Non-permanent fiberglass mount
I've been lurking for a while, and I think I firmly have the bug. I've posted a few questions and done a lot of measuring, and it looks like my Buick Regal just doesn't WANT a carputer, but I think I might be able to pull it off.
First hurdle is mounting the LCD. The radio slot is 1.5 DIN, and the dang head unit is just good enough that I can't rationalize losing it, so.... I may have found an alternative.
The dashboard on the Regal is one of the curvy 'flowing' designs that make it really tricky to mount anything to them. It has a lip along the top and the main dash assembly is a big hump centered on the steering wheel. I've decided that I will mount an LCD about an inch in front of the lip, but I don't want it just sticking out.
I've decided this is the time to learn fiberglassing, so I started working on it today. I wrapped my dashboard in aluminum foil and taped it all down, including the front of the lip over the radio. I then laid down fiberglass cloth and painted the heck out of it with epoxy resin (& hardener). I only did one layer (which I realize in hindsight isn't really that strong, but it'll do), 1.5 feet wide going from the far edge of the dash up and over the lip. I'm glad I put down a drop cloth, there are a couple drops of resin that say I would have been sorry if I hadn't!
Once it dried, I built a 'wall' of sorts around the fiberglass out of cardboard and foamboard I had left over from another project (when I learned to make a Mech costume: http://hallert.net/mech/mechcostume.htm) that bordered the top of the dash, then extended it so it also came out over both sides of the lip (vertical, with a slice in them to let the lip through) and made a box in front of the dashboard that went a little higher then I want the monitor.
I then used the spray foam that you use to seal cracks in walls and insulate stuff to fill in the box I had made. I filled in the front box that sticks out of the dash first, then added layer after layer in the back, building up the basic shape I want.
It's curing nicely now, I will continue playing with it in the morning. My intention in the morning is to pull it off the dash (the foil and tape should protect the dash and I expect I will have a big block of foam that is perfectly molded to my dash. I'll hack off some chunks to make it into a curvy form like the rest of my dash, then reinstall it and sand & rasp it down until I have a perfect curve. Once this is done, I will put a few layers of fiberglass cloth over it, then sand it down. I expect that when I'm done, I'll have a nice extra hump on my dash that has a Lilliput touch screen sticking out of it, looking factory made. Even better, I should be able to remove it from the car with ease when I sell it, if I decide to.
I've been doing all this with a cardboard lilliput LCD I made for mocking it out, I guess I'll eventually have to get the real thing to mount in my creation.
Whatcha guys think, will this work?