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'01 VW Jetta 1.8T Carputer worklog

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  • '01 VW Jetta 1.8T Carputer worklog

    Hi, I have been working on this for a little while so far, and the first bunch of stuff I post in the thread will be C&P from the Phoenix Gold board where I first started documenting this. Updates to this thread may sometimes be a bit behind the work because this particular web site is blocked where I work, and a lot of times I do my updates on my break time at my normal job.

    I have been messing with this on and off for a few years. the original plan was to use a data911 mobile computer I picked up for cheap, it is purpose built for mobile use but it was just not powerful enough for what I wanted.

    New Plan: I bought a mini itx mobo, dual core 3ghz processor, 500gb sata II notebook drive, 2gb ram and win 7 ultimate. I've had this one up and running for about a month, and I like it a lot better, lol. It has on board video, but only hdmi and dvi-d outputs. I had to buy a pci-e video card for it because my little lilliput monitor was already purchased and it was analog video only. So, I now have the capability of running up to 4 independent monitors if I want to.

    So, I bought a lilliput 8" widescreen touchscreen monitor. I planned to flush mount the monitor in the double din opening. I got a really good deal on the 8" monitor-- in hind site I should have rolled with the more common 7" wide screen. the 7" monitor fits easily in a DD opening. I ended up having to buy a new dash trim piece and cutting it up to fit.

    Pics of the dash trim cut out:





    I broke the monitor bezel when I cut the bottom (button section) off. Take it from me, you should not try to nip one of these off on the chop saw Anyhow, that is why there is a dowel rod in and some white patches on the bezel, I had already patched it up with super glue

    Test fit:



    Taped up, sanded w/ 80 grit and ready for epoxy. The 4 holes are because I was not able to sand up in those tiny areas. I drilled them and countersunk the outside of the hole, the idea being that the epoxy will flow through, fill the countersink and can be sanded flush before refinishing.



    And then we have a stunning failure! I knew better, but I did this anyway-- I read on here in the fabrication section that you should heat gun the epoxy to get it to flow better. I thought this might not be a great idea, I thought it might make the epoxy cure to fast, I did not foresee the actual problems I caused... I melted the **** out of the bezel. Man was I ****ed at myself! I thought I smelled hot plastic at one point, and it never crossed my mind to look at the bezel itself...



    So, I did what anyone would do. I wrote to lilliput asking if I could buy a new case, then I said, "self, you have a cnc mill, make a new bezel". So, tonight I cut a new bezel. I made it out of polycarbonate because I had it around. It should work out just fine in the end. It is beveled around the inside of the monitor cutout. I did check the fit of the monitor itself before I started epoxying it in place.



    In place before tape, just tacked with 4 spots of hot glue.



    Epoxy poured, no heat gun this time, it will have to wait over night to dick with it and see how it is coming along.



    Later,
    Jason

  • #2
    The epoxy has set, I removed most of the tape. It is looking good so far. The next step is to cut a v grove on the front side where the bezel mates with the factory trim and fill that with epoxy as well. Then lots of sanding and it should be ready to refinish.


    Here are the pics:







    later,
    Jason

    Comment


    • #3
      I got a little bit more done before heading into work tonight, I am just now getting a few free minutes to post...

      Pics of the joints on the front "v'd" out, it is hard to see in the picture, if I had realized the polycarbonate would be so tough to photograph I might have used something else!



      The epoxy is down in this picture, I laid it on pretty thick since it takes almost a full day to dry, I would rather do more sanding then have to spend 3 days putting coats down. I had to tape the inside bevel because it looked like the epoxy was going to flow down the edge. I want to try to refrain from having to sand that bevel or inner edge unless there is no other option. Any material removed there is going to be glaringly obvious.



      Later,
      Jason

      Comment


      • #4
        I did a quick sanding job on it today after I got up. It's coming along pretty good. I may switch to body filler for the last few top skim coats. The thing is structurally solid now, I'm thinking that body filler should hold up without cracking at this point.

        I also plan to put the slot load laptop drive centered above the monitor. I need to work out a way to mount it and do a nice looking integrated slot above the screen so there is still a quite a lot to do on the trim piece.

        Here is the pic from this afternoon.



        I plan to try to stuff the MOBO in the DD opening behind the monitor. The mini ITX is 6.7" square, so in theory it is small enough to fit in a DD opening, but if your dash is tight like mine you may not be able to get to all the connectors. I think I am going to be able to pull it off, but we won't know for sure for a while yet. If worse comes to worse I will cram it in my glove box, which is also barely lare enough to fit it...

        I made a tiny bit more progress today, I may get further tonight, but in all likely hood I am done with it 'till tomorrow.

        So, without further ado, here are the pictures

        Test Fit with video to make sure I have it square and centered evenly (there is a little extra wiggle room in my bezel)



        Couple of shots of the MOBO. It is amazing just how much is built into this little guy-- it has on board wireless N, bluetooth, USB 3.0, E-sata, digital video and optical audio, coaxial digital audio and analog audio out.





        Well, I worked on it a little bit more tonight. Currently I am working on mounting the DVD-RAM drive. I was not really sure how I was going to pull this off, but I think I am of the right track. I used half of a el-cheapo china made external slim CD rom case. I drilled a few holes in the side of it for mounting points, cut it up more than a little and then tacked it in place with hot glue. I cut some really small dowels (actually bamboo barbecue skewers) and used them for some more supports. Hot glued them in place again, glued some poster board on the bottom to make a solid base for the epoxy and then mixed up a batch and filled the triangular areas and the first bit along the front edge. I still have to figure out how to make a nice looking slot in the face, I don't intend to use the actual faceplate for the drive, just want a nice factory looking slot so it looks like it was meant to be.

        Anyhow, the pics aren't that great-- was taking them with my Droid and it was freaking out about it for some reason, in fact, I am missing two that I took all together???





        Later,
        Jason

        Comment


        • #5
          ...And that brings us up to this morning's post. I'll try to keep up with the updates after this one!

          I made a bit more progress today, I poured a bunch more epoxy. You can't see it that well in the pics, but there is a slim slot load drive under all the foil, tape, poster board and epoxy. The idea is to fill the voids around the drive so that I can start finishing off the bezel. Like I mentioned early I am making an attempt at flushing it with just a slot. I have a DVD wrapped with some poster board and tape. I put as much around it as I could and still jam it in the drive. I sealed it up to the drive slot as best I could-- this particular drive is one that I don't mind sacrificing if the epoxy leaks in, but it should be sealed well enough. I should know for sure tomorrow!

          Here are the pics:







          Later,
          Jason

          Comment


          • #6
            Looking good, keep the updates coming! You'll thank yourself when your done for making the 8" screen fit. It does make a big difference!
            My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

            Comment


            • #7
              Looking good so far. But what model is the Mobo, looks like a good one to upgrade to for my Jetta

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, the MOBO is aAsus M4A88T-I(clicky). If you search for it on the Asus website, you probably wont find it listed in the US site, I had to go to the global site to read up about it. It is kind of pricey for a MOBO these days, but I have had good luck with Asus products and this board had pretty much everything I was looking for built in on board. I did have to remove the factory bluetooth radio and I soldered in a little bluetooth radio from a little mini bluetooth fob in it's place. I put the little built in bluetooth cover back together and you can't even tell I did it. I didn't have to do this, but the factory bluetooth was not compatible with the bluesoiel(sp?) stack so basically none of the front ends I've read about would have worked with it. I could have just disabled it and used the little USB fob in a USB port, but that wastes a USB port.

                The biggest disappointment in the board was that it does digital video only. I bought the analog version of the lilliput screen and I figured I would just use a DVI to VGA adapter to utilize the onboard video on this MOBO. Since it is DVI-D, that is not even an option, is does specify in the material on the Asus site that it is DVI-D only, but I just missed it. I ended up having to buy external video card as well as a flexible port extender. It does allow for a lot more (and multiple) monitor options, but it also leaves me with a bigger footprint to deal with and uses up my one and only PCI-E port. The board has lots of USB though, so it should not be a big deal.

                Later,
                Jason

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jason,

                  I have the same board. Did you try to make the stock Bluetooth work before you swapped it?
                  Which mini bluetooth did you swap it with? Got any pics of how you did it?

                  thanks,

                  Mal
                  Vehicle: [100%] 1995 C 1500 ECLB
                  Gear: [90%]
                  Build: [80%] PC & Chassis, Worklog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 4ofakind View Post
                    Jason,

                    I have the same board. Did you try to make the stock Bluetooth work before you swapped it?
                    Which mini bluetooth did you swap it with? Got any pics of how you did it?

                    thanks,

                    Mal
                    Yes, I tried, I even bought the newest bluesoile stack because they claimed that they had made lots of compatibility changes for this 8.x version, it still didn't work. What sucks, is that the stack that came with it was really nice, it was the smoothest working bluetooth I have used yet...

                    As for pictures, I didn't take any when I did it. What I did though, was grabbed hold of that blue window with a pair of pliers. I slowly pulled and wiggled it out. Originally I thought it was just a BT dongle glued into a USB port-- lol, no such luck. The blue window actually holds the radio, and it is nearly the whole length of that port riser it is in. The back side of the blue piece is very thin plastic though, so it eventually broke leaving the radio in it's place. I then removed the shield for the back of that set of jacks (maybe should have taken this route first) desoldered the stock radio, and bent each of the pins 90 degrees and then stuck my little USB dongle in their and soldered each pin to the corresponding pad on the usb adapter. Here is a link to the USB dongles I bought ebay clicky. That is the exact same auction I used, but I couldn't guarantee the dongles are still the same, it has been a few months. The dongles come apart fairly easily, just peel back the shield and they pop apart. The radio is about the same size as the one I jerked off the board.

                    FWIW, I wouldn't dick with it if you don't have a decent amount of solder/rework experience. You will be working right above the MB where an errant drop of solder will likely ruin your day. If I have to take it apart for any reason again, I will snap some pics for you, but I don't foresee needing to.

                    Later,
                    Jason

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jacampb2 View Post
                      Yes, I tried, I even bought the newest bluesoile stack because they claimed that they had made lots of compatibility changes for this 8.x version, it still didn't work. What sucks, is that the stack that came with it was really nice, it was the smoothest working bluetooth I have used yet...

                      As for pictures, I didn't take any when I did it. What I did though, was grabbed hold of that blue window with a pair of pliers. I slowly pulled and wiggled it out. Originally I thought it was just a BT dongle glued into a USB port-- lol, no such luck. The blue window actually holds the radio, and it is nearly the whole length of that port riser it is in. The back side of the blue piece is very thin plastic though, so it eventually broke leaving the radio in it's place. I then removed the shield for the back of that set of jacks (maybe should have taken this route first) desoldered the stock radio, and bent each of the pins 90 degrees and then stuck my little USB dongle in their and soldered each pin to the corresponding pad on the usb adapter. Here is a link to the USB dongles I bought ebay clicky. That is the exact same auction I used, but I couldn't guarantee the dongles are still the same, it has been a few months. The dongles come apart fairly easily, just peel back the shield and they pop apart. The radio is about the same size as the one I jerked off the board.

                      FWIW, I wouldn't dick with it if you don't have a decent amount of solder/rework experience. You will be working right above the MB where an errant drop of solder will likely ruin your day. If I have to take it apart for any reason again, I will snap some pics for you, but I don't foresee needing to.

                      Later,
                      Jason
                      Thats not good news. One of the reasons I chose this board was for the built-in bluetooth. Thought I was done w/ My PC. Looks like I have some more work ahead of me.

                      Thanks for the info,

                      Mal
                      Vehicle: [100%] 1995 C 1500 ECLB
                      Gear: [90%]
                      Build: [80%] PC & Chassis, Worklog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, the slot did not come out as hoped for. When I pulled the drive out, it was a lot tighter than expected, and first off I broke the upper portion of the slot, where it was very thin, right off. I wasn't to worried about it, I was going to make a new top part of the slot out of some scrap aluminum. It is pretty unlikely that you will even be able to see the tip of the slot, this is going to be right up to the edge of the dash, and it overhangs the radio bezel by probably close to half an inch.

                        I put the drive in w/ none of the stuff covering it up anymore, and I really didn't like how the slot was coming. It needs a felt back like the factory trim plate, that makes it look a lot better. So, on to plan b, I cut the stock trim plate in half and wrapped the actual drive I was going to use in foil. I put the trim piece on that with just small dabs of hot glue. I started modifying the work I had already done to fit the slot portion of the face and flush it in with rest of the bezel. I had to file away a good portion of the epoxy that was there, and in the process I broke it away from the polycarbonate piece. Turns out I didn't have a good bond, and it is fortunate I ran into these problems or it would probably have cracked down the road and really ****ed me off.

                        I ended up re-doing this with my good drive-- hopefully I don't ruin it. Bellow in the pics you will see what I am shooting for this time. hopefully it will work out better. I might get a chance to screw with it a bit tomorrow, but I am off to work midnights tomorrow night, so I may not get free time being Christmas eve and all...



                        I cut a groove in the polycarbonate to help lock the epoxy into the rest of the piece. This edge is where it broke loose last time around.



                        The fit with the HVAC controls turned out good, it still needs a little bit of work to get the lines perfect, but it is close



                        Here is a shot of what I filled. The slot half of the trim piece has a piece of dowel split in half and lightly glued in place. The plan is to sand it all with the dowel in place, when all the finish sanding is done, pop the dowel out and hopefully have a decent slot with minimal finishing that needs done.

                        Later,
                        Jason

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, I had an update to go between today's and the previous one here, but my camera ate the pictures, so you will have to be without some pics.

                          Yesterday I sanded out the epoxy I laid down to see how my integration of the oem faceplate went. It actually started out really good, but I got a bit carried away sanding out the demarcation line between the slot and the filler and I butchered it pretty good. By the time I realized there was no fixing it, it was going to need a lot more filler and hand shaping to get it right again, so I once again scrapped it and started over. I honestly was about to ditch the DVD drive all together...

                          So, on to plan... uh... c I guess??? Any one keeping track? Anyhow, I drew a slot and filler piece up in CAD, did the CAM work and ran it off on my CNC mill. This piece isn't perfect, but it is pretty damned good, I can live with it. It still needs a felt backer, and lots of filler after the glue sets. It is glued along it's lower length with loctite 404, basically just industrial strength super glue. Once it sets I am going to "v" out all the joints and fill it with epoxy, then sand it out and go back to body filler. You may notice in some of these pics there is a light blueish tint to some of the epoxy now. I already did one coat of body filler before I scrapped the last drive trim.

                          Here are the pics:







                          Later,
                          Jason

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's a two-for today! The glue set up and I had some more free time so I went and grooved the joints and laid down more epoxy. With any luck the way I got it taped/masked I will level out the top as well as fill all the joints.

                            Here are the pictures, I'm off to work on day shift tomorrow and am working through the weekend. It will be next week sometime before I get to it again. With any luck it will come out right this time because I would really like to move on to start mounting the electronics.









                            Later,
                            Jason

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Finally! A ray of hope!

                              Took a few minutes this morning and sanded out the epoxy that I laid down last week. I finally have something that resembles the picture in my head. I can definitely live with this result. The pics bellow all have the drive installed, a felt backer for the slot and it will be as close to perfect as I am likely to get it. So, at this point, I am looking at a bit more filler for the bezel, then paint and it is on to mounting electronics. Actually, I will probably do the filler now and wait on paint until it is ready to go in the dash. I don't want to spend a bunch of time on paint and then scuff it up while fabricating the mounts/enclosure.

                              So, tell me what you think? I am considering mounting a single led centered in the bottom of the slot. I would current limit it pretty low and keep it dim, or maybe even find the "media in" switch in the drive and light the LED only when the drive is empty... Just thinking out loud, give me your thoughts.

                              Here are the pics:









                              Later,
                              Jason

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