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Thread: Project 2003 Dodge Dakota

  1. #31
    Maximum Bitrate sporty_drew's Avatar
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    I've been watching this since you started and all i can say it it looks great and it almost makes me wish i didn't have a center console just so i could do this (tho it would never look as good). Keep up the great work! Later

  2. #32
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
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    Yeeeah!! Console pics!!

    So far, I have I have hit road bumps and speed limits during this project but these past few days have yielded some absolutely excellent results!!! I was a wee bit nervous about cutting into the material that I have worked so hard to cover the console with. But the only way to advance forward is to get out there and do it! So I started with the fan openings to get a feel of how to cut the material without completely chopping it apart.

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    I cut slices to give a nice "round" look to the fan openings. I used thumb tacks to secure the material to the console while the locktite glue dried.

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    I repeated the method with the fan opening at the rear of the console as well. Having both these fans should allow me more then adequate airflow and cooling for the VIA SP 13000 Mobo that I am running. Although I do not expect it to get very warm because I have tried to keep things to a minimum of power constraints. Once the glue dried, I simply cut the excess material off and drilled holes for the fan assembly bolts.

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    My next step was to mount the stereo. I used staples and locktite glue to pull the cut material into the proper place to give it a nice refined look. I think that it came out rather well. My next step for the front of the console is to mount the A/C controls which look like they will promise to be a royal pain in the @$$.

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    While thinking about the steps I will need to take to get the A/C controls mounted, I decided to fit the DVD burner, the front fan, and the fan controller. I mounted the fan controller upside down so that I can see it when I am sitting in the driver's seat rather then having to read it upside down. When I post my finished project I will go over all of the accessories that I incorporated into this project and where I bought them from but for now I will keep my updates strictly to my work processes.

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    Here is a nice semi-side shot that shows the Thermaltake fan completely mounted. I plan on installing a 12" blue cathode light inside this case that will emit (hopefully) some light through the fan grills and through the plexiglass window in the back. I would like to get a nice little VIA logo for the plexiglass window but it looks like I might have to make my own and have a buddy of mine put it in the vinyl cutout machine. More updates to come. Till then..........................
    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 *****?

  3. #33
    Variable Bitrate Deric's Avatar
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    Can you post the dimensions of the new screen you are using? I am wanting to use this screen for my 06 Mustang project.

    Thanks!
    -Deric

  4. #34
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
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    Center console almost finished

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    Today I added more Bondo and did a minor amount of sanding. Oh yeah, for anyone wondering what the dimensions for my TM 868 replacement screen are, its 6 1/2 Inches tall, 8 Inches wide, and approximately 2 Inches deep or so. I promised myself that I would get as much done as I could before watching the Cardinals game. Man St. Louis turned into a madhouse this weekend!!

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    Anywayz, I needed to make an armrest for the top of the center console and acquired some nice carpet foam to use to keep the underside stiff and supportive. And then on top of that I added a few layers of very comfortable craft foam to fit under the material. My old console was kind of rubberish and during long road trips it would hurt my elbow.

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    I foamed the ever living SH1T out of the top and it is rather comfortable to the touch. I presented it to my boss, (wife) and got the thumbs up of approval. This whole project carried some stipulations with it and that dictated more then one design setail to say the least.

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    My next step was to install my Thermaltake fans to keep this badboy cool. I wanted the console to look factory and very well functional but I also needed to keep in mind that a computer is going in there and maximum cooling and stability will need to be maintained. I have two fans, one in and one out to matain a good constant air flow for BOTH power supplies. I'm running one for the computer and one will provide a nice steady 12 volts for the monitors and some of my accessories (USB hub, wireless headphone transmitter, etc.)
    Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85490


    IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?

  5. #35
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
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    Okie dokie, I figured I would post these two pics before I drink beer and wach baseball.

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    I fit the stereo into the console the other day which allowed me to move onto the A/C controls. The only problem with that is that the console is not ready to get put into my truck yet and once I put my controls in I am not feeling enthusiastic about ripping them back out just to run my heater (its getting cold right now in STL). Nevertheless, it worked out and now my A/C controls are fixed very comfortably into my console.

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    Next step was cupholders fitted. I have found that if you cut an outline about 1 Inch in from where the actual edge of the wood is, it gives you a nice lip that you can pull tight and staple the material to so that it does not move. I have used Locktite glue, staples, and even a combination of both on different parts of this project but for right now I think that the staples work the best for quick results and instant gratification although it does add a little thickness to the material I am working with which make things tight to fit. Not a big deal though. Thats all for now. Gametime!!!
    Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85490


    IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?

  6. #36
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
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    Talking More screen work

    Well, F the Cardinals. Now that thats out of the way, I sanded and bondo'd the screen to build up low areas and round off a few corners. During the process I loosened some of the Locktite glue and had to re-apply the glue to reaffirm the integrity of the pieces. After bondo and sanding I decided that it was time lay some preliminary layers of acrylic primer. Its clear like the stuff I used on my last screen and seems to go on pretty easily with very little chance of running.

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    I laid about 5 or 6 total layers to help even everything out and I wet sanded the screen to smooth it out. After some sanding and eye-balling I decided to lay another couple layers to give it a little more material for me to work with when I give a final sanding before I lay another layer or so of primer and then get into some painting.

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    Right now its looking rather smooth and I have already decided to lay down a preliminary layer of black to help bring out some of the imperfections. Originally I wanted to use some textured paint on the top and bottom pieces of stereo bezel trim but I decided at the last minute that it might look better if I keep it all the same color/texture. Tomorrow is another day and holds much opportunity for this screen bezel to be finished by the end of this coming weekend. My wife and I are taking a trip down to South Carolina at the end of November and I am very anxious to have the computer completely installed and running by then. Looks like I stand a good chance as long as I keep plugging away at my To-Do list.
    Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85490


    IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?

  7. #37
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
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    Screen painting..........

    Today I wet sanded the newly primered and smoothed screen to prep it for paint. I really wish that I had some kind of colored primer right now because it is rather hard to see any imperfections. I am relying on feeling the imperfections and I don't think that is going to yield as great results as I could have had if I had simply acquired some colored primer. Well, I guess I know now for next project.

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    For now I have put some preliminary paint on the screen to look for imperfections. Perhaps I could have skipped this process if I had colored primer but again ........................... So I laid down a couple coats and I see some imperfections that need to be worked out with the wet sand paper. The thing that sucks is that I will need to wait until tomorrow before I can sand it and go for that final set of paint coats. Oh yeah, in case anyone gives a crap, I am using satin black which I think looks more OEM than I could ever get gloss black to look. I am happy with the way that the paint looks when it is dry and I will keep this information for any future projects of mine that I want to look OEM.

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    One thing that I have realized is that with the added material area space that the paint has added on, I will now need to widen my dash cutout. DANGIT!!! I had already put so much effort into making that nice and straight. Oh well, its a work in process. The only way out is through!!!!!
    Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85490


    IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?

  8. #38
    Constant Bitrate Eternalodyssey's Avatar
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    Talking Console Finished!!!!!

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    Today I finished covering the top of the center console as well as the small cover for the hidden compartment which will house my Creative MP3+ USB sound card as well as my video splitter which will feed my 3 auxillary monitors. The foam went on pretty easy as well as the vinyl covering. One thing that I have noticed with this project is that the vinyl is much easier to work with when it is warm as it stretches much nicer to create the nice "flush" look.

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    From here you can see that the arm rest on top of the console appears to be rather thick and that is because I used two layers of stiff carpet foam underneath two layers of craft foam to make a rather comfortable arm rest. In fact, I like this arm rest at least 10 times more then the original one that felt like a piece of rubber stretched over some shallow foam. When I would rest my elbow on it for more then 10 minutes or so it would start to feel sore and I don't get that with the new one.

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    And here at long last is my finished console!!! My main requirements for this project were to be able to fit all of my components in a way that would not seem to cluttered and still be able to reach everything rather well. Everyone that sees the console remarks that the stereo looks much better down there and overall it has a good "accessible" feel to the whole thing. I am nothing short of impressed with the way this turned out and I would like to thank all that gave me input to get me this far. I still have much to do to finish this project but this is probably the biggest step in getting to that FINISHED spot. Next to do on my list is to finish the screen, finish running all of my wiring, and then simply drop the computer in. But for now, CHEERS!!
    Check out the updates. Project 2003 Dakota worklog: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=85490


    IS JACK BAUER GONNA HAVE TO SMACK A *****?

  9. #39
    Variable Bitrate AllThingsEnd's Avatar
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    awesome install. i have an 02 durango and cant wait to see your whole project complete. how are you attaching your bezel to your dash? and how hard was it to relocate the the ac controls? just lengthen the wires?
    [::::::::::] 100% - Planning
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  10. #40
    Maximum Bitrate Sidewalksalvage's Avatar
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    That is a flipping awsome install! It really came out nice an sleek... Sorry abou the first screen....

    I cant wait to see it finished and running!
    Brown 2010

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