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Thread: Super 01' Altima

  1. #1
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    Super 01' Altima

    Acctually there is nothing super about my car, but I'm hoping to change that with a carputer. I'd like to use this thread as a worklog/blog, because I am a newbie. If you have any suggestions, comments or if my plans are terribly stupid please feel free to let me know. Any advice would be appreciated. Here is what I'm working with.

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    That being said here is an overview of my plans. I would like to take advantage of my 2 DIN slots and install a retractable 7" lilliput monitor and a mini pc (either aopen or mac). I considered many different types of complicated installs, but decided to KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.

    My main driver is to have a system that is fully accessible from the dashboard (CD drive, inputs, and radio controls). I want a system that I can still have basic radio functions during the installation process, can be bolted in and easily removed. I'm worried about the custom fab required to install the comuter, but a friend from work offered to help me. I'm currently being worked to death at my job so this install will be a slow process. For now I'm going to buy a lilliput GL701-NP/C/T and a dash kit from pepboys.

    My biggest concerns are clearance for the monitor, whether or not it will be too low to read and if there will be room in the dash to fit all of the components. I'll keep you all posted.

    -Ross

  2. #2
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    if you were planning on going with a standard 7" lilliput raw screen, you could do a custom mount of the radio up top (well better than what i did) and move the climate controls down to the bottom, OR you can ghost face the faceplate and mount that somewhere and keep the climate controls where they are... your call. Here's a pic of my setup




    these are old pics of it running
    http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL578.../200381958.jpg
    http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL578.../200381958.jpg


    *edit*
    Oh yea, the radio install/removal is very simple in the car btw. And check out www.nissanclub.com/forums some time, alot of altima info/random stuff on there
    And if you want to upgrade your audio with subs or anything, PM me, i have 3 10" Type R's for sale, 2 10" L7's, 2 12" MTX Thunder6000s that need a new home hehe

  3. #3
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    Lilliput install

    Once i got the covers off I was a little distressed by how far back the stereo housing sits relative to the AC. Luckily it looks like it will be very easy to swap the stereo in and out. It is hard to see, but the stereo housing is nothing more then two angle brackets and four screws bolting the two parts into the dash.
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    Luckily there is plenty of open space inside the dash. I didn't take measurements yet, but I will when I plan out the install.
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    Wow, the install was much easier then I thought it would be, of course crimping all of the extension wires was a pain. Isn't it nice when you buy something that does exactly what it advertises. You don't see that much anymore. In case anyone is wondering, I cut a hole in the back of the plastic casing and ran the wires for the vga input and sound through. This way I can play around with my laptop in the car for the time being.
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    Now let's see how it works.... Uh oh. Looks like I was right. I barely cleared 45. Oh well I guess this was a bit of a blessing in disguise. If you look at the first image, which was taken at about eye level in the driver's seat, the stereo openning is lower then I thought. I would have to constantly be looking down while driving, and that isn't safe.
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    It looks like I'm going to have to move the AC unit down to the stereo slot and put the screen in place of the AC. Fortunately the stereo and AC opennings are both 7" wide, but the stereo doesn't have much clearance for a custom mount. I would have removed the AC, but it is bolted into the dash in an odd way. The recepticle for the screw is the AC unit and the dash holes are between the AC and the screw. Even if I remove the screws I will have to remove a lot more panelling to remove the AC and I just don't have time to do that now. The other reason is that the temperature is in the high 80s in New Orleans right now I can't live without AC.

    -Ross

  4. #4
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    Notes on the lilliput

    I am acctually quite upset with my purchase of the Lilliput GL701-NP/C/T.

    The radio controls have something to be desired. Unfortunately I lost the instruction manual, but there doesn't appear to be a way to set preset stations and easily switch between them. Luckily I only listen to two stations if not my ipod. If anyone has an electronic copy of the instruction manual, I would love to take a look at it.

    The sound coming out of the speakers sounds surprisingly worse from the lilliput then it did coming out of my stock stereo. Maybe I did a poor crimping job, or am getting feedback. All of speakers are cracked and I need to replace them anyway. Hopefully swapping the speakers will help.

    The last issue with the lilliput is that the screen won't rotate up on its own. After the screen comes out horizontally, you have to lift the screen slightly with you finger to get it to lift vertically. It closes without a problem though. This is something I have already posted on another thread, but you can see a video of what I mean on youtube.

    -Ross

  5. #5
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    WarX's install

    WarX,
    That looks great. As I mentioned eariler, I'm concerned that the stereo openning below the AC is too low to install a screen. Did you have any problems seeing it? I'm sure it does have less glare being recessed.

    I have a few questions for you though:
    1. What does ghostplating the faceplate mean?
    2. Is that the factory bezel on your car?
    3. How did you mount the AC controls?
    4. Do you have pics of your install?

    I'm a little reluctant to remove the cubby hole and ashtray. I don't want to make any mods to the bezel or the dash. I also don't want to have a hole sticking out below my AC controls.

    Am I completely being completely neurotic and overthinking your install?

    I will post more pics with dimensions when i get a day off of work and can completely disassemble my dash.

    -Ross

  6. #6
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    dump the motorized unit and just plant an 8" inch like i did

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  7. #7
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    ghost facing means soldering the connections behind your aftermarket headunit, assuming you have one, so that the faceplate sits somewhere else than your physical headunit.

    Yes, that is the factory bezel mounted with an aftermarket raw LCD screen and painted.

    The AC controls are actually wedged behind there and do not move whatsoever... i actually had to cut some of the factory plastic pieces behind the ash tray/cig lighter to make it fit properly though. The cables all are capable of extending down there without any modification. The HVAC controls need to have the 4 mounting screws dremeled off to fit though..

    As for install pics, i don't exactly have any, but i can get some in a bit. Or you can do what Sonicxstacy said above, same thing, get a raw screen and mount it like us.

    *Edit*
    Oh, watching your vid on youtube, that screen looks pretty messed up... send it back and see if you can get a raw touchscreen instead. I have very little glare and that's only seldomly to be 100% honest with yah. I haven't exactly finished my project yet, that's why there is still a hole below the HVAC and around the radio, those will be taken care of quite soon. And as for the bezel portion, if you have any issues in the future where you want to sell the car or whatnot, you can buy a new one for very very cheap on ebay or on www.altimas.net/forum/ and go to the classified section


    And by the way, the only reason why i originally did this project was because i researched it, and then my chance came up when some ******* stole my radio and messed up the bezel already, so i needed to buy a new one anyhow, so i figured might as well have fun with the old one and see what i could do. The new bezels aren't all that expensive anyhow, PLUS i hated the wood grain look... it's made for luxury cars and alty's aren't exactly luxury at all... =P

  8. #8
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    Well I sure am glad to see people modding '01 altimas. I thought I would be the only one dumb enough to try. Sonic, As I stated earlier my main requirements for a carputer are
    "to have a system that is fully accessible from the dashboard (CD drive, inputs, and radio controls)"

    I know most people put their computers under a seat or in their trunk, but what about a CD drive or USB ports. I know CD drives aren't that necessary when you have all of your music on the comptuer and you can always install a USB hub. This being my first install I want to have everything in view and at my finger tips.

    Sonic: Where is your computer located? How did you mount your stereo? Is there a gap underneath the stereo? What's with the red button?

    I saw a thread where you talked about fabricating your own bezel. Is this it?

    Thanks for all of your help.

    -Ross

  9. #9
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    WarX,
    I appreciate the advice. I bought the screen off of someone on ebay. It took me several weeks before I got a chance to play around with it after it got delivered, so it was too late to complain.

    I think I'm going to continue the project the way it is now and then move on to an in dash screen later. I really want to see what the retractable screen in the HVAC control slot looks like.

    Is it a problem no having USB ports or a CD drive readily available?

    -Ross

    I forgot to ask. Why would anyone solder the connections on the back of the head unit instead of using the associated cable? Sorry I don't understand.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunsandrosses View Post
    I forgot to ask. Why would anyone solder the connections on the back of the head unit instead of using the associated cable? Sorry I don't understand.
    Because a faceplate is like a half inch thick so it can be mounted lets say to your ceiling or whereever where there is no depth needed, and then the actual brains of the unit would be hidden away somwhere.

    So not solder the wires to the back of the HU, but solder the contact pins on the HU's removeable faceplate to the mating contacts on the actual HU.
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