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1990 9C1 Caprice

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  • 1990 9C1 Caprice

    [edit] Finished!! Here's some before and after shots:

    From this:


    To this:


    From this:


    To this:


    [/edit]

    ---------------------

    Well, I recently lost my job... Rather than sulk about it I've decided to take the time to do the things that I have been meaning to do to my car. You can also follow along with the other things I'm doing to the car here @ my ImpalaSSforum forum thread.

    Here's the Car (At least how it was this summer):


    And the interior:


    The carPC is going to be slightly ghetto. I've got an old e-machines AMD 1700xp tower that I'll be installing.

    Specs
    CPU: AMD Athlon XP Processor 1700+
    Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition
    Memory: 640MB DDR
    Hard Drive:80GB WD Scorpio Laptop HDD
    Optical Drive: HP DVD/CD-RW Drive; 3.5" (Pulled from my 'new' Home PC)
    Video: S3 ProSavage8 integrated
    Sound: AC '97 Audio (on board)
    Case Dimensions: 7.25"W x 14.125"H x 16"D

    Interface:
    Keyboard: Dreamgear Mini-key
    Monitor: Xenarc 700ts

    I'm not using a special case (I was hoping to find a decent small desktop-style Micro-ATX case but I've been repeatedly outbid on Ebay so I give up...), and no DC-DC power supply. I've got a 175w (350w peak) inverter I'll be powering it with. I've set the inverter on a switch and I have the BIOS set to power-on whenever it receives power so I'll fire it up with the switch and shut it down manually through XP.

    I already had the PC, it was my home PC until the PS died. I wasn't able to track it down to the PS until after we had already bought another PC to replace it, so this one gets carPC duty now. I bought an 80gb laptop drive for $80 from Best Buy, I paid $14 for the Mini-Key Keyboard, $20 (I think) for the inverter and I paid $200 for the Xenarc. So all-in-all this will be a fairly low $$$ install.

    To get the sound from the PC to my ears I plan on going to a 1/2 DIN Equalizer then to amped 6x9s and subs. The EQ has a master volume knob on it so I plan to configure the PC to be on full volume all the time and I'll control volume from the EQ. For radio I have a portable AM/FM walkman that'll plug into the EQ's aux plug.

    Here it is in my office for bench testing and prep (Minus the Xenarc which has not arrived yet):



    More to follow...
    I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

  • #2
    the new interior shot;


    CarPC installation starts tomorrow...
    I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, I got my Xenarc yesterday but it snowed and it was damn cold, so I didn't get a lot of work done.

      Here's the Xenarc running Frodo (what can I say, I can't get RoadRunner to run properly and Frodo is easy to configure...):


      This afternoon I got started on the console that will house the monitor, gauges and equalizer. It's 1/2" MDF

      Here it is during a test fit:


      again:


      This is just the rough-up. After I figure out where everything's going to go and cut all the holes I'll go over it with bondo to smooth it and cover all my misdrills.

      I have two ideas for paint.

      1) (definitely the easiest of the two) I was thinking of just painting it with textured black paint.

      2) I have some pine laying around. I thought about making a new top piece out of the pine, then painting everything but the pine a blue-ish gray (or whatever the closest match I can find to the interior color) and staining the pine a mohogany (or whatever the closest match is to the interior woodgrain)
      I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Today I cut all the correct holes and put it through a trial fit. This is with the carPC sitting in the back seat just to get a feel how everything's going to work.

        Music:


        And DVD:


        As you can see I've got the Xenarc, the gauges and the switches all mounted. This switch on the left will control the inverter's relay and the switch on the right will control the audio equipment's relay. The current stereo will be replace with a 1/2 DIN Equalizer, and I may put a laptop DVD-ROM in a USB 2.0 enclosure there as well...

        I've now hit it with some bondo. I'm waiting for it to cure a bit then its time for sanding...
        I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

        Comment


        • #5
          sweet. Good choice in dvd's too. Full Metal Alchemist is awesome.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by guizai View Post
            sweet. Good choice in dvd's too. Full Metal Alchemist is awesome.
            Yeah, I've got all the episodes and now the movie on DVD.

            This weekend was my reserve weekend so I didn't get anything done until tonight.

            Here's two picture of the painted console empty:



            And after the gauges, switches and Xenarc were installed:



            It's textured flat black. I used black silicone to keep everything in place, the glare in the 2nd pic is from the still wet silicone. Also the paint was still a little wet while I was mounting everything so I got some fingerprints in the paint. After it cures completely I'll sand it down in those spots and hit it again (after covering the xenarc etc with painters masking tape)

            Hopefully permanent mounting will begin tomorrow...
            I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Not bad at all. I'm looking at doing the same type of install for my 99 Altima. Was it at all difficult wiring the turn on switch for the inverter? Also, do you have any pics of where you placed the tower in the car?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lexdiamond20 View Post
                Not bad at all. I'm looking at doing the same type of install for my 99 Altima. Was it at all difficult wiring the turn on switch for the inverter? Also, do you have any pics of where you placed the tower in the car?
                I haven't done the final mounting or wiring yet, but I'll be leaving the inverter in the "on" position and using a relay to turn power to it on or off. I'll post my progress as it happens.
                I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Teaser pic as I test for final fit:
                  I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OKflyboy View Post
                    I haven't done the final mounting or wiring yet, but I'll be leaving the inverter in the "on" position and using a relay to turn power to it on or off. I'll post my progress as it happens.
                    Godd idea. Also, will the pc automatically start-up when the inverter turns on? I assume there will be some type of current giving the signal. Or will you have a seperate switch to turn on the pc after your inverter is powered up?

                    Thank in advance.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lexdiamond20 View Post
                      Godd idea. Also, will the pc automatically start-up when the inverter turns on? I assume there will be some type of current giving the signal. Or will you have a seperate switch to turn on the pc after your inverter is powered up?

                      Thank in advance.
                      I set the BIOS so that the PC will turn on as soon as it receives power.
                      I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OKflyboy View Post
                        I set the BIOS so that the PC will turn the PC on as soon as it receives power.
                        Didn't even know that was possible. Just one more ting have to remember when finally setting up. Thanks for the tip.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lexdiamond20 View Post
                          Didn't even know that was possible. Just one more ting have to remember when finally setting up. Thanks for the tip.
                          No problem, Glad to help!

                          Ugh. Well I decided I wanted to paint the console a two-tone. I already had the center painted black and I wanted to paint the sides gray to match the interior. I masked off the black and proceeded to paint the gray. When I took the masking tape off, however, it took some of the black paint with it... grrr. Since the gauges and Xenarc are already glued in place its too late to give it good sanding. I sanded as much as I could and hit it again. sadly there are still marks from where the paint was removed but at least the colors OK now... I'll just have to live with it...

                          No pics tonight, I'm very close to being finished (hopefully tomorrow) and I will post pics when I'm done
                          I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Okay. The Car is filthy and I need to clean up the some wiring but otherwise CarPC is finished!!

                            Here's the console I built. If you look around the gauges and between the switches you can see where the paint came off, there's a gap in the paint...
                            The switch on the left hits relays for the inverter and Xenarc and the switch on the right the EQ and amps.


                            wider shot:


                            side:


                            wider:


                            the EQ. I used the frame (painted black) from my old CD player to mount it. Later I will install a laptop DVD player in a USB 2.0 enclosure in the empty space below the EQ:


                            The PC (I warned you that it would be ghetto. The tied-downs keep it nice and tight, it isn't going anywhere...)


                            Turns out my cheapy inverter wasn't up to powering the PC after all. I bought a 400w (800w peak) Black & Decker inverter for $40 from WalMart and it works great. Even survives engine crank without rebooting the PC.

                            Next up is a custom "Caprice" or "Chevy" bootscreen and an Wi-Fi card...

                            Well, there it is. Comments and suggestions welcome!
                            I am an American soldier. If you will not stand behind me, feel free to stand in front of me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              moved!

                              congrats on finishing it!
                              Jan Bennett
                              FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                              Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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