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2007 Ford Fusion SE Carputer

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  • 2007 Ford Fusion SE Carputer

    Hey guys,

    after going back and forth for a couple weeks trying to figure out exactly how I want to install everything, I've decided to remove the factory radio bezel and mak my own bezel to fit a Lilliput EBY-701 and a single-DIN head unit underneath (there is just enough room to fit them both, less then 1" to spare ).

    Here is what the dash originally looks like from the factory:


    here is where the monitor will be mounted (without the tire pressure gauge )


    the buttons for the hazard lights, mileage computer, passenger airbag indicator, etc will have a temporary home (still hooked up) in the glove box for a while until I find a permanent spot for them:


    here is the fitted [new] bezel:


    my two favorite benchtop power tools, drill-press and band-saw


    first cut:


    preview; niether one fits yet. I intentionally cut the holes too small so that I could sand/file down the rough cuts into smooth lines:


    second fitting, since it fit the first time, it obviusly still fits, I just wanted to do it anyways


    that's as far as I've gotten so far. ok, I know it's far from finished, but hey you gotta start somwhere
    F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
    Fusion Carputer [2.0]
    Fusion Carputer [1.0]

  • #2
    Very nice setup, thanks for letting me know in my thread. I plan to keep the factory HU so that I can keep the use of the steering wheel controls. I am now toying with the idea of moving the HU into the lower compartment of the armrest. It gets warm in there too but I think the HU will handle it. I won't know for sure until I have the computer in hand and have a chance to do trial fits like you have been doing.

    What do you plan to cover the plywood with?

    P.S. Yes, I am the same RESET that is on several Fusion sites as well as Cardomain.

    Comment


    • #3
      Looks good so far. I too am curious as to how you will be finishing it so it doesnt look like plywood!
      Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
      1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
      30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
      15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
      Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

      Comment


      • #4
        well, my plan was (and still is) to simply layer (spray on) enough primer to fill in the lines, then sand it smooth and paint it. I think the "finished" look will be good. if you have other suggestions my ears are open.

        UPDATE: I've finished widening the cutouts on the bezel, and sanding/filing all the edges smooth and straight, and have sprayed on the first few layers of primer. it's getting there

        P.S. even if this doesn't come out perfect, that's ok. I still want to make a fiberglass bezel to replace it with in the future. for now I'm just anxious to get this long overdue project started
        F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
        Fusion Carputer [2.0]
        Fusion Carputer [1.0]

        Comment


        • #5
          I guess that will be fine in your car. It really isnt curved, so it wont look weird. I am just used to curvy dashes, so a big flat piece sort of stuck out in my mind.
          Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
          1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
          30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
          15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
          Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

          Comment


          • #6
            the dash does curve a little bit. since, the monitor will be mounted to the bezel itself, it will have to be screwed down (the finished version will have visible screw heads showing, but that doesn't bother me as long as it's symetrical.

            even after several coats of primer and paint, the wood grain still shows through, but I really don't mind it. to be honest, I think it actually looks nice like I said, this is only temporary anyways. I'd rather spend my time setting everything up and getting it all functional right now. that way I can take my time and do a good job on the final fiberglass version (you won't see screw heads on that one ).

            I hope to have it installed tomorow, then I'll have some new pics to post (and then I start installing the computer itself )
            F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
            Fusion Carputer [2.0]
            Fusion Carputer [1.0]

            Comment


            • #7
              Looking good so far. I'm glad your using the space behind the bezel wisely. I want to do something similar to my fusion when I redo the interior. When I first popped off that bezel, the first thing I can think of was "carputer." And Im glad Im not the only one.

              Comment


              • #8
                at this point, everything was looking good. looking back at this photo I wish I left it unpainted. I actually like the real wood look, I think it adds a touch of "class" hehe (the head unit in this picture is just an old model I used for fitting purposes only, I have bought a new HU since which you'll see later on)


                next I installed the laptop in the trunk and ran the video, usb, and audio cables. (I haven't run power cables to the trunk yet, but it's not necessary yet anyways. the leptop can be charged via cig lighter socket and then run for about 4 hours on it's own battery).


                I made a temporary power switch that will sit under the driver's seat. this will be replaced when I find a nice flush mount momentary SPST button switch to mount on the bezel to the left of the monitor.


                I originally was going to mount the monitor to the bezel itself but changed my mind. I made a 3 piece aluminum bracket to mount the monitor to the dash (via two holes/screws formerly used to secure the factory stereo). I made the bracket adjustable about 1/2" in any direction, tightened with a wing nut from behind. this allows me to adjust the monitor position and secure it without having to remove it from the dash.


                after filing, sanding, priming, sanding again, priming again, sanding again, priming again, and finally painting several coats on... the bezel was ready to install. so I mounted the bezel.


                I knew it wasn't perfect, but I did expect it to look better than this. I'm dissapointed with the crappy look of this bezel. I will be re-doing this bezel later on, but the next step is getting the carputer up and running...
                F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
                Fusion Carputer [2.0]
                Fusion Carputer [1.0]

                Comment


                • #9
                  ok, so everything is installed, hooked up, and working fine. no issues (yet)







                  now that everything is up and running, it's time to replace that hideous bezel. I was going to attemp to fix up the plywood bezel, but it's just not worth it. I'll just make a new one out of a different material. I need to read up more and practice a bit before I will be able to make a good looking fiberglass bezel (since I've never fiberglassed anything before). so until then I'm just going to make one out of something I have lying around the house, it can't look much worse than that plywood bezel, so it should be at least a slight improvement for the time being
                  F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
                  Fusion Carputer [2.0]
                  Fusion Carputer [1.0]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ok, so I made a new bezel out of a leftover piece of countertop laminate board. it's very thin, easy to cut, and flexible enough to bend/conform to the curve of the dashboard. since the monitor is bolted to the factory radio mounts, the bezel doesn't have to be strong. it is however going to be holding the head unit up about 1/2" from the bottom so I re-enforced it with plywood strips behind the bezel (only around the head unit).

                    once the paint was semi-dry (I am very impatient), I test fitted the bezel onto the dash. not only does it look much better than the former plywood version, but I think I actually looks good in general



                    unfortunetly, because I was so eager to get it in and take a picture I ended up pressing some nasty fingerprints and smudges into the paint. so I had to sand it down, re-prime, and re-paint it. this time I'm letting the paint dry overnight before i touch it again

                    so my next step is to relocate the buttons that are currently in my glovebox. these buttons control the dashboard's "information center" and the hazard lights. I am in the process of making a two-piece panel to replace the small compartment in front on the shifter/under the dash to house these buttons.

                    well, back to work...
                    F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
                    Fusion Carputer [2.0]
                    Fusion Carputer [1.0]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      it's been a few months since I've done anything with the carputer (besides using it that is ) but I have "refined" my installation in the last few weeks. the bezel I made out of countertop laminate was only a temporary solution until I had time to make a better one. I was originally going to use an ABS/acetone mix to make a new bezel, but later decided to use fiberglass instead.

                      I wrapped the factory bezel in 2 layers of aluminum foil. then spread out a 1/2" thick layer of plaster on a piece of cardboard. then pressed the foil-wrapped factory bezel into the plaster and gave a few minutes to harden up.





                      next step, pour in fiberglass resin, add fiberglass cloth/mat, and repeat (in my case I used about 2 layers of cloth and 3 layers of mat)



                      next step, cut out holes for the LCD bezel and HU sleeve (I thought I took pics of that but I can't find them, so onto the next step ).

                      next step, epoxy the screen bezel and HU sleeve in place, let dry. then flip over and apply a fresh layer of resin over the screen bezel and HU sleeve to create a smooth, uniform surface to paint

                      F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
                      Fusion Carputer [2.0]
                      Fusion Carputer [1.0]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        next step was to add some body filler to the low spots and rough sand the high spots down until everything was level. I couldn't get it perfect with the body filler alone (small pieces would chip off and create small holes) so I smoothed it out as best I could then brushed on a thin layer of resin. then fine sanded the resin into a nice smooth paintable surface. then sprayed on some primer. I bought a special paint made for appliances ("Thomas' liquid stainless steel").



                        it came out "ok" but it didn't match anything else on my car, I thought I would like the look but I didn't. so I sanded it all down again, primed it again, and repainted it... this time with black spray paint. I didn't want a flat black, but i also didn't want it very glossy either. i compromised by using a gloss black w/lacquer. normally lacquer would make it shine even more, but i applied it between coats of gloss black (while the black was still wet). this created a nice semi-gloss black finish (it shines, but not enough to see your reflection in it )

                        overall I'm quite pleased with the way this came out. (in this pic the new bezel is not flush with the dash. so it looks like it doesn't fit right, but it actually fits perfect. I'll add a better pic later when everything is finished.



                        now onto the info/hazard buttons...
                        F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
                        Fusion Carputer [2.0]
                        Fusion Carputer [1.0]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          making a new bezel for those two components meant I had to find another place to mount the info center / hazard buttons because the monitor would use the spot where they used to be. at first i just had them hanging from the wires and left them in the glove box. this quickly proved to be very annoying.

                          My solution was to remove the cig lighter / coin tray from in front of the shifter and make a new flat panel to hold the buttons. to move the buttons I had to extend the wiring a couple feet to reach the lower console. to make sure I would never have a problem with it I soldered and heat-shrinked every wire at both ends of the extension. it worked out fine and the buttons work and light up just as they are supposed to.

                          I made a simple panel to hold the factory buttons. there are also two black buttons added. the bottom button is wired to the laptop docking station's power button (to turn the carputer on/off). the upper button turns the charger on/off. I used a cheap charger i bought on eBay for $15, it works fine but causes an annoying squeal in the audio. for that reason i needed to be able to turn it on and off, which is OK because the carputer/laptop can run off it's own battery for about 3 hours.

                          here is the top and bottom of the original panel:



                          a used that panel for a few months but needed to modify it later to add a couple more buttons. one button to turn the monitor on/off and another to change it's input (PC, backup cam, aux-2). I also added an analogue 15vdc voltmeter mainly to fill the extra space, but also to make sure I don't run the battery down too low to start the car

                          here is the top and bottom of the new/modified panel:


                          everything is wired using quick disconnect harness connectors for easy access/removal

                          I may make a curved fiberglass panel to replace that one later one. the purpose of a curved panel would be to tilt the controls toward the driver, but it's nothing urgent just something I may do if I get bored

                          here is my car's interior now that this carPC installation is complete:


                          so that's it. I can now say that my first carputer project is officially done!
                          F150 Truckputer [1.0] (coming soon!)
                          Fusion Carputer [2.0]
                          Fusion Carputer [1.0]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm glad that you can said "officially done". Well my was never done even I been using it for the past couple years. You know what I mean down the road.

                            Nice install and the 2nd try cuz the screw on the first try just throw off the look.
                            I seem to like the SS look better (probably because the black is a little glossy.) Flat would make it look better.
                            2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
                            89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
                            Y2K Accord Dell GX150
                            RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
                            EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

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                            • #15
                              I'm just curious, but how exactly is the bezel staying put in the dash now? If you need to get behind it, how would you do it?
                              Are you 2x? Because I want to integrate you from 10 to 13!

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