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

  1. #1
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    1997 Ford Taurus LX Install, follow along kiddies...

    Update - 02/25/08 - This car has FINALLY been traded in for a 2007 PT Cruiser, so there will be no more updates to this thread. There is still some good info here for someone with this car that wants to put in a Car PC. Here's the original thread:


    <shameless butt kissing> First of all, A BIG thanks to the members of this forum for getting me motivated to do this project, and a bigger thanks to those that have created this site to allow us all to communicate and share ideas, etc. </shameless butt kissing>

    I have a 1997 Ford Taurus LX with the Duratec 3.0 V6 DOHC engine. It's not my dream car, but I have dreams for it.

    Here's the System Specs (updated as parts are acquired.)

    Audio System:
    Head Unit - Pioneer DEH-P590IB In-Dash CD/MP3/etc. with iPod Direct Cable, Planning to get CAR2PC-PIO for best integration.
    Front Speakers - Pioneer TS-A831P 6" x 8"
    Rear Speakers - Pioneer TS-A831P 6" x 8"
    Subwoofers - Infinity REF1242W 12" DVC
    Amplifier - Pioneer GM-5300T 2CH 760W (190W x 2 channels @ 2ohm)
    Power Inverter - Black and Decker PI400AB - 400w 2 x 12v port + 5v USB port
    Satellite Radio - Pioneer GEX-P910XM - XM Radio Digital Satellite Tuner.

    Carputer hardware:
    Motherboard - microATX board (from my old desktop)
    Case - NEW - GlobalWin YCC-S27 (Old - Dell GX270 SFF microATX case)
    Processor - AMD Athalon 2400 - 1.99GHz
    Power Supply - OPUS DCX6.250 - 250w PSU w/SSC integrated
    Sound Card - Stock, it's just going to go straight into the Pioneer 590, so I don't need anything special...
    Hard Drives - 3.5" 40 GB, 3.5" 80GB (again, from my old desktop...)
    DVD drive - Toshiba SD-C2732 DVD-ROM (no write support, but why do I need to burn CD's while driving?)
    CD drive - Samsung SN-124 (Existing one from the Desktop)
    Internet Connection - Sprint Mobile Broadband Sierra Wireless U595 USB card.
    OBDII - still looking...
    GPS - Globalsat BU-353
    Screen - Dynamix 816 8" VGA Widescreen Touch Screen
    Input - Wireless mouse, iGo Folding USB keyboard (branded with fellowes brand), Gigaware 4 Port modular USB hub, SD reader,

    Carputer software:
    OS - Windows XP
    Front End - RoadRunner, using my own custom skin (see my signature for download)
    GPS - iGuidance
    OBDII - still looking
    Web - Sprint Connection Manager

    The next few posts will be reserved for pictures of the install, any questions as work moves forward, please feel free to let me know.
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
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  2. #2
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    reserved for install pics

    Head Unit -


    This is the space I have to work with, a Big Fat oval:



    The old amp on rack with 80mm LED fans, at night:

    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
    View my
    Worklog
    Road Runner Skins
    Website
    Favorite thread EVER!

  3. #3
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    reserved for more pictures and info
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
    View my
    Worklog
    Road Runner Skins
    Website
    Favorite thread EVER!

  4. #4
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    A couple of suggestions:

    lose the AC-DC PSU and the "M3-ATX". The M3 is a piece of crap. And a computer run off of a cheap inverter can never be good, and a computer that needs power, it is even less good. If you want to go inverter, get a true sine wave inverter, otherwise do it right the first time and get a DC-DC.

    Also, the high power AMD and a dedicated GPU is overkill times 2. Pick one or the other. Low power board, and ded. GPU, or use the recycled mobo, and leave out the GPU. You will never need it in the car, and PCI/AGP slots and road vibrations dont mix well. This will lead to eventual failure of the card and maybe even the entire mobo if it shorts right.

    Also, where are you putting the screen? You bought a new HU for some reason. Are you going to be selling it once you get the screen and putting it in the middle of the oval?
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  5. #5
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    A couple of suggestions:

    lose the AC-DC PSU and the "M3-ATX". The M3 is a piece of crap. And a computer run off of a cheap inverter can never be good, and a computer that needs power, it is even less good. If you want to go inverter, get a true sine wave inverter, otherwise do it right the first time and get a DC-DC.

    Also, the high power AMD and a dedicated GPU is overkill times 2. Pick one or the other. Low power board, and ded. GPU, or use the recycled mobo, and leave out the GPU. You will never need it in the car, and PCI/AGP slots and road vibrations dont mix well. This will lead to eventual failure of the card and maybe even the entire mobo if it shorts right.

    Also, where are you putting the screen? You bought a new HU for some reason. Are you going to be selling it once you get the screen and putting it in the middle of the oval?

    ok, i'll be looking at power solutions soon, but i'd hate to waste a perfectly good power supply.

    The GPU is already on the machine, honestly, i'll probably hock it for money to buy other things. For road vibrations, I am building a silicone isolated case so there will be vibration damping. (basically anything that is vib sensitive will be on silicone mounts, that will be attached to the case.)

    The HU will be relocated to the bottom part (search duece's taurus for an example) It will be the main sound source, allowing the option to drive without powering on the carputer, but still listen to music, and i already have XM through it now, so I'm not ready to give that up.
    Here's a mockup i did in AutoCAD:



    The bottom dark gray piece is the DVD drive.

    Thanks for the help, so how should I power everything? the M2?
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
    View my
    Worklog
    Road Runner Skins
    Website
    Favorite thread EVER!

  6. #6
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Well even though it may be hard to "waste" a good PSU, im sure you will find other uses for it. I have like 10 spare ATX PSU's and about 5 AT PSU's. They work great as a cheap voltage regulator for electronics projects. Need some +5v for a TTL project, voila.

    Anyways, the M2 will not be able to handle what you are talking about. And really not with the GPU too.

    Look into the Opuis 250 and 320 and then the DS-ATX. That is what you will want.

    I have a friend with a tuarus, and first time I saw his dash, I laughed. That oval just cracks me up.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  7. #7
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    Thanks, I appreciate the advice, i'll look into it.

    I won't be installing this for a couple months though, It's a project I get to work on while on my days off from work, and when I have the money for the next step.

    This car was nicknamed the "JellyBean" by a few car magazines. I see why. At least to its credit, it was the best selling car the year this one came out. So Ford did something right I guess.

    question for ssc's -

    I'd like the computer to start up when I unlock the passenger doors (not just the drivers door if I just need to get something out of the glvoe box) and to shut down when the alarm is activated.

    This way, the computer will be starting up before I start the car, and will be pretty ready to go by the time it's started, and if I'm just pumping gas, it wouldn't shut down.

    Is this possible, and how would I do it?

    I have decided to scrap the video card, (well not scrap, but it's not going in the car.) and just use the stock VGA out on the board, i'm not going to be playing any mmo's or doing any 3d modelling, so it's not necessary.

    Will I actually need the additional power that the OPUS's provide? This being about 1/2 electronic horsepower? I'll only be running the processor (and motherboard), one desktop cd drive (very rarely will this actually be used, it's more for quick CD burns and loading software), the two hard drives, and these USB devices: GPS receiver, OBDii module, external DVD drive, Sprint Broadband Card (with backup battery for computers with low voltage USB connections), the mouse (wireless) and keyboard (wired), and I think that's it.

    All the audio will be run through the head unit I just bought.

    Also, has anyone made a case out of MDF? i'd love to see it! (or any other random material...)
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
    View my
    Worklog
    Road Runner Skins
    Website
    Favorite thread EVER!

  8. #8
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    get a remote start to solve the lock/unlock startup thing. Yes it can be done, but the expense of doing it along with the annoyance of the possibility that the computer might not shut off because you didnt arm the alarm far outweighs the cost of a remote start. They go on ebay for like $50, and your car is toasty warm or superchilled by the time you get to it!

    And yes you will need the Opus 250 at a minimum. Think about it. A desktop CD drive by itself can draw an amp by itself. Now a slim laptop drive of course wont but you said full size. Also 2 HD's that ar 3.5" will be power hogs. They drive hella power off of the 12v rail, to spin the monster platters. Some old ones over an amp each. Now usually 500mA to 750mA, but the el cheapo drive that was free after rebate or something, may very well make up for its cost in inefficiency. And your CPU choice is a bummer because it is a real power draw.

    The M2 might be able to handle what you have, but the supported claims of it powering a P4 system are clear exageration. Just give a search to all the M2 failures because people overloaded it. The more you overload it, the less time it will work overloaded, until it blows. Sometimes in a fireball, and sometimes taking the mobo/cpu/ram with it. I have a M2, but I use a mobile processor, and before that a via processor. 11W at maximum.

    Plenty of people have made MDF cases. Look forwards to seeing how yours turns out.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  9. #9
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    get a remote start to solve the lock/unlock startup thing. Yes it can be done, but the expense of doing it along with the annoyance of the possibility that the computer might not shut off because you didnt arm the alarm far outweighs the cost of a remote start. They go on ebay for like $50, and your car is toasty warm or superchilled by the time you get to it!
    I have looked on ebay, I'd want the Remote Start/Alarm combo, and I don't really trust the off name brands, I've used DEI's stuff for ever and love them, but I've never installed anything like this before, what do I need to know? What brands have a good cost/benefit ratio? The DEI stuff I can find is all about $100, plus shipping and install materials... sounds like about $250 just to put remote start in my car (extra $100 for dealer to make extra key for PATS bypass. {also wanted dei since i already have a 555p dei pats bypass for this car})

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    And yes you will need the Opus 250 at a minimum. Think about it. A desktop CD drive by itself can draw an amp by itself. Now a slim laptop drive of course wont but you said full size. Also 2 HD's that ar 3.5" will be power hogs. They drive hella power off of the 12v rail, to spin the monster platters. Some old ones over an amp each. Now usually 500mA to 750mA, but the el cheapo drive that was free after rebate or something, may very well make up for its cost in inefficiency. And your CPU choice is a bummer because it is a real power draw.
    I've got both a desktop drive, and a slim DVD laptop drive (in a USB case) and will mainly use the DVD drive. I'm considering transferring everything over to my 80GB HDD so that there is only one Hard drive. This is the whole reason that I was looking at the "M3" it offered me the option of using my existing power supply, but i'll be looking into power supplies in another month or so.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    The M2 might be able to handle what you have, but the supported claims of it powering a P4 system are clear exageration. Just give a search to all the M2 failures because people overloaded it. The more you overload it, the less time it will work overloaded, until it blows. Sometimes in a fireball, and sometimes taking the mobo/cpu/ram with it. I have a M2, but I use a mobile processor, and before that a via processor. 11W at maximum.

    Plenty of people have made MDF cases. Look forwards to seeing how yours turns out.
    The only reason I am using that processor is I already have it, If I wanted to spend more money I'd go and buy a mobile processor. But wouldn't it only require lots of power if I'm pushing it to the max of it's capabilities?
    My case will be combo MDF/Fiberglass, with the main motherboard supports on silicone mounts.

    I can't wait to see how it turns out, but when you are getting ready to go off to college finally, money seems to disappear around every corner.
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
    View my
    Worklog
    Road Runner Skins
    Website
    Favorite thread EVER!

  10. #10
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    searched ebay, found this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ford-...QQcmdZViewItem

    what else would i need to put this in? (would I actually even use the 555p bypass?)

    edit:

    Wait, when you start the car with remote start, once the brake is pressed, the car stops, doesn't this mean when I get in to drive it, once I press the brake to start the car it will reset the SSC and reboot the computer? Or will the time delay on the shut down prevent this?
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
    Planning.......[---------X-] 95%
    Parts...........[---------X-] 90%
    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
    RR Skin........[---------X-] 95%
    View my
    Worklog
    Road Runner Skins
    Website
    Favorite thread EVER!

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