Thinking About Replacing The Stereo Head Unit With An Android Tablet

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by Chythar, Jun 12, 2012.


  1. Noobz347

    Noobz347 Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor Admin Dude

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    Nice...

    I may have missed it if it was mentioned before but.... Does that particular tablet have an FM reciever in it? If so, will it be adapted to the car's antenna?
  2. Chythar

    Chythar Well-Known Member

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    Nope, no FM receiver. The only time I ever listen to the radio is when I'm too lazy to hook up my mp3 player, so I'm fine with losing it. I'm even planning to remove the antenna entirely after i put the tablet in.
  3. blksn955.o

    blksn955.o Founding Member

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    Cool idea, several years ago I was thinking about building a audio PC. A few weeks ago I remembered that idea and thought of tablets. Nice to see someone doing it. With radio's having USB inputs now, will it not work to run the player via the USB?

    The Sync system in our Fusion works via the USB, I would think there is either an "app for that" or radios now days can pick up on the signal and go from there.
  4. Kornnut

    Kornnut Founding Member

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    Damn, that is real nice looking.
  5. Chythar

    Chythar Well-Known Member

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    Ran out of time this weekend to install the new bezel, but I did do a bit of restoration on it. Replaced the foam in the vents with felt and put some RTV around the edges to prevent against rattles (as explained in this post).
  6. MysteryMachine

    MysteryMachine Active Member

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    That's awesome. I'd be happy with just a tablet lol
  7. Chythar

    Chythar Well-Known Member

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    Almost finished! Started a bit late today, and couldn't quite finish in time. My neighbors pitch a fit if anyone makes too much noise past 10pm, even on the weekends, and I figured the sound of a Dremel tool cutting wheel was a bit much. It'll be done tomorrow. On to the pics! I removed my original radio bezel and realized that the new one was definitely a shade lighter. I set the new one in the car and it didn't look right. So, time to paint the bezel! I picked up a can of flat black, masked off the parts I wanted to leave alone, and hit it with some adhesion promoter then three coats of paint. This photo is after the third coat of paint, and waiting for the paint to cure.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to paint the lip of the shifter bezel so it matched the bezel. Also picked up three plugs to fill in the switch holes in the bottom of the bezel, and painted them too.

    [​IMG]

    While the paint cured, on to the dash. Had to cut off the two screw mounts off of the dash since they prevent the double-din bezel from fitting correctly. Also cut out a notch out of the bottom bracket so the switch plugs would fit. I didn't cut out quite enough around the dash since the new bezel still didn't fit. Oh well, that will be fixed tomorrow.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the pieces I cut off of the dash. Man, I felt really bad about cutting my dash for some reason. Just that point of no return, I suppose.

    [​IMG]

    Here I'm testing out the electronics before I mount them in the dash. At this point, I've already fabbed up a bracket out of thin aluminum bars. Should have taken a photo of just the bracket, but oh well. When I first tested the electronics, I got no sound. Turns out I missed a wire that turns the factory amps on. Oops! :D After adding that wire (the blue one in the upper-left), it all worked. I used the Metra adapter 70-5510 (same one I used for my radio); it has RCA plugs for the factory speakers instead of bare wires.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the Clarion equalizer/amp installed in the dash. It will be completely hidden behind the bezel, of course. You can see more of the mounting bracket here. I re-used the screw hole for the original dash (all the way in the back left), and added two screws on the left and right. The black wire at the bottom will go to the headphone jack on the tablet.

    [​IMG]

    This is a side shot of the bracket and how it mounts to the left side of the dash. I wanted the amp to be level, so I had to add the extra piece. Keeping the amp level makes it much easier to get to the single screw all the way in the back. I used one of those clip-on nuts to hold the bottom screw in place. You know the ones Ford is so fond of using? Yeah, those.

    [​IMG]

    I used the clip-on nuts because I have a ton of them lying around. I keep any extra nuts and bolts that are leftover from any project, just in case I need one or three. Here's one case of them, and I have two more. This case is mostly the small nuts & bolts.

    [​IMG]

    More pics tomorrow when I finish this job.
  8. Noobz347

    Noobz347 Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor Admin Dude

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    Bah! :fuss:


    I hate cliff hangers!

    Oh and this might be a great time to replace that OEM shifter with a Tri-Ax or MGW. :D

    I would say, "So far, So good" but I really want to see how it looks once it's fitted together. :nice:
  9. Chythar

    Chythar Well-Known Member

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    And...done. Took two hours to mess with the dash and the bezel to get everything to fit, but fit it does. The bezel sags a tiny bit since it's no longer secured with screws, but it's minor.

    [​IMG]

    And finally, the bezel with the tablet installed. About to head out for a drive, so I'll let you know how it all holds up.

    [​IMG]
  10. Chythar

    Chythar Well-Known Member

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    Last post for me on this build, not counting replies to other folks. The tablet held on quite well while driving on the bumpy LA freeways, didn't fall off at all. The amp is quieter than the Pioneer head unit I had in place before, I can't get the tablet audio up to ear-bleeding levels anymore. However, my normal listening level is one or two levels below the max volume so I'm good.
  11. Noobz347

    Noobz347 Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor Admin Dude

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    My only suggestion would be this:

    Cut and install a trim piece over the top of that so it looks like an installed, in-dash screen instead of a pad stuck to the center console.

    That would make it look like an OEM install.
  12. Chythar

    Chythar Well-Known Member

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    That's an excellent idea, except I want the tablet to be removable. A proper OEM install would put the tablet behind the bezel instead of in front. I considered your idea in the beginning, and decided the OEM look was not as important to me as removing the tablet when I get out of the car.
  13. Noobz347

    Noobz347 Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor Admin Dude

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    True... a couple small velcro tabs should give you both.
  14. Ross12

    Ross12 Member

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    Dang...............this is nice.
  15. VibrantRedGT

    VibrantRedGT "STANGNET'S PENGUIN SMACKER" Super Mod

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    Actually Noobz idea of a velcro bezzle is a great idea. It would look like a factory install that way.

    Anyway, good job, looks excellent. Much better than the cassette tape / cd player it came with.
  16. Chad Hensley

    Chad Hensley Member

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    That's pretty sweet. I'll second the Velcro bezel idea. Would be even sweeter if you had a tablet that you can get 3g/4g on it then you could have iHeart radio or anything similar if you wanted.
  17. nmcgrawj

    nmcgrawj Advanced Member

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    I've been gone for a while...popped back in and this is the first thread i see. Good work!
  18. earleys94gt

    earleys94gt Active Member

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    Install looks amazing, great work.

    See during the install you were listening to Deadmau5, :nice:
  19. Chythar

    Chythar Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Can't wait for his new album to come out next week.
  20. amplifier28

    amplifier28 Member

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    Wow! That looks nice.

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