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Ford Probe GT - Motorized LCD

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  • Ford Probe GT - Motorized LCD

    Well it has been a long time coming, and there is still a lot of work to do - but I am really happy with the progress so far. My intention was originally to do a complete stealth install of a LCD monitor but for now ( ) I went for something in between. I wanted something I could walk away from and have it not scream look at my nice stereo.

    So the process started taking design cues from the cover to the 350z, and a motorized LCD. I also wanted a variable position LCD to avoid sun reflection. In the Ford Probe the A/C controls are a combination of electrical, physical, and vacuum so it makes relocation or fabricating a switch system difficult. There have been numerous successful installs where the HVAC controls were relocated. I was not happy with this idea, or loosing my vents - so I figured why not recess them hidden behind the LCD. With the long term goal being to have a fully digitally controlled system (it’s on its way soon hopefully!).

    So, first here is a picture of the car.

    The cars stock interior (borrowed internet image)

    Now the fun begins, cutting away the stock supports. There is something absolutely perversely fun in taking a hack saw to your dash.

    Big hole now

    Then I modified the stock radio bezel to accommodate the needed opening. The button controls for the fog lights, defroster, etc. were moved down to provide the required opening. All the red on the bezel is from a "hot" mix of bondo to remove all the factory moulded bumps. I haven’t decided if I will leave it smooth, or recreate the factory look. With all the required sanding and shaping a flat surface IMO is required to have a fresh start for whatever direction you go.

    I made a frame from laser cut pieces of acrylic to form some of the support and guide rails for the eventual lcd and motor. This thread is cross posted on and so some of you may not be familiar with the use of ABS sludge. Essentially you take shredded ABS and put in acetone. The result is a sludge of ABS that can be poured. This method is infinitely better then bondo as the ABS sludge will actually fuse with the ABS of the stock radio bezel. No chance of cracking as once dry the 2 pieces are as strong as the original one. If you want to use this method check out for some excellent write-ups. One important note is to make sure you have bare ABS that is free of paint. Paint will prevent bonding.

    Another picture from the backside, showing a second pouring of the ABS sludge, and the frame for the LCD.

    Then after several thin layers of ABS sludge, a light coat of bondo, more sanding you get something like this.

    After Primer.

    Next I made a cover out of acrylic, then laser etched and sandblasted a logo onto the cover. I will be replacing the cover with a new one once I finalize paint. It will perfectly match the rest of the bezel. The picture is after install with the door closed. The paint is semi-flat black. I am not entirely happy with the finish, and there is a small stress crack from me being far too aggressive with the install. Also need to fix slight tolerance issues due to the paint, and make a cubby hole for the opening at the bottom. A

    With the cover door partly open (non-motorized). The piece of red tape is only temporary.

    Now for the fun part, with the push of an originally factory switch for the headlights. You get motorized lcd to fold down to a preset position. The position has preset travel limits with the button, however there is a secondary control so I can angle the LCD at any angle along its travel to minimize sun reflection.

    And Voila! My hidden A/C controls. The screen still has its protective sheet on it while I finalize the install so forgive its appearance. Eventually it will be painted to color match the bezel. With the release of the button, the screen folds up and all is well. Note: The screen appears slightly tilted, it is undergoing final adjustment as we speak.

    So I know there will be a lot of questions concerning how the LCD was motorized, but I will reserve a space to follow up on this in a future post. Needless to say, be patient it is a very simple, and cheap (~60 bucks if you have access to materials, equipment) design that took a lot of redesigning and several prototypes to make work. Motorization and cheap are 2 words usually not meant to go in one sentence. Your comments, questions, advice are welcomed.

  • #2
    Please reserve for updates, and how-to on motorizing the LCD


    • #3
      Reserved for additional info.


      • #4
        that is pretty slick! nice work
        New System in progress:
        Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
        Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
        Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
        Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
        Transflective Xenarc

        My Car Pc Install
        My Boat Pc worklog


        • #5
          how did you motorize the lcd?
          servo acutator?


          • #6
            Actually used the track and gear set from an old computer CD player. Worked great, just need to replace the motor for something with a little more power. There was not a lot of interest in the original post, so never bothered putting the time in to finish it.


            • #7
              can you post some pics of the assembly?
              and also can you tell me how to make the drive work for this job?

              thanks for the help.
              i only have a 1 and 1/2 din slot in my car
              and i cant move my ac controls to anywhere but the dash.
              so i want to do this so i can keep the ac controls.


              • #8
                where r u located at i got a probe all fixed up ze'ed up
                LAKERS BABY