First Time Fab - 2003 Ford Explorer - Please help! - A lot of pictures...
UPDATE FEB 21, 2007
I am way past my first intial help question, but if you are reading this for the first time you can track the progress of my 2003 Ford Explorer LCD fabrication with a factory oem look and an indash computer right behind it. Feel free to read and comment or just look at the pictures.
Let me start off by saying the forums are great and from what I read over the last couple months everyone seems really helpful. With that said, I am open to all opinions and am open to any help you can provide. I am a first time CarPC builder and definitely a NOOB when it comes to Cars in general. I have a lot of experience building PCs, but not in this fashion. Anyway, here is the problem. I started off wanting to build an In-Dash PC and don't know if I can go that route anymore. I purchased the Metra dash kid for my 2003 ford explorer and a Lilliput 629 LCD. I started Dremeling the bezel and realized that its going to need a ton of work to get into the spot that I wanted. I then had dremel the bottom of the Metra kit so I can push the LCD between the Bezel and the Metra Kit.
Besides the fact that I still have to glue it all together this was just a test run to see if everything would fit in the double din spot of my Explorer. It turned out that this plastic piece between the radio and the two HVAC vents was bumping up against the bottom portion of the LCD screen that was hanging out of the bottom of the Metra Kit and Bezel. I then got dremel happy and sanded that black middle piece down so that everything can fit in the double din slot. I realize now I might of dremeled this down a little to much. There is now a significant gap between this plastic middle piece and the bezel and metra kit. My problem is that I was going to build this CarPC in-dash and now it seems that I am going to have to Bondo/Sand/Prime/Paint this middle piece and the Metra/Bezel/LCD into one piece so that it can still look factory. The problem with that is if I merge these into one piece then the brackets for the metra kit will be pushed right up against the black middle piece and I won't be able to secure the in-dash pc like I would a factory radio because the "merged" dash and LCD will be in the way and I won't be able to attach the fabricated case to the LCD and the metra kit. It seems I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Please any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.
Here is the LCD and the dash together. You should be able to see clearly the gap between the black middle piece and metra kit. You should also be able to how my Dash kit mounts are on the bottom and not the side like other cars and it seems I won't be able to build a an indash pc if I now how to bondo the screen to the middle piece for a good clean factory look. Please disregard the tape as nothing is glued just yet. This was just a test run to see if it will work.
Here is the dash before and after I dremeled that middle piece so that the LCD would be able to go into the dash as there wasn't room with it sticking out before.
What I would like to accomplish is a good clean factory look for the screen and dash but also be able to connect that metra kit to a custom indash pc case. With my situation I just don't know if that is going to be able to happen now. Thanks for any and all help! Special thanks to Joe's post for being my indash pc inspiration.