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Thread: 2000 Jeep Cherokee carputer install - worklog

  1. #1
    Newbie akula169's Avatar
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    2000 Jeep Cherokee carputer install - worklog

    OK, first off, props to Shakes and his install. I stole almost all my ideas from him.

    I've been working on this system since the beginning of August. It has taken a little longer to install than I expected, but mainly because I've been waiting for parts to arrive here and there.

    First off, the dash bezel. Here's my original with head unit still installed.


    I didn't want to mess with my original bezel, as a call to the dealership revealed a $265+ replacement part price. So, I managed to get another one to play with on eBay. I did search the local junkyards, but it seems the pop-off bezel is the first thing to disappear before the head unit, maybe even before it gets to the junkyard.

    So, on to bezel fabrication. I constructed a new frame for my 7" Lilliput. I grabbed some 1/2" aluminum L stock and 1/4" square hardwood to support the frame from the inside. I removed the necessary plastic from the bezel with a Dremel and epoxied the frame in. Note: use the gel epoxy - much easier to work with and build up where you need it.




    Next 3 days: bondo. sand. bondo. sand. bondo sand. primer. sand. bondo. sand. primer. sand. glazing. sand. primer. wet sand. primer. wet sand.

    this gives us:



    Notes: I probably didn't rough up the plastic enough at the edges where the bondo feathered off... I notice that while working with what I thought was a finished bondo job, that the edges started peeling up a bit. If I were the perfectionist I used to be, I would go back and do this all over again. But, after spending 30+ hours working with what I have now, I think it is good enough for the time being - I'll live with it. Most people don't notice anyhow. I'll get better pics of the problem and add them later.

    The finish paint I used was a satin finish enamel, black. I heard that Kelly Moore will match paint for you and put it in a spray can. Once again, if I were a more patient and less frugal man, I would have had them match my factory grey interior color in a satin finish enamel. Instead, I went with the best that I could find at Home Depot. I am happy with the texture of my current finish - almost matches the orignal bezel texture perfectly.

    note: bad reflections on the pic - I should be able to get a better image when it is installed and the car is out in the sunlight



    Line driver: I'll be keeping my factory amplifier (from the factory "premium Inifinity" sound system) - I am happy with the sound of the system and didn't want to re-engineer the amp's crossover between the door speakers and the tweeters. Because of this, I needed to boost the voltage on the signal coming from the sound card to match the line level of the old factory head unit. The Phoenix Gold SLD44 is working great to fill this need. Now that the factory head unit is out of the dash, there's a ton of room behind the area the LCD will be sitting. That's where the line driver got installed. I used a couple of short drywall screws to secure the unit to the back of the plastic vent channel thats back there. It was a tight fit to get all the RCAs to fit back there, but with a little patience you can make sure that none of the wires will be pinched with the final placement.



    AM/FM solution: I scored a RadioShark on eBay for $35, so I'm going to see how it goes before I decide to drop a bill and a half on the HQCT. I reboxed the board and added my own antennas on there... more details in this thread. The hardware will go into the same area I have the line driver... all kinds of space in there



    The USB GPS, bluetooth and 802.11 adapters are fitting nicely in the gap between the air vents and the top of the dash. No interference that is limiting their operation as far as I can notice... great, becuase everything is totally out of sight.

    That's all I've got for now. I'm waiting on the parts to build the case for the motherboard - that'll be going into the center armrest console. I'm also re-fabbing the storage compartment. The storage area will be very shallow, so I can store a mouse and some other things in there - also status lights and all the switches I'll need - oh, and the two external USB ports will be accessible from there as well - great for adding JPEGs from the camera for review after sightseeing...

    I'm soooo glad this forum is here, thanks to all involved for sharing knowledge and discussing new ideas. I've picked up far more than I expected in the month I've been reading here.

    I'll post updates as they happen.
    2000 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4WD
    Lilliput 7"
    VIA EPIA M10000, 512M, 80G WD
    Soundblaster Live! 24-bit
    Phoenix Gold SLD44 Line Driver
    Griffin Radioshark (reboxed)

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate 4u2n's Avatar
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    Very nice install
    Plan for project = 100%
    Part the project. = 100%
    Built...................= 99%
    Finish.................= 99%
    Install ...............= 99% -50%
    Ditail at 4u2n.dk
    Here

  3. #3
    Newbie SPcustoms's Avatar
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    nice body work!
    I did mine up with a multimedia dvd player,
    Im thinking of redoing the whole thing and going with a PC setup like yours,
    mainly for navigation

    cherokee 2 din multimedia install

  4. #4
    Newbie akula169's Avatar
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    install complete

    OK, I've managed to get everything in. I'm pretty happy with the look, overall. I think most people would pass it off as a stock install...

    Dash:



    And the center console:


    Yep, the PC is under there. I just cut the stock storage area down to make it very shallow - but enough to store the mouse and some other goodies. I added all the switches and status lights I'll need here. Clockwise from top right, Ign bypass (valet switch), P/S Power switch - then over to the top left I have the night/day switch for the monitor (coming soon), middle left is two USB ports, bottom left if monitor power and then the HDD, Power and Sleep LEDs.

    I'm pretty happy to have been able to build in some more storage. I used that console to store all kinds of stuff and would have missed it if I had to remove it completely.

    Now back to the drawingboard to figure out what is up with the reception on my radioshark...
    2000 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4WD
    Lilliput 7"
    VIA EPIA M10000, 512M, 80G WD
    Soundblaster Live! 24-bit
    Phoenix Gold SLD44 Line Driver
    Griffin Radioshark (reboxed)

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate
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    Sld44

    I just odered the SLD44 off of ebay. Hope i get the same results as you. I'll be taking two channel split to four at the SLD44, then into my factory amp and speakers. Same for you?

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate Fraychild's Avatar
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    Damn man - It looks really good - nice work on the bezel - Thumbs Up!!
    VER. 3.0- Check out below:
    .
    車コンピュータ 3.0
    .

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate Dennis5587's Avatar
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    very jelous

    2006 Mazda 3
    Behringer DCX-2496
    JL300/4 Focal 6W4311B Focal TN52
    JL500/1 JL10w6v2

  8. #8
    Newbie BarinaHum's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by akula169 View Post
    OK, I've managed to get everything in. I'm pretty happy with the look, overall. I think most people would pass it off as a stock install...

    Dash:


    Indeed, very nice work on the stock look.
    I wish I have that much space for installation.
    Car: Holden Barina 98
    Planning: [========80%]
    PC Parts: [==========100%]
    Fabrication: [=====50%]
    Total Progress [======60%}

  9. #9
    Newbie akula169's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasha877 View Post
    I just odered the SLD44 off of ebay. Hope i get the same results as you. I'll be taking two channel split to four at the SLD44, then into my factory amp and speakers. Same for you?
    Yep, same for me. I just used 1/8" stereo jack to two RCAs off each of the two channels on the sound card. The outs from the SLD44 are wired directly to the inputs on the factory amp.

    It's been working great... every couple weeks it seems like there is some sort of ground loop going on (feedback noise during acceleration). But due to the luck of the way I installed the PC in the center console, I have access to the jacks through the emergency brake opening. I just pull them out of the sound card, reinsert, and it seems to solve the problem. It doesn't happen often enough for me to worry about a full time solution.
    2000 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4WD
    Lilliput 7"
    VIA EPIA M10000, 512M, 80G WD
    Soundblaster Live! 24-bit
    Phoenix Gold SLD44 Line Driver
    Griffin Radioshark (reboxed)

  10. #10
    Newbie akula169's Avatar
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    UPDATE: While this unit has served dutifully in my ride, it is getting replaced.

    I'm selling off the parts for sale. I haven't priced everything out yet, but if you're interested in the complete bezel, custom console interior or SLD44 line leveler, please shoot me a PM! Thanks
    2000 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4WD
    Lilliput 7"
    VIA EPIA M10000, 512M, 80G WD
    Soundblaster Live! 24-bit
    Phoenix Gold SLD44 Line Driver
    Griffin Radioshark (reboxed)

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