2003 Pathfinder - In dash screen without lcd bezel
This will introduce to you in a work log style approach my current project of redoing my in dash screen. My goal by doing this is to not only give people ideas on how they can customize their dash bezels but also help keep me motivated and maybe receive some tips from some pros.
Some of the reasons I am doing this is:
-a few parts didn't cure properly, so there is a few bubbles in the paint.
-cracking from being bent too many times (uninstall/reinstalling)
-sticking out a little bit on the bottom right corner (not very noticeable to most people)
This is what the original one I made looks like when I did it 3 years ago:
(no need to flame, I got rid of those blue lights a long time ago!)
I moved the 4x4 switch to the glove box and ditched the ash tray and cigg lighter.
This screen was purchased from DigitalWW and is a 7 inch vga lilliput screen. For the original one I made, I was able to use the lcd's bezel, but for this one I am using a piece of wood and will mount the lcd to the back. This screen can then be used with a stand alone dvd player or ps2 (has 2 rca's in) or even a computer (it's a touch screen w/ vga in) for gps, mp3s, music videos, etc!
I will be updating this post with photos and objectives as I (hopefully) progress. Please don't pm me or post asking how to use or apply fiberglass resin, cut wood, or sand. There are alot of posts and information available online. I would recommend your first stop being the forums at mp3car.com if you are truly interested in pursuing this project.
To begin with, I am using fiberglass resin to do this. It might be better to get some abs plastic fill if your bezel is made of plastic, that way they contract and expand at the same rate. However, I wanted to use what I had laying around my garage, so fiberglass resin it was.
May 15, 2007 (Tues):
I cut out a piece of relatively thin wood that is the same size as the double din opening where my factory radio went.
Make sure you sand/scratch up the edges of the plastic where you will be making the application as this will help the resin to adhere better once it hardens. In this case it would be the inside outer edge of the double din hole in the dash bezel.
I used tape at the back to help keep it in place, as well as to prevent too much fiberglass resin to drip through. I also masked the front. I highly suggest you do this regardless of how careful you think you may be, you WILL drip some outside the area you want to make the application in.
Mix up your stuff, and then apply it. Don't put too much, because this will just result in more sanding that you will have to do. The less foreign material you use, the less chance of cosmetic and structural problems down the road.
After you apply and the stuff becomes a bit more solid, you could cut where your tape is and peal it so that you have to sand less later. But be careful not to lift up the part that you want to stick!!
I then let it sit overnight.
May 16, 2007 (Wed):
Got home late this evening, so I started working on this around 9:15, a bit late to get what I wanted done.
I picked up my electric sander w/ a piece of 100 grit sand paper and started sanding the bulk of the hardened resin down.
You must be very careful when you do this, otherwise you will sand things down that you do not want to. I sanded one part down to the wood, so I knew it was time to switch over to hand sanding.
Now remember, the less foreign material you use, the better. This isn't a tutorial on sanding, but try to sand most of it off of the sides so that only a little lip of the material is hanging over the edge onto the bezel.
In my photos you will see that there are some low spots (ex: shiny spots in the top and bottom right.) This is something quite inevitable, and you can use various materials to fill it with, the choice is yours based on what you prefer or feel would fit your scenario better. I am trying to use what I have, so I most likely will be using fiberglass resin.
-fit in in the trim ring for my deck and apply fiberglass resin to surrounding areas
-fill in low spots around the screen area
Views of the back after the tape was removed the next day:
The old one is damaged at the bottom from when I removed the deck, it didn't actually look THAT bad when it was installed.