Heck yeah, no night quite like tonight!!
HOLY POOP! A parent that disciplined their child for doing something wrong!? I didn't think they existed in this world any more! BRAVO to that parent!
Sorry it ruined your night, but hey, y'all are married right? more nights to come!
Heck yeah, no night quite like tonight!!
Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/worklogs/85490-project-2003-dodge-dakota.html
IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?
The past few days I have been working on fitting the A/C controls in the console as well as fitting the radio in preperation for covering the console in foam. After I trace out patterns for the foam and the vinyl material, I will be taking a break from the console to finish running all of the wiring underneath the carpet which requires me to rip out the whole interior including the seats
My next step after running wiring and installing my new 4 channel amp will be to tie everything in while my wife is sewing up the vinyl material to make it all look seamless.
Hopefully my new screen will arrive within the next week or so because it is getting rather cool outside up here in St. Louis and I will rely on the warm weather to dry my screen once it is bondoed and getting primered. So much to do, hopefully no more minor setbacks like the last one. At least I got a better screen out of the deal.
Today I took a deep breath and attacked my center dash peice with the dremmel to make one single opening. I took a ruler to mark off the place where I would be cutting and figured in how much "screw up" room to leave so that I could just sand slowly and not gauge the crap out of my dash in the process.
After i got my cuts made I noticed that there were several little "pills" located behind my dash that were designed to help hold the factory radio in place. I had to dremmel those out as well in order to ensure that my screen bezel that I am building fits perfectly.
Finally, after I removed all of the old plastic I sanded the open area down as straight and as smooth as possible. I have run into the small problem that the screen faceplate and the aftermarket head unit frame pieces are too wide for the opening and I will need to trim 1/8" off of the lower bottem portion of the opening. I won't waste space with those pics but rest assured, I was very nervous, as the center dash plastic is all one big piece.
Well, on to making the new frame........................
Okie dokie, here we go. This is my new screen which I have been referring to as the "TM 868 Replacement." The back of the screen comes off quite easily (although not as easy as the original TM 868), with the removal of 4 screws in the back. But there are 2 circuit boards that are affixed to the back plate that must be removed by removing the screws. There is a mounting plate of sorts that can quite easily be removed on the outside of the back as well.
Next, there are two pigtails that come out the bottom of the screen that appear to be movable as long as you drill new holes to relocate them. There is quite a bit of slack left from the manufactorer so I believe that they can be moved. I do not need to move them so I am just going to leave them where they are. Here is a close-up of the connectors.
Now, one of those is a 5 ft long USB pigtail that goes to your USB for the touchscreen and the other pigtail is your VGA connector. Inside it looks like it is removable for those that would simply like to use this as a regular monitor for whatver reason or other. I must add that the touchscreen is EXCELLENT on this monitor and it comes with a really nice solid plastic touch pen. now, the A/V ports you see on the side are a USB attachment that comes with it. One side plugs into the monitor via the USB port and the other side of that pigtail consists of red, white, and yellow RCAs for video 2. The power port you see on the side is the place where you put the power cord. A 110V-220v AC adapter as well as a 12v DC adapter are both included in the package.
The front of the monitor is attached to the touchscreen through the use of thin double-sided tape. I had to use a knife blade, a little bit of pressure, and a WHOLE LOT of patience to carefully seperate the two. The insides of this monitor seem relatively delicate and that is why I have carefully packed it all away inside a ziplock and kept in the box. The screws are very small so be cautious when removing them, as they like to go everywhere. Any more questions about this monitor are welcome and will be addressed in my worklog as I continue integrating this monitor into my dash. Watch as I dremmel and butcher my way to happiness!!!
Today I refined the fit of my head unit in preperation of the vinyl covering. I needed to fit some thin wood shims to rise my head unit up a tad bit and ensure proper clearance for the back of the stereo.
The next step in this epic battle of man against material was to pattern out the center console and determine what sizes and measurements the patterns for the vinyl covering will be.
This is my wife's department of this project as I have very little skill on a sewing machine but my wife knows how to make miracles happen when it comes to that subject. Here is the preliminary pictures.
This is after only an hour's worth of work. My wife has pointed out a few flaws in my design but her skill patched the little holes in my design. Here she is hard at work...........
Hah, just had to pay a little tribute. Anywayz, this also shows a little on how the cover is progressing. She has re-inforced most of the stitches and laid in a few more patterns to expand the cover more. She is using this cover as a preliminary cover that she put together out of cheap spare material. We have since secured some black premium marine-grade vinyl material that looks similar to leather. Here is the latest and greatest:
Well, thats all I have for tonight. During the next week or so I would like to have my monitor completely framed out and be applying bondo by week's end. We'll see how my final exams go this week though. Till then, may the fabrication continue!!!
Well, I debated on wether I would post information on the build for the new screen or not but I feel that all elements of this project are integral to the whole package. The old screen got mocked up and framed a little different from what I am doing this time. This time I want to go step by step to ensure that the new screen will absolutely fit perfect. So I started by cutting apart the new crutchfield Chrysler aftermarket stereo bezel and tape it from the back to temproarily hold it in place.
I then checked the mounting depth of the screen and decided if I wanted a lip showing or not. I decided against it because the screen would probably look best nice and flush with the rest of the dash. It will stick out a tiny bit to show off the fact that it is custom but not ghetto-rigged.
My next step was to fit the screen peices into the dash as I would expect them to fit with the final product. I then applied some "locktite" super glue which is holding those peices together quite well for the amount that I used. My next step is to reinforce the back and side peices so that I can begin building up the sides witgh wood and sanding down peices to spec.
I am going for as OEM looking as possible which of course is rather difficult given the fact that there are very few companies installing computers into vehicles right now. In the future I forsee what we are doing on this forum quite commonplace as our lives become more and more technologically integrated. I love this project. Makes me feel a little like a pioneer ya know!
Looking forward to see your work finished.
Thanks for the step by step posting
I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Damn its kinda far away...........
So the past few days I have been slowly working on the new screen and figuring out how well it will integrate into my dash. I decided this time that I would not use any wooden spacers and instead rely on the strength of the "Locktite Glue" and the miracles of Bondo. It has actually turned out rather well.
I decided that while the screen bezel's Bondo was drying I would attack the center console and get the cover squared away and prepared for the computer to be dropped in. Boy was I in for a surprise in how much effort I was going to have to put into the Vinyl cover. For future reference, anyone who is wanting make a custom center console, make sure you use MARINE GRADE vinyl!!! Now, the cover that my wife sewed together felt loose and I almost decided to go with two layers of foam but DANG!! I'm glad I didn't!!!!
Once I test-fitted the console cover I realized one very important detail that just about made me want to quit.....................I FORGOT TO ACCOUNT FOR THE THICKNESS OF THE MATERIAL!!!!!!! So, I spent a few hours dremmeling my way into making the A/C controls, the head unit, the fan controls, the fans, and the DVD drive fit with the added thickness of the material covering the console.
I had to dremmel the SH1T out of the cupholders in order to make them fit with the material. Its a little hard to maintain straightness and uniformity when you're ****ed and have a power tool in your hands. Luckily my wife was on hand to tell me to calm down and go slow. Whew!! Thank goodness I did. Turns out it wasn't was hard to make the necessarfy adjustments needed as I thought it would be.
After that it was time to consider adding foam and build up the console to make it more comfortable to be around. While I was driving around with the naked console in the truck my chief complaint was that it was a little uncomfortable and I figured I would need to add as much foam on it as possible. But then I figured I should just start with one layer and add more as needed.
With the console foamed I test-fitted the newly finished cover and realized that the foam that I had applied was going to be more then enough to make the cover rather tight and still provide the necessary comfort.
My next step was to cut the openings to the different accessories that I am using as well as the cupholders and the stereo, AC controls, etc. I will need to have a good idea of where to go through the black vinyl to make the final openings. At first I tried using some craft scissors but then I realized that an Xacto knife works wonders in this department. After that it was smooth sailing.
After a whole lot of pulling and cursing and tugging, I got the cover on and ready for stapling. It helps to have a spare set of hands at this stage to ensure that the material is pulled as tight as possible. The material is rather strong and takes my frustrated yanking rather well. After much work and making the staples hold in the sections I wanted on an even basis to keep the material taut, I came up with excellent results.
Well, its getting a little late and I have to work tomorrow early in the morning so I think that I will call it a night. I am rather well impressed with the way this is turning out. The next step is to cut the holes in the material to fit my head unit and A/C controls. I'd like to have the fans as well as the fan controls bolted in by the end of tomorrow. Only time will tell. Until then, the madness continues.........................