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Thread: 1992 Chevrolet Astro VanPC

  1. #1
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    1992 Chevrolet Astro VanPC

    Hi, I've had this van for a while now and I _love_ it. I've wanted to put a PC in it for a while, as it's a large van it seems perfect for the job. The dash was already in a bit of a state when I got it, it had been exported from America to Japan and then imported here to the UK. In the process a lot of badly implemented after-market parts had been attached, such as a nasty wood dash kit, which i immediately took off. The original radio had been replaced with a 2DIN radio with a screen, which was broken when I got it. so for a while I simply had a new radio wedged in the badly cut gap. As I'm on a very tight budget for this, I've so far mostly used parts I already have for this setup. for the in-dash screen I'm using a 8" screen I already had, and am yet to buy a touchscreen insert for it, and a laptop, which I am going to eventually replace with a permanent vanPC. I want to make the setup look very OEM, which is hard in a 17 year old American van. I'm currently trying to finish fiberglassing the mount for the screen in the dash, and migrate the cd/radio from the dash to the glove box, so it can still be used if needs be, and as an easy way to have sound through the vans speakers (aux in). Eventually i want to place a mini-itx setup inside the glove box as well (the glove box doesn't get used much as there's enough room to put things elsewhere in the van and it is only used for Holidays and things over the summer at the moment). I'm going to use Ubuntu Netbook Remix (http://www.canonical.com/projects/ubuntu/unr) as the interface, as it's a clean cluster interface that works with touchscreen as well as not straying far from a standard desktop and any application can work with the touchscreen UI that way. Anyway, some pictures (there are alot concidering not a huge amount has been done yet, some may be removed):

    The van itself (needs a good clean).


    Everything layed out ready for a'cutting.


    Alot of cutting...


    Fiberglassing.


    I have moved the IR receiver to a spare placeholder where the switches are above the screen. I'm also going to put USB ports and a microphone here.



    Quick test to see how the screen fits.



    Test fit in the van to see how it looks, i still need to do another layer on the fiberglass as it's my first time and a few bits aren't quite symmetrical, but I think it looks quite good in place.




    Any thoughts, idea's or tips?

  2. #2
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    Looking good so far, how many layers of matting have you done?

    Are you going to use any puty or similar to shaping?

    Did you consider building up the bottom edge from the corners of that panel, maybe in one of those tricky to get right curves?

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate jpinkerton's Avatar
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    Looking good, especially since it went through a lot of transportation!

    As far as tips keep your eyes out for deals and just buy parts over time. Not much for wisdom from me, sorry! Keep up the good work though!

  4. #4
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    I've done one layer so far, i'm going to do another today mainly because the first layer isn't shaped brilliantly, it's mostly holding the structure as i changed that quite alot in the cutting.

    I may use putty if i can't get it symmetrical with the fiberglass.

    I wanted to only drop the botton where the screen is because i don't want to interfere with the cup holders, i still want them to be usable.

  5. #5
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    Nice. I used to drive an Astro van a long time ago. After years of driving a small car, I had forgotten how big these things are on the inside.

    I did a double take when I saw "92 Astro..." And in the UK, of all places! Somebody must have taken very good care of it (or done a lot of mechanical work) for it to be running this long.

  6. #6
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    It is big, we only use it during the summer, just get it regularly serviced and start it every week. The project is delayed at the moment though as it got clamped for being parked on public land on SORN, ironically, we were going to get it taxed next week. so it's away in storage the the next week.

  7. #7
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