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2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Nano ITX Project

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  • 2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Nano ITX Project

    I just heard about these super small Nano ITX mobo's last week. I've been wanting to put a computer in my truck for a long time. I never have, because I didn't want a big ol' CPU laying in my back seat. As soon as I heard about these Nano mobo's I started doing a bunch of research. I spent basically the whole weekend reading about carputers. I ran across this mp3car forum and I couldn't believe how much info there was here. After much reading and trying to understand how everything will work in my truck, this is the system I decided on:

    Nano ITX - N10000
    Samsung 2.5" SATA 40GB Hard Drive
    Panasonic CW-8124-B Slimline Slot Loading CD-RW/DVD
    90W DC-DC Power Supply (M1-ATX)
    Xenarc 700TSV 7" TFT LCD
    OS - Hopefully Windows XP *fingers crossed*

    I ordered all of these parts from because they had everything I was looking for. The parts should arrive by the weekend so I'm really looking forward to starting this project.

    Also last weekend while I was doing my research, I needed to find out where I could install the Nano board. My truck is a 2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Ext. Cab. It has XM, Onstar (no longer subscribed), and the Bose system. The truck has the big center console, so I was originally thinking that I could just install the computer in the front part of the console down near the floor. I was thinking there was going to be a whole bunch of room in there. This past weekend I took the whole center console out of my truck and I found out that my idea wouldn't work. This is because the Bose sub is in that area. See the pics below...

    I also can't install the PC under the metal support bracket in the center console because the Bose amp is in there. At this point I was pretty ****ed, because every free space that I was thinking of was taken. So I started putting everything back together. As I just about had everything put back like it was, I realized there was a big space under the cup holder. I thought the cup holder went all the way down, but it doesn't, there is actually a pretty big gap in there. Below are some pics of the area below the cup holder where I hope to install my system...

    I'm going to install the Xenarc LCD in the cubby hole just in front of the cup holder area. I'm going to try and include the CD/DVD drive in this area as well. I hope to do something different that some of you may not have seen before. It's going to take a little extra work up front, but it should be really cool by the time I get finished with it. Below is a pic of where I'll be installing this stuff at....

    Here are a few other pics I took of the center console removed. I thought some of you guys might use these for reference for something because I haven't seen a whole lot of pics dealing with my truck model.

    My Project Progress

    Progress [|||||||---] = 70%

  • #2
    very good ilustration off you project, continue the work
    Plan for project = 100%
    Part the project. = 100%
    Built...................= 99%
    Finish.................= 99%
    Install ...............= 99% -50%
    Ditail at


    • #3
      Very good start... This should be moved to Worklogs though.... Mods?


      Post # 3000


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rafster View Post
        Very good start... This should be moved to Worklogs though.... Mods?
        Good call, Raf.
        Moved to Worklogs.

        Keep on truckin' man!
        Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
        How about the Wiki?

        Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


        • #5
          Good luck to you this weekend!!! I was also faced with the same dilemma...I have a 2005 Tahoe Z71 with the same console except for one difference, I donít have that huge vent pipe for the vents in the rear of the center console. Now I know why I had some much room in there!!!! My rear vents are in the headliner.

          Here are some pics of my install:

          As you can see I was able to get a full size HDD plus fan, and wireless KB receiver and an Opus 120 and a USB hub all in that area under the cup holders.

          Hope it helps!!


          • #6
            tahoe_z71: Back when I first found this forum, I done a bunch of searches for trucks like mine and your project was actually one that I looked over. After you talked about how much space there was in there, I got really excited. But after I had myconsole out, I realized I didn't have all that much space...haha. I think I have a pretty good plan of how I'm going to get the Nano and everything to fit under the cup holder. The vent pipe may actually work to my advantage. I'm thinking of tapping into that pipe with a small hose and then directing some air over to the CPU. This should help keep it more of a "room" tempture on those really hot and cold days. I live in Arkansas, so about the coldest that it gets is just a little below freezing and the hotest it usually around the high 90's.

            I got all my parts in last night. Well, except for one thing, they forgot to include the Sata power cable. I was really wanting to play with the system, so I ended up getting a old IDE HD and installing XP on it. I was VERY surprised!!!!! I done a full install of XP and the system ran perfect. I played CD's and DVD's and not one hickup. I just hope it runs that good once I get the Sata HD in. The Xenarc touch screen is AWESOME!!!!

            I'll take a pic of the system tonight when I get home.

            My Project Progress

            Progress [|||||||---] = 70%


            • #7
              Sorry for the late reply guys. I've been spending all my free time getting this truck pc up and going that I haven't had any time to update this thread. I'm getting really close to having everything like I want it. Let me see if I can go back and describe everything I've done up to this point.

              Below you can see a pic of where the touch screen will fit and below that is where the CPU will fit...

              Next are some pics after I took the dash out of the truck. Taking the dash out was alot easier than what I thought it was going to be. Basically pop the gauge panel out (you'll have to pull the gear shifter down to 1st in order to remove it). After that remove some screws that holds the dash in. You'll also have to remove the "oh ****" handle from the dash on the passenger side. In order to remove the handle, you'll have to take the two air vents out, and press the white button up inside the dash that holds the handle in place... there is one on each side. This should allow you to remove the dash. Before you remove the dash completly, you'll need to pop out the head light sensor that's in the center of the dash.... basically a 1/4 turn and it pops out. Below are some pics after the dash was removed...

              I work for my fathers precision machine shop. There we have all kinds of CNC equipment. If there's something that need to be made, we can usually make it. I used this to my advantage because I needed a case for all the computer parts. I made the housing so mobo and the psu would fit inside... I also made room for a small cooling fan. This is just a prototype, so I'm sure the final design will be a little different. Below you can see some pics of the case...

              I designed the case so a laptop HD and a 3.5" HD can be mounted to the case at the same time. The HD's mount to the vertical piece of sheetmetal. I wanted to allow two HD's because the OS will be on the laptop HD and all the mp3's and movies will be on the other HD.

              Below are a couple pics after all the goodies was installed in the case.

              It even has a lid...haha

              Here's the system somewhat complete....

              I have also added a BU-353 GPS receiver and a Linksys USB wireless adapter. I got the GPS reciever from the mp3car store... I was very happy with the service, it showed up within about 3 days. I'm running iGuidance 3.0 software. It's the only software I've tried out so far, but I don't see any reason to change because I think it does everything perfectly. I decided to add a USB wireless adapter so I could sync my home computer mp3's up with my truck pc. It works great. I had a little bit of a problem of getting a strong enough signal so I bought one of those Linksys range extenders. I had ALOT of problems setting up the extender. After some reading on the internet, I found out that it wasn't the most user friendly piece of equipment. But after a few hours of pulling my hair out, I finally got it up and running.

              In order to get the audio signal from the CPU, I used a AUX input from Crutchfield.... Precision Interface Electronics GM12-AUX They need to update their instructions that they supply with the unit because in order to switch from the XM radio to the AUX input it says to be in the XM tuner and then hit the up station twice and the down station twice. I screwed around with this thing for an hour before I figured out that I had to only hit the up station once and the down station once.

              Below are a couple pics of the AUX input, USB wireless adapter, and the GPS receiver mounted under the dash. I was thinking of mounting the stuff either on the dash or someplace besides under the dash. But after I tested the signal with and without the dash in place, I found out that the thin piece of plastic that makes up the dash doesn't affect the signal...

              I'm running the Road Runner front end software. I also downloaded the Road Runner skin editor because there were a couple things I didn't like about the skin I was using. It's the only front end I've ran so far, but I like it pretty good. I still haven't figured out the search feature in the RR software, but I haven't played with it that much either.

              I think that about covers everything I've done so far. I'm going to keep testing the system for a couple more weeks to get all the bugs out. After that I'm going to start working on getting a bezel made for the touch screen LCD.

              My Project Progress

              Progress [|||||||---] = 70%


              • #8
                Great stuff so far, cant wait to see you get that Xenarc in!

                Awsome job on the case fab too, wish I had access to that kind of equipment


                • #9
                  Looks good. Was wanting to know did your Chevy have a factory XM antanna on it. If so did you hook it up to the computer or is it still hooked to the head unit?


                  • #10
                    Nice job on the case, one of the better DIY jobs I have seen.

                    Keep it up, looking good
                    F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

                    Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)


                    • #11
                      Looks like we are doing this project simultaneously. I've recently begun working on almost the same exact truck - 2006 GMC Sierra Hybrid - and I'm putting my components in the same location. A couple differences though - I'm using a mini itx, not a nano, and I'm using the opus 150. You'll be seeing some pics of my project soon enough. Any updates on yours? Its funny I was wondering if anyone had ever done the install the same way as I decided to and never got around to checking...
                      Its not the cards you're dealt, its how you play the hand!

                      Originally posted by ryuandwings
                      Where can I get a roll of tin foil?
                      I been looking for that all over the net, but I can't find it.
                      Please help.


                      • #12
                        Nice install. I just got my Lilliput installed in the factory stereo location and moved my HU down to the lower pocket above the cup holder. Hardest part so far was getting the screen in the dash right. I ended up cutting the buttons off of the front bezel of the lilliput and rejoining the bottom of the bezel - can't even tell it was ever there.

                        Now I'm stuck trying to find out where to mount the PC. I would love to have access to CNC equipment, because what you did seems to be ideal. If you would be interested in fab'ing one up for me, shoot me a pm. I've been leaning towards installing under the middle back seat, but I would rather not. It would have to be pretty low profile for the seat to fold down properly.

                        BTW, My truck is a 04' Sierra 2500HD CC, everything is exactly the same as your truck. Nice job - looking forward to hearing back from you!



                        • #13
                          I'm interested to see more photos of your progress or finished photos. Also, where'd you get those "diamond plate look" floormats? I likes..


                          • #14
                            Man, that's looling great. That case is absolutley superb! Have you thought about putting some sort of filter (stocking material even) over the vent holes to prevent dust getting in the case?
                            I installed my carpc into my pet Kangaroo, mate.


                            • #15
                              Is there any updates on this?