sand with 400.

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