2005 Mercury Mariner
Photos of interior (to give you an idea of what I am working with):
To install a mac mini in my 2005 Mercury Mariner Mariner. It will interface with my existing sound system, and will look as seamless & factory as possible. This will be a slow build project, as I can't afford everything at once. I will also try to make use as much of the stock vehicle resources as possible, so that if I sell the SUV everything can be placed back to factory specs.
Phase 1: Planning & Interfaces
Problem01: Audio Interface
- Keeping everything factory means I'll have to make use of the existing speakers, which also means I'll have to keep the Head Unit.
The Mercury Mariner comes stock with what is called the Mach 300 sound system. This includes a set of component speakers in the front (w/ tweeters), 2 Multi speakers in the rear, and amp + sub in the far back.
I originally wanted to go all out and remove the HU & speakers, and replace it with new LCD, amps, speakers, and sub. But when I began my price estimates I started hitting $1500 for the sound system alone.
P.I.E. makes a wiring harness that gives auxiliary inputs, and hooks up to the factory head unit of the vehicle. If you choose to go this route make sure to check how many pins your head unit has, when I removed mine I counted and found I had 24. This is because P.I.E. makes both a 20 & 24 harness for the 2005 Mariner.
FRD03-AUX/S is the 24 pin connector and gives you one set of aux inputs.
I purchased mine from http://www.logjamelectronics.com/piefrd03auxs.html for $69.95.
Now it would be nice to have more then 1 auxiliary input: say a friend is in the vehicle and wants to connect their ipod or other device to your sound system, you would have to remove the connection from the back of the computer for them to plug into their ipod.
Cue the P.I.E. X3 Multi-Source Auxiliary Input Converter- $59.95
-It allows for 3 additional Aux inputs! More then I'll ever need!
Now it does require you to buy an additional wire harness based on your vehicle. Mercury Mariner 2005 - 24 pin - X3-FRD/P2
When I spoke to a tech person from P.I.E. they told me that the X3 would not work alone in my vehicle because I do not have a factory CD changer (not including the 6cd in dash), nor do I have a factory satellite radio installed in my vehicle. However, the tech rep said it should work with the FRD03-AUX/S installed...
Now I have ordered both of these items from LogJams, and I'll be installing them this weekend. If it doesn't work I'll send the X3 back, but I'll post my results here.
Problem 2: Placement of LCD
- Where to place the LCD, when keeping the HU in its current place? I could use some suggestions here.
Possible Solution 01: Below temp controls
I am thinking of placing it below my temperature dials on an angle looking up at me.
CON1: I'll have to look down to use the LCD (change a song).
CON2: When vehicle is in park, shifter would be right in front of the screen.
Possible Solution 02: Hinge
I have been thinking of a way to place the LCD on a hinge, so that it would sit in front of the HU, or even seating the HU back farther in the dash, recessing it.
CON1: Placement of the wires from the LCD screen.
CON2: Dash unable to revert back to factory. Placing the HU back further would mean cutting a piece of plastic around the inner part of the dash, and reworking the metal track the HU sits on.