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Thread: '01 VW Jetta 1.8T Carputer worklog

  1. #1
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    '01 VW Jetta 1.8T Carputer worklog

    Hi, I have been working on this for a little while so far, and the first bunch of stuff I post in the thread will be C&P from the Phoenix Gold board where I first started documenting this. Updates to this thread may sometimes be a bit behind the work because this particular web site is blocked where I work, and a lot of times I do my updates on my break time at my normal job.

    I have been messing with this on and off for a few years. the original plan was to use a data911 mobile computer I picked up for cheap, it is purpose built for mobile use but it was just not powerful enough for what I wanted.

    New Plan: I bought a mini itx mobo, dual core 3ghz processor, 500gb sata II notebook drive, 2gb ram and win 7 ultimate. I've had this one up and running for about a month, and I like it a lot better, lol. It has on board video, but only hdmi and dvi-d outputs. I had to buy a pci-e video card for it because my little lilliput monitor was already purchased and it was analog video only. So, I now have the capability of running up to 4 independent monitors if I want to.

    So, I bought a lilliput 8" widescreen touchscreen monitor. I planned to flush mount the monitor in the double din opening. I got a really good deal on the 8" monitor-- in hind site I should have rolled with the more common 7" wide screen. the 7" monitor fits easily in a DD opening. I ended up having to buy a new dash trim piece and cutting it up to fit.

    Pics of the dash trim cut out:





    I broke the monitor bezel when I cut the bottom (button section) off. Take it from me, you should not try to nip one of these off on the chop saw Anyhow, that is why there is a dowel rod in and some white patches on the bezel, I had already patched it up with super glue

    Test fit:



    Taped up, sanded w/ 80 grit and ready for epoxy. The 4 holes are because I was not able to sand up in those tiny areas. I drilled them and countersunk the outside of the hole, the idea being that the epoxy will flow through, fill the countersink and can be sanded flush before refinishing.



    And then we have a stunning failure! I knew better, but I did this anyway-- I read on here in the fabrication section that you should heat gun the epoxy to get it to flow better. I thought this might not be a great idea, I thought it might make the epoxy cure to fast, I did not foresee the actual problems I caused... I melted the **** out of the bezel. Man was I ****ed at myself! I thought I smelled hot plastic at one point, and it never crossed my mind to look at the bezel itself...



    So, I did what anyone would do. I wrote to lilliput asking if I could buy a new case, then I said, "self, you have a cnc mill, make a new bezel". So, tonight I cut a new bezel. I made it out of polycarbonate because I had it around. It should work out just fine in the end. It is beveled around the inside of the monitor cutout. I did check the fit of the monitor itself before I started epoxying it in place.



    In place before tape, just tacked with 4 spots of hot glue.



    Epoxy poured, no heat gun this time, it will have to wait over night to dick with it and see how it is coming along.



    Later,
    Jason

  2. #2
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    The epoxy has set, I removed most of the tape. It is looking good so far. The next step is to cut a v grove on the front side where the bezel mates with the factory trim and fill that with epoxy as well. Then lots of sanding and it should be ready to refinish.


    Here are the pics:







    later,
    Jason

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    I got a little bit more done before heading into work tonight, I am just now getting a few free minutes to post...

    Pics of the joints on the front "v'd" out, it is hard to see in the picture, if I had realized the polycarbonate would be so tough to photograph I might have used something else!



    The epoxy is down in this picture, I laid it on pretty thick since it takes almost a full day to dry, I would rather do more sanding then have to spend 3 days putting coats down. I had to tape the inside bevel because it looked like the epoxy was going to flow down the edge. I want to try to refrain from having to sand that bevel or inner edge unless there is no other option. Any material removed there is going to be glaringly obvious.



    Later,
    Jason

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    I did a quick sanding job on it today after I got up. It's coming along pretty good. I may switch to body filler for the last few top skim coats. The thing is structurally solid now, I'm thinking that body filler should hold up without cracking at this point.

    I also plan to put the slot load laptop drive centered above the monitor. I need to work out a way to mount it and do a nice looking integrated slot above the screen so there is still a quite a lot to do on the trim piece.

    Here is the pic from this afternoon.



    I plan to try to stuff the MOBO in the DD opening behind the monitor. The mini ITX is 6.7" square, so in theory it is small enough to fit in a DD opening, but if your dash is tight like mine you may not be able to get to all the connectors. I think I am going to be able to pull it off, but we won't know for sure for a while yet. If worse comes to worse I will cram it in my glove box, which is also barely lare enough to fit it...

    I made a tiny bit more progress today, I may get further tonight, but in all likely hood I am done with it 'till tomorrow.

    So, without further ado, here are the pictures

    Test Fit with video to make sure I have it square and centered evenly (there is a little extra wiggle room in my bezel)



    Couple of shots of the MOBO. It is amazing just how much is built into this little guy-- it has on board wireless N, bluetooth, USB 3.0, E-sata, digital video and optical audio, coaxial digital audio and analog audio out.





    Well, I worked on it a little bit more tonight. Currently I am working on mounting the DVD-RAM drive. I was not really sure how I was going to pull this off, but I think I am of the right track. I used half of a el-cheapo china made external slim CD rom case. I drilled a few holes in the side of it for mounting points, cut it up more than a little and then tacked it in place with hot glue. I cut some really small dowels (actually bamboo barbecue skewers) and used them for some more supports. Hot glued them in place again, glued some poster board on the bottom to make a solid base for the epoxy and then mixed up a batch and filled the triangular areas and the first bit along the front edge. I still have to figure out how to make a nice looking slot in the face, I don't intend to use the actual faceplate for the drive, just want a nice factory looking slot so it looks like it was meant to be.

    Anyhow, the pics aren't that great-- was taking them with my Droid and it was freaking out about it for some reason, in fact, I am missing two that I took all together???





    Later,
    Jason

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    ...And that brings us up to this morning's post. I'll try to keep up with the updates after this one!

    I made a bit more progress today, I poured a bunch more epoxy. You can't see it that well in the pics, but there is a slim slot load drive under all the foil, tape, poster board and epoxy. The idea is to fill the voids around the drive so that I can start finishing off the bezel. Like I mentioned early I am making an attempt at flushing it with just a slot. I have a DVD wrapped with some poster board and tape. I put as much around it as I could and still jam it in the drive. I sealed it up to the drive slot as best I could-- this particular drive is one that I don't mind sacrificing if the epoxy leaks in, but it should be sealed well enough. I should know for sure tomorrow!

    Here are the pics:







    Later,
    Jason

  6. #6
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    Looking good, keep the updates coming! You'll thank yourself when your done for making the 8" screen fit. It does make a big difference!
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate meryan00's Avatar
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    Looking good so far. But what model is the Mobo, looks like a good one to upgrade to for my Jetta

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    Thanks, the MOBO is aAsus M4A88T-I(clicky). If you search for it on the Asus website, you probably wont find it listed in the US site, I had to go to the global site to read up about it. It is kind of pricey for a MOBO these days, but I have had good luck with Asus products and this board had pretty much everything I was looking for built in on board. I did have to remove the factory bluetooth radio and I soldered in a little bluetooth radio from a little mini bluetooth fob in it's place. I put the little built in bluetooth cover back together and you can't even tell I did it. I didn't have to do this, but the factory bluetooth was not compatible with the bluesoiel(sp?) stack so basically none of the front ends I've read about would have worked with it. I could have just disabled it and used the little USB fob in a USB port, but that wastes a USB port.

    The biggest disappointment in the board was that it does digital video only. I bought the analog version of the lilliput screen and I figured I would just use a DVI to VGA adapter to utilize the onboard video on this MOBO. Since it is DVI-D, that is not even an option, is does specify in the material on the Asus site that it is DVI-D only, but I just missed it. I ended up having to buy external video card as well as a flexible port extender. It does allow for a lot more (and multiple) monitor options, but it also leaves me with a bigger footprint to deal with and uses up my one and only PCI-E port. The board has lots of USB though, so it should not be a big deal.

    Later,
    Jason

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate 4ofakind's Avatar
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    Jason,

    I have the same board. Did you try to make the stock Bluetooth work before you swapped it?
    Which mini bluetooth did you swap it with? Got any pics of how you did it?

    thanks,

    Mal
    Vehicle: [100%] 1995 C 1500 ECLB
    Gear: [90%]
    Build: [80%] PC & Chassis, Worklog

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4ofakind View Post
    Jason,

    I have the same board. Did you try to make the stock Bluetooth work before you swapped it?
    Which mini bluetooth did you swap it with? Got any pics of how you did it?

    thanks,

    Mal
    Yes, I tried, I even bought the newest bluesoile stack because they claimed that they had made lots of compatibility changes for this 8.x version, it still didn't work. What sucks, is that the stack that came with it was really nice, it was the smoothest working bluetooth I have used yet...

    As for pictures, I didn't take any when I did it. What I did though, was grabbed hold of that blue window with a pair of pliers. I slowly pulled and wiggled it out. Originally I thought it was just a BT dongle glued into a USB port-- lol, no such luck. The blue window actually holds the radio, and it is nearly the whole length of that port riser it is in. The back side of the blue piece is very thin plastic though, so it eventually broke leaving the radio in it's place. I then removed the shield for the back of that set of jacks (maybe should have taken this route first) desoldered the stock radio, and bent each of the pins 90 degrees and then stuck my little USB dongle in their and soldered each pin to the corresponding pad on the usb adapter. Here is a link to the USB dongles I bought ebay clicky. That is the exact same auction I used, but I couldn't guarantee the dongles are still the same, it has been a few months. The dongles come apart fairly easily, just peel back the shield and they pop apart. The radio is about the same size as the one I jerked off the board.

    FWIW, I wouldn't dick with it if you don't have a decent amount of solder/rework experience. You will be working right above the MB where an errant drop of solder will likely ruin your day. If I have to take it apart for any reason again, I will snap some pics for you, but I don't foresee needing to.

    Later,
    Jason

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