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Thread: Am I going beyond my abilities in wanting a carputer?

  1. #1
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    Am I going beyond my abilities in wanting a carputer?

    Hi folks... I just started taking apart my dashboard..in hopes of installing a carputer...but i wonder if i'm biting to much for me to handle. I'm afraid of breaking something...and well I've never done this before. I had my deck installed by someone..so I don't even know what is there. I'm just afraid if i'm taking on to much in wanting to do it myself.

    How much experience do you need to undertake such a project? I have none. A mac mini is what I want to install.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate seanshine's Avatar
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    You really don't need any experience,just the desire to do it yourself.We all started life the same way,not knowing a damned thing,lol.
    Yeah,you might break a thing or two along the way,but you can always fix or replace whatever it is;remember,it's just a car,not a ming vase.
    Look in the fabrication and worklog threads for ideas about how to mount and finish things,and there are lots of faq's all over the net that explain basic electrical fundamentals.
    Your project will probably take longer than others simply because experience(i.e.,they have allready gone through the scratching the head phase,and the awww crap,I broke it stage)but,don't let that discourage you.....half the fun is learning how it all works,and the satisfaction of knowing you've done it yourself.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    seanshine .. hey, thanks for the encouragement. It's a 98 civic that I have, and i've taken off all the lower dash panels (not difficult) and i'm stuck, on believe it or not, probably the most easiest part of all...the front consol bezel. For the life of me, I don't know how to take it off..scared of breaking something...looking under the dash, and into the heating controls/stereo mounts, all I saw was a maze of wires...

    and then the "oh my god feeling..what am I getting myself into"

    Anyhow...I let it rest...went back to it just now, and figured out how the top of the bezel comes off... i'm still stuck on the bottom part. Gonna sleep on it. I've been doing massive internet searches, but can't find any info on how that particular piece comes off. Oh well..tomorrow is a new day

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    If the wires are too daunting, a place like Circuit City will install it for you for $80. It is their standard "amp" installation charge. So if you want a guarentee that if something goes wrong or gets broken along the way someone will pay for it other than you, then I would recommend that. I had my amp for my speakers isntalled there, because I too had never looked around in a car before. So the $80 was worth it to me.
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  5. #5
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    everyone on this forum had to do it the first time at some time...and there's a lot of people who have been successful. Just because you've never done this before isn't a reason to give up on it.

    Just dig in and do your research!
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  6. #6
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    Point of no return

    Well, i've hit the point of no return.. i think... i've gutted my inside. luckily i've been taking pictures at every critical moment. current dash looks like this

    Since the photo was taken the heating control unit was remove along with the cup holders and tape deck.

    My idea was to place the heating control unit where the tape deck was..but i can't get a good fit. climate control unit is to big. orginially the car looked like this



    Any ideas? I wanted to install a flip up screen from the place of the heating control unit..the same time keeping my deck. Now i'm confused.

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate seanshine's Avatar
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    How about removing that casette player,and moving your headunit into it's place? Then you can put the pop out screen where the headunit was.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

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    Seanshine, that might be the end result. My only concern is that the new unit will most likely block the air vents. (still looking to buy one). Not a problem in the winter, but in the summer, i use those vents for A/C. I'm trying to find a unit that I can place i the bottom where the tape deck is, but that can tilt up. Xenarc has a unit i've been looking at http://www.xenarc.com/product/700IDT.html but i'm concerned it doesn't 'tilt' up in a vertical position. If I can't find anything else this week, then i will end up ordering this unit and then decide where I want it installed.. Another unit I like, is the DWW-700H by Digital worldwide...but they are now sold out. I tried e-bay, but I didn't see anything available.

    Wow...i can't believe i'm even attempting this. Biggest personal project i've vern tried.

    Quote Originally Posted by seanshine View Post
    How about removing that casette player,and moving your headunit into it's place? Then you can put the pop out screen where the headunit was.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate seanshine's Avatar
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    I think you'll find that putting a screen that low will be unusable,and probably not safe looking down at 60mph,lol.Even if you can get it to fit,I suspect it won't be able to go completely vertical,as the screen will probably hit the lower part of the dash on it's way up.
    The vent issue won't be as bad as you think it will,yes,it'll block some of the air,but,not all.
    I'd get the DWW unit myself.....looks alot better installed,and I hear the xenarc has ribbon cable issues,besides sticking out of your dash by an inch.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
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    I've been thinking about it all night....it looks i'll be going that route. Throwing the deck into the tape player area, and a flip screen on top... Now i just need to find a screen.. LOL

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