Cadillac Cts 2004 - Carputer Project
Iím the proud owner of a 2004 Cadillac CTS (V6 engine and 181 HP). Itís black raven and Comfort finished, what in Spain means base equipment (no sunroof, no leather, no navigation). As you are aware all the CTS versions between 2003 and 2007 are basically the same, until the release of the brand new model this year.
I started thinking about upgrading the audio system once I realized the original is very basic and it doesnít offer an auxiliary input to connect an external source such an iPod or any other MP3 player. I know there are original CD changers and navigation systems but they donít have that aux input either. In the USA you can add an external source through the Xm radio device but in Spain that system is not very common so Cadillac doesnít offer it.
Once I made my mind about changing the audio system I searched for different options. The first one was to upgrade to the original navigation system, following the guide provided at:
You can buy the navigation system via internet but the wiring job looked too hard to me and the fact that I would loose some functions anyway finally made me give this idea up. I turned my eyes to Cadillac then just in case they could give me a solution but they stated that itís not possible to install the navigation unit if the vehicle has not the pre-wiring from factory (??). Cadillac in Spain offers an Alpine solution at Ä 3,500.00 with an In-Dash touch screen and a DVD player but you must sacrifice the DIC information.
Too bad and too expensive, so I thought for a while about an aftermarket system to be installed inside the radio chassis. I donít like in-Dash solutions so my option was a double din system like the one described at:
Reaching this point, with a lot of DIY no matter what I decided to do, I thought that a computer would do it better because I could play all the existing audio and video formats, use the GPS navigation, internet connection, Bluetooth, a hard disk to store thousands of files, etc ..
There are loads of information via internet about how to integrate a computer in your car, but 2 guys had already took to reality what I have in mind:
Some other forums helped me to complete my Project:
Now, this a list of components I'm using and their prices.
Item VIA EUROS
CADILLAC CTS RADIO STEREO eBay 173,95 Ä
MOBO (VIA EPIA M10000) 17x17 eBay 150,00 Ä
PSU M2-ATX 160W 16x4.5 cm eBay 72,20 Ä
MEMORIA RAM DDR266 PC2100 1Gb eBay 101,93 Ä
HARD DISK 2.5" 80 Gb 4200 rpm eBay 65,00 Ä
IBM DVD/CD-RW COMBO 2.5" eBay 59,00 Ä
USB SLIM DVD ENCLOSURE eBay 22,00 Ä
TFT 7" LILLIPUT 629GL-70NP TACTIL eBay 176,70 Ä
WiFi USB 2.0 CONCEPTRONIC eBay 32,09 Ä
Bluetooth USB 2.0 CONCEPTRONIC eBay 12,83 Ä
USB 2.0 Hub + CARD READER eBay 15,90 Ä
GPS ANTENNA USB HOLUX 213 eBay 50,98 Ä
First Step - Dismantling The Orginal Radio
The first thing to get the radio out from the car is to pull the air vents and the climate control apart. You can do it with your own hands but itíll be better if you use some kind of flat trowel. The radio is only fitted to the chassis with 4 bolts and after unscrewing them you must disconnect the ISO connectors plugged at the back side of the unit. Depending on which system you had the connectors panel may change.
The front face is a plastic piece fitted by 4 torx screws and 2 red connectors that interface with the main board inside the radio chassis. Once you disconnect them, you will see 3 different PCBs, one bigger for the DIC panel and 2 side boards for the control knobs. They are fitted with torx screws to a plastic mount as well. When all the parts are pulled apart, you can realize the actual size of the plastic you can cut off to room the screen bezel. Though I wanted to keep the original function keys, the guys I paid to do the job misunderstood me so they cut them off too so I had to change my plans a little. Finally I kept the buttons at the screen bezel so I could change the video source to get the images from the rear camera or turn it off manually.
This is a guide to integrate the screen, but be advised that the chassis from the factory radio is big enough to size it is easier to locate the boards inside. http://www.mechatroniks.com/wrx/lili629.html
Since I couldnít get a spare radio in the same colour mine was so I had to perform some extra jobs like sanding and painting, so if you intend to do it the way I did do not make the same mistake. It looks great at the end, but it makes you waste a whole week.