No announcement yet.

Subaru Impreza 2.5RS '05 Wagon Install... on a budget

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Subaru Impreza 2.5RS '05 Wagon Install... on a budget

    Hey all,

    Well, after lurking around on the forum for a while and bugging all sorts of people with questions, both on and off the forum, here's my install. It's not really done yet in the sense that the software and the addons still need to be worked out (like Bluetooth and my phone), but the hardware is basically installed (still thinking of adding cameras just for fun, though). So here's my saga.

    The car:

    The beginning:
    This was how the dashboard looked on the stock car. The 2 DIN opening was very promising (one of the reasons I liked the Subaru, to be fair), so I took a picture of it in its pristine glory, before I got down to hacking it up.

    Off goes the face:
    The radio, as you might notice, is not stock (I replaced the stock radio within the first 5 days of owning the car - the carputer came much, much later - almost a full 6 months later).

    Moving the radio:
    My first goal was to get rid of the radio - but since I didn't want to get an amp (reason: if I get an amp, I should get proper speakers. If I get proper speakers, I should get a sub. This all racks up in price - one thing at a time), I decided to keep the radio and move it up instead of the clock. I picked up a Performance Gauge Housing - it was PERFECT for this (in fact, just SLIGHTLY larger than a 1-DIN radio, but not enough to be a worry).

    This is the view of the vents. Getting the stock clock out was a bit of a nightmare because the clips are HARD.

    Wide angle shot with all the wiring:

    Away with the clock:
    Long story cut short, I got rid of the damn clock. Here's the hole to prove it:

    Radio gets relocated:
    I'm not unpleased with the new location. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's overall not bad. Just a bit harder to reach (I sit far from the steering wheel).

    Reassembling the dash:

    I put all the components back and drove around like this for a month or so while I was preparing all the CarPC parts. This is what it looked like (and the hole wasn't too aesthetic, to be fair )


    I needed to find a place to put the PC. I got the most excellent LCD bezel from TMZ, but I realised that the EPIA board won't fit the way I want it to (the board itself fit perfectly, but I'd have to make custom connectors for everything, and forget about properly shock-mounting the hard drive). While on the subject of shock-mounting hard drives: I've read through people's experiences both with and without shock mounts, but I've realised one truth that makes the whole debate irrelevant in my eyes: NONE OF YOU PEOPLE LIVE IN QUEBEC. See, our taxes don't go to road improvement. They go to heating (as in, the ministers burn the money to stay warm). Result: potholes aplenty. There was actually an accident once where a guy driving a Porsche 911 hit a pothole at 200 km/h, ripped off the wheel, did a few sommersaults and wound up dead. With 3 other people, too. So I needed a shock mount. Hence I decided to make my own case. I recently installed an air conditioner at home (yeah, it does get hot SOMETIMES), so I had some plexiglass left over... I thought, why not use it?

    Jumping ahead of myself, I must say the result isn't QUITE what I planned for, but it works.

    This is what I had:

    This is how I laid out the design (8cm high, 33 cm wide, about 18-19cm deep):

    Cable mess:

    This is the cable mess behind the head unit. Sorry about the colour shift - forgot my Rebel's white balance on "tungsten".

    Something NOT to touch:

    I couldn't figure out what this box was, so I started reading the warning labels, and found out it's the airbag computer - doh! I'm not sure if anything happened if I played with it, but knowing the horror stories of airbags deploying by accident and refills costing upwards of $1,000, I decided to stay well clear of it and any wires leading to/away from it.

    [... continued in next post ...]
    Doko ni datte, hito wa tsunagatte iru...

    My BMW 335xi install
    My Subaru Impreza install (now retired...)
    Realtime audio freestyle hiphop battles online -!

  • #2
    Routing the wires:

    After taking off all of the transmission housings (I love how disassemblable my Subaru is), I found that I can route the wires just beside the shifter. I made a custom power extension for the LCD, as well as power for the PC, and housed them in a container wire, and just routed it through here.

    Wire housing:


    The CarPC is going under the passenger seat. This is all the wires coming out from under it, as well as random parking receipts.

    The PC:

    So I started mounting the PC on the plexiglass. It's covered with white protective material, which I decided to keep 'cause the cable mess was too horrid inside - didn't want to demonstrate it. Might take it off some day.

    EPIA mounted:

    Hard drive and everything else mounted (except power supply) - note that I mounted the hard drive on a shock assembly of 8 springs, bottom ones being slightly harder than top. Again, this didn't QUITE work out as I wanted because I miscalculated the width of the case, as well as the amount of cables above and below the drive; ideally, it was supposed to free-float, but now it's sort of restricted. But it's still better than a hard mount, I think.

    Under passenger seat:

    (rear cover still needs to be re-attached, and velcro needs to be put to prevent it from moving around... but that'll be done once I'm really done with mounting stuff)


    So this is what the whole assembly looks like. Don't mind the GPS... it's moving to a much less conspicuous place, and the wire will run alongside the doorsill and under the carpets to the USB port, so that you wouldn't even know that there was a wire there.

    Well, that's about it for the install. Final specs are (in my sig, but here they are again in case my sig changes):

    - VIA EPIA M10000
    - 512MB DDR RAM
    - 200GB Western Digital HD
    - Pharos 360 GPS unit
    - CSR Bluetooth v1.2 dongle
    - M1-ATX power supply (mounted just above the motherboard inside the case - can't see in pics, took them before I mounted it)
    - custom crappy plexiglass case

    For input, I use the touchscreen, obviously, and if I need to, a Logitech Media Mouse (or something, don't have it here - the wireless one with a USB dongle), and a Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard. Look ma - no wires!

    Next up is custom USB ports - probably in the center console somewhere. I want to put it instead of the ashtray, it seems like a PERFECT spot; but I don't really know how to attach a piece of plastic there so that it stays, and yet is removable for when I sell the car (Impreza owners - you probably know the location I'm referring to).

    Anyway, comments/flames welcome. Keep the flames down re: the case, though - I know it sucks, but I wasn't about to pay $300 USD for an Opus case

    Doko ni datte, hito wa tsunagatte iru...

    My BMW 335xi install
    My Subaru Impreza install (now retired...)
    Realtime audio freestyle hiphop battles online -!


    • #3
      damn - dude thats some nice work!
      Car: 2000 Audi A4 Avant 1.8t
      Carputer 2.0: removed. Back to stock.


      • #4
        good job man


        • #5
          Very nice...


          • #6
            NICE looks like it was meant to be there!
            New System in progress:
            Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
            Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
            Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
            Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
            Transflective Xenarc

            My Car Pc Install
            My Boat Pc worklog


            • #7
              Thanks for the positive comments. Yeah, I was going for something as stock-looking as possible... it won't *prevent* theft, but at least it'll *discourage* it - not that many people try to steal LCDs from Altimas or Mercedeses, so I hope to avoid that with a stock-looking mount as well, hehe.

              Doko ni datte, hito wa tsunagatte iru...

              My BMW 335xi install
              My Subaru Impreza install (now retired...)
              Realtime audio freestyle hiphop battles online -!


              • #9
                Originally posted by Enforcer
                You see, I'm looking at that space where the clock was, and thinking "that would be a damn fine place for a pop up screen"
                Yeah - I was thinking of that. But I had a few issues with it. Besides it blocking my view of the road (though I do admit it'd be easier to see the screen, hehe), I don't have the fab skills to make something like that - and I certainly can't afford anything like that. Also that - and the fact that the daytime viewing would become next to impossible. Right now, since it's recessed in the dash, and since the Impreza dashes are tilted slightly upwards, I actually can't complain too much about daytime viewing - unless I literally have sunlight right on it, it's actually not bad at all.

                Of course, it looks weird when I'm stopped on the side of the road and fiddling with something out of the line of sight in the vehicle. :P
                Doko ni datte, hito wa tsunagatte iru...

                My BMW 335xi install
                My Subaru Impreza install (now retired...)
                Realtime audio freestyle hiphop battles online -!


                • #10
                  Sweet install. Really like your placement of the HU.


                  • #11
                    Lookin good.


                    • #12
                      Here's some more pictures of the actually functioning CarPC.

                      Wide-angle View:

                      Boot Screen:

                      Main Menu:

                      Music Menu:


                      The Car (okay, so I like it enough to plug it twice - sue me :P):

                      Of course, GPS works too - I just wish I could get rid of the damn Microsoft logo pointing out to the world. Might have to put some masking tape on it or something...
                      Doko ni datte, hito wa tsunagatte iru...

                      My BMW 335xi install
                      My Subaru Impreza install (now retired...)
                      Realtime audio freestyle hiphop battles online -!


                      • #13
                        what is that piece you used to cover the top of the HU? Where did you get it? Install looks damn clean, nice work.

                        edit* nevermind, reread and found you used a gauge housing.
                        2007 Honda Fit Sport 1.5L SOHC-VTEC


                        • #14
                          One of the cleanest jobs I've seen so far... Thumbs way up!!
                          VER. 3.0- Check out below:
                          車コンピュータ 3.0


                          • #15
                            Thanks for the positive comments... now only to iron out all the bugs and add all the things in my "to do" list. The motherboard doesn't provide enough power to power USB hard drives/DVD writers..... so looks like I'll have to fashion my own power supply for my USB hub. Hm.
                            Doko ni datte, hito wa tsunagatte iru...

                            My BMW 335xi install
                            My Subaru Impreza install (now retired...)
                            Realtime audio freestyle hiphop battles online -!