Subaru Impreza 2.5RS '05 Wagon Install... on a budget (updated with audio install)
Well, after lurking around on the forum for a while and bugging all sorts of people with questions, both on and off the forum, here's my install. It's not really done yet in the sense that the software and the addons still need to be worked out (like Bluetooth and my phone), but the hardware is basically installed (still thinking of adding cameras just for fun, though). So here's my saga.
PHASE 1: THE BEGINNING
This was how the dashboard looked on the stock car. The 2 DIN opening was very promising (one of the reasons I liked the Subaru, to be fair), so I took a picture of it in its pristine glory, before I got down to hacking it up.
Off goes the face:
The radio, as you might notice, is not stock (I replaced the stock radio within the first 5 days of owning the car - the carputer came much, much later - almost a full 6 months later).
Moving the radio:
My first goal was to get rid of the radio - but since I didn't want to get an amp (reason: if I get an amp, I should get proper speakers. If I get proper speakers, I should get a sub. This all racks up in price - one thing at a time), I decided to keep the radio and move it up instead of the clock. I picked up a Performance Gauge Housing - it was PERFECT for this (in fact, just SLIGHTLY larger than a 1-DIN radio, but not enough to be a worry).
This is the view of the vents. Getting the stock clock out was a bit of a nightmare because the clips are HARD.
Wide angle shot with all the wiring:
Away with the clock:
Long story cut short, I got rid of the damn clock. Here's the hole to prove it:
Radio gets relocated:
I'm not unpleased with the new location. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it's overall not bad. Just a bit harder to reach (I sit far from the steering wheel).
Reassembling the dash:
I put all the components back and drove around like this for a month or so while I was preparing all the CarPC parts. This is what it looked like (and the hole wasn't too aesthetic, to be fair :) )
PHASE 2: BUILDING THE PC
I needed to find a place to put the PC. I got the most excellent LCD bezel from TMZ, but I realised that the EPIA board won't fit the way I want it to (the board itself fit perfectly, but I'd have to make custom connectors for everything, and forget about properly shock-mounting the hard drive). While on the subject of shock-mounting hard drives: I've read through people's experiences both with and without shock mounts, but I've realised one truth that makes the whole debate irrelevant in my eyes: NONE OF YOU PEOPLE LIVE IN QUEBEC. See, our taxes don't go to road improvement. They go to heating (as in, the ministers burn the money to stay warm). Result: potholes aplenty. There was actually an accident once where a guy driving a Porsche 911 hit a pothole at 200 km/h, ripped off the wheel, did a few sommersaults and wound up dead. With 3 other people, too. So I needed a shock mount. Hence I decided to make my own case. I recently installed an air conditioner at home (yeah, it does get hot SOMETIMES), so I had some plexiglass left over... I thought, why not use it?
Jumping ahead of myself, I must say the result isn't QUITE what I planned for, but it works. :)
This is what I had:
This is how I laid out the design (8cm high, 33 cm wide, about 18-19cm deep):
This is the cable mess behind the head unit. Sorry about the colour shift - forgot my Rebel's white balance on "tungsten".
Something NOT to touch:
I couldn't figure out what this box was, so I started reading the warning labels, and found out it's the airbag computer - doh! I'm not sure if anything happened if I played with it, but knowing the horror stories of airbags deploying by accident and refills costing upwards of $1,000, I decided to stay well clear of it and any wires leading to/away from it.
[... continued in next post ...]