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1997 Ford Escort GHIA - First Install

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  • 1997 Ford Escort GHIA - First Install

    So after looking around in the forum i dicided to build a carpc too. Why well because it rocks ***. So first things first I decided to build one because I really like them and I need navigation in my car (get lost a lot). But I didn't want a crappy TomTom to hang off my windows so why not build it myself . Am doing some other work on my car too but he.

    Here's a picture of what it looks like at the moment:

    As you can see there is a small piece there that still has to be painted but he gone be done in the future.

    Let me tell you what I want in my car. At first I want to create a frontend to play music, video, dvd and display pictures. Second I want a trunk camera, navigation, phone control and diagnostics (accelaration speed etc etc). I am going to build my own frontend but this should be that hard because I am a software engineer. (still in school but almost done).

    The hardware I am going to use is:
    - 7" monitor (no touchscreen, that will come in later on)
    - Basic Motherboard
    - Geforce 2 MX Max 64 MB videocard with tv out
    - 512 MB Ram
    - 3,5" Harddisk (40 GB)
    - 12v DC - DC power supply (160w)
    - 600w Amplifier
    - USB GPS Mouse
    - USB Infrared Module
    - USB Mouse (with scroll)
    - One Basic Microphone
    - 2 Full Range Speakers
    - 2 Subwoofers (only 250 watt)
    - 2 Tweeters
    - 2 Mid Range Speakers

    As you can see it isn't the best low power setup but it will do for now.

    My radio support AUX so the pc will be hooked up to the radio for outputting sounds. So that's covert.

    I already installed the screen because this was a lot of work. I dismounted it from it's casing and mounted it on top of my radio. Here's a small picture of how it turned out. I still need to finish it but it was just to see how it looked.

    I am going to use the scroll wheel of the mouse to control my front end. I will deattach it and mount the scroll here:

    That's it for now tell me what you think of this idea so far .
    Check out My Custom Frontend

  • #2
    The frontend

    So I told you all I was going to build a custom frontend. I finally have a picture of the main screen and I was wondering if you all like it.

    The main screen as shown below will have 9 buttons: Music (self explaining), Video (dito), pictures (dito), dvd (dito), Phone (using the, navigation (self explaining), diagnose (is going to contain information about acceleration speed etc etc), Trunk Camera (my rear view mirror cam ) and off course shutdown. Still wondering if I should use win XP because it also runs on win 98 and that boots much faster and is much more customizable .

    Check out My Custom Frontend


    • #3
      So today I installed a remote control for my doors in my car. Was a bit of a pain in the *** because i installed the wires wrong stupid me should have read the manual :P. But still there in and it now goes *Bleep Bleep* :P.

      Also worked on my frontend today but the main screen still isn't right. so I am still working on that. Will post a picture of that one later when its finished a bit further .

      Nothing new to add for now. This week i am recieving my M2-ATX and will try to start building a floor in the back of my car. So i can create some boxes to contain my pc amp and speakers .
      Check out My Custom Frontend


      • #4
        nice work
        I would try and add some graphics to the icons or a different button theme. Also you might want to color code the skin to the color of your car


        • #5
          Hi tnx,

          at the moment I am indeed reworking the color code. Want to use the silver color of my car for the buttons and I used green because when it's dark all the light in my car are green except for the display of my radio. I wish i could change the color of my radio but he maybe in the future I will do some research .

          With kind regards,

          FG van Zeelst
          Check out My Custom Frontend


          • #6
            Can't wait to see the progress.
            Renault Megane...the OEM look

            The Lost in Europe Ford Escort


            • #7

              Thanks, I am currently working on my frontend. To see any progress please check: To see what frontend I am developing. Still in need of a cool name so have a go .

              With Kind Regards,

              FG van Zeelst
              Check out My Custom Frontend


              • #8

                Hi everyone,

                So I am finally back from my vacation. I have been to turkey and the Big Apple . Must say it was really nice. But on to the important stuff. I had some time on my hands so I was able to continue working on my car. So lets bring on the screenshots and see what has been done.

                So the first thing I have done is I continued finishing the screen. Here's a picture of it with a part of it's cover. Still I will have to take the dash apart to mold the screencover in nicely.

                Remember where I wanted to place my scroll button. Removed that idea and replaced it with a nice usb port so I can upload music easily. Also added the light.

                First screenshot = work in progress.

                Second Screenshot = molded in.

                Third Screenshot = Without lighting.

                Fourth Screenshot = With Lighting.

                I also build a frame for the trunk. At the left where the box with the blue lid is will be a box for my pc as well as some tools. Also I rewired the back because I had audio video and power al at the same side.
                Check out My Custom Frontend


                • #9
                  Hi i know this is a couple of months old but i joined to ask more about your install. I'm thinking of doing this and i have a ford escort aswell, i'm mainly worried about the install of the screen i want to do it like yours aswell. How did you get to fit it in? Also is that as far as the headunit goes in? Looks like it sticks out a bit?




                  • #10
                    Hi dave,

                    Well it has been a while since I updated the worklog that's true. But because of the cold days I don't want to work on my car (I don't have a garage sadly enough). Still able to answer your question though.

                    Below the factory radio unit there is a small place where you can place well don't really know what it was intended for guess papers or pens but I removed it. There was a horizontal bar between the radio and the place the box should go in. After removing it I was left with a 3-din space. The screen doesn't fit correctly in the space but i am going to create a piece of plastic to put over it. It will level the complete dash so the screen is sunken in completely but because i haven't finished it yet it looks like it is popping out.

                    As for mounting it: I put the metal bars on top of my radio and used (don't know what it is called in english in dutch its called: popnagels) to mount the bars. Then I was able to screw the screen on there. At the moment the electronics plate for the screen in strapped to the radio (no interferance but still not the best solution).

                    The pc is going to be in the back of the car. You are able to lead the wires trough the doorframe (will make some pictures of it if you want). On the floor of the trunk I made a wooden frame as you can see there are going to be wooden toppingplates on it so i can place all cables beneath them.

                    If you have any more questions feel free to ask. As for some pictures just tell me what you want to see.

                    With kind regards,

                    FG van Zeelst

                    Do you want to remove your radio completely or also keep a radio besides your incar pc.

                    Sorry for the bad english I am a bit tired
                    Check out My Custom Frontend


                    • #11
                      That is really cool, thanks for your answers, My aim is to do exactly the same as you (install the stereo under the screen) i think i'll be ok with the install of the pc, just trying to work out how to do what your doing, Its given quite some insights. You couldn't take anymore pictures of the headunit area to get more of an idea of how you installed that part? It'll look really good once it is finished off, like it came out of the factory, exactly how i want it! I actually found this thread from a google picture search! and your english is very good



                      • #12
                        Hi dave I will take my headunit out tomorrow and make some pictures for you. As I said in my previous post the electronics plate from the monitor is still on top of the radio (not its permanent place but oke). Need screenshots from other parts or just the headunit.

                        Can't wait to see your ride. You should place some pictures and start your worklog. This site is really good to get information. Also what screen are you going to use lilliput touchscreen ?

                        With Kind Regards,

                        FG van Zeelst
                        Check out My Custom Frontend


                        • #13
                          My car has nothing computer wise in it at the moment just a stereo with an ipod connection, going to start on this after crimbo once i get some more funds! As for the screen, i'm not sure on that either yet the lilliput's i've seen are all too long which is a problem, know of any good touchscreens that are under 189mm in length? Pictures of everything is cool, i have a soft spot for escorts and like seeing what other people have done 9nice usb idea by the way!) I'll start updating my worklog when i get started but that'll be a couple of weeks yet!!

                          Thank you for your help



                          • #14
                            Help needed

                            Hello MOnline, I really like your work on the escort. I am planning also to integrate an LCD in the dash.

                            I am planning to put an Lcd frame or a computer box , they have a measure of 2 DIN:


                            These are too big for the hole of the factory radio, so I supose I'll have to sand the bar between the radio and the box below.

                            How did you manage to maintain the screen without going out? What do you think about using the computer box to fit the lcd??

                            Thank you very much for answering.


                            • #15
                              Hi jimmy_jazz,

                              The double din should fit nicely in the hole for the radio (as it is a double din radio). I wanted to have a seperate radio because my computer is mainly intended for navigation (but it will also be able to play music of course but I haven't got a radio module yet and my radio features bluetooth so I wanted to keep that). I have sanded the bar out and now I have a triple din slot. The screen is mounted on top of the radio (using some stands to hold it up right). Mainly because connection the screen to anything else was pretty hard.

                              I think it is a good idea to use a computer box. I assume it will fit in the double din slot and it will provide a nice clean install. Seeing the usb ports on the back of the screenshot it would be possible to put a nice usb port in the center console (like i did) using an usb extention cable).

                              With kind regards,

                              Check out My Custom Frontend