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Thread: 2008 Mini Cooper + Mac Mini = UBERmini [updated photos!]

  1. #11
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    Screen placement is sick man. Definitely following this build.

  2. #12
    Constant Bitrate
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    Very nice. Subtle yet not understated

    The "I void warranties" shirt is appropriate.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by davekra View Post
    Very nice. Subtle yet not understated

    The "I void warranties" shirt is appropriate.
    Technically, he would only be voiding the warranty on the parts he modified. Depending on where he is, law would prevent the shop from denying work on other parts.

  4. #14
    FLAC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilco View Post
    S
    My original plan was to simply retrofit the OEM nav system and call it a day, but I quickly discovered that was going to be an ordeal (replacing the entire front dash wiring harness, talking my way into getting a dealer to recode the BCU to name just a couple things). Turns out doing a car PC would be much simpler (say what?) and, let's be honest, makes it a much more fun project. ;-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilco View Post
    Step One: The Dislplay

    For the display I purchased a custom Lilliput 669GL from an eBay seller that also provided optically-bonded transflective and capacitive upgrades. In retrospect I think both those things were well worth it (honestly I can't imagine going back to a resistive touchscreen after being spoiled by all the latest and greatest iDevices). I soon found out, however, that the standard 7" size was just slightly too large to fit in the Mini's OEM nav frame. It was close enough that I talked myself into firing up ye olde dremel, and as luck would have it, came out the other side without a broken display.

    First off, here's a quick shot of the original speedo, which I replaced with the alternate speedo designed for the OEM nav system.





    Sadly I didn't remember to start taking photos until the re-assembly stage, but hopefully this will still give you an idea of the amount of trauma that poor little display went through.



    The first thing I had to do was work my way down to the core piece that would hold the LCD panel. Once that was separated, I was able to dremel away enough plastic to be able to slide the display in from one side.







    And here is the display fully crammed into that core plastic piece.



    At this point I ran into a little problem. I discovered that one of the corners of the screen wasn't clearing the mechanics of the speedometer by about 2mm. At this point I was fully invested, so with no other options, I adjusted the position of the screen (despite the tight fit) and again used the dremel to smooth out one of the corners. Probably not the brightest decision of my life, but I was fortunate and sustained no damage to the display's internals.





    Once I had the display fitted, I started buttoning things back up. I was able to reuse the back plate of the OEM display panel to close up the back of the speedometer/display while still allowing the Lilliput's connectors to be accessible.







    The end result was a reasonably clean and self-contained package. Phew!
    Wilco,

    Great install. Really thinking outside the box... or circle in this case. I am very interested in your screen/NAV retrofit install. I have 2 Mini speedos that may just get the same treatment.

    It looks from what you wrote that you did not have the factory nav originally. And I think I see on the other forum where you were looking into what (retrofit) it would take to install it. I even found where someone mentioned that the speedo and tach would have to be replaced as a pair. I think you made the best decision.


    I have a few questions if you don't mind:

    1. Did the connector to the old speedo fit into the new one?

    2. Was anything additional need to be done to restore the indicator lights and speedometer movement?

    3. Do all of the lights function as they should?

    4. Are you satisfied with the upgraded monitor that you have chosen?

    5. What are the compromises or things that aren't exactly what you hoped for (or side effects) as far as the monitor/speedo setup? (if any)

    6. Would you be able and/or willing to provide me a name or other contact info for the screen and/or nav speedometer that you used, either here or in a PM?

    7. Since the speedo install, have you had any thoughts on how you would have mated the devices together differently? If so, what?

    8. Can you clarify that you did indeed have to modify the corner of the screen (and not just the speedo) with a dremel?
    It's been a while...

  5. #15
    Newbie Wilco's Avatar
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    No problem, let me see if I can answer your questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    1. Did the connector to the old speedo fit into the new one?
    Yes. I was pleasantly surprised by this.

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    2. Was anything additional need to be done to restore the indicator lights and speedometer movement?
    No, as soon as I connected it, everything functioned 100% as expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    3. Do all of the lights function as they should?
    Yes, everything was 100% functional.

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    4. Are you satisfied with the upgraded monitor that you have chosen?
    Yes and no. I am totally happy with the result (and the screen itself is great), but had I the option of obtaining a 6.5" display with the same functionality, it would have saved me from a lot of headaches (and dremeling).

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    5. What are the compromises or things that aren't exactly what you hoped for (or side effects) as far as the monitor/speedo setup? (if any)
    The cut-off corners are a pain for running Windows (start-menu isn't reachable). In my opinion, that was a fair trade for a super-clean OEM look that was really unique. Plus I ended up building a custom Centrafuse skin, designed around that unique screen shape, which basically made it a non-issue except for the occasional use of the windows desktop for maintenance/admin tasks.

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    6. Would you be able and/or willing to provide me a name or other contact info for the screen and/or nav speedometer that you used, either here or in a PM?
    I got them both on eBay. I'll be happy to give you any contact info I can dig up, but it might be a long shot since it was so long ago. A good alternative would probably be to find them at a salvage yard that will ship them on car-part.com

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    7. Since the speedo install, have you had any thoughts on how you would have mated the devices together differently? If so, what?
    Short of finding a decent 6.5" touchscreen, I'm still happy with how I approached it. I really tried to find a 6.5-incher with no luck (at least not for something at a decent resolution)

    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    8. Can you clarify that you did indeed have to modify the corner of the screen (and not just the speedo) with a dremel?
    Unfortunately yes, and I get the feeling I was incredibly lucky that the screen survived it. No cracked glass or funky display issues. I'm not sure there would have been any way to avoid the modification unless a different make/model (say a Xenarc, or a different Lilliput) just happened to fit perfectly.

    The difference was at most 1 cm, so I suppose there might be a 7" screen out there somewhere that would fit, but short of ordering/trying multiple screens yourself, it would be a tough process.


    Hope that helps! Let me know if you get started and have any questions mid-project!

  6. #16
    Low Bitrate
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    How is that mic working out for you? I'm trying to decide which one to get. Leaning towards the MT107A but $150 is a hard pill to swallow.

  7. #17
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    Nice install. I've got a mac mini in my Inifiniti. Makes for a versital carputer.

  8. #18
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    This is great, it looks fantastic. Where were you able to find just the enclosure for the nav spedo? I've been looking around but I'm having trouble finding one. Thanks!

  9. #19
    Newbie Wilco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Spahkol View Post
    This is great, it looks fantastic. Where were you able to find just the enclosure for the nav spedo? I've been looking around but I'm having trouble finding one. Thanks!
    Thanks! I actually ended up buying the entire speedo/display assembly off of eBay.

  10. #20
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    This is quite the install, it looks great Wilco!

    How do you control the stereo now that the you have the display in place of where the original stereo controls were?

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