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Thread: 2004 Chrysler 300m Special

  1. #1
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    2004 Chrysler 300m Special

    For your veiwing pleasure, I present the 2004 Chrysler 300M Special. Argueably, the "big dog" of Chryslers (now discontinued) LH series. A limited edition model released in 2002, it was intended to compete with the BMW 7 series, but hobbled by it's front wheel drive platform it came out on more of a "3 series" level.

    Keep in mind, this is limited edition for a North American manufacturer, Which means well...........not quite that limited! 1500 built the first year of production, close to the same in 2003, and estimates put it at a bit less for 2004 due to the end of the model line that year. Somewhere around 4000 in total would probably be a fair guess. Now consider that estimates palce it at 500 imported (seems weird to say imported when they were all manufactured in Ontario!) per year to all of Canada, and you're looking somewhere shy of 1500 in total. Not too bad, fairly exclusive "club" there. That being said, there's 5 here in my little rural town of around 7500 people! Go figure, what are the odds..........

    "Sporty handling" was a term often applied to it by the press, but something that weights close to 4000 lbs is only ever going to be so "sporty". Quick ratio steering, lowered suspension, higher spring and shock valaving rates, with larger sway bars front and rear and 18" michelin pilot sport rubber made for a satisfying (if not a little rough) drive. The engine was given a small workover from the base 300m for 5 more hp out of the 3.5L, but the real fun is in the revised transmission shift points and pressures.

    An understated "body lower kit", 18" wheels, HID lights, turn signal mirrors dual exhaust and Special badging were all that distinguished it from a base model M on the outside.

    Rated at 22 city and 35 mpg highway, real world returns around a 24-28 mpg average. Considering the size of the car, more than repectable. On the highway, she'll return 30-33 mpg (with the cruise control set at a sane speed) to our cottage up the coast. A figure certainly welcome in these days of rising gas prices (although 35 mpg would be even more welcome! )
    Inside, every option chrysler had for the M was installed. Nicely appointed with leather and power/heat and memory everything, combined with the shear amount of real-estate the car takes up, made for a very comfy cabin for four to five occupants.

    Now that I've crossed to 40 mark, the car compliments my style very nicely. Able to get out of it's own way, and cornering like a rat in sneakers, she willingly indulges my ........*ahem*.........slightly immature side.......... when I want. A quick set of minset and she's ready to head out to dinner withthe swankiest of folks at the most expensive of places and not look out of place. And a stylish and comfy ride on the way.

    Nearly perfet for where I am in my life right now.

    Canadian Driver 2004 300M Special test drive:

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/testdrives/04300m.htm

    Pictures of (what I like to call) my "sports executive" ride:







    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  2. #2
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    The Mputer

    Dell P4 2.26 ghz Optiplex gx270, 256 ram. Runnin' fine through 3 car now and stable a rock. Takes up a bit of real estate, but as you can see above, I've got the room!

    Powered by a DSATX, and peripherals are listed in the post below.

    Cut down, chopped up, welded (yup, I said welded) and mounted in many different ways over the years, it's still running strong. Taken alot of abuse at my hands, I'll keep it till it croaks!

    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  3. #3
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    peripherals

    Audigy 4 soundcard
    Cheap wifi card (can't remember the name offhand)
    Ay-Ay sir gps mouse (cheap ebay grab, but it's never failed me)
    Powermate (hacked intot he screen bezel)
    Visteon hd radio (thanks to mitch's patch cable)
    Slot load cdr/dvd external drive
    eby 701 touch screen (again, cheap ebay grab. but it's survived multiple disassemblies and now, 3 installs)
    Usb "in dash" ports
    four port powered hub "up front"
    21 in 1 media reader (dash mounted, great for loading images off flash cards when taking pics)
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  4. #4
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Software

    Nothing fancy here:

    Full Xp sp2
    RR - The BEST front end there is. Period. (thanks Guino)
    Void 3.2 - best skin ever <comic book guy voice>
    Kxproject audio driver
    Iguidance 4.0


    Simple, stable and quick.
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  5. #5
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Audio

    *comming soon*
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  6. #6
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    The Install

    Hinged amp rack and Mputer rack.

    closed:



    Latch system:



    Open (plexi cover over Mputer installed):



    Trimming it up for looks:

    open:



    Closed:



    I got tired of the hinged shelf and installed the 4 channel amp and Mputer on a false panel on the RH side of the trunk. it was an ok setup in my Intrepid, but it never seemed to suit the 300M.
    So:







    A quick pic of the screen and bezel in progress. All plastic welded to nearly finished state. A little more plastic work and smoothing, then a thin film of filler will smooth it out to final finish. I originally made it with the screen flush to the surface, but found the veiwing angle was too steep of a "downwards" vector when in the drivers seat and it tended to "white out" the screen. I recessed the top and tilted the screen back for a better veiw. It looked better mounted flush, but it's not much good if you can't read it! Now I just have to find a dash paint that matches the color and sheen of the factory black:



    Bezel Update:



    Not happy with it though...............

    I'll be redoing it when I save up enough "sheckles" for a transflective.

    New sub and box:



































    Time to work on supplementing the stock Mputer cooling now:

    So here's the beginning of my cooling scheme for the Mputer.

    First, out with the PCI Wifi card. I'll find another way to get wifi, maybe I'll look around to see if a USB Wifi card is available. Whatever, It's not as important as keeping things cool and operating.
    Then in goes a squirrel cage fan that is made for a PCI slot and convienently sits right above my DSATX power supply. Airflow, quiet and great cooling for the power supply in one neat package. Perfect.

    Now, How do I deal with getting that heat out of the trunk? When it gets to around 30 C, things can get "dicey" with the computer thermaling on me randomly. This just won't do as it will soon kill the Mputer if it's allowed to overheat too often.

    Hmmmm, how to get that heat out and create some airflow? Hmmmmmmmmmm.......................

    Well, I'm going to make use of something that's already built into the trunk and that all the young bucks with big subs hate:



    That's right, those pesky stock vents. Those things that flap and vibrate when the bass hits. But, the same thing that makes it buzz is what works for me. The flaps are a one way reed valve. Air out, nothing in.

    But the vent won't let air out unless there's vehicle movement or the HVAC is on. Even then, it's pretty pathetic for flow. More for humidty and pressure equalizing than anything else. It just won't help "as is" with cooling the Mputer.

    So we need to modify it (just a little bit ):







    Installed:



    Almost looks as if it should have always been there! All I have to do is fab up a nice littel black trim ring for the cut carpet.

    When the Mputer is on, the fans will spin (speed and operation controlled automatically by the Mputer) and the hot air will be expelled. When the Mputer is off, the flaps will seal off the vent. When driving, the Mputer will be on, the fans will be blowing and the outflow of air will prevent exhust gasses from entering the vehicle. Perfect setup!

    Next up:

    A case and ducting to pull air directly off the computer heat sinks..........................

    *More to come soon* (or maybe not, getting close to finished now)
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  7. #7
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    My comments on the project

    Looks great, I almost got an 03 M, but it was snatched up on my way to go check it out. I like your latch system, but I'd be worried I'd hit a bump at a wierd angle and have the rack fall down.

    Now, it'll be covered in some kind of matching carpet of course, right?

    Subscribed, and watching what happens to it...
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  8. #8
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    *Updated*

    See above posts.

    Cheers
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  9. #9
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    *updated with bezel pic*

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
    ......... I like your latch system, but I'd be worried I'd hit a bump at a wierd angle and have the rack fall down.

    Now, it'll be covered in some kind of matching carpet of course, right?

    Subscribed, and watching what happens to it...
    The latch is actually a hood latch off a chev truck. It's a rotating claw hook and incorporates a "double catch" system. Even if it were to let go, it won't drop. It also has two adjustable hood bumpers on either side of the shelf and adjusted to hold it under slight tension, thus keeping things from bumping and jostling around. It's pretty solid once latched.

    Matching carpet? Of course.....................

    Cheers
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  10. #10
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    Man that hinged amp rack is genius. I have been looking at my trunk for a while thinking how I would do it and still have room for golf clubs, luggage, etc. I think that type of a system would do the trick and look very hidden.

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