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2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee + PC

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  • 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee + PC

    So I First looked into Car PCs like 3 months ago, and I just saw this site like 1 month ago. and since I am getting back some major cash for tax return, I decided to start.
    (Will post pictures as soon as I can find the cord for my camera to my PC.)

    Since my tax return hasnt come back yet, all I have done is take out my dash components and take a look behind them. I figure the screen is going to go where the HU goes plus i might have to knock out the two middle air vents. maybe a 7 inch screen would not have to knock them out, but interestingly enough i think that i can get a 10.2 incher in there if i do take out the air vents. maybe that will be an upgrade for later.

    The next thing I did was to take out the center console and see if i could fit a Puter down there. I noticed that The rear cupholders were easily (read: get a star bit) removed. Once i got them out, it seemed as though there was plenty of room, even underneath the "armrest bucket" for a goot mini-itx case. (plus i think that somebody died in my jeep, there was dried up blood under the center console when i took it out.)

    The next thing to do was to decide how i wanted to get soud out of my carpc. A quick look at showed me the wiring diagram of my factory 10 disc changer. I took it out and shredded the ground left output and right output. I cut up an old PC speaker set that i had that had a 10 ft cord on it and took out the ground, left and right output and wrapped it around the corresponding wires. I then switched to CD changer and plugged in the jack to an ipod and pressed play. I heard two songs playing from the cd player so i knew that i had got the right wires. i clipped them from the CD changer and routed the wire up toward the center console and viola! an instant AUX in to my factory radio.
    In order for the Aux in to work however, my defunct CD changer would have to be reading a CD for it to work. (it only reads 1/7 discs that i put into it.)

    After much deliberation, i decided that the way i am going to go, as soon as i get my mutha effin tax check, is to take out the head unit alltogether so that i can use the steering wheel buttons to control everything. because if i left the HU in i would have to sacrifice the buttons to control the HU. so i would say that i am 99% done with planning, however i know that i will have overseen something that i am going to miss.

    BTW, i am planning on getting the Complete car computer package number 2, some sort of GPS reciever and i seen a cord at Tune Town or something that will connect any regular RCA jacks to my factory infinity amp in. so i am probobally going to go with that.

    the only thing i am not so sure about is the fabrication of the screen bezel. never done any sort of fabrication before.


  • #2
    Test PSU

    So still waiting for the check, so i decided to do a little bit of prep work. I knew that i am going to need to test the PC on my bench before i put it in the Jeep, so i needed a "lab power supply." I had bought a project box, for when i thought the PC was going to go in the DIN slot. When i changed my mind to put it in the center console, I stuffed it away.

    So far, all ive done is hack up the PSU casing so that it will fit into the project case, drilled a hole in the project case to fit the A/C plug. I figure i wont need the switch for the back of the psu to turn it on, if its plugged in i need it on. Also, i left one of the Molex connctors connected so i can put a load on it. I heard that it is neccessary for the PSU to have a load somewheres. Im going to cut off the MB connector to put out of the box the +12v ground and also an ignition wire. I am going to put a switch on the box to mimic ignition. All of this is dependent of me not getting audited. or some stuff like that.

    Also I am at work this week and will be getting underway so I wont be able to work on it until we pull back in.



    • #3
      Parts in arrival

      I got my check so I ordered my lilliput. i got the 8" cuz that one fit the best in my dash. plugged it in and tested it out, just to make sure, and i am loving it. i have a spare bezel on its way that i got from Ebay. should get here hopefully tomorrow. If it does, then i can start on my fabrication. I decided to go with fabrication first, because it was the thing that i was most worried about. I already got some Bondo glass and hardener and some spot putty and well, i think i got some primer, not sure. I am not going to worry about painting it until i get it all done. Does anyone know of anything that i missed that i will need, and overlooked in the FAQ?

      I found the cord to my camera, and then i realized that none of the pictures i took so far are any interesting. I have a 4 day weekend this week because my CO felt bad that we were underway for most of V-day, so if i get the spare bezel in, ill get lots of interesting pictures up and ready to go.


      • #4
        Fabrication Started

        So i got the screen and the bezel in so i chopped up the screen and made a lilliput sized hole in the bezel. I used some epoxy to permanently bond the two:

        Once that was dried, i mixed up some Bondo Glass for a first try:

        Once i got it sanded down, (which is what that picture is of) i threw it in the jeep to see if it was very shapely.

        There are still some little divots that i want to fill up with umm... whatever that other stuff i have out on my bench is. glazing putty i think.

        also i got in my Visteon HD Radio, but i dont have any component cables to see if it works, so im just going to cross my fingers.


        • #5
          Looks like you are doing a great job. I too am about to start a similar project with my 2004 Grand Cherokee. The pics have given me a few ideas. thanks. Really just wanted to post to let you know others are watching, and please continue to post your progress. I will start a worklog soon for my project. keep up the good work.


          • #6
            HD Radio test

            I got the cord for the HD radio and decided to throw it up to the computer. Works great!!:

            In addition to that, i put like 3 coats of spot putty on my bezel and sanded it down to 400 grit. it feels pretty smooth but i can still see scratch marks from the 100 grit. plus there are tons of pinholes. Ive heard that primer is the way to go to fill pin holes. The big problem i am having is that the dust from sanding in the pinholes wont go away. so if i put the next coat of whatever on, the dust will just stay in there. wtf?



            • #7
              Bezel Finished?

              So i bought some primer and some paint. i also got some 600 grit wetsand paper cuz 400 wasnt cutting it.

              After the wetsanding of the primer, the thing was like glass. Im sure i could have done some higher grit wetsanding but i couldnt find any. I forgot to get a picture of it wetsanded with the primer, but i laid down like 3 coats of primer. Sanded the first two with 400 and the third wetsanded with 600.

              I did however get some pics of the final coat of paint. At first i wasnt in love with the texture but I think it will look nice (waiting for it to dry to see how it looks in the console.) :



              • #8
                Screen Fab Done

                Heres the pics of the screen comlpletely installed. When i tested it, i thought that it wasnt working because it kept getting the no signal error when switched to PC, but i realized that my video card doesnt send out a signal when the "screen saver" comes on, so i just jiggled the mouse and pow! there arent any pics of the FE or of the screen running because a) they cameout pretty ****ty b) the actual 'puter isnt in yet.

                without adeu


                • #9
                  Did you "cap off" the air vents, or do they just blow on the back of the monitor ?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Error23 View Post
                    Did you "cap off" the air vents, or do they just blow on the back of the monitor ?
                    I haven't capped them off yet, but i do plan on doing something to keep the air from blowing on the screen. It isn't going to be permanent, because i want to keep everything reversable.

                    On another note, I just purchased the actual PC that will be going underneath the center console. Im going to be underway again this week, so hopefully it will be there when we pull back in. I would have ordered it earlier, but i wasn't sure i was going to get the bezel completed in only one weekend.

                    PS, any one know what the hell is this smiley?


                    • #11
                      I'm very interested to know how you capped them. I'm opposite of you. I have had my computer in for a week now, but no monitor. I got the Aopen mini duo. Seems to be working great except for the fact that nlite look out modem support and im havening a hell of a time with bluetooth because of it. Looks like im going to have to rebuild and re-install. no biggie. I have been waiting for the new xenarc motorized indash monitor to become available to use as my monitor. Due to it still being "out of stock" and the ease of which you modified your bezel, im an seriously considering going with a standard (not motorized) monitor. I will decide this in the next day or two. Anyway, the install looks great. Hope mine turns out that well.



                      • #12
                        Power Ran

                        I got a Monster Amp Kit at fry's and i wired it all up. it was some 8 awg for the +12v and i connected that straight to the battery with a 30 amp fuse, i think i might get a smaller fuse to put in there i dont know. routed it past the alternator, and then down the left side of the hood space through the grommet. it had a remote turn on wire, 18 awg, and i connected that to a wire on my ciggarette lighter, which only gives power on ign. I looked at the MP3car store and they said that my PC is shipped, so it should be here by thursday. i found a pretty good grounding spot right where i am going to mount the pc, so that should be good.

                        Also i hooked up the screen to my wife's laptop and pluged it into the car just to see what it looked like, and it looks pretty good. Im pretty excited about this install, got the ball rolling.

                        There's no pictures this time, because my wife might have screwed up the camera.



                        • #13
                          Bivio, where u been ? Need someone doing the same project to bounce some things off of..


                          • #14

                            Its been a while since ive actually posted anything regarding my Jeeputer, but believe me, i have been vigilantly working on it. One of my primary concerns was being able to return everything to OEM When i sell the car or total it.

                            One problem I ran into was how to get sound from the Infinity Sound system already installed. After a bit of reading i decided to buy an OEM-1 PAC adapter. Not wanting to pay 80 bux, i bought one off of Ebay. Obviously the cords didnt match up, so i hade to make my own cord out of some 15 pin and 6 pin molex connectors, and well ill draw a picture here it is:

                            i got all that knocked out pretty fast. but then i realized that the voom2pc case that i ordered didnt fit in my center console. It does however fit perfectly where the disc changer was in the back. I got a VGA extension and USB extension and ran them from the disc changer spot to the center console (where the cords from the screen will reach from the dash). I need to fabricate some sort of mounting plate for the pc still unsure of how to do that. and... thats it for now.


                            • #15
                              Fitting Woes

                              Ive noticed, mostly after work when i want to unwind, that the factory infinity amp is not very strong and cannot drive my speakers to the volume that i would like. Ive been pricing cheap 4 channel amps and it should be pretty easy to install it, considering the molex "upgrade" i performed. Also, as soon as i get my next paycheck (tuesday) i am going to get gps. I am still quite unsure of weather i want to get iguidance or the new garmin mobile pc. barring reading any bad reviews about garmin, i will probobally go with that. still need to fabricate a mounting device for the pc case in the "boot." Other than that it is all set up the way that i want it.