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Thread: 1997 Chevy Z-71 TruckPuter..ITs Alive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Talking 1997 Chevy Z-71 TruckPuter..ITs Alive

    Well it’s about 1 1/2 years in the making and still going, but I finally have enough to start a worklog.
    Before I get started I just wanted to thank everyone who posts and pitches in on this forum. It has been a plethora of input and inspiration.

    To begin I have a 1997 Chevy z-71 extended cab pickup. It’s been modified over the years to say the least.

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    She sits on a 6in fabtech suspension lift and 3 inch body lift. The Rims cheap as they are 16in eagle alloys and 37 x12.50x16in SuperSwampers. I had 2 1/2 in spaces made for the rear axel to create the same gapping that the front lift made. I’ve setup the Superchip to counter the larger tires and improve performance. I have spayed the sides and undercarriage to help protect against corrosion and let’s face it; it looks pretty good to.

    My next project was to replace the original and nasty carpet with a clean water proof Vinyl. This in it self was to be a dirty undergoing. To start I had to pull out the existing carpet and moldy jut….NOT FUN; then put in a sound dampener which doubles as a water proofer. Next came a new layer of jut. Now before I could install the vinyl I had to fit it to the lines of the truck. I accomplished this by laying the carpet over the new vinyl and matching various slits and holes to match.
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    Now these images are not exactly in order. Before I could install the vinyl I ran all the new cabling for the truckputer and audio equipment. I ran a 1 gauge line from the aux battery trough the firewall and along the driver side seat to the back of the cab where I installed a fuse box and 2 way splitter. 2 four gauge cables come out. One connects to a distribution block meant for all the computer equipment. The other will run the amp for the audio equipment. Now before anyone asks, I have installed 120 amp battery isolator and a new Optima Yellow top so my main battery is free and clear to handle basic vehicle functions only. Ill get a pic of this to post at a later time.

    The next step in my transformation was in the Truckputer design. Being my 1st truck pc I decided to keep it simple for the first go round. I went with the VoomPC-2 in black. The power supply is the M2-ATX. The Motherboard is JetWay J7F3E-PB 462(A) SiS 741CX Mini ITX AMD Motherboard and 1.4Gig AMD Geode. The board only holds 1gig of ram but that should suffice for my plans. I also purchased a cheap Bluetooth dongle and wireless network usb stick. Ill run Windows XPPro with RR as the front end. I bought a Holux GPSlim 236 which will run on IGuidance 4.0. On a side note is there anyone that has the latest maps, mine is running 3.0 maps. The pc itself will mount behind the bench seat in the back of the truck. I will run a usb hub to the center console and a second to the front of the cab. The second hub will connect a slot load DVD player. I have purchased a slot to usb converter to connect the two.
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    The monitor is a non branded 7inch Lilliput in dash for stealth. I’ve decided to mount the monitor on the dash where the stereo once belonged and move the stereo to custom center console.
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    The console itself is one of two pieces that belong to a 2002 Tahoe. For this project I will only need the lager main piece. After reading most of the fabrication posts which by the way are stellar, decided to take the sticky Turbocad6 wrote as my guide for a beginner faber. I will make two pieces to fill the gaps and make this look as close as possible oem…ish. To start I took the stereo mount and hot glued it to the front of the console. Later I added the enclosure for the usb hub in a similar fashion. I then used the foil method to shape the front to my console. There were pics of this but someone who will remain nameless…will just call her my significant other deleted them before I could copy um to my HD. Anyhow, I used the same bumper repair kit to make the initial modes. Next came the sanding, then the test fit and a little more sanding. Then another test fit followed by some more sanding. I am currently waiting on the 3m gue to due the next phase of glaze and sanding. There will be more pics as the fabbing continues.
    Next will be a test fitting of the stereo. I had a nice Alpine after market unit, right up until some *** broke into my truck while I slept. So with that minor set back I’m waiting on a similar deck I picked up off eBay. Till then let me know what you guys think. I spent a lot of time reading your posts and creative ideas. Any feedback or criticism for that matter is welcome.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Here is a little more in-depth on the wiring.
    The battery Isolator
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    Secondary Battery for PC and Audio
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    Massive Fuse on 1Gauge positive
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    Distrobution block for Pc and Pc related items
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    I also mounted a Rear View camera. Comes in real handy.
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  3. #3
    Low Bitrate slinkytoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    I got a 2000 chevy take a look at my dash it may or may not give you some ideas.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    slinkytoy..Real nice mod you did on the dash. If I had the fabing ability I may have gone that route, but Ive never fabbed plastic or any surface for that matter so I didnt want to destroy my only dash. Plus I am realy diggin this idea on the center console. Figure it will at least be less noticable than on the dash. How lon it take you to make that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I have been reading a lot of the forum posts around here lately and I'm with you, the information available here is AMAZING!! I can't wait to get going on my first truck pc going in my '06 crew cab silverado once I get my plan finalized etc.

    Anyway, I have 2 things to say:

    1. Very nice write up, I'm curious to see how it all comes out but it seems you put a lot of thought into it and I'm sure it will be sweet.

    2. Nice truck! Especially considering it's a '97. Very clean....

    well, I'll be checking back to see how it goes

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    So I totally changed things around here. Instead of doing 2 pieces that I would later “Adhere” to the console wanted to make sure this would be as permanent and secure as possible, so I am starting from scratch and molding the piece straight on the center console. So far so good. Let me know what you all think.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Update 4/12/08

    So I have sanded and reapplied, sanded and reapplied, and sanded once more. Now for the test fitting.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Calgary, Alberta
    Blog Entries
    Hey what is that silver stuff you used for sound dampening? After using the silver stuff + 1 layer of jute, how well would you say it improved road noise? I recently added 4 layers of jute underneath my carpeting and that killed a significant amount of noise. Only thing left now is a slight humming from the tires that I want to reduce.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I believe I picked that stuff up at Home Depot.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate Nermin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Snellville, GA
    compliments on awesome work Harley - where did you get that distribution block?
    [-------------] Hardware Status
    [-------------] Software Status
    [-------------] Fabrication Status

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