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Thread: 2003 Dodge Neon install

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate damarble's Avatar
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    2003 Dodge Neon install

    All right I figured I better post a log here instead of cluttering up my lcd bezel fab thread.

    I just bought this car and have driven it a grand total of about 12 hours at the time of posting this, including the 8 hour drive to bring it home. You may notice a lot of dirt in the forthcoming photos, it will be detailed before the final pics are put up. The former owner was a slob, and she smoked, and had kids. But neglected to mention any of this before I got there.

    Goal:
    To replace the stock HU with a complete media center. CarPC must be able to play MP3's, CD's, DVD's, Sirius, as well as provide GPS navigation. Must be able to play semi-modern video games for the passengers on long trips or for me if I have to wait in the car for a long period. A easily upgradable platform is a must, if the carPC needs to assume other responsibilities in the future. Install must be as inobtrusive as possible, while maintaining the OEM look.


    Car specs:
    03 Neon SXT
    Fully loaded, minus moonroof and leather interior.
    5 speed, 2.0L
    Black/black


    CarPC specs:
    Celeron M 1.3
    ASUS P4P800-VM/CT-479
    M1ATX
    128mb MX440
    40gb Seagate 3.5" hdd
    Xenarc 700TSV
    DreamGear Mini K/B


    Sound:
    onboard soundcard (eww, I need a good 4.1 or 5.1 sound card)
    Rockford Fosgate Punch 400a4 amp
    craptastic stock speakers (eww again, can't decide on replacements, but the rears have the wires ripped off so I need them ASAP. Looking at Infinity 9612I's or 9613I's)
    Sub-less for the moment. Maybe in a few months...



    Here's the pix I have for now:







    What I'd like 2 do for the subs, crap mspaint chop:

    {Xenarc 700TSV} {Celeron M 1.3 ghz} {ASUS mATX mobo w/CT479} {MX440 128mb AGP} {1x512mb RAM} {3.5" Seagate 40gb (rated at 350 G's)} {M1-ATX}

    MY INSTALLATION LOG

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate damarble's Avatar
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    Yay I got some Infinty Kappa 60.7cs speakers for the front. Supposedly my amp does 4x100w at 2ohm's, and these Kappa's are rated at 90w RMS at 2ohm. Should be a good match, no? I admit I really know nothing about car audio, but I'm reading like crazy trying to figure out how I should do my setup. Undecided wether I should even get replacements for the rear 6x9's, or go with these Kappa's up front and get a pair of subs and call it good. I've never heard a car with only components up front and no rears.
    {Xenarc 700TSV} {Celeron M 1.3 ghz} {ASUS mATX mobo w/CT479} {MX440 128mb AGP} {1x512mb RAM} {3.5" Seagate 40gb (rated at 350 G's)} {M1-ATX}

    MY INSTALLATION LOG

  3. #3
    Constant Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by damarble
    Undecided wether I should even get replacements for the rear 6x9's, or go with these Kappa's up front and get a pair of subs and call it good. I've never heard a car with only components up front and no rears.
    It's what I've done in my car...no rear speakers. Just a sub in the rear and excellent components in the front. I usually forget I don't have rear speakers unless someone is in the back seat and mentions it. And when people are in the front, they are surprised when I tell them what I have.

    Just make sure you do a good job with your components...pick out good sounding ones (don't skimp here), position them good (so the imaging "fills" the cabin more), and make sure they have good clean power. The sub will fill in the rest.
    Toyota Tacoma Install
    BMW 325Ci Install - Old

    ZOTAC H55-ITX, Intel i3 & 320 Series SSD
    7" Lilliput 669GL, M4-ATX, SB X-Fi, XMPCR
    Win 7, RR, Garmin, DashCmd

    Morel Elate 9 3way & IDQ10 ported (active 4-way),
    JL Audio HD Amps, Audison BitOne.1

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate damarble's Avatar
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    Good progress today. Got the LCD bezel finished (mostly) I used a faux carbon fiber overlay inside around the LCD to dress it up, and I have a matchig overlay coming for the HVAC controls.

    I was able to squeeze the crossovers in the 2 side access covers Dodge was kind enough to provide, but I had to take the crossover's cover off to make it fit. My tweets were smaller that the stockers, so I tore up the actual stock tweeter to use it's plasic frame.

    I am having a little more "noise" in the audio system than my last install. I'm going to recheck my gorunds and hopefully that will clear it up. They were a little iffy anyway.

    I finally checked into getting the windows tinted. It won't happen for 2 weeks, as I'm having it done by one of the best shops in town and they are booked solid. But the cost is not bad, under $200 after tax for all windows and a strip on the windshield. The darkest I can get and stay legal is 35% all around, so the shop is going 32% since there is some leeway. Not as dark as I'd like but will look a hell of a lot better than no tint at all.










    {Xenarc 700TSV} {Celeron M 1.3 ghz} {ASUS mATX mobo w/CT479} {MX440 128mb AGP} {1x512mb RAM} {3.5" Seagate 40gb (rated at 350 G's)} {M1-ATX}

    MY INSTALLATION LOG

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate
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    hey in that last pic you have the dash off, how does it attach? i dont wanna destroy it in the process of removing it

    ive taken the inside door plastic off to look at speakers, and gotten to the rears

    didnt wanna mess with the front at that point in the day tho, so is it just the 2 screws on the side and some clips?

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate damarble's Avatar
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    Two screws at the sides, two inside the defrost vents. After those are removed, all along the front (nearest to you) there are clips, just lift up the dash by the hood over the steering wheel and they pop free easy. Now slow down, because if you keep lifting after popping those clips you will cause some damage. Lift it slightly above the lower dash, and pull towards you. There are pins that hook into the lower dash, you can see the pin holder to the right of the tweet in the last pic. One word of advice, don't forget to pull the rubber strip from between windsheild and lower dash and re-attach it to the upper dash before installation. I forgot to do it and it didn't fit together right and I had to pull it back out.

    The nice thing about these Neons is almost everything snaps apart and back together easily. I guess it was to help assemble them faster to cut costs, but sure comes in handy for installers.
    {Xenarc 700TSV} {Celeron M 1.3 ghz} {ASUS mATX mobo w/CT479} {MX440 128mb AGP} {1x512mb RAM} {3.5" Seagate 40gb (rated at 350 G's)} {M1-ATX}

    MY INSTALLATION LOG

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate damarble's Avatar
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    Well crap. My friggin onboard sound blows big time. I think I'm going to go external for the sound card, probably the Audigy 2 NX, which I can get for $65 shipped. Any reason why I shouldn't?

    Good news in the my LCD is in such a perfect placement that the sun rarely hits it, only when it's directly behind me. And the upcoming tint should help a lot with that.
    {Xenarc 700TSV} {Celeron M 1.3 ghz} {ASUS mATX mobo w/CT479} {MX440 128mb AGP} {1x512mb RAM} {3.5" Seagate 40gb (rated at 350 G's)} {M1-ATX}

    MY INSTALLATION LOG

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate damarble's Avatar
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    Whoohoo! Got the tint on today and I got to say it's the best $160 I've ever spent. 35% all around, 5% 6" strip across the windshield. The interior feels a little smaller, since it's so dark. And who needs a transreflective LCD? MY screen is perfectly readible now with the light from any angle.

    I'd post up some pix but it's hazy looking now, it takes a week to fully "cure".

    One thing bugs me now and I wish I would have caught it earlier. There's a place on the rear window that the defrost grid is separating, now you can see a couple light colored spots from outside.
    {Xenarc 700TSV} {Celeron M 1.3 ghz} {ASUS mATX mobo w/CT479} {MX440 128mb AGP} {1x512mb RAM} {3.5" Seagate 40gb (rated at 350 G's)} {M1-ATX}

    MY INSTALLATION LOG

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate portabuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damarble View Post
    One thing bugs me now and I wish I would have caught it earlier. There's a place on the rear window that the defrost grid is separating, now you can see a couple light colored spots from outside.

    looks like you did it yourself??, if so just prick it with a pin and try to push the air out. sometimes if the tint is fairly fresh the bubble comes out. if not then your putting up some more tint. and when you do use some baby shampoo in the water when installing it, i contans much less detergents then dish soap. wirks very well.


    chow
    Life Dosn't come with a reset button, if it did you might as well turn the game off.

  10. #10
    Constant Bitrate damarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by portabuddy View Post
    looks like you did it yourself??
    Oh no, tint is one thing I wouldn't do myself, I took it to a shop. It looks like I'm going to have them redo the rear window and the front pass. window, and the former still has bubbles and the latter has a little piece of dirt trapped in there. I think the guy rushed it since it was nearing closing time. But it's got a lifetime warranty and they said if I have any probs bring it in and they'd redo it, so I will.
    {Xenarc 700TSV} {Celeron M 1.3 ghz} {ASUS mATX mobo w/CT479} {MX440 128mb AGP} {1x512mb RAM} {3.5" Seagate 40gb (rated at 350 G's)} {M1-ATX}

    MY INSTALLATION LOG

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