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Thread: About to take on a crazy interior overhaul for my custom bmw showcar. Some ?ís & pics

  1. #1
    Newbie BEHMER's Avatar
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    Lightbulb About to take on a crazy interior overhaul for my custom bmw showcar. Some ?ís & pics

    Firstpost Its great to be onboard...

    What up all, I just came up on a fat job and I feel its time to buy some goodies for my custom wide body bmw project car. I have already done a lot of searching around the site to find answers to my questions but noting was really to straight forward.

    Let me fill you in a little on my project. The car is a 1993 325i 4 door BMW. Two years ago I picked up the car in stock condition. I had designed a few concept body kits for the car using Photoshop and 3D Studio Max. A bodyshop in LA took a look at my artwork and decided to help me bring it to life. It took the shop 6 months to get the car how I wanted it to look and I have been documenting the project ever sense my first two designs. Click on this picture of my 2 designs for more info on the project(Note: The main website where I posted the step by step stuff, DTMPower.net is down)


    Now that I feel happy with the body work its time to start all the interior designs and fabrication and this is where I am hoping you guys can help me get off on the right foot.

    First off..my goal is to make everything look super clean. Euro Tuner magazine is doing a feature on the project once I finish the interior and ICE!! Damn I have been waiting for that for toooo long.

    Ok so lets talk to the point

    As far as I candy goes I will be fabricating a custom center console that will start up front and go all the way through to the rear between all 4 seats..see pic The console will house the 2 LCDís and any other goodies I want.


    So now we are talking 2 7Ē LCD up front and eventually 2 7Ē in the rear as well. I will need a powerful yet compact PC in the trunk to be the brain of the car. Right now the Zapco amps I have all have computer management to adjust settings which I will definitely utilize when everything is up and running. My Clifford alarm also has computer software which you can do some pretty amazing things with. I for sure want one of the 2 LCDís up front to be dedicated to GPS and I will use the other for everything else.

    Just to give you an idea of my obsession with sound quality and other crap here is a list of the stereo components I will be using for this project..

    -1 Zapco C2K-9.0 XD (Power to subs)(2,200 Watts)
    -2 Zapco C2K-3.0 X (1 each to F/B Mids)(665 Watts/ea)
    -1 Zapco SPL4-SL (3 amp EQ for fine tuning)
    -1 Zapco computer management system(Connects to on board cpu to change internal amp settings on all 3 amps i.e. Cut-off, Gain, Slope, ect.)
    -2 Optima Yellow Cap batteries (870 amps)
    -2 JL W7 10" Subs(1000 Watt/ea)
    -1 Pioneer Dex-P1R headunit
    -Zapco Firewire connections for all amps
    -MB Quart Q 3 way up front W/Kick
    -MB Quart Q 2 way in rear
    -MB Quart Q center channel
    -Phenix Gold 15 fared capacitor
    -On board computer(GPSís, DVD's, MP3ís, OBD I software, Zapco Amp management software, PC XM Radio, Alarm management, the list goes on and on.)
    -PS2 mounted behind glove box(CD trey flush mounted into trim piece above glove box(No Pass. Airbag), Controller hook ups+On/reset buttons mounted into plate under OBC)
    Question Time Folks
    Ok for the computer I obviously want the best sound quality output on the market.

    -What is the best sound card to go with?
    (I was kind of thinking of the External Sound Blaster Audigy 2 unit because I could flush mount the unit into the console and have mic, midi, digital in/out, and aux inputs right there. Nothing like a little flowin and singing on those road trips.

    -What are the best video card/s to use for duel screens and eventually quad screens.?

    -Which case is good for a car-pc? How about components esp the Motherboard. How can I avoid using an inverter to power the computer?

    -What are the best LCD screens to use. From looking around I would think Xenarc or Liliput..Which of the 2? What is the best resolution to run to them for readability.

    -Should I have touchscreen lcdís or should I just flush a touchpad W/buttons into the console?


    -What is the best PC XM radio software out there?

    -Anyone happen to have a connection to a good fabric place. I will be needing a big roll of suede and a big roll of leather. I am having all the racing seats and custom door panels wrapped 2 tone style with the rest of the interior to match.

    -When I have the whole interior ripped out I plan on sound dampening the whole inside of the car. Getting ~50 sq. yrds. Of Dynomat would cost a million!! Any good alternatives?

    Well I got more questions but I will spare you even more ignorance. You probably see where I stand by now and I am sure many of you have been in the same place at one time. If you have any tips or advice please feel free to shoot away. I am pretty crafty with fiberglass but this will be by far z huge undertaking for me and my dad. Is there any good books or videos out there that cover fiberglassing custom dashboards, consoles, door panels, and enclosures?

    Ok I got to run..I think my boss is getting on my bad side

    Thanks a ton guys I am looking forward to getting started and sharing the progress of this summer project with you guys step by step. After all I am kind of known in the online bimmerhead community for bringing everyone into the projects. Here are a few pics of my car and a link for those that give a ****. I think you will be hearing a lot more from me around here because I know I got a ton to learn from you all.

    Peace,

    Sean Behm









    A post that has a lot of info on the car
    -Custom Widebody 332i-
    -Custom HRE wheels-

    -Focal Audio:-
    Alpine PXA-H701+C701-
    -(2)Focal 33KX-
    -(2)Focal KP165 K3P Kits-
    -(2)Focal FP 1.800 Amps-
    -(2)Focal FP 2.150 Amps-
    -(3)Xenarc 7"TSV Touch LCDís-

    -PROJECT DETAILS-

  2. #2
    Newbie BEHMER's Avatar
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    umm. test 1..2..
    -Custom Widebody 332i-
    -Custom HRE wheels-

    -Focal Audio:-
    Alpine PXA-H701+C701-
    -(2)Focal 33KX-
    -(2)Focal KP165 K3P Kits-
    -(2)Focal FP 1.800 Amps-
    -(2)Focal FP 2.150 Amps-
    -(3)Xenarc 7"TSV Touch LCDís-

    -PROJECT DETAILS-

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate TommieG's Avatar
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    That is some sweeeet looking German ride you've got there. And some beautiful photos, too.
    VIA EPIA M9000/120 GB/Xenarc 700TSV/Opus 90W DC-DC
    Haicom GPS/3Com 11g Wi-Fi/D-Link BT
    WinXP/myHTPC/InfoMap Navigator Eu/PhoneControl w/T68i
    Blaupunkt HU & speakers/Velocity active subs/Alpine amps

    Progress: removed while waiting for nano-itx

  4. #4
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    If money is not an issue, then the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX is the best sound card to go with.

    As for video card, you won't be able to run 4 separate "views" on your 4 screens. The nVidia video cards (even the integrated gfx on the nForce motherboards) support 2 screens. You can get a Matrox card that can support 3. If you need more than that you can just split the VGA as many times as needed to duplicate one of the outputs to as many monitors as needed (you may need VGA repeaters/signal enhancers to maintain high video quality if your splitting the signal several times).

    As for a case, alot of people just fabricate their own in order to make it fit into awkward and/or out of the way places in the car. If your building a show car I would recommend that.

    For a power supply, you will see alot of people on this forum recommending the Opus 150W that you can buy from this site. However, if your planning on running a high-end computer you will probably need more than 150W (this is debatable). Their is of course the inverter option, or you can get a beefier DC->DC power supply such as this: http://www.orbitmicro.com/products/p...2/KPDX250H.htm Then you have to get a separate shut-down controller (the Opus has it built-in) such as this: http://www.soltronixstore.com/Detail.bok?no=7

    Again, if money is not an issue most people would probably tell you to go with the Xenarc over the Lilliput. And I would recommend just getting a touchscreen.

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate
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    Where are the door handles? :P

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate no1knows's Avatar
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    very nice indeed, how much that bodywork set you back? in particular the custom bodykit?

    id suggest using your second battery as a tank battery to make sure yr PC runs through cranks (search for tank circuit). As an alternative to dynamat, search on here, theres a load of topics on alternatives themselves, some roofing material is meant to be extremely similar.

    I'd suggest getting 1 touchscreen, or maybe two for the front, you wont need all 4 touchscreens. Make sure you get VGA screens if you want the rear screens to be decent wuality for txt/GPS

    HTH
    Mods: 18" Boss rims,Twin custom stainless exhaust,cold air induction.
    Sound: Pioneer 7400 HU & 6x9's,12" Vibe Sub,600W Kenwood amp.
    CarPC: MicroATX, Inverter, WinTV, Lilliput 7", USB GPS
    http://www.no1knows.com/galleries/

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate
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    what a story..great read. I love the car and the photos. It looks like you don't except anything but the best.(Unfortunately, many of us, including myself try to save every cent and do this stuff ourselves)

    YOu've come to the right forum for carputers. We should be able to help.

  8. #8
    FLAC shakes's Avatar
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    wow ... that is the nicest bmw i've seen ... absolutely beautiful.

    Regarding sound cards ... Depeinding on what mobo you use, I would suggest using a PCI card as opposed to an external USB card. A lot of people have problems with USB soundcards and windows for various reasons ... The main advantage to USB cards is in a compact design you can place it anywhere in the car. But like I said, sounds like You'll need a full sized PC here, so if you've got the room put in a PCI. You can always run cables if you want to mount plugs on the dash.

    If you're that big of a SQ nut, maybe even look into professional sound mixing cards.

    If the money's there get xenarc LCDs ... If not go Lilly. I like my lilly, but you seem to be more of a perfectionist than most on this board, and I'm sure the screen failing on you is not an option. and definately go touchscreen.

    as for video ... again if you're going with a full size pc, check out matrox. They have a number of multimonitor cards. JUst browsing I came across the QID:

    http://www.matrox.com/mga/archive_st...ox_qid_pro.cfm

    Looks like it'd do what you want and then some ... i'm sure it's expensive.

    For Power ... invest in a GOOD DC-DC power supply ... Check out OPUS, or maybe a Sproggy from Mastero ... there area also other supplies available on the net. Again ... if money's no option, get something expsnsive.


    hth ... good luck and for the love of god keep us posted!
    My JeepPC Install

    "there are no stupid questions, just stupid people."

    "it's been agreed the whole world stinks so no one's taking showers anymore"

  9. #9
    Newbie BEHMER's Avatar
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    First off. THANK YOU ALL I knew this was the right place to settle down and get technical..

    Quote Originally Posted by TommieG
    That is some sweeeet looking German ride you've got there. And some beautiful photos, too.
    Thanks man


    Quote Originally Posted by Optikal
    If money is not an issue, then the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 NX is the best sound card to go with.

    As for video card, you won't be able to run 4 separate "views" on your 4 screens. The nVidia video cards (even the integrated gfx on the nForce motherboards) support 2 screens. You can get a Matrox card that can support 3. If you need more than that you can just split the VGA as many times as needed to duplicate one of the outputs to as many monitors as needed (you may need VGA repeaters/signal enhancers to maintain high video quality if your splitting the signal several times).

    As for a case, alot of people just fabricate their own in order to make it fit into awkward and/or out of the way places in the car. If your building a show car I would recommend that.

    For a power supply, you will see alot of people on this forum recommending the Opus 150W that you can buy from this site. However, if your planning on running a high-end computer you will probably need more than 150W (this is debatable). Their is of course the inverter option, or you can get a beefier DC->DC power supply such as this: http://www.orbitmicro.com/products/p...2/KPDX250H.htm Then you have to get a separate shut-down controller (the Opus has it built-in) such as this: http://www.soltronixstore.com/Detail.bok?no=7

    Again, if money is not an issue most people would probably tell you to go with the Xenarc over the Lilliput. And I would recommend just getting a touchscreen.
    Niceeee.

    Ok I just read up on the SB Audigy 2 NX and I am sold. Should have one in a few days..Thanks

    As far as video cards go. I really only think I need 2 outputs even when I have 4 lcd's. I figure just have the one dedicated GPS screen and all the others are for the fun stuff. How would I go about having the computer boot up and automatically start the gps program on one screen and have my desktop on the other screens?

    So you are a fan of Nvidia? I got an ATI all in wonder 9700 pro at home and it has cool duel monitor features. Would you say that Nvidia is the best though? I really dont want to spend to much on the graphics card, the only time the 3D power will come to use is with winamp visualizations..ya feel me? I just want it to have really good duel monitor support. Any suggestions? Plus the crazy video cards recommend a 400+ Watt power supply

    On that note. I really want to stay away from inverters(wont an inverter create noise through the Audigy 2?. Keep in mind the signal from this computer in going through 3,500+ watts of Zapco power and will be cranked up 100+db for sound quality competition. That DC to DC power supply looks perfect but the 250Watt rating scares me away(Almost all vid cards recomend higher then that ) Hmmm

    About the screens I am definitely now set on the Xenarc 700TSVís. So lets say I got two TSVís in the console. Would the touchscreens interfere with each other? I would like to be selecting playlist on one and at the same time have my passenger setting up a route on the GPS screen.

    Thanks for all the great info..

    Quote Originally Posted by no1knows
    very nice indeed, how much that bodywork set you back? in particular the custom bodykit?

    id suggest using your second battery as a tank battery to make sure yr PC runs through cranks (search for tank circuit). As an alternative to dynamat, search on here, theres a load of topics on alternatives themselves, some roofing material is meant to be extremely similar.

    I'd suggest getting 1 touchscreen, or maybe two for the front, you wont need all 4 touchscreens. Make sure you get VGA screens if you want the rear screens to be decent wuality for txt/GPS

    HTH
    I had all the body work done for cheap(sponsorship)(around 3K) All I really had to do was send them the designs from various angles for them to copycat. I ended up doing a lot of the body work with the shop too. Great info I will look into your suggestions.


    Quote Originally Posted by mykolJay
    what a story..great read. I love the car and the photos. It looks like you don't except anything but the best.(Unfortunately, many of us, including myself try to save every cent and do this stuff ourselves)

    YOu've come to the right forum for carputers. We should be able to help.
    Glad you are digging it.. I would agree I try to aim for the best components but you best believe I will never pay for someone to do the dirty work. Getting your hand dirty and glassed together is half the fun! Sure did come to the right place..

    Quote Originally Posted by shakes
    wow ... that is the nicest bmw i've seen ... absolutely beautiful.

    Regarding sound cards ... Depeinding on what mobo you use, I would suggest using a PCI card as opposed to an external USB card. A lot of people have problems with USB soundcards and windows for various reasons ... The main advantage to USB cards is in a compact design you can place it anywhere in the car. But like I said, sounds like You'll need a full sized PC here, so if you've got the room put in a PCI. You can always run cables if you want to mount plugs on the dash.

    If you're that big of a SQ nut, maybe even look into professional sound mixing cards.

    If the money's there get xenarc LCDs ... If not go Lilly. I like my lilly, but you seem to be more of a perfectionist than most on this board, and I'm sure the screen failing on you is not an option. and definately go touchscreen.

    as for video ... again if you're going with a full size pc, check out matrox. They have a number of multimonitor cards. JUst browsing I came across the QID:

    http://www.matrox.com/mga/archive_st...ox_qid_pro.cfm

    Looks like it'd do what you want and then some ... i'm sure it's expensive.

    For Power ... invest in a GOOD DC-DC power supply ... Check out OPUS, or maybe a Sproggy from Mastero ... there area also other supplies available on the net. Again ... if money's no option, get something expsnsive.


    hth ... good luck and for the love of god keep us posted!

    Damn, thanks. OK sold, internal it is. Ohh snap.. Can you picture this flush mounted into the center console??I know I can ahh the SB Audigy 2 ZS Platinum

    Xenark it is

    Thanks but I looked into it a bit. I am going to stick with duel outís.

    Donít worry folks I will not fail you. Except step by step pics of this whole project and if all goes well the last pic will be the scanned article from Euro Tuner Magazine.

    Thanks,
    Sean Behm
    -Custom Widebody 332i-
    -Custom HRE wheels-

    -Focal Audio:-
    Alpine PXA-H701+C701-
    -(2)Focal 33KX-
    -(2)Focal KP165 K3P Kits-
    -(2)Focal FP 1.800 Amps-
    -(2)Focal FP 2.150 Amps-
    -(3)Xenarc 7"TSV Touch LCDís-

    -PROJECT DETAILS-

  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate no1knows's Avatar
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    sean, internal sound may not be what you want, with such a high power system you'll want to reduce noise. By using a USB sound card you can have it right next to your analogue imput to reduce the length of analogue cable in which to induce interference. Unless your PC is going to be right next to your head unit (or amps/equilisers) then you should go for USB and extend it to as close as possible to your input.

    As for the touchscreens, i know that you can have 2 touchscreens connected at once, the only problem is setting them up to work with 2 different video outputs, im not sure how you would achieve this as you would need each touchscreen (effectively a usb mouse) to only concentrate on the applications/area of screen your using.

    To reduce interference DC-DC is definitely a must, post the carpc specs here and we should be able to tell you what sort of wattage itll be using. Im sure mastero will be able to help you out, he's currently developing a new power supply which is 250W i believe.
    Mods: 18" Boss rims,Twin custom stainless exhaust,cold air induction.
    Sound: Pioneer 7400 HU & 6x9's,12" Vibe Sub,600W Kenwood amp.
    CarPC: MicroATX, Inverter, WinTV, Lilliput 7", USB GPS
    http://www.no1knows.com/galleries/

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