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Thread: 07 PT Cruiser Convertible

  1. #1
    Newbie Crooozin's Avatar
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    07 PT Cruiser Convertible

    Here Goes...

    Early this year I was driving a 97 F150 Lariat. That thing had more room in it that I would later come to recognize as a huge asset- although the mileage had put me completely in the red, having to beg/borrow/steal money just to get to work (82 miles one way). Anyway, I had a Pioneer AVIC as a head unit with several amps/subs/speakers, HID's, and lots of other goodies that I managed to keep.

    So, I ditched the truck and picked up this shiny, almost-new PT Crooozer convertible in April, just in time for summer to start. And what a summer it has been- worth every freekin penny.

    I was always very, very unhappy with the Pioneer. It always seemed to me that it was just LACKING some basic functionality that I've come to expect from my computers (I have 7 or 8 of them, 3 or 4 of which are functioning at any given time) and started thinking why can't it do x, or y, or be more configurable, or be less goddamn inflexible.... And so it started. The more I researched the more I got hooked in. By the end of May I had built a new box with all shiny-new components- Quad-core, ASUS P5 HDMI, TB HDD, wireless-N, Vista 64 Ultimate, 8 GB RAM, Centrafuse, iNav, XMPCR/MJS converter (still not working yet), an M4-250 DC-DC, and a slimline but still enormous case. (more on all THAT later- turns out more is not necessarily better.)

    The first thing I did before installing anything else was get the carputer going; the case is too big to fit anywhere but under one of the seats, given that my trunk space is extreeeeemely limited and completely occupied by my feeble/naive/ubernoob attempts at building a custom box for my subs (a pair of 10" bazookas along with the doors/rears, all 4 Eclipse SE 8375's, powered by an Infinity ref. 5761 and a 12" L5 driven by a ZX750). I'm going to HAVE to rebuild that box eventually, the sound quality is just horrific. That little car just doesn't have the space and certainly doesn't need all of that power. I'm thinking about ditching the bazookas altogether (sound quality sucks anyway)and rebuilding the box just for the L5. Again, more is not necessarily better...

    I have a Xenarc 702TSV screen. This thing is magic, I can see it at high noon in July with the top down. Originally I just used a windshield mount. Let me tell you it got really old having people sitting in my "blind spot" (no such thing in a convertible!) looking at it. About 3 weeks ago I finally took the plunge and mounted it in the dash. I have some stories to telll about that experience... but thanks to some other posts (you know who you are) it came out rather nice. Still needs a little help with the finish, but all in all I like it. I'm going to try and fill the voids on the sides where the knobs were with a couple of buttons (an idea I'm swiping from another post here).

    Last but not least I've got a bunch of alarm system components installed. Can't give too much away, but suffice to say it's got "laser beams." Arming a convertible was a trick, but hopefully the price I paid for that part will be worth it.

    I'll come back and add more to this post later, it's a good thing to do for me to sit down and record what has happened and reflect on it, hopefully getting valuable input at the same time. here's some photos to start out with.


    Just after installing the screen:



    In the trunk (notice the 2nd yellow top- I DESPERATELY need a bigger alternator, I had dual 200 amp'ers in the truck!!!!, but then again I had a winch too):



    Behind the rear seats- I built the box to match the curvature of the portal, including the angle- need to redo it all with MDF instead of ply, and have much better acoustics inside-- maybe use this space for all the electronics instead of the POS bazookas)-



    This is what it looked like before. I have to say I REALLY liked having the screen there during the day (sucks at night, too much glare). Everything is so conveniently located when it's up there, I could reach it without removing my hand from the steering wheel or taking my eyes off the road. It was probably a good thing to have it there for the first few months, as it does take some getting used to to be able to use the system at ALL while driving. Simple tasks like changing the track playing can be just so different.




    So here's where I'm going. There's SO MUCH SPACE behind the front panel now, I'm going to build a box to house the computer that will hopefully fit. Problem is I've got a uATX form factor, and it'll be a very tight squeeze just getting the mobo back there, much less anything else. It'll fit, though, so I've just got to figure out a way to get everything ELSE back there like the HDD, power supply, etc. Second, I want to build a new box, using plans like from HERE or something) to house only the L5, ditching the 10's, and putting the amps OUTSIDE the box where the 10's were.
    My wanna-haves:
    a bigger alternator. (Almost a must have.)
    Mopar makes a cover that snaps over the back seats, also providing a windscreen that goes up where the foil is.
    New door speakers.
    More time, and a... more understanding girl! LOL!

  2. #2
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    Wow, there's really no space in the back of that thing, hunh? I never realized that about the 'verts. I also thought the hatch opened differently, but I guess not.

    What are you doing with the lower pocket, I notice it's missing in the first pic?

    I agree with you, take the bazookas out, use the space for the PC. Behind the dash is nice, but if you need to ever do anything with the PC, you have to take the dash bezel off, just to access it. It'd be much easier to have it all right behind the rear seats. (Plus it's close to the yellow top for PSU wiring.)
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
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  3. #3
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Once your PC is 100% working, you wont have to worry about getting to the PC, so on that point I disagree with monkeyracer. That is a chrysler, and everyone knows that chrysler makes very small spacing in the headunit area and glove box, so I dont see your PC fitting into there unless you go PICO or something. I would shrink those speaker boxes down, If your going for boom boom, then shrink it alittle to fit the PC. If you dont care, then shrink to a 10 inch, that does enough to enhance movies and music and give your PC alot of room.
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  4. #4
    Wants to make it harder monkeyracer's Avatar
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    There's plenty of space for a micro ATX behind the screen, but, in a weird orientation. The THEORY is that you won't want to NEED to get to the Computer, but for me personally, being able to access it without really any tools is a must. If something does happen while driving, it'd be nice to be able to pull over, fix the problem (or at least easily diagnose it) and keep on driving...
    2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser TE
    Car PC Progress:
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    Fabrication...[---------X-] 90%
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  5. #5
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyracer View Post
    There's plenty of space for a micro ATX behind the screen, but, in a weird orientation. The THEORY is that you won't want to NEED to get to the Computer, but for me personally, being able to access it without really any tools is a must. If something does happen while driving, it'd be nice to be able to pull over, fix the problem (or at least easily diagnose it) and keep on driving...
    I didnt think of that...... I should have thought about that with my design. Mine is bolted into the car. It cannot be removed without unique tools. I mainly did this for security reasons.
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