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Easy decedent looking way to mount a screen in a Miata and hold a pc in place

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  • Easy decedent looking way to mount a screen in a Miata and hold a pc in place

    This is a combination of a little bit of a tutorial for other newbies who have earlier Miatas (mine is a 94), my first post and my first carputer install.

    The Miata has a small cockpit and I have seen some great custom installs, but my main goal was to avoid fiberglassing or major alterations and to get things up and running as fast as possible so after staring at the interior for a few days I came up with the solution of replacing one of the center eyeball vents with the mount for the screen so it looks like it was fitted for the dash.
    This is something I haven't seen before and while it's not as cool as a flush mounting it's also not as ghetto as slapping the screen right on the dash and you can easily take out the screen when you park. I think it's a good compromise for anyone new to modifying an interior since it barely alters anything and if you want to resell your car you can take everything out and the only thing you might need to make things stock again is a new eyeball vent.
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  • #2
    And this is generally how you do it:

    Making the eyeball mount
    I was using a Lilliput touchscreen and it fit perfectly but I have seen other mounts and they usually are similar.

    First you'll have to remove the center panel and the two eyeball vents. You can find a lot of tutorials for this online but usually they involve pulling hard on the vents. If you can figure out how to get it out without pulling hard let me know cause once you do this mod pulling isn't an option anymore.
    There are two tabs on the inside of the center panel that clip into notches on the eyeball vent's sides. If you can slide something down the outside of the socket and release the clips the vent should pull out easily. The clips and notches are circled in the pictures of the vent and the center plate.

    To turn the vent into a stand you have to take it apart and replace the eyeball part with the stand. There are small tabs that are actually part of the tube the eyeball is in holding the top ring on. Push each one straight in while pulling a little on the ring and you should hear the tab pop. Once you do this to all the tabs the top ring will pop off and you can pull out the eyeball.
    All you have to do then is trim the base of the stand that came with your screen to fit tightly in the socket. Usualy the metal on the base of the stand is thin and has a sticky thing on it, just use some tin snips so slowly trim it smaller and smaller. There is a ledge on the inside of the vent tube in the front (where the ring usually fits). What you want is to make the base of the stand just small enough to wedge in the the very front of the tube but too large to fit past the lip on the inside. Just keep trimming little bits off making sure to keep the actual stand part positioned so the ring can still fit around it and you haven enough play to move the knob on the side of the mount (if you have one). When the fit is right you should just barely be able to wedge the stand in the front of the tube and it should stop almost right after entering so it can be wedged between this lip and the ring.
    Once you have done this you can slide the ring on top to hold the whole thing together, but since the base of your stand is now on the lip where the ring usually fills you will have to file down the back of the ring a little so that it can pop into place as usually and you'll be set. The key is to take it slow and make sure everything is tight when its together so it doesn't move when you pop the altered vent back in.

    The base of the Lilliput has a screw hole so you can mount it there instead of the back and I found that turning the mount upwards and and sliding the screen in is easy and pretty stable when you are driving
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    • #3
      Other notes for beginners with Miatas

      if you look under the carpeting behind the seats you will see a metal cover that goes over the top of where the gas tank its. It's held on by a few bolts that have some significant space behind them. You can take two out behind either seat and replace them with two slightly longer ones that reach through the carpeting to hold a rack/frame in place for a laptop or pc without having to drill any holes in the car's body

      Running cables for power or to a trunk PC is easy. It took me a while to find it but when you lift the carpeting completely off from behind the seats if your car is anything like mine you should see at least one large hole near the upper seatbelt mount that you can run plastic encased cables through easily.
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      • #4
        The rest of the install. This is only semi permanent while I smooth out issues with GPS and a hum I'm getting from the alternator. The bracket was first made for an old laptop of mine but after having a huge amount of static in the sound caused by an after market charger I switched to a mini ITX, now I have a loud buzz, maybe I should have just invested in a different dc-dc for the laptop.
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