Project 2003 Dodge Dakota
Well, it was about time for me to clean up my truckputer and tuck in all those loose wires come along with me for the journey.
First the vehicle, a 2003 Dodge Dakota. Yes, I know my tires are small, I just finished my suspension lift and haven't gotten around to getting bigger tires yet.
So while trying to fit the computer case that I made out of angled aluminum into the stock center console I got angry and thought to myself, "why don't I just fabricate my own?" Besides, now I can move my A/C controls and my head unit out of the dash board like you see in this picture.
I wanted to make sure that the center console would have maxiumum room for the computer while maintaining a somewhat uniform fit that kinda resembles the original console.
In the back of the console the bottom hole will provide adequate airflow for my rear fan and above it is a small window that I intend to have the VIA logo displayed just for ****s and grins. This was a small detail that was added in at the last minute and I don't know if I completely like the idea yet or not but I suppose time will tell. One thing is for sure, a lot of work is going into reinforcing the area around the window in case it gets kicked by accident.
Finally, my wife's one stipulation to this little project was that there would have to be cupholders no matter what. I looked around for a while and even talked to a guy out of St. Louis that wanted to charge me $150 to fabricate a custom cup holder assembly. But then a few days later I was walking around the hardware store and spotted a 3" pipe coupling that was staring at me. I thought "what? Jackpot!!" and for less then $2 I had cupholders. Above the cupholders you can see the slot for my fan controller as well as another round opening which provides ventilation for another fan. To the right is a vertical slot that will house my slim slot load laptop DVD drive. I have researched quite a bit into the best place to mount the DVD drive and I have come to the conclusion that mounting it in this way will not harm it or cause it to skip in any way. I wanted the CD rom to be close to the CPU unit so that I could simply attach it via an IDE ribbon and not tie up a USB port. Since my wife is rather crafty with a sewing machine, I have procured vinyl fabric that matches my dash board pretty well and with her help I will be making a cover that will fit over all the wood once it is covered with some good foam.
Well, thats all for now folks. I will update this thread when I make more prgress. Input is welcome, just don't flame me too bad for my amatuer fabrication skillz. :angrymob:
Updates for Project Dakota:
Well i got a few spare hours today and I decided that it was time to get the A/C controls measured and mounted as well as the head unit cut to proper specs for mounting as well.
I measured the rear spacing for the head unit and decided that it would look rather sweet sunk in and flush to the rest of the panel it is being attached to. I cut the openings for the wiring attachments into a second layer of MDF to provide a sturdy area for the controls to be mounted. It was realtively easy to make all the measurements and cut to thos measurements but at the last minute I realized that I had not taken into account the area that the material I am covering the console with will take up. I then had to use a dremmel to widen out the area and as a result, the console has kind of a "rough" look to it. But once foal is applied and the vinyl fabric is laid I am sure the console is gonna look great.
As you can see, my stereo is gone and the mounting bracket is being prepped to seat into the console once the wood glue has dried. I use Elmers wood glue as well as driving wood screws just like I did when I built my subwoofer box and I highly reccommend this combination. I have quite a bit of wiring to tuck in and extend down to the new location of the stereo. Thank goodness the A/C controls are already extended. I could not imagine going through those many wires again. Looks like its coming along pretty well. Next steps are to dremmel out the minute details, sand all rough edges, and prep the console for foam padding and vinyl covering. I've been drinking beer and B/S'ing with a buddy of mine through this posting so sorry if its a little misspelled and looks like the grammer of a 5 year old.
Update (small but significant)
So today I tackled getting the head until mount fitted perfectly into the new console. Because there is a small piece of plasic trim located around the head unit itself, there had to be two different mounting depths to maintain the required fit for the peices to snap in. If this is at all confusing, just look at my pictures and appreciate that a bit of time went into using the file and sandpaper..............:tard:
I then fitted peices of wood into the spaces left from where the stereo head until mount for the dash was fitted onto the face of the touchscreen. I am working with a lot of little peices of wood, a little superglue, and a whole lot of patience. Next step will be to sand the newly glued peices to proper fit and then move onto bondo and then primer. Baby steps right now. But I think patience has been the key as will it be for the completion of this project.:rock:
Whelp, thats all folks.outahere