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Thread: 97 Ford F-150

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    120

    97 Ford F-150

    Finally got the ball rolling on my carputer install for my truck.

    Parts:
    Lillput 8" Touchscreen
    Dell Optiplex SFF GX240 (might be switching to something more PSU friendly)
    USB 2.0 expansion card
    4 port USB hub
    Panasonic DVD+/-RW slot load drive
    Viper 791XV for protection

    I've opted to go with an aftermarket HU and amplifier for my setup, using the aux input on the HU to put the sound through to the speakers.



    Update 12/16/05:
    Here's the progress so far.
    http://www.unrealhp.com/fabrication/truck.htm

    I prefer to keep my own log of what I do on my own page. It keeps people from having to sift through all the commentary to see the heart of the project.

    Edit: Here's the finished dash bezel:


    Here's the current console, but I need to figure out how I want to shape the viewable (black) portion of the HVAC controls. Can't really decide.


    Update 12/30/05:
    I ran into two problems up until this point which further delayed things. First, my sub box I'm building had some clearancing issues with the magnet on my sub. Had to do a little reconstruction there, but I think I'm good to go now.

    Second, my lilliput wouldn't power back up after I finished up with all the fabrication work. Turned out the ribbon cable that runs to the monitor buttons was just barely off to the right, causing it not to power up at all. I repositioned it to the left just a tad and it worked perfectly.

    Update 1/31/06:
    A couple nights ago I finished up installing my Raammat and Ensolite on the floorpan and back of the cab. The outer skins on the doors have a can of Dynashield on each, but its been recommended to me to add another per door. Once I'm done with that I'll make some speaker bezels for the component set, sound deaden the inner door skins, and fab up some tweeter pods for the plastic piece that goes behind the side mirrors. I'm kind of procrastinating about getting this thing done since its winter right now.

    Update 2/6/06:
    Still haven't finished up the sound deadening, but I've got all the wires ran now. Before doing this I didn't realize just how much stuff there is to run, but its quite a bit. I sold the Keypower PSU and I'm switching to an inverter due to Dell's proprietary wiring (and space in my case), and I should have an M1-ATX coming in soon to power all the external stuff.

    Update 2/13/06:
    All wires are now ran, but I opted to ditch the M1-ATX in favor of a DSATX. I'll use the inverter for hooking up an X-box or some other game system for long drives... or whatever else I may run into that needs an AC outlet. Picked up a Peak brand 400w constant, 800w max inverter from Menards ($25) to serve that purpose.

    Update 3/27/06:
    Everything is pretty much done now, just sorting out some minor issues getting the DSATX to play nicely with my Dell PC. Nothing's ever simple!

    I think I'm happy with the audio system for now... almost. I'm only running the Rainbow components and the ID8 and it actually sounds very nice. I don't think I'm even going to use the other 2 channels of my amp.


    Update 4/1/06:
    Figured I'd add a picture of the sub in with this stuff. There's no loss of storage space with this, but I did a fair amount of hidden customization to the console to make it fit. The ID8 sub isn't exactly a small framed subwoofer, so it needed a little extra space when compared with, say, an MTX 8". There's more pictures of how I modified the skeleton portion on my webpage linked at the top, but I did not include pictures of the modified console skin. All I did was cut off the part of the console that was designed to be screwed together, and I plastic epoxied it together instead (for about 4"-5" around) where the box needed clearance.


    Additional installation info:
    To fit the screen and DVD drive into the dash:
    You DO have to remove the black plastic framework that holds the radio and HVAC stuff in place. Its just a matter of removing a few screws and partially removing the upper portion of the dash. Its really not that hard.

    To relocate the HVAC module to the console:
    You DO NOT have to extend the vacuum lines at all. The way they're routed from the factory snakes them around toward the passenger side, then back toward the drivers side, and ultimately in the area just above the gas pedal. All this snaking around leaves you plenty of slack to relocate them without extending the vacuum lines. HOWEVER, you DO have to extend a number of wires. Make sure you solder and make good connections with these because you don't want to have to do it over again. And please make sure you use adequate wire for this. Do not, under any circumstances, use a smaller gauge wire than what is already used in the harness.

    To install an Expedition console into an F-150:
    Its really pretty simple once you figure out how it goes together. There's two metal plates (not in any of the pictures) that bolt to the floor of the truck. They slide over the same studs that your factory F-150 console used, so there's nothing special there. Once you bolt those down, you set the (white) console skeleton into the brackets, and slide it forward to clip it in place. Once thats done you slide the outer console skin over the top, making sure all the clips slid into their appropriate slot, then you start putting the bolts back in to hold it all together.
    Note: The console itself does NOT rattle from the sub.
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    120
    Added a few more progress pictures. Dash panel is sanded down, DVD opening is almost finished, USB ports are in place (but not sanded).

    Decided to remove the little lip in the console to keep the look of it smooth. Seems like its a neverending game with adding filler and sanding, but I can't really get a lot of free time to work on it, so I probably shouldn't complain. Working between 60-70 hours a week and trying to do this stuff isn't really getting me very far, very fast.

    Also just bought a PSU from Eskalad.
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

  3. #3
    Newbie ArthrDent's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    26
    Looks Great! Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing the finished product! GL
    If only everthing in life would do what I WANTED it to, rather than what it was SUPPOSED to do.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    120
    Thanks man, I'm getting anxious to finish this thing up! I just have to make sure I don't start cutting corners just to get it done.
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    120
    Dash bezel is done, console is pretty much done. That little IR lens is a BEOTCH to get back in place. But on the plus side, I know my paint won't scratch easily. Once it finally popped in place I marred/damaged the surface a bit. You can barely see it in the picture, but its one of those things I'll always notice. I'm not going to worry about fixing it for a while though.
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

  6. #6
    Newbie fearthepenguin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    38

    Cdrom

    What are you using to support your CDROM? Im starting a similar project but I can't figure out a way to support the cd well. I would hate to jar over a pot hole and have it detach itself from the bezel.
    Jason
    It gimme the jibblies

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    120
    For now its supported by some plastic I molded around it, but I'll probably end up using a mounting screw (for the DVD player) to connect a backstrap to the back of the monitor housing for support.

    As far as detaching itself from the bezel goes, there's no way that would happen with the way mine is set up. I have a hard enough time sliding it out from the bezel on purpose, let alone having it accidentally jarred loose by a bump.
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

  8. #8
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    17

    Seats

    hello,

    what seats do you have the captian seats or the regular 2 1/2 seats in the front?

    im wondering cause if you have the 2 1/2 does the console fit? i was thinking of just getting the console and doing something similar. thanks for the help


    Myke

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    120
    I've got the dual captain seats in mine, so its pretty simple.

    You can actually do the conversion with your seats in it, but you need to follow the directions from the f150online tech directory, and you need to be comfortable with cutting/modding. The tech page links to this Geocities site:
    http://www.geocities.com/scmc75/f150...expy-c-faq.htm
    In the works...
    Dell GX240 SFF
    P4 1.8GHz, 256 RAM, 160GB HDD
    8" Lilliput (fab work completed - F-150)

    My worklog
    Misc crap FS - OLD laptop (w/ adapters) | Sony memory | USB key | Printer Dock, etc

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate gokee2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    B.More, MD
    Posts
    136

    Awesome job

    Terrifc mod job SMOKINV8. You got talent. Keep doing what you do. Its looing great!

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