The first true car project / modification I ever done by my self, was to mounting a 7″ LCD VGA with Touch screen inside a center console using epoxy and fiberglass. The screen will be used together with a PC in the car. Media center, GPS navigation, WiFi and Mobile hands-free are main future I want to have in my car.
The monitor I used was a Lilliput 7″ LCD with touch screen bought from www.mp3car.com, a site that I recommend to all Carputer fans. Yes Carputer that’s how a PC in the car is called. More info about that at www.mp3car.com.
The first step before you buy a monitor is to check that it will fit in your car. Yeah I know it sounds stupid, but I talked to people that bought the monitor just to find out it is too big.
- Dismount center console from the car.
- Dismount LCD from the frame or buy a LCD body, that’s what I did.
- Dismount front locker for a storage box.
- Measure carefully the placement of LCD and mark where to cut.
- Start cutting, don’t be afraid, you are going to use epoxy and fibreglass compound, so any scratches and stuff like that will be fixed later.
- You should now get rid of front part.
- Se if LCD frame fits well. If you need some adjustment, do so now.
- Here is how the console looks like just before gluing the LCD frame to it.
- Some last tests with frame and the screen.
- Take 5 min Epoxy (you can use 10 or 15 min too) and glue screen frame on the top edge and on the sides.
- After that fill a gap between frame and console with epoxy.
- Use a regular masking tape on the front of the center console. This will give you a support for fiberglass. You will fill it from behind. Try to tension tape to create as even surface as possible.
- That’s how masked console looks from behind. Again, it is from this side fiberglass will be applied.
- Remember, safety equipment. Mask is important, because fiberglass resin is producing toxic gasses. Use gloves to.
- First layer of fiberglass resin is applied.
- Second layer is applied.
- More layers. You should reinforce filled surface with some reinforcing material, between every second or third layer. You should have at least one reinforced layer. I used one reinforced layer, and 6 fiberglass layers
- Finished applying fiberglass, view form behind.
- Front view. You will probably get rough surface. Don’t worry. A lot of sanding is wait for you.
- Sanding has started. Here you can see finished result of sanding the fiberglass.
- Cut out opening for car stereo too.
- Some quick test in the car, and it fits perfectly.
- Applying filler. to get a smooch surface for paint job. You can use regular filler used by any car paint shop. After filler is applied, the surface will be very rough. Again sanding is the clue. Use a very fine paper. Take your time, it is a key to success.
- Painting. I took with me piece of center console that i cut out and went to a paint shop. There I asked the guy if he could make a colour for me. He had some skills and made a color that is 99,9% the same as original color on center console.
- Painted result
- The monitor is mounted. You have to be careful when you dismount LCD panel from the original monitor frame. Again take your time, and you will be fine. I tested monitor before I mounted center console back in the car.
- Final result. There was some space between center console and radio unit that I din’t like, but I used the original frame that radio shipped with. It worked for me.