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BMW E39 - Lilliput Bezel

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  • BMW E39 - Lilliput Bezel

    Hi, On popular demand: The worklog of my bezel:

    First of all. This is not for the faint of hearted. A little knowledge of these things is prefered when you start. Otherwise you might end up with a wrecked lilliput...

    Things you need:

    A lilliput/newision touchscreen



    An old type one piece E39 radio. These are rare but worth nothing so if you find one you can't pay a lot of money for it. I had mine still laying around so that was easy.




    Other things needed:

    Insulation foam,
    A piece of cardboard,
    A blade from an iron saw,
    Masking tape,
    A polyester set,
    A pair of scissors
    A Dremel tool
    A Fiberdisc
    A can of mastic (I hope this is the right word, I meen the stuff you use on a car when there is a dent),
    Diverse grid sanding paper,
    Prefered is someone who has sanded mastic before,
    Patience!

    I started with unscrewing the front of the radio and removing the buttons. The just snap out.



    With masking tape I covered up all the holes for the buttons and taped a piece of cardboard behind the frame.



    I sprayed some insulation foam there were normaly the wood grane cover is. This is easy to shape.



    With a saw-blade I shaped the model of the bezel. At the bottom you see the lucky strike I just finished.



    Looks good.



    Over this I put the polyester. (for those who wonder, it's a Passat)



    On the back I also put a lot of polyester. Is has to be strong when it's finished.



    Removed the lower section of the screenframe to make it fit.



    With a dremel I made the hole for the screen.



    Cutting the polyester to fit the bezel



    Applying the resina.



    WIth a Fiberdisc and some 80 grid sanding paper I created the rough shape.



    On this I apllied the mastic and on the picture my friend Jaenen is sanding it with a 150 grid paper. He does this kinda stuff for a living so I let him do it. This way it has to come out good.

    BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

    Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin

  • #2
    Continued:

    A test fit after the first layer of mastic



    Applying a new layer



    Sanding it again with a 80 and 150 grid paper



    Applying the basecoat and sanding it with a 600 grid paper



    Applying the finishing colour. I used matte black from a spray can and let it dry a lot between very light coats on a hot summer day, this gives it a little bit of structure like the original dashboard



    The dashboard appart. Removing the radio and the MID display is easy. Removing the frame where they are in is NOT! I had to unscrew the entire lower section of the dash and the instrument cluster!



    Another test fit. Starts to look good!



    Screwing the screen on the front frame, cutting the rear frame to match the front, taping the buttons on the back of the screen, putting the original radio buttons back in the radio frame and this is what it looked like.
    On the back side I also glued some plastic pieces. They hold the leds for the illuminated buttons



    And this is what it looks like once finished and put in the car!

    BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

    Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin

    Comment


    • #3
      Nice work
      This is just what i was looking for my E39.

      Couldn't it be possible to take the fingerprint of the old radio faceplate instead and make it with resin or don't know what ?

      Comment


      • #4
        I guess this is possible. But this seems pretty difficult to do I think. I think it's easier the way I did it. Not? Why would you wanna do it that way. Is there a special reason for it?
        BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

        Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin

        Comment


        • #5
          Well i'm conservative with cars even if i'm not a collector lol
          I like when a thing can be rolled back without any kind of "damage" even if in your case it's a very very nice "damage"

          I looked on ebay but didn't found any old bmw radio out of order to build my own bezel and to be honest i'm a bit reluctuant to accept the idea to kill the one i have in my car

          Comment


          • #6
            I understand your point of view. I wouldn't do it either if I had no other radio to replace the screen with when I sell the car. In my case, the radio I took apart was the one that was in the car when I bought it. I replaced this one very soon with a (very exclusive) Business CD/MP3 unit from an X5. They are the same. So this one I still have for putting back in the car when I sell it.

            Problem is: when you want the screen the same way I did it you will have to take apart a radio anyway for obtaining the buttons. So I guess there's only one way and thats finding one.

            I don't know how the situation is in France but in Belgium there are a lot of BMW "junkyards" where they take apart damaged cars and there you can find an old type radio like this one very cheap. Maybe try something like that?
            BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

            Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin

            Comment


            • #7
              That's a good idean i will check the junkyards in Belgium as i have to cross your country while driving to Germany on saturday. Original buttons are not really mandatory for me as i plan to use a jog/push button instead...well this is what i plan

              Comment


              • #8
                Finally after looking in junkyards and ebay, i changed my plans, junkyard : didn't found a single car.
                Ebay, there is war there for stock gps screens raising up to 160 for a dead screen.
                Paying between 50 up to much more for a radio i won't use is something a bit too expensive for plastic faceplate. So no option remains, i bought some black plexiglass that can be shaped with warm air if needed. I just started dismantling the dashboard

                Comment


                • #9
                  rhaaaa this radio is probably glued or something, i can't extract it from the dashboard and anyway if i even extract it without breaking it, i will lose my board computer. I'm wondering if btw it wouldn't mess everything with the car's electronics...seems to be time to sold this marvellous car with which i waste my time

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Finally found a workaround to do something...buttons less because driven with infra-red and i-bus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sorry for the late reply. It's been a while since I've been on these forums. Buzy with other things then car pc's lately. You probably allready removed the pictures since I didn't reply on any of your posts. Sorry...

                      As I don't see the pics I don't know what your sollution is.
                      BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

                      Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No i didn't removed pictures but i had a trouble with my domain name which wasn't responsive for few days

                        After using this solution with plexi, i changed my mind. The plexi could be nice but it "breaks" the whole line and give a strange feeling when looking at it. There is no harmony. So i plan to make another bezel from scratch with foam block i can easy cut and sculpt. After that some fiberglass and it should give a better result than the first thing i made. While i'm here i will add some more depth to the bezel for better protection against ambiance light.

                        Seems that infra-red is useless, and maybe the touch screen device will be useless as well at least this is what i hope by using i-bus and steering wheel buttons. The screen i bought recently manages allright with the power on/off without the need of infra-red remote as needed with my old screen.

                        The overall result with plexi is not so bad but not 100% complying with the dashboard, more pics here http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=92493.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Looks nice. But as you say, it breaks the harmony of the dashboard a little bit.

                          The idea with the foam block and the fiberglass should be perfect. You should be able to do anything what you want with it. It's like the PU foam I used on my bezel. For making a base to put fiberglass on it's perfect.

                          Are you gonna use the steering wheel buttons to contol the entire system? How are you gonna manage this with only 4 -EDIT just noticed you have 6 of them, but still- buttons? I have my ibus controller laying around here but didn't have the time to put it in the car yet. But I was only planning to use it for vol +/- and track +/-.
                          BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

                          Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            foam + fiber seems to be definitely the right solution but i'll give it a try to make an hybrid with wooden part and plexi.

                            About the i-bus here is the thoughts i had about it :
                            After observing how it works i saw that buttons are sending always the same patterns.
                            If we imagine that the software is able to react to external patterns inputs in relation with i-bus, we can drive anything.
                            Buttons can be reassigned on the fly and depending where we are in the software.

                            In example : let's take the + / - vol buttons. They can easy be assigned to be used to jump from one track to another or play with bass or treble controls or to select source or to do anything else like clim control (those stock buttons are in too low position and often i open the cup holder when manipulating those buttons).

                            It could seem confusing but it isn't just because we have screen which displays and probably a voice synthesis (mine has one) to confirm selected item or menu or action to complete the overall work with buttons.

                            In the end this has at least the benefit to keep the screen clean from fingers crap (do we still need expensive touch screen device ?) and it also avoids using additionnal buttons or infra red remote.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You're loosing me here...

                              I know a thing or two about cars, know my way a little bit around soft and hardware but in the end I'm just an electrician.

                              I allready knew that buttons can be assigned to control anything you want but the part where they can be reassigned on the fly and depending where in the software you are I don't really get yet.

                              Maybe when installed in the car, and when I see what excactly happens with de buttons and software I will understand it better.

                              If not, I have a friend who is programmer and knows his way around BUS-systems. When the time is right I let him take a look at it and explain your thoughts about it to him. Probably he will understand what you're saying better and he should be able to help me assign the buttons in that manner.

                              If it works it really is the perfect way to control the system, much better then touchscreen because when you're driving you often press on the wrong place on a touchscreen and that's not the safest way to drive a car...
                              BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

                              Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin

                              Comment

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