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Thread: n00b with a SWEET VAN ready for customizing, need input!

  1. #1
    Newbie RoboSpork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Blacksburg, VA USA

    n00b with a SWEET VAN ready for customizing, need input!

    Here is the 2002 dodge van I just picked up in perfect condition:

    I am going to put a new stereo and carputer setup into this thing. I have no experience doing either but I do know my way around computers. I have about 2000 earmarked for this thing to start it up... so give me some ideas!

    Here is a pic of the dash which is quite large but may require some cutting to get a screen into it:

    One sticking point with me is that I want to ensure that I can always listen to the music, even if the carputer malfunctions. I am interested in a setup where I keep a headunit of somekind, and the carputer routes its audio into the headunit where of course it then goes out the huge *** stereo. So, I really want a headunit AND a carputer. What is the slickest way to make this happen?

    Take a look at some close ups at the site I have set up for this project at the link in my sig.
    My custom van project, still in planning phase:

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate BIzFlawless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Wzup!? Nice Ride! Welcome to Mp3Car Forums......Well as far as having your HD and carputer..It is possible....With your van I would go with a 10 or 15 inch touch screen molded in the dash or at least an 8 inch....that would be pretty cool but as far as everything you need to know or would like to do, Im very sure it is already been done or is in the process of being done! .....Well I might as well say this to you now b4 you find out the hard way! , , and b4 you decide to ask a question that has already been answered unless, unless you truly do not understand or really really need help, There are very nice people on here who are willing to help anyone out but not b4 you yourself do a little searching first! Just a little tip for ya!......heres a quick link to where you can start! Attention Newbies! A FAQ to the FAQs.....again welcome and Good luck with your project! Cant wait to see your pimp Van!

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate nadir_s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    San Jose, CA
    my advice to you is to invest in some BIIIIIG screens ... awesome ride there - def. alot of potential.
    [ 5-spd 1996 M A X i M A SE ]

  4. #4
    Newbie RoboSpork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Blacksburg, VA USA
    Here is some more specifics on my initial plan, if you have experience and can recomend better ways to do things then please respond. I have done alot of browsing and searching but really I am just looking for ideas from experienced people before I start spending $....

    The priorities for the system:
    - MUSIC
    - Wireless AP, with automatic bridging capability somehow
    - gps nav
    - lighting control (colorized lighting in the van)

    Stage one: Redo the factory stereo. Use an Alpine CDM-9xxx head unit since they are compatible with the car-2-pc mbus adapter and they are cheap on ebay. Add subs and more/better speakers all around. I am considering having this professionally done since I have no experience doing this kind of thing, but it doesnt seem like it should be too hard? There is not alot of profesional shops in my area though. Any advice here as this is the part I am the least sure about?

    Stage two: Carputer. Get the best mini form factor carputer I can afford at the time so I can keep adding stuff. Use Car-2-PC MBus adapter, add a 8" touchscreen to the dash with removable molding method. Carpter audio is seemlessly routed to the already in place stereo through the head unit. Get audio support working solid, minimize boot time, all the usuals.

    Stage three: And on and on with the carputer setup.... add gps, xm, bluetooth, lighting control, more screens, all kinds of stuff. Retain a stable default boot at all times.

    The key is do it in steps that make sense. I dont want to have to buy too much extra hardware, I dont want to have to redo much as I progress, so getting it right upfront is the key. Wha chall think?
    My custom van project, still in planning phase:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    i beileve its best to plan thingzss out the way you want it to end up first. The mulutiple screns stuff, yo can rcok later, but it sounds like you will need either a high end graphics card, a larger form factor pc (i would recomend as you have the space and power), or lots of VGA splitters. Your porject as proposed sesm highly doable at 2K from start to finish. Al you ned to do is stay away frm the fluf that you don't need, like a 3.0ghz gaming rig, make great deals, and you'l be 100% fine.
    Carputer Progress: Here we go again...

    Genesis has speed
    Genesis has class
    Genesis sent money
    before your a__;)

    Join the fight against carputters. EMAIL ME!

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate Freelander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    you should send a PM to "lostreception". he's the van man

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