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1997 Fiat Brava SX 1.4 12v

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  • 1997 Fiat Brava SX 1.4 12v

    Hi all!

    after reading about the projects of other people for so long i decided it was about time i posted my own story.

    I've wanted to have a carputer for some time now and was looking arround to what other people had done with a car like mine:



    Untill i found this:




    I decided this was a good place for the monitor so i started fabbing:

    The base framing


    Filled it up with foam


    I then cut it down to size and shaped it to its final... well shape




    For the next bit i don't actually have pictures because, well i frankly forgot to take any so i'll explain...

    I took one of my wife's old stockings and cut it open and streched the material arround the framing and foam. Next I covered the material with the resin normally used for fiberglassing and waited for it to harden. Then came a lot of sanding and bondo applying to get a nice smooth surface ready for paint

    So... this is after I painted it flat black:



    and a few clear coats

    Maybe you noticed the rough edges arround the hole for the screen, that does not matter because the screens frame covers that up.

    The finished and installed screen, onscreen the first boot of the carputer without OS

  • #2
    More on this project:

    after using the carputer as you can see above I've come to the conclusion it's not the best position for the monitor to be in....

    So, back to the drawingboard... I've seen lots of people sacrificing their air vents to put the monitor in the dash, but I don't want to loose those vents so i thought this up:



    And started fabricating it:

    First I got an other piece of dashboard at the breakers and cut it up so i could start the framing. Here's the crude framework with, on the left side, some ducktape to show how the screen will fit in it when finished. I've put in a dummy/mockup of the screen i'll be using.


    I taped everything up to make it ready for the foam part


    Filled it up with foam, a bit to much but who cares


    After the foam set I started cutting it down to get the crude shapes i wanted


    And... here it is ready for fiberglassing I'll try to do it the same way I did it for the first install





    So still to do:
    - fiberglassing
    - Bondo and sanding
    - paint
    - finding a new position for the rearwindow heating button, the emergency lights button and the foglight button

    I'm also looking into making an insert to put in the storage compartment in my centerconsole where i can locate a DVD-player and a cardreader...

    Comment


    • #3
      Started the fiberglass part

      So... Yesterday I started the first part of the fiberglass bit...

      So, just as i did last time I used an old stocking, cut it open and stretched it around the dash. To make sure it stays put I've glued it onto the backside of the dash with some hot-glue, which is easily removable, well on the surface i'm using it is...

      So here's how it looks at the moment:



      And a picture of the backside for I dunno if you're interested.


      Next up is putting the resin on it, that'll be the job for this weekend, hope it works out

      So still to do:
      - fiberglass resin
      - Bondo and sanding
      - paint
      - finding a new position for the rearwindow heating button, the emergency lights button and the foglight button

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi all!

        Well I didn't have the opportunity to put resin on the dash because of the cold weather over here in the Netherlands. The resin I'm using can only be used above 5C and luckily in the days after Christmas we had a few days above that, even 10C so I applied the resin. Below is the result:






        Yesterday I had a little free time so i started sanding. This is what it looks like now. The left side is a little further along but it already gives an idea on how it's gonna look when finished





        But now I'm facing a choice... shall i apply another layer of resin to fill in the holes and "low" parts or shall i continue with glass-fiber bondo?

        Can anyone say what would be better?

        Comment


        • #5
          Applied the resin!

          Hi all,

          for starters Best Wishes for 2010!

          Because of the cold weather here in the Netherlands I was unable to start the resin phase earlier. The resin I'm using needs +5C minimum. Luckily in the days after Christmas we had a few days of +10C so I quickly applied the resin

          This is what it looked like afterwards:




          In the last few days I started sanding, I've gotten a bit further on the left side of my days piece but now you can already get the general idea.




          The next problem to tackle is; how to fill in the small holes/gaps and low areas.... I mean shall I apply some more resin in those areas or start using glass-fiber bondo?

          What do you guys think? :-s

          Regards, Wire!

          Comment


          • #6
            i would personally use bondo type filler because fiberglassing small areas is quite a challenge. I cant wait to see the end result!
            mp3Car.com Senior Tech Blogger (Want a product reviewed? Contact me.)
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            Comment


            • #7
              Hey,

              Another update, I sanded some more yesterday. Because the resin layer is a bit thin I decided to apply another layer. It's a bit too flexible for me now and is sanded trough it in a few places Afterward I will go and use the bondo to make it smooth...




              The curves of the dash are still OK and I think the new lines are quite nice.

              A quick closeup.


              Now I still need to find a location to apply the new resin layer... I really don't want to do this in the house, this stuff will get you high for a week!

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm very impressed with the redesign! Keep up the good work- loving the picture of each step of progress too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Extra resin layer

                  Hi all,

                  I applied the extra resin layer last saturday and did a little bit of sanding....

                  Here's a pic of it's current state, sorry for the low qual, i only had time for a pic with my moblie this morning :-s

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi all!

                    I've got quitte a big update this time, last Monday i finished up the sanding of the new resin layer, it really did the trick...





                    The holes for the heater dials still need a lot of work...


                    I still need to cleanup the corners of the hole for the display itself




                    And of course the air vents need some cleaning up aswell...




                    Yesterday I took out my Dremel tool and started the cleaning up process I took these pictures after wards... I printed out a Centrafuse screenshot and taped it to the dummy display and stuck it into the dash, just to see how it'll look







                    So... What do you think?

                    So still to do:
                    - Bondo and more sanding
                    - paint
                    - finding a new position for the rearwindow heating button, the emergency lights button and the foglight button

                    System status:
                    Carputer [#####]
                    Dashboard with display v1 [#####]
                    Dashboard with display v2 [##---]
                    Centerconsole [#----]
                    Relocation of some dash buttons [-----]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hey all,

                      A few days ago i finally applied the first layer of bondo, this afternoon I hope to find some time to start sanding again... Here are some new pictures of my build:







                      So still to do:
                      - More bondo and more sanding
                      - Paint
                      - finding a new position for the rearwindow heating button, the emergency lights button and the foglight button

                      System status:
                      Carputer [#####]
                      Dashboard with display v1 [#####]
                      Dashboard with display v2 [##---]
                      Centerconsole with Cardreader and DVD-drive [#----]
                      Relocation of some dash buttons [#----]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey all,

                        again a short update... Last monday I applied the first coat of spray-on bondo (or however it's called in english)... On the pic below (taken with my mobile) it really starts to look good, but on close inspection its obvious it still needs some more sanding and bondo.... but i am getting closer :-)



                        I also started the centerconsole bit to accomadate the Cardreader and DVD-drive... pictures on that will come in soon!

                        So still to do:
                        - More bondo and more sanding
                        - Paint
                        - finding a new position for the rearwindow heating button, the emergency lights button and the foglight button

                        System status:
                        Carputer [#####]
                        Dashboard with display v1 [#####]
                        Dashboard with display v2 [##---]
                        Centerconsole with Cardreader and DVD-drive [#----]
                        Relocation of some dash buttons [#----]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Progress is slow due to the cold weather overhere, most of the materials i'm using can only be used above 10C and it's -5C on average now...

                          I did however finish my centerconsole insert with Cardreader and DVD-drive :-)

                          A few pics, raw build:


                          The raw build in primer:


                          Test fitting the raw build:


                          Painted:


                          I do not have a picture of the finished product build into the car but I'll post one soon, sorry :-)

                          Yesterday i also started on relocating the radio front so i can have "normal radio" untill I've found a suitable replacement (usb-radio) to go inside the carputer.

                          It's still in the planfase, so i'm planning as i go along :-) Here's what I've got so far, I'm not sure btw if i'm gonna leave it flat or if I'm going to add a "sunscreen" above the radiofront, does anyone have a bright idea?







                          So still to do on the dash part:
                          - More bondo and more sanding
                          - Paint --> I decided on getting a professional paintjob btw to make it look as good a possible.
                          - finding a new position for the rearwindow heating button, the emergency lights button and the foglight button

                          System status:
                          Carputer [#####]
                          Dashboard with display v1 [#####]
                          Dashboard with display v2 [##---]
                          Centerconsole with Cardreader and DVD-drive [####-] --> only needs connecting USB to the computer
                          Relocation of some dash buttons [#----]
                          Relocation of a radio front [##---]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi guys!

                            I bought a radio module from Car-TFT so i no longer need to relocate the radio front (as planned earlier, see pic below). Now I only need to decide if i'm going to relocate a radio which will then only be used as an amp or just use a real amp?




                            Last week I started with the relocation of the dash buttons, in the meanwhile I finished it aswell including the extension cable for the buttons.

                            Below the pics of the build

                            To make the build process easier I took a piece out of the center tunnel of a crashed car as a template and made the panel to fit in it.

                            This is the panel I made in the final shape, already coated with glass fiber resin and sanded down slightly.



                            The panel sprayed with spray on filler to bring out imperfections.... and there were lots of them



                            After a few times sanding and bondo-ing



                            Painted and with the buttons fitted. For the picture I placed into the template to get a better idea how it's going to look fitted into my car.



                            System status:
                            Carputer [#####]
                            Dashboard with display v1 [######]
                            Dashboard with display v2 [####--] --> Only needs to be build into my car
                            Centerconsole with Cardreader and DVD-drive [#####-] --> only needs connecting USB to the computer
                            Relocation of some dash buttons [#####-] --> Only needs to be build into my car
                            Relocation of a radio front [##---] --> stopped production

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The dash piece nearly finished!

                              Because I was not confident with my painting skills I took the dash piece to a body-shop of an ex-colleague of my brother in law to get it sprayed. He offered to finish the sanding and bondo-ing for me, apparantly I could have done a better job... And all the while I thought I did a pretty good job....

                              Below some of the pics he made of the process:

                              This is how it looked when he finished taking off most of my bondo work, most of my bondo work gone... WTF?
                              Apparantly one of the bondo/filler types I used was incompatible with his paint and quite brittle so it had to come off.



                              The new 2-component Bondo applied, it looks like he's a little less cautious applying bondo as I was...




                              After bondo and sanding he primed it, see how good it already looks! On to the spraying booth!





                              And this is right after he painted it, so a bit more shiny then it is now. He used a textured kind of paint to match the texture of the rest of my cars interior, looks great imho






                              When I got it home I started placing back the ventilation grills. That was a disaster! Every single bar of those grills kept falling out of its slot, put one in a slot and another pops out, arghhh.... In the end it took me 1,5 hrs to get them in...
                              Luckily the heater panel went in with only a little persuasion and the display went in without a hitch, below the pics of everything assembled !

                              The complete piece:



                              some detail pics:






                              So what's left?
                              - I need to come up with some pipes to connect the heater vents from their new location to the old location.
                              - The radio or amp question
                              After this I can finally put everything into my car

                              System status:
                              Carputer [#####]
                              Dashboard with display v1 [######] --> will be scrapped shortly :-)
                              Dashboard with display v2 [#####-] --> Only needs to be build into my car
                              Centerconsole with Cardreader and DVD-drive [#####-] --> only needs connecting USB to the computer
                              Relocation of some dash buttons [#####-] --> Only needs to be build into my car

                              Comment

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