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Thread: 2006 Tacoma, in dash "Tacoputer"

  1. #1
    Newbie DaveWilliamsTX's Avatar
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    Talking 2006 Tacoma, in dash "Tacoputer"

    Hey everyone,

    I've decided to post a worklog, and include some pictures and descriptions as there isn't a whole lot of information on these forums on the newer tacomas. As of this post, my system is comprised of:

    Epia Via MII10000
    1 Gig 2100 RAM
    160 Gig WD hard drive (3.5 inch), 7200 RPM, 8mb buffer
    Lilliput 629
    M2-ATX power supply
    Case cut and bent by Joe Shock (Thanks Joe!)
    A double din Scosche Dash Kit
    Griffin Powermate
    Bluetooth and GPS hardware
    8 port USB hub

    I'm still looking to get a slot load dvd drive, but I'm trying to find one at a price I like.

    I've just started integrating the bezel from the 629 into the dash kit, the kit and the bezel from the 629 are shown below.



    This is why we have to trim:


    I measured the size of the opening, and the minimum size the bezel could be and still have all the tabs/screws to hold the screen securely. Lucky for me they are almost the exact same measurement. So, I used a hacksaw to make a nice straight cut on the bottom of the bezel:


    Its important to cut this in the right place, this picture shows the beginning of the cut. Note how its just below the tab you can see poking up. This tab represents where the bottom of the screen sits, so we cant cut any higher than that. The bezel will still be slightly too tall for the opening, so we have to sand the top of it off.


    The small gaps on either side of the bezel that will have to be filled:


    Sanding the top of the screen (I'm actually using a metal file - way more aggressive, way faster):


    We will actually have to sand more than just the top, the bottom corners could use some rounding, and the front of the bezel needs to be knocked down so that it will be flush with the top of the dash kit:






    Now, with the bezel shaped correctly, its time to set it into place. I chose a plastic bonding, 2 part epoxy to do the job. BEFORE you glue, you have to make sure the plastic brackets from the kit still have room to attach to the opening. Squeeze them in, and push the bezel as far back as possible, so that it butts up against the tabs on the brackets. The bezel should help hold the brackets on:


    Now its time to glue. I masked off around the bezel, and on the dash kit with masking tape to prevent this stuff getting somewhere I don't want it to get. The epoxy will remain semi-fluid for a few minutes, so stay around to watch it, as it can and will run, messing everything up. I rotated the whole set up a couple of times to minimize the movement of the epoxy. Once it sets, its rock hard and fills the small gaps on either side of the bezel as well as filling part of the seams on the top and bottom. The image was kind of dark, so I blew out the brightness and contrast to try and show the seam. Still out of focus, but you get the idea.



    I'll be adding the 3M plastic repair compound to the bezel tonight and begin the shaping on that. I will probably have a ton of this stuff left over, if anyone is interested let me know (3M firm "non-flexible" plastic repair epoxy). Easy to sand, takes paint well.

    I'll be putting things together here over the next couple of days, and I'll be adding pictures and descriptions as I do. I hope this will help out any other Taco owners (and anyone else, for that matter) who are thinking of undertaking a carputer.
    It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
    Winston Churchill

  2. #2
    Newbie DaveWilliamsTX's Avatar
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    Well, I took the step off the deep end and applied the 3M firm plastic repair stuff, talk about goopy! I masked the area with masking tape and basically applied a whole lot of this stuff, as I didn't want any low spots. In retrospect, I should have done a couple of thinner layers to avoid the air pockets I've been finding as I sand. Heres the stuff applied and masking removed:




    Rough shape taking...shape. Using the metal file almost exclusively.



    Sanded to approx shape, masked, and ready for round 2. For this, I decided to put tape behind the edges of the bezel to form a dam. After the goop sets, you can cut from behind with a razorknife and get your straight edges back. The plastic repair stuff cuts a whole lot easier than the bezel and I didn't knick it at all.











    Sanded down the second coat, and appiled a third in some places. Also decided to fill in the decorative slashes in the dash piece mostly because they would be a b**** to sand and maintain the sharp edges.







    It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
    Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    Newbie DaveWilliamsTX's Avatar
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    As you can see, after my first coat of sandable primer, I can see that I've still got my work cut out for me:









    So I sanded almost all the primer off, leaving it in the low spots and got this, much better, but still not perfect. A little more sanding, and a little more primer.







    Now, after all of this I decided to paint it. I had bought Duplicolor brand flat black paint, made for automotive trim. Turns out it was the worst paint ever for this application. Not only that, but it had a very delicate finish, and after handling it for 10 mins it was all scratched and dinged up.

    I decided to go ahead and make sure everything fit together and boot this bad boy up, even with the bad paint, and here's what it looked like:



    You can't tell how bad the paint is in the picture, but trust me, it looked pretty bad. You may also notice my white chassis, and if you've read these forums for a while it might look kinda familiar. Its one of the ones that blk02si has been bending up for 65 bucks, and I knew its would be a good place to start. In a way, however, I was flying blind when I ordered it. The dash of the Tacoma has alot going on inside of it and It would have been impossible to provide blk02si with the dimensions that I needed - so, I ordered it and just hoped I wouldn't have to do much modding to get it to fit. If you look closely at his version, and at what I'm using, I've turned it upside down, and cut off just over a half inch off of what was originally the top of the case. Note how it fits within the black brackets in the up/down direction - thats about where it needs to be.

    You have to go upside down, because there is not enough room low in the tacoma dash opening to fit the extended base that the case had. I'm still worried about the cables coming off the back of the mobo, as they may stick out too far - so I've ordered 90 degree plugs for the VGA and usb ports. Thats all I can think to say right now, please ask questions if you have any - I'll do my best to help. Here are some more pics to look at. Some of them show how I had to trim the lilliput cable plug so that I could fit it in the 7 inch width of the case/opening.






    How to make a non-magnetized screwdriver magnetized - attach a magnet so it touches the shaft. AMAZING for positioning these little guys


    In these last two, I've taken it apart, and repainted the front using Rustoleum fine texture flat black spraypaint, made for plastics. It looks really good, and feels quite durable (won't indent with a fingernail press). The clamps are to hold the mobo lightly while the epoxy dries.



    It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
    Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    High Voltage blk02si's Avatar
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    Looking great dave, Interested in seeing your progress with the new chassis
    Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

    AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

  5. #5
    Newbie DaveWilliamsTX's Avatar
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    I've got the holes marked and am going to drill them tomorrow, probably when my arms get tired from sanding. Heading over to post on the chassis right now.
    It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
    Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate diosagain's Avatar
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    Dave, where did you get the 3M firm "non-flexible" plastic repair epoxy? I wish I started off with that instead of lightweight bondo. I mean i did epoxy first but I just don't know if the lightweight bondo will crack over time. You think I should put this 3M epoxy over it? Let me know your thoughts. If you want to take a look at where i am at:

    First Time Fab - 2003 Ford Explorer - Please help! - A lot of pictures...

  7. #7
    Newbie DaveWilliamsTX's Avatar
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    I went to the largest body shop in my area, and asked them if they would sell me some of this 3m stuff - they told me no, but they knew right where the nearest body shop supply store was. THATS the place you want to go, you can bring in your piece and show them what you are trying to do, and they can recommend which product to choose. I went with the 3M non flexible because my dash piece is very firm, and not flimsy like some dashes I have felt.

    As far as putting it on top of bondo: I imagine that if you pocked the surface of the bondo up, you could probably get it to stick, but keep in mind that its meant to have a small chemical reaction with the plastic and form a bond with it. I assume that you probably wont get that with 3M on bondo, but with some stuff there for it to grip onto it might do well.

    Turbo uses the flexible stuff and has good results with it as well. I (so far) have found it easy to sand and love that you can work it in about a half hour. It can be a pain if applied thick, because its goopy enough to leave small airpockets (grrrr), so I've been putting quarter inch layers on as I sand and shape.

    I got a metal file, and thats been the key for roughing the shape out as its super aggressive and you can get to the approximate shape pretty quickly (leaving your energy for the sandpaper). I didn't go with bondo because I read turbo's thread about using plastic repair stuff to work on plastic and it just seemed to make the most sense.

    Best of luck with your project, feel free to ask more ? if you decide to nix the bondo
    It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
    Winston Churchill

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate diosagain's Avatar
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    I wound up going to pep boys today which is basically the only store I can get any of this material at. The closest thing I found to what you are talking about is this. Let me know what you think:

    http://www.automotivetouchup.com/sto...er_repair.aspx

  9. #9
    Newbie DaveWilliamsTX's Avatar
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    That stuff sounds like its the flexible version of what I've got, at least its made for the same purpose - should do the trick. Let everyone know if it works or not - good luck.
    It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
    Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    High Voltage blk02si's Avatar
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    Updates look really good Dave! Your build looks very solid and ready for the tacoma. Are you using epoxy to mount the motherboard?
    Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

    AutoPC v1 (Retired) - AutoPC v2 (in progress) - www.shocknet.us

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