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First carPC project.... 1999 Ford Escort ZX2

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  • First carPC project.... 1999 Ford Escort ZX2

    Hey all, been lurking/reading on here for a little while now and just starting my first carpc project for my '99 Escort ZX2. Did a search and only found two ZX2 installs on here so if anyone knows of any more links please let me know. I currently use my iPAQ pda for navigation (iguidance and mapopolis), mp3s (1gig CF card), and some internet/email usage (bluetooth through cingular phone) but have wanted to upgrade to a full pc for a while now to be able to play dvd's, larger nav screen, and play my entire mp3 collection from my external HD.

    Here's the equipment that I've got coming so far:

    - 7" linITX lcd touchscreen
    - OPUS 150w power supply
    - VIA EPIA PD (1ghz) mobo
    - 20gig HD (for OS install, XP pro)
    - metal case

    I'll have to get some pics up of current setup but I was hoping to find some creative installs in a ZX2 since there isn't a whole lot of room for extra things. (It's got that weird oval section that houses factory stereo and A/C controls). I've currently got an Alpine HU installed into a replacement oval "dash kit thing" and was considering buying another oval mount and doing some fab work and mounting the screen, but I really don't have anywhere else to put the apline unit and I don't think there's going to be enough room for both the screen and apline HU on that oval piece. I don't want to hide the HU since I'll still be using it for radio and volume control.

    Other thought is to somehow mount the screen right about that oval piece and right below the top of the dash, there's a good amount of room since there's only an air vent there. Eventually it would be nice to be an enclosure for the screen and mold it to match the rest of the dash and then just attach that whole piece (screen mounted into enclosure) on the existing dash instead of cutting into the dash as it is now. But I've never done any sort of fab work so besides the FAQs on here does anyone have a recommendation on a decent book that goes into fab work in making enclosures or installing things such as lcd's (bondo, fiberglass, etc...)?

    Thanks for any future advice ya'll may have, I have learning tons so far just by reading and look forward to getting something set up, will probably start a work/project log when everything arrives.
    '99 Ford Escort ZX2 CarPC <-- RIP Feb '07

    2006 Chevy Equinox LS (Current Project)

    **VIA EPIA PD 1ghz Mobo, OPUS 150, 7" LinITX LCD touchscreen, 512 Ram, 60Gig HD, DLink Bluetooth, Belkin 802.11g wireless,