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Thread: 1997 Ford Taurus LX Install, follow along kiddies...

  1. #41
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    Productive weekend this weekend; I was building a box for my younger brother, for his subs. Finished that, looks awesome, check out that thread here:

    2004 Saturn Ion, Audio install, carputer later.

    After that was done, I looked at my box and realized it is way too small! It was only about 1 cu ft per side, and it needs to be 1.25. we had some leftover MDF and carpet from his install, so I decided to redo mine. I also decided to redo my wiring, since the rats nest that was my old situation was getting ridiculous. The aftermarket wire harness for the deck was not ziptied, taped or anything to keep it together and tidy. I went the entire length of the wire, and taped with a continuous piece all the way. Also, I ran the wire to pre-wire for my four channel amp that will come in the next few months. Here's a pic of the wires after I cleaned them up. This is without any computer wires, which will add some usbs, power to monitor, vga, etc. It still looks pretty scary, almost like the dash threw up... but this is a lot better than before, now, I can actually tell what is what in there:



    Notice the taped wire on the floor by the pedals? And the $200 monster cable that I've had for a few years...

    For the box, I needed to add about .25 cu ft to each side. I didn't really have much room to extend further into the trunk towards the rear, and the sides weren't looking too promising either. There was a little space to go into the trunk towards the front, but there was a crossbar in the way. I decided to extend into this space since I had around 5 - 6 more inches of room, but less height (11 inches, instead of 14 at the face of the box.) So I just made an almost new box. The only panels I kept were the face and top. I had just barely enough MDF left for this. Also, I used to be a big believer in wiring the sub directly to the amp, and not through any connectors or anything, but when I was making my brother's box, he bought some speaker terminal cups, and they look so much cleaner than the way I had it before; the wires were fed through a hole in the box, and sealed with silicon sealant. The reason I didn't want to go with terminal cups was that the terminals have a different electrical property and the full amount of power isn't transmitted to the subs. Well, I was probably losing some sound anyway from the bad seal around the wire, so I'm going to use the terminal cups too. I can actually seal them off in the box, and it will make uninstalling that much easier.
    If you are building a competition system, you probably already know that you would want to wire directly to the amp. I'm not building this kind of system. I probably won't be able to hear the difference between the two of them anyway, since it's a negligible amount of loss.

    Here's the Cad diagram of what I did:


    Real pics will be uploaded after carpet is completed.
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  2. #42
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    One other thing I did to clean up the wiring was relocate my satellite antennas, the XM was on the roof, and the GPS was on the dash. I didn't really like either place for them, so I put them on the rear deck.

    Note-
    The wiring from before was terrible, it was all over the place, there were cables everywhere! Under the back seat was where the excess wire from the amp was hidden, but it was a mess. Now the wires run through the cable channels that ford built. I used to have wires stick out and fall down near the gas pedal, sometimes they'd even get caught on my foot! Not good while driving. Now they are bundled together, and actually run under the carpet in a different place. The Homelink system wires were a mess too, I used the wrong gauge wire, and didn't really connect them reliably.

    Looking back, I don't know what I was thinking when I did this all, the box was too small, the wires... It's quicker to take your time to do it right the first time, then to have to redo a sloppy job over and over...

    There's not too much room left though for cable for the puter, I may have to get the 2 AWG wire out and get some d-blocks when I have everything put in (4ch amp, computer) but that cable is huge, 3/4" diameter! We'll see!
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  3. #43
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    the car is still leaking fluid, brought it in to get checked, not the oil like I thought, tranny fluid was leaking. $129 plus tax, and hopefully it's fixed. I'm sitting in the service waiting area right now.

  4. #44
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    update: went home, went inside, 2 hours later, came back out to a puddle of transmission fluid!

    so I brought it back to the shop, jacked it up, and found a huge crack in the transaxle casing.

    The crack is about 6 inches long, and I really don't know what caused this. My theory is that the car is 140000 miles old, and the heating then cooling, then heating, then cooling, etc weakened the casing, and then when they filled the hot trans with cold fluid, it just cracked. Not sure when it cracked though, if it was while it was there, or driving. Also may have had something to do with excessive pressure. Really don't know much about transaxles though.

    So, I just left it at the shop, I'll be waiting till monday to call the extended warranty place and have them tell me what I need to do to fix it. oh, and being under 25 makes it hard to get a rental...

    Edit: Called the warranty place, any transmission shop or dealer can do the work, but I need a car to get to work for the next couple days... grrr...

  5. #45
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    okay, I was getting pretty tired of the way my homelink panel/console was looking, so I took it down, and sanded the area near the buttons down, and wrapped it in vinyl that matches my interior. The glue is curing now, when it's done, I'll post pics. If anyone wants to know what process I took to make this, let me know.
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  6. #46
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    here's the finished pics of the homelink panel:


    I used a thin piece of plywood, cut to shape, then put the homelink module in a cut out on the wood. Then I wrapped the piece with cloth, applied resin, then a layer of fiberglass mat. Then sand, bondo, sand, bondo, etc, until it was smooth. Then, I applied industrial strength velcro brand fastener (hook side) to the wood to hold it to the headliner. Lastly, I wrapped the unit in vinyl that matches the grain and color of my dash.

    Waiting on the transmission to be fixed, I was considering getting rid of the vehicle after it was done, but with a new (rebuilt) trans, It will last a while longer, so work will continue on the computer.
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  7. #47
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    Ok, quickly made a panel to mount the power connections, here's the plan (again):



    Here's the real one:



    How I did it:
    I took a piece of ABS plastic and cut it to size, then cut out the holes for the terminals with a speed saw. Then drill and tapped holes for the screws, and mounted it up. This will connect to the PSU when I get it all in. I may not use all four of the bottom row, and the top row will be connected with banana plugs (power and ground)

    Also, since I had it all open, I added two small (40mm) fans to the case above the i/o ports that blows air out of the case from right in front of the processor fan.

    Here's the pic of that:


    I am going to wire these to an ATX hard drive power connector, and run it off the power supply, since they are 2 pin, and the mobo accepts 3 pin fans. The old ATX case had a fan that connected this way, so I'll be using those wires.
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  8. #48
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    Console Question

    Hey M.R.
    I have been reading through your post; aka journal - very detailed stuff. Thanks for the info - I do have one question. It appears (other than the exterior color) your '97 Taurus LX is identical to mine including the center console - yeah I have the FOLD OUT hidden cup holder that you mentioned in your quote.

    Have you had any experience taking the console out or more specifically repairing that fold out cup holder? Mine is currently broken and Ford wants $90.00 for a replacement mechanism.

    Thanks for any help and good luck on the TRAINY issue.

    Viper

  9. #49
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    I am planning on fabricating a new cupholder out of ABS plastic, but I'm having some issues with it. There is an alternate cupholder that doesn't fold out that originally came out of the SHO's that may show up on ebay. There are plenty of the fold out ones on ebay, but of course buyer beware...

    The console is pretty easy to take apart. Open the lid, slide a flat blade screwdriver under the edge of the top part of the cup holder piece. Then pull up, and open the holder about half way, and the whole piece should just pop out.

    Are you planning on installing a computer in your car? I'd love to see what someone else is doing to their Taurus.

    UPDATE: Transmission issues:
    Just got it back from the shop, and the trans works just fine, the alignment is off though, so I will have to bring it back on my next day off which isn't for a week...
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  10. #50
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    a few more updates:
    The homelink panel pod has started to separate around the edges because the glue doesn't stand up to heat that well... I think the best way to get around this is to stitch the vinyl to the velcro, It makes more sense when I get pics up...

    The cup holder fab process is still going, but slowly, got the buck out, and now I am just building thickness around the piece so that it's solid. I intentionally left it a little thin so that it would still be a little flexible so that it would come out of the mold. I didn't really take pics of this process since the abs sludge is volatile, and as usual I was eager to get it done.

    Basically, I took two cups from Baja Fresh (used to work next to them, and they gave discounts on soda...) and cut one near the bottom, and taped it up with a few layers of tape to make it solid. Then, I placed the second cup in the center and filled the gap with the sludge. The second cup started to float in the abs rather than it filling that gap, so I weighed it down to keep it in place. Then after a few days I took it out of the first cup and let the rest of the MEK evaporate. Then, a few more days to make sure it was cured, I took it off the inside mold and am now waiting for the filling layers to dry. When it's all done, I want the thickness to be about 1/8" or so... Then I am going to take a similar cupholder from a junked taurus, and fabricate the cupholder into it.

    The subs sound awesome, and I have a video of them in action:


    I placed my camera on its tripod on my armrest console and pressed record. I didn't touch it the entire time, and this is just to show how much it shakes the car. I haven't gotten the dB test done yet, but I am estimating at least 130dB. All I hear when I demo them to my friend's is how clean it is, there's no unwanted vibration now... And this is before the sound deadener...

    More to come soon.
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