2007 Black Corolla S - Mini PC (Complete!)
After admiring so many of the cars here that have full pcs in there cars I have finally decided to take on the project and start it! It's all finished now so take a look.
Stage 1 - Monitor mounting and Replacing stock CD player
Inside of my car: I actually never took any pics of the insides of my car before i ripped it apart so here one thats close enough that i found here on the forums
Like most of the other corolla installs, the best place for the monitor is where the stock cd player is. So I had to lose my stock deck... T_T
So after some research, I decided to go with the 7 inch lilliput touch screen. And to actually get it in there i took some advice from bulgogi777 show off post and bought the scosche din adapter.
(pic from bulgogi777 post, hope you don't mind)
I follow his cut outs and it worked for the most part, i don't quite have the horizontal clearance i wanted though. Its off by like a centimeter. Not really much more I can do about that. I actually only cut to up to where the storage compartment was, it was just enough for the width.
In order to fill the gaps, My dad (whos helped me a lot for this project) and I got some really fast drying stuff to make the mold for the sides (not sure what it was) But we managed to get something fill in the blank spots.
Oh yeah the 7 inch monitor, doesn't actually fit into the scosche din, even after chopping everything off. The monitor sits behind it and the din just acts as frame. Luckily it actually fits in the corolla slot.
You can see fast drying stuff we used in the white, and we just used a piece of wood bolted into the fast drying stuff to hold the monitor in place.
Theres the circuit board of the touch screen we just had that mounted to a piece of wood. We still used the original mounts that held the stock cd player to mount the monitor together.
Heres the back of everything and as you can see i bolted everything down to the wood. Kept the worthless speaker anyways incase we needed a load there. If you look carefully at the right metal mount i solder a wire to it. I had to do that because for some reason once that metal mount touches the circuit board it picks up some sorta interference and made my monitor fuzzy. So I just took a wire from the mount grounded it to the ground for the monitor plug. (I actually just guessed where the ground was and I guessed right)
All right the monitor all slapped together. If you look carefully you can see that the original din has 3 tabs to hold the thing together. In order to mount the monitor at a good angle we had to chop off 2 of those tabs. In order to stop the monitor from getting pushed into one side when touching it we shoved some stiff wire into the fast drying stuff and that held it up pretty good.
So my monitor is good to go. But now that i replaced the entire CD player, I've got nothing to power my speakers. So now i got to decide on deck or amp. I know how a lot of people are pushing the amp as a better choice but i chose the deck. Couple of reasons why:
1) There isn't really a good solution on getting AM/FM back into this car. (If there is, i suck at searching) I don't really need it but I prefer not to lose it. Helps a lot when needing to know the traffic or just want something else to listen to.
2) Not really planing to get a sub. Don't care too much for it, and don't wanna annoy people around me. I might want to change the speaker out later but who knows. So without a sub, i don't really need an amp.
3) The most important one, my car will be dead silent until this project fully finishes. This is suppose to be a slow project because I'm gonna take my time with it and plus i need to save up money for other parts. So a deck will make a pretty good replacement for now. Oh yeah and I would get a mp3 player now too! :)
So now that my monitor took the best spot for mounting a new deck in, whats left? The next best place to put it was in the storage compartment under all of the a/c controls.
So as you can see i had to rip out the door of that panel, and cut part of the top part of the frame for the storage compartment to actually fit it in there. After the cut it becomes a perfect fit.
Picking the deck was also a problem. I measured how much depth clearance room i had and it wasn't that much. I got around 18cm from where the deck would lie flush with the frame. It wasn't too bad but it just limited my choices. I also had to get a aux in from the back cuz i don't want no ugly 3.5mm jack sticking out from the front. That would ruin the point of a nice clean install. So that really limited my choices. I stopped by best buy and picked my deck. Man does your selection suck when the aux has to be in the back. JVC had the best clearance for depth but it had all front aux. So the next best choice was kenwood and it had the aux input from the back. So I got the Kenwood KDC-MP435U. It had USB in so that will keep my happy until this is finished.
So you can see the cut job that was done to the back. 2 screws and that held everything together nicely. Even though the depth clearance was okay now, it still was not fun plugging the radio antenna in (that was a really short wire) Oh yeah the depth of this deck is 15.5, so i had working room and air for the heat sink in the back!
After that was some wiring and soldering that had to be done in order to connect everthing. It confused the hell out of me that the corolla had an extra wire that the adapter i bought for corollas didn't use. And since the colours from the adapter and corolla didn't match it freaked me out even more. Luckily after some research, I found out that the adapter I bought was using the correct pins... despite the extra wire...
So now to slap everything together. Heres what I drove around in for 2 weeks. Wasn't very comforting that the airbag light kept staying on. (Passenger airbag circuit is on the panel i removed)
Finally I can have my entire corolla put back into one piece!
Dam was there a lot of wires back there!
So I left the monitor and power cables accessible to me so I plugged my laptop in to make sure everything still worked. And I'm so glad it did! For the din, I used some spray paint i had left over from painting the grill on my car. It doesn't quite match the lighter interior and the gloss from the clear coat probably doesn't help either but hey it still doesn't look bad. :)
There we go, stage 1 is all complete. I got music in my car again and a monitor all ready to go. I'm planing to buy a new computer that uses the mobile equipment so I don't drain too much battery power and have that mounted to the trunk. I want keep this trend of nice clean installs and hiding as many things as possible. I would continue this project but thing is I'm a little low on cash to actually buy the pc thats needed so I'll leave at that for now and enjoy my new deck :)
Stage 2 - Wiring the everything to the trunk
<Will resume project when ready>