No announcement yet.

Relocating a/c vents/controls and such...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Relocating a/c vents/controls and such...

    Okay I just bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    After driving around in my old SUV for about a year with a laptop on a jottodesk, I've decided to get my own carputer underway.

    Im my car (suv whatever) I don't have room to put an in dash LCD (or preferably touchscreen) display in unless, you guessed it, custom fabrication work. This will entail remodeling the dash which consists of (top to bottom) the haed unit for the stereo, a/c vents, a/c controls, and finally an ashtray. I have ideas on WHERE to move the controls, but I'm looking for ideas on what to do with the vents? I suppose I could have someone custom fabricate some new ductwork for the vents and move them to the top, but the thing that is going to get me is all of the custom work to the plastic panel. I don't see how I could get around building a new one.

    Okay so my questions... finally.

    What's the best method for constructing a new panel so I may mount a display in it? I was thinking about buying the panel off of a junked/wrecked one and trying my hand at fiberglass molding (I don;t even know what you call it). Does this seem like a viable option?

    How about the ductwork? Has anyone ever done this when relocating the vents? What did you use?

    How about just general suggestions for AC control locations? I was thinking about sticking them in the center console on a plate of some sort (haven't thought too much about what I will actually need to mount them).?

    Any suggestions for a newbie undertaking a project such as this?

  • #2
    Something to keep in mind is that recent model cars tend to use vacumm in order to effect the changes in where air is directed.


    • #3
      I guess I missed the point of your post. What do you mean? That I should keep the same diameter ducting and make sure there is no leakage?


      • #4
        Depending on the distance involved, you might need larger diameter tubing for the vacuum lines. You will also have to deal with however many are back there, could be quite a few.

        As a side note, one of my vehicles actually had a problem with the vacuum line for climate control, and it was a nightmare to get the dealer to fix it correctly (it went back 3 times, had to get the service manager involved, and then they had it a week before it was finally fixed!). If your system is anything like mine was, it could turn into a huge headache trying to get it to work properly.


        • #5
          hrmph! I don't thik I want the headache... but I want a flush mount LCD.. I don't want a screen mounted to the consile or anything... that's what I was trying to get away from... I'd just throw the old jottodesk back in the new car...

          Well I am learning that what I read is true. Lots of planning and replanning. I'll be replanning. Thanks for the input.


          • #6
            Just a thought... if you are going to make an entire new dash yourself... you could always make the section where the A/C controls and such a little taller (and mold it to rise smoothly to that spot) then you could just make that big enough to put the A/C controls there (no major move so the vacuum lines (if applicable) should be fine). Or you could always try to go with a smaller LCD, but that's no fun right... let me try to do some quick ASCII of what I am talking about with the dash... if it turns out bad i'll do a quick drawing and attach it.

            | |_______| |
            | |_______| |

            the blue section is where your A/C controls are currently, the part above that (looks like this: /|______|\ )is the new part you would create and move the controls to... and then you move everything else which wont give you problems and put the screen in, sounds so simple right?

            BTW this thing looks legible in preview, but if anyone has trouble viewing it let me know... I can draw a decent picture if need be, I think this should convey the point though.


            Edit... I was just re-reading your post and I wasn't thinking straight before... I thought your A/C controls were up top (mine are, I guess I that's why) anyway same thing as before, but move the new addition to the bottom, of course if you don't need the ashtray you could utilize some of that space and just move the controls down enough... but again this all depends on how much you want it vs how much work you want to do. Also you might want to look into a new headunit that has a screen that folds in/out (your stock one will probably not have any aux inputs...just another reason)
            Josh Karger
            By reading this post you agree to overlook all grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors! ;)


            • #7
              thanks for your reply... yeah the ashtray can go. If I were to move the ac vents in the space where the ashtray is (that's put them at the very bottom) that'd give me some room to work with... probably enough for a Xenarc in the dash.

              The problem lies in the fact that I don't have a clue what I would do with the ac vents.

              *** ADDED ***
              and where I live (Texas) it's not really an option to ditch them. Summer lasts about 8 months here.


              • #8
                Yeah I agree, I live in Virginia and I still wouldn't want to be without A/C and mine sucks anyway... But by what do you mean not know what to do with the vents (do you mean extending them or what?) BTW do you have a picture of your dash or one like yours from the internet somewhere... by the way you've explained it, is it safe to assume the dash looks something like this:

                I'm sure the picture=1,000 words equation goes here at MP3car... post some pics and someone is bound to e able to give you an idea on how to move the stuff around.

                Josh Karger
                By reading this post you agree to overlook all grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors! ;)


                • #9
                  What I meant was where I would place the vents in the whole scheme of things. Meaning extending them, re-routing them, whatever.

                  Good Idea. I'll take some pics tomorrow, but the pic you posted is 100% dead on. I'm thinking (top to bottom) touchscreen display, head unit (I still like my CD's) ac vents and ac controls. Or maybe touchscreen, av vents (wouldn't have to move them), head unit, then A/C controls.

                  I haven't yet taken the panel off (just been busy) but I think if I do I might be able to move the A/C vents to the bottom where the ashtray and cigarette lighter go. I think, or hope, there might be enough play in the hoses.

                  What I'll probably do (I've been reading LOL) is make a new panel using fiberglass and a panel off of a wrecked grand cherokee. That way I can cut stuff off and replace it where I need it (like the AC vents) and fiberglass it back in - throw some bondo on - sand it - and paint it.

                  This would be a sweeet setup. Well my journey has begun. Expect a buttload of questions from me in the very near future. Thanks in advance!


                  • #10
                    Personally, I would put the touch screen in the current stock head unit location, and relocate the head unit down where the ashtray, lighter, etc. is. Should be the best solution for the least amount of work. You are planning on using your 'puter most of the time, right? Also, if need be, you could pick up a standard DIN head unit, if you needed something smaller than the stocker.


                    • #11
                      Hopefully this may help.

                      I was once thinkin of gettin a grand cherokee.

                      I think the vents are about 1.5 inches tall and the move wouldnt be that much for the vents and controls but you never know whats behind there.

                      - 3+ years & still no carputer!
                      - Done collecting parts
                      - Currently planning setup


                      • #12
                        well everytime I try to upload a pic on the board my computer totally freezes up. Anyways Mitokondria has it about 90% right.

                        I photoshopped my own photos but can't get them up because of the aforementioned problem. I'm kind of embarassed at them now looking @ Mitokondria's.

                        Anyways I believe you can move the A/C Controls down about an inch farther.

                        I was thinking:

                        Head unit (you didn't put one in)
                        and Controls

                        Also, is your Xenarc to scale? In your photo the head unit wouldn't be an option.

                        I did some initial measurements and I believe my bad photoshop was about to scale. There's really a lot of room to play around with that panel, it's quite big. Anyways I'll try to post it (once I find free pic hosting that allows off site linking) because I can't upload it.


                        • #13
                          Here's what I was thinking.

                          And this is on my site for which I pay for bandwidth.. does anone know of a free pic host that allows off site linking?

                          *** EDIT ***

                          the pic is eating up bandwidth.. I'll try and find a free host later.


                          • #14
                            Oops I dint know the headunit was an option!

                            But if you want to put one in maybe it could fit under the ac controls. Just this layout requires minimal ac vent and control movement and you probably wouldn't need to hack your dash as much since all the components are the same width.

                            As in the screen being to scale Im afraid its not. Though i believe chrysler headunits are 1.5 din size and the xenarc is close to double din size so the 2 inch movement would give it plenty of space.

                            Then the only thing you would need to make out of fiberglass would be the top portion where you old headunit was and the bottom were the cigarette lighter and ashtray are gone and house a headunit there (if not just eliminate the headunit all together and get an amp for your car speakers).

                            Edit: Disregard what i just posted

                            Now I see what you mean on your pic.
                            - 3+ years & still no carputer!
                            - Done collecting parts
                            - Currently planning setup


                            • #15
                              yeah... well I was modifying the pic as you were probably typing. I think this is the plan...

                              go get a faceplate off of a wrecked grand cherokee (and we know how many SUV's roll over). That shouldn't be hard. I can cut out the necessary pieces and move them where I want them and fiberglass them in - bondo - sand - and paint. I'm going to try and flush mount the screen so that'll be a little extra molding.

                              As far as my case.. the mock-up got trashed... I read an awesome turotrial about making a fiberglasss speaker enclosure so it would mold to every curve, you'd get max available airspace, blah, blah... and I thought ... hell I'm just gonna use an old glove compartment as a mold and make my own case that way. That way I would have a lot more space that would be afforded to me by trying to fit a box in something as irregularly shaped as a glove comprtment. This should do the trick...

                              Has anyone attempted this before?

                              If anyones interested I came across some good fiberglassing tutorials last night. If I were at home I would just post them now, but seeing as I'm not...