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97 Ford F-150

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  • 97 Ford F-150

    Finally got the ball rolling on my carputer install for my truck.

    Parts:
    Lillput 8" Touchscreen
    Dell Optiplex SFF GX240 (might be switching to something more PSU friendly)
    USB 2.0 expansion card
    4 port USB hub
    Panasonic DVD+/-RW slot load drive
    Viper 791XV for protection

    I've opted to go with an aftermarket HU and amplifier for my setup, using the aux input on the HU to put the sound through to the speakers.



    Update 12/16/05:
    Here's the progress so far.
    http://www.unrealhp.com/fabrication/truck.htm

    I prefer to keep my own log of what I do on my own page. It keeps people from having to sift through all the commentary to see the heart of the project.

    Edit: Here's the finished dash bezel:


    Here's the current console, but I need to figure out how I want to shape the viewable (black) portion of the HVAC controls. Can't really decide.


    Update 12/30/05:
    I ran into two problems up until this point which further delayed things. First, my sub box I'm building had some clearancing issues with the magnet on my sub. Had to do a little reconstruction there, but I think I'm good to go now.

    Second, my lilliput wouldn't power back up after I finished up with all the fabrication work. Turned out the ribbon cable that runs to the monitor buttons was just barely off to the right, causing it not to power up at all. I repositioned it to the left just a tad and it worked perfectly.

    Update 1/31/06:
    A couple nights ago I finished up installing my Raammat and Ensolite on the floorpan and back of the cab. The outer skins on the doors have a can of Dynashield on each, but its been recommended to me to add another per door. Once I'm done with that I'll make some speaker bezels for the component set, sound deaden the inner door skins, and fab up some tweeter pods for the plastic piece that goes behind the side mirrors. I'm kind of procrastinating about getting this thing done since its winter right now.

    Update 2/6/06:
    Still haven't finished up the sound deadening, but I've got all the wires ran now. Before doing this I didn't realize just how much stuff there is to run, but its quite a bit. I sold the Keypower PSU and I'm switching to an inverter due to Dell's proprietary wiring (and space in my case), and I should have an M1-ATX coming in soon to power all the external stuff.

    Update 2/13/06:
    All wires are now ran, but I opted to ditch the M1-ATX in favor of a DSATX. I'll use the inverter for hooking up an X-box or some other game system for long drives... or whatever else I may run into that needs an AC outlet. Picked up a Peak brand 400w constant, 800w max inverter from Menards ($25) to serve that purpose.

    Update 3/27/06:
    Everything is pretty much done now, just sorting out some minor issues getting the DSATX to play nicely with my Dell PC. Nothing's ever simple!

    I think I'm happy with the audio system for now... almost. I'm only running the Rainbow components and the ID8 and it actually sounds very nice. I don't think I'm even going to use the other 2 channels of my amp.


    Update 4/1/06:
    Figured I'd add a picture of the sub in with this stuff. There's no loss of storage space with this, but I did a fair amount of hidden customization to the console to make it fit. The ID8 sub isn't exactly a small framed subwoofer, so it needed a little extra space when compared with, say, an MTX 8". There's more pictures of how I modified the skeleton portion on my webpage linked at the top, but I did not include pictures of the modified console skin. All I did was cut off the part of the console that was designed to be screwed together, and I plastic epoxied it together instead (for about 4"-5" around) where the box needed clearance.


    Additional installation info:
    To fit the screen and DVD drive into the dash:
    You DO have to remove the black plastic framework that holds the radio and HVAC stuff in place. Its just a matter of removing a few screws and partially removing the upper portion of the dash. Its really not that hard.

    To relocate the HVAC module to the console:
    You DO NOT have to extend the vacuum lines at all. The way they're routed from the factory snakes them around toward the passenger side, then back toward the drivers side, and ultimately in the area just above the gas pedal. All this snaking around leaves you plenty of slack to relocate them without extending the vacuum lines. HOWEVER, you DO have to extend a number of wires. Make sure you solder and make good connections with these because you don't want to have to do it over again. And please make sure you use adequate wire for this. Do not, under any circumstances, use a smaller gauge wire than what is already used in the harness.

    To install an Expedition console into an F-150:
    Its really pretty simple once you figure out how it goes together. There's two metal plates (not in any of the pictures) that bolt to the floor of the truck. They slide over the same studs that your factory F-150 console used, so there's nothing special there. Once you bolt those down, you set the (white) console skeleton into the brackets, and slide it forward to clip it in place. Once thats done you slide the outer console skin over the top, making sure all the clips slid into their appropriate slot, then you start putting the bolts back in to hold it all together.
    Note: The console itself does NOT rattle from the sub.
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

  • #2
    Added a few more progress pictures. Dash panel is sanded down, DVD opening is almost finished, USB ports are in place (but not sanded).

    Decided to remove the little lip in the console to keep the look of it smooth. Seems like its a neverending game with adding filler and sanding, but I can't really get a lot of free time to work on it, so I probably shouldn't complain. Working between 60-70 hours a week and trying to do this stuff isn't really getting me very far, very fast.

    Also just bought a PSU from Eskalad.
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

    Comment


    • #3
      Looks Great! Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing the finished product! GL
      If only everthing in life would do what I WANTED it to, rather than what it was SUPPOSED to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks man, I'm getting anxious to finish this thing up! I just have to make sure I don't start cutting corners just to get it done.
        In the works...
        Dell GX240 SFF
        P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
        8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

        My worklog
        Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

        Comment


        • #5
          Dash bezel is done, console is pretty much done. That little IR lens is a BEOTCH to get back in place. But on the plus side, I know my paint won't scratch easily. Once it finally popped in place I marred/damaged the surface a bit. You can barely see it in the picture, but its one of those things I'll always notice. I'm not going to worry about fixing it for a while though.
          In the works...
          Dell GX240 SFF
          P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
          8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

          My worklog
          Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

          Comment


          • #6
            Cdrom

            What are you using to support your CDROM? Im starting a similar project but I can't figure out a way to support the cd well. I would hate to jar over a pot hole and have it detach itself from the bezel.
            Jason
            It gimme the jibblies

            Comment


            • #7
              For now its supported by some plastic I molded around it, but I'll probably end up using a mounting screw (for the DVD player) to connect a backstrap to the back of the monitor housing for support.

              As far as detaching itself from the bezel goes, there's no way that would happen with the way mine is set up. I have a hard enough time sliding it out from the bezel on purpose, let alone having it accidentally jarred loose by a bump.
              In the works...
              Dell GX240 SFF
              P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
              8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

              My worklog
              Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

              Comment


              • #8
                Seats

                hello,

                what seats do you have the captian seats or the regular 2 1/2 seats in the front?

                im wondering cause if you have the 2 1/2 does the console fit? i was thinking of just getting the console and doing something similar. thanks for the help


                Myke

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've got the dual captain seats in mine, so its pretty simple.

                  You can actually do the conversion with your seats in it, but you need to follow the directions from the f150online tech directory, and you need to be comfortable with cutting/modding. The tech page links to this Geocities site:
                  http://www.geocities.com/scmc75/f150...expy-c-faq.htm
                  In the works...
                  Dell GX240 SFF
                  P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
                  8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

                  My worklog
                  Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Awesome job

                    Terrifc mod job SMOKINV8. You got talent. Keep doing what you do. Its looing great!
                    [HL]My Worklog (~75% complete, but fully functional)[/HL]:
                    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...t-install.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the props man, I've almost got everything to wrap it all up. I'm getting anxious.
                      In the works...
                      Dell GX240 SFF
                      P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
                      8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

                      My worklog
                      Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bumping one time for a pretty much finished product.
                        In the works...
                        Dell GX240 SFF
                        P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
                        8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

                        My worklog
                        Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sweet build. Thanks for the info!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was actually just given one of these Dells and I want to install it in my car. One quick question. How did you get the DSATX to work with you the Dell. I did a quick search and saw some topics kind of talking about it, but nothing definite. Keep in mind I am great with fabrication but my comp skills are pretty limited. I may be in over my head but any help is appreciated. Also, any reason you went with the DSATX ove the others?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Getting it to work was pretty easy for the most part. If you have a GX240, the DSATX will plug right in with no modifications needed. However, I don't have the power switch portion of it working right now, I just manually turn it on. I should have some free time tomorrow to figure out some instruction from zootjeff to get it to work.

                              I chose the DSATX because it will meet all my power supply needs, and then some. The SFF GX240 only has a 160w PSU from the factory, but I was planning on running a fair amount of extra stuff as well, so the DSATX was sure to meet my needs. Just something to keep in mind... This PSU won't fit inside the case from what I can see. Its about 3/8" from fitting inside, but I just couldn't quite get it to clear.
                              In the works...
                              Dell GX240 SFF
                              P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
                              8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

                              My worklog
                              Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

                              Comment

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