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2003 Tahoe Install

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  • 2003 Tahoe Install

    Hey everyone, I mostly lurk on this site, but since I've gotten so much info from you guys and I enjoy reading your install threads, I thought I'd share my own install.

    Plan is to install a 10.4" TS screen in the center console of my 2003 Tahoe - making it as factory looking as possible. I'm using an epia 10K board, 512 ram (probably will bump up to 1 gig), 40 GIG HD (again upgraded in the near future), XP pro, Holux GPS mouse and an Opus 150 watt for power supply.

    The first part I wanted to tackle was getting the screen installed. I wanted it where the cubby holes and cig lighter are in the center console. So I pulled that piece out and started cutting to fit the screen.

    The idea was to use MDF and fiberglass, but after talking with Dad, we decided to go with balsa covered with fiberglass. He builds model airplanes so he has a ton of scrap and knows how to work with the wood.

    I used cardboard to mock up how I wanted the final product to look like. Once I was sure of the design (this took the longest part - I probably worked on this for 9 months, on and off), we started building. After about 4 hours in the shop, this is what we have so far:

    We still need to finish up the top corner on the passenger side and put in the pieces that will hold the screen centered on the back. Once that's done, we'll secure the frame to the dash piece, cover with felt and glass. If all goes well, I'm hoping to be laying glass by the end of next week.


  • #2
    Nice woodwork


    • #3
      thanks for the complements!

      made some more progress tonight - got the passenger side finished up and also fitted the top :

      Then decided that before we glue everything up, we should test fit one last time. Turns out on the passenger side the screen sits about 1/4" too high and hits the bottom of the dash piece. I knew this was going to be the hardest part, but I thought I had it figured out. We removed the bottom piece of the screen bezel and replaced it 1/8" balsa, still too high.

      Not sure what we're gonna do to solve this problem.


      • #4
        Fill it and round it over to look like the dash part right above it. I'd actually round over all the outside edges to look like the rest of the dash parts as well. Just keeping the inside square. That make sense?
        Failure is not an option....

        It's installed by default on every version of Windows.


        • #5
          yeah, the plan is to definitely round the edges, but the problem I ran into last night is that the upper part of the dash is actually pushing my bezel down. So even if I were to fill it and smooth it out, I will still have a problem fitting the screen. Theres no extra room in the bezel for me to remove and still have the screen fit correctly.


          • #6
            not much build progress was made last night. Spent most of the time figuring out the best way to fit the 10" screen without hitting that upper dash piece. Finally decided the best way was to forget about attaching the screen bezel to the factory console piece. Instead, we'll be building our own that will install using the factory mounting locations. Will have pictures later this morning.


            • #7
              and the pictures

              building up the bottom again:

              test fitting to make sure the screen clears at the top:

              getting an idea on how the sides will flow with the rest of the dash/console:

              bottom finished, screen taped in making sure we have enough clearance behind:

              the plan today is to finish the sides and top of the new dash piece and if possible, get the screen bezel installed. Then start lining up the mounting points and getting those built.

              While I probably wasted most of the time I have invested in this project - first cutting up the old dash piece and then designing and building a prototype bezel out of cardboard, I think building it up this way will result in a much better final product. Not to mention, it should be pretty easy, now that we have the measurements and all.


              • #8
                Lookin' good... Figured I'd watch the progress over here as well!
                Play with it, 'til it's broke.


                • #9
                  HAHAHAH cool! Be sure to let me know if you need anything or if I can help any way with your install.


                  • #10
                    made a lot of progress this afternoon (even though it may not look like it). Got the sides and top piece cut and tacked in place. Then we were able to get the new piece in place without any interference from the upper dash like before.

                    Then we were able to figure out how we are going to actually secure the new lower dash piece to the rest of the car. Tomorrow, we should be able to knock that out. So hopefully by the end of the day, I will have a new lower dash that can actually be installed, not just held in place.


                    • #11
                      made some great progress today although it doesn't look like we did. We figured out how to mount the new piece in with the rest of the dash.

                      At first we were going to try and use the factory mounting clips, we'd have to build a false back to put some posts that would hold the clips, then get them lined up exactly so they'd fit the factory holes. Decided that was too much of a pain in the ***. So instead, we built a bracket that gets mounted to the 'dash internals' - sorry, don't have a pic and it's the best I can describe. I can get a pic later. The new lower dash piece that we're building slides over the bracket and we screw in to the bracket, securing the top. Kinda confusing I know, sorry. I'll get pics installing it and it will all make sense.

                      heres the bracket:

                      Then to secure the bottom we installed some 'nutserts' and drilled holes into the cup holder piece.


                      • #12
                        Really nice detailed pics. Cant wait to see the finished result.

                        MY CAR PC SPECS


                        • #13
                          Put a shirt on!
                          Anybody who makes significantly more money than you do.

                          The Hoe-Puter Worklog

                          Progress (Phase one):

                          [----------] 97.3%
                          Parts Aquisition:
                          [----------] 95%
                          [----------] 95%


                          • #14
                            I'll do my best to keep Dad out of the pictures going forward LOL

                            Got a lot more done, but nothing new in the way of pictures. We finalized the upper mounting bracket, got it drilled and screwed to the inner dash. Then we were able to install the new bezel, secure it to the mounting bracket at the top, and screw the lower portion in. Talk about a nice tight fit! Then we put the dash surround piece back in, just to make sure everything fit as expected.

                            Also, started doing some shaping FINALLY! Tomorrow we should have the whole thing sanded and shaped the way we want it, and quite possibly wrapped in felt.


                            • #15
                              Got the shaping and finish sanding done

                              Test fitting to see how it all flows together

                              Tomorrow I'll be wrapping it in felt and will then get started on designing and building the case.

                              I'm really happy with the final fit and shape of the new piece. I am now confident that the finished piece will look great.