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Old 03-21-2004, 04:50 PM   #1
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Aftermarket LCD Option Found

Many users on this board have expressed an interest in adding after-market displays to their RX8s. Many of those users (including myself) wish to keep their stock head unit. This leaves us with no choice but to pay someone a large fee to do a custom placement of the display. Until now, this has kept me from starting on my carputer project. But as of today I think I have a good solution.

As most of you know, the display for the stock navigation unit stows itself in the dash above the red display. This means that for those of us that donít have the nav, there is plenty of space left up there. With overLOADs pending delivery of his custom AUX module, several of us have thought about adding a 1-DIN slot where the stock nav display would normally go. This DIN could be used for adding an in-dash DVD player, an Equalizer, an XM radio, or in my case a retractable touch-screen for my carputer.

With several 1-DIN displays now on the market, many of which are under $500, this becomes a very cost-effective alternative to the stock nav. Especially when you consider that many of these displays are motorized, far higher resolution and even have USB touch support.

This idea is not a new one; in fact many of us have already seen pictures of someone in Japan that did exactly that. But at least one RX8 Club user felt it looked awkward. In my opinion, the install is flawed because of the use of vinyl as the covering. Vinyl could never cover the display hole entirely and therefore the person had to use felt and it didnít end up being clean. But if the whole piece could have been done in the exact original texture of the dash with the exact dash color, OR if the piece could be made in the same shiny glossy black as the head unit and other areas of the car, I feel the install would have looked far cleaner. And that is what I am proposing here.

RotaryGod introduced me to a local Houston company called TwistedInteriors and I met this afternoon with the company owner. TwistedInteriors specializes in end-to-end automobile customization, but they focus mainly on exactly the kind of part that Iím interested in having fabricated.

Both RotaryGod and I know the owner of the company personally. After visiting with him for several minutes and explaining exactly what I wanted to accomplish, he set a price of 350 to 400 dollars (which is out of most peoples budget including myself). However, since the bulk of this price is due to the time and effort required to fabricate the initial mold, he promised to make RX8 Club members a deal of 150 dollars completed and painted if there are at least three users (aside from myself) that are interested in the part.

If you are interested, please post that youíre interested here and then PM me for more information. With TwistedInteriors current work queue, the owner informed me that they could have these pieces available for shipping within a few weeks from the four-person order. I can lock in a more precise date when I have at least four orders.

Below Iím including photos of a few 1-DIN display options as well as what the 1-DIN slot would look like in an RX8. Please keep in mind that the photos of the RX8 are NOT THE WORK OF TWISTEDINTERIORS. Their work would be much more professional.
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Last edited by eXentric; 03-21-2004 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:51 PM   #2
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Sample Installation Pic (NOT WORK BY TWISTED INTERIORS)
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:52 PM   #3
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Close up (remember work would be much more clean)
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:52 PM   #4
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The 1-DIN display I'm going with.

Here is the link to the display at DigitalWW.com.

Last edited by eXentric; 03-21-2004 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:53 PM   #5
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Another option. This one's motorized. Both displays have USB touch and at LEAST 800 x 600 res.

Here is the link to the display at DigitalWW.

Last edited by eXentric; 03-21-2004 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:54 PM   #6
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Just a shot of the space available in the dash in this area. This picture is borrowed from jdaled's Kenwood Music Keg install.

Last edited by eXentric; 03-21-2004 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 05:29 PM   #7
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If you can get a picture of what the final product would look like, I would definitely place an order. I wanted to put in my Alpine unit into that similar slot... along with my Nav Alpine in the rear of the car.
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Old 03-21-2004, 05:30 PM   #8
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There won't be any final picture of the product until at least four orders are placed. But I will post pictures here when mine is completed. I can't post any pictures yet, obviously, because it doesn't exist. All I can asy is that it will look better then what you see in the pictures above.

Last edited by eXentric; 03-21-2004 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 06:22 PM   #9
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So the price is 150? And what we are getting for 150 would be a new top (on top of the red display) with a 1 din slot, painted to match the rx-8 interior exactly? From the time 4 people are on board how long would this take to complete? Also excentric can you give me the brand and model of the 1 din display you are going with, and a link to specs of it? How much is it costing you? Im also interested in the motorized one as well, this is really appealing to me... What nav are you going with? I think I will go with http://www.deluo.com/Merchant2/gps_for_laptop.php either a hard wired or a bluetooth reciever with the routis software (it looks touch screen friendly)

Last question what kind of install are we looking at... on a scale of 1 through 10 1 being easy 10 being very very dificult
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Old 03-21-2004, 07:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
what we are getting for 150 would be a new top (on top of the red display) with a 1 din slot, painted to match the rx-8 interior exactly
That is correct. TwistedInteriors gave me two options for the finish.
[list=1][*]They reproduce the exact texture and exact color of the dashboard that's already in our RX8s. In other words, you wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't a stock option.[*]They would make the piece in super-high-gloss black to match the factory head unit, the power-window panels on the door and other various high-gloss areas in the cabin.[/list=1]

The four of us would have to agree on the finish because the finish determines the mold. That's not to say that a second mold couldn't be made later, but that would require another four individuals interested in that second texture.

My vote (and I'm hoping that three people will agree with me) is to have the same finish and color of the existing dash. I think the black-gloss would look cool too, but I think it wouldn't look as stock and that's the look I'm going for. HOWEVER, having said that, if three other people want the black gloss finish, I'll take the same so we can get it done.

As for the displays, I went back and updated the image captions for both displays to take you directly to the page where you can buy them. I've been shopping at Digital World Wide, so you can check out their entire inventory. They have several displays that are even cheaper then those two if you don't need high-res or don't need touch. I happen to want both.

Regards,

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Old 03-21-2004, 07:37 PM   #11
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Sorry I forgot to answer your question on time.

He couldn't give me an exact date because of the way their business works. It's basically a walk-up business so their workload changes. However, he told me that when we get four people committed, he'd nail down a more final date for us.

I don't expect this to take longer then three or four weeks. But I don't want to put words in his mouth. If four of us are interested but it has to be within a timeframe, I can communicate that with him also.

They are a professional business and this is what they get paid to do, so it's not like they would put us on the back burner or anything.

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Old 03-21-2004, 07:45 PM   #12
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But I thought you were going to get the first test model, so that we can see what the mold would look like?

Or is it 3 additional people have to buy this along with you without first looking at this product?
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:04 PM   #13
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Another question how will you be going about installing your nav and carputer etc?

Im almost on board
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Or is it 3 additional people have to buy this along with you without first looking at this product
That is correct. If the pictures and a guarantee that it will be better quality then what you see are not enough for you, then do not get involved in the first batch. Perhaps you can get involved in the second batch after the first of us have paved the way for the rest.

Remember, the initial cost (300 to 400) is for the time and effort it takes to get the mold perfect. But he's willing to wave that cost if he's guaranteed four sales or more.

Quote:
Another question how will you be going about installing your nav and carputer etc?
I plan to be installing a microATX either under the passenger seat or in the glovebox. But I can't afford the PC yet. I just purchased the display. So, for the first couple of months I will be using my laptop and that will probably sit in the passenger seat when no-one else is there.

I have a CF GPS card similar to this one with the external antenna. I'll mount the antenna next to the XM radio antenna. I plan to add XM radio by adding an XM PCR. The PC-based User Interface deffinately lends itself to a touch-screen. For additional music, I will either have a very large hard disk or I will hook up my external 120GB via USB2 or 1394.

You and I can talk more details over PM if you'd like. But I'd like to keep this thread on getting the dash piece fabricated.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:28 PM   #15
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Forgot another response, sorry:

Quote:
on a scale of 1 through 10 1 being easy 10 being very very dificult
I would probably guess about a 3. It shouldn't be any harder to install then opening your existing dash and putting it back together.

You could probably just about follow these instructions from jdaleds music keg install. But it souldn't be too extremely difficult.

When I do mine, I'll be sure to document it step-by-step for everyone else.
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Old 03-21-2004, 08:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by eXentric
That is correct. If the pictures and a guarantee that it will be better quality then what you see are not enough for you, then do not get involved in the first batch. Perhaps you can get involved in the second batch after the first of us have paved the way for the rest.
Not to sound indignant, but that was what I was asking for. A picture of what the final product would look like.. Or just what Twisted Interiors have produced so far. You showed a picture of some other company's product. I'm merely enquiring more info before I spend money.

If Rotarygod said this company is good, that would be good... but I would still like to see something they've produced. Just look at IPT and their first initial posts for selling True Carbon Fiber molds... when they didn't show pictures, people were hesitant. As they showed products they've produced, more and more people signed up.
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:06 PM   #17
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I understand. I've already contacted Twisted and asked them for some digital shots of their work. He said he'd get me some and I will post them here as soon as I have my hands on them.

So far one other person has PMd me and committed to the purchase so we're half-way there. I'll post more info as soon as I have it.

Thanks for your interest Outlaws.
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:15 AM   #18
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Sorry, cross-posted...

Looks like the first viable option..

I'm interested in keeping all the rest of the stock features, but adding this as well. Do you know how much depth the DIN slot will have? As that will big a big factor on exactly which screens you could put in it. I'm concerned that there may not be enough depth. Also, this doesn't prevent the functioning of the LCD screen at all does it?

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Old 03-22-2004, 01:04 PM   #19
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This is pretty much what I've been looking for myself.

I suppose it would work with any device that says it's DIN sized, right? I'm looking at motorized retractable units, like this one from Kenwood , and it does say it is DIN sized.

I'm planning on using AV in from the HKS CAMP, using the HKS junction box and install oil/water temp, EGT, and maybe a/f if the HKS can understand WBO2. Then probably just take audio out to an FM tuner.

Just give me the confirmation that any product reporting itself as DIN will work and I'll probably give you my signature on this one. $150 for a custom dash piece is not bad at all. I was looking at doing it myself (just cutting out the spot and using some trim around the edges) but with the sharp angle that the dash rests at you're stuck with either having the unit stick out a few inches from the top, or sit back a few inches from the bottom, both of which do not look clean. But with a custom dash kit, it looks like they plan to flatten out the part just above the stock display so you can mount nice and flush at both the top and bottom of your unit.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:07 PM   #20
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This piece should not effect the functionality of the red display in any way. We're not interefearing with any of its wiring, we're just consuming the space that would normally be consumed by the stock nav display.

As for depth... that's a good question but my gut feeling is that it's pretty deep. I haven't taken my dash apart, I may do so tonight, but you can see the photo in the first page of this post.

The DIN slot will be angled downward slightly just like it is in the example picture of the guy that did it in Japan. The reason for this angle is so that the display can extend underneat the center chanel speaker. So you could pull out a ruler and measure from the front of the panel to the side of the center speaker that's closest to the window and that would be roughly the amount of space you have to play with.

Without actually pulling my dash apart and measuring, I'd just have to guess by that picture. But I'd bet there will be a foot or so of play from front to back.

In jdaleds Music Keg thread, tipk99 asked:

Quote:
In your opinion, after having the top center console removed (above the radio) is there room to fit a DIN radio?
jdaled replied:

Quote:
Hmmm, I didn't think so at first, but I went back and looked a my pics, and now I think it just might work.
I'll be attaching another shot of the dash hole from higher up. I'm also borrowing this from jdaleds keg install thread. I really hope you dont mind jdaled...

When I go home tonight I'll pull mine apart and make some measurements. But that hole looks awefully huge.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:08 PM   #21
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Another shot of the open dash from jdales wonderfully documented Music Keg install. Thanks for the great shots jdaled.

The Kenwood box there is part of jdaleds install. That space would be available to us.

Last edited by eXentric; 03-22-2004 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:15 PM   #22
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Also, keep in mind that someone has already installed an Alpine IVA-D900J in exactly this way. It's dimensions are:

Size of main unit:

Width: 7" (178mm)
Height: 1.98" (50mm)
Depth: 6.5" (165mm)

Size of TV tuner unit:

Width: 6.85" (174mm)
Height: 1.86" (47.3mm)
Depth: 1.02" (26mm)

Last edited by eXentric; 03-22-2004 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:20 PM   #23
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I found more information on the display I'm purchasing. Apparently that link is the same display that I want, it just doesn't feature the VGA connection and the USB touch. There's lots more pictures from different angles there if you want to check it out. There is a pigtail that plugs into the back of the single cable comming out of the unit that breaks out power, inputs, etc.

It's dimensions are:

Width: 7.13" (182mm)
Height: 2" (50.8 mm)
Depth: 6.5" (165mm)

Last edited by eXentric; 03-22-2004 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 03-22-2004, 02:04 PM   #24
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exentric obviously already knows this but Twisted Interiors is my friend John's shop. It is his shop where I do all of my custom work. In one of our other threads he can be seen helping me with the initial mold for the 8" boxes. I still need to get back up there and finish them off too. John does alot of different work and is very talented. I have been helping him with a pretty neat demo vehicle for MA Audio. I taught him how to do alot of things early on several years ago but now he has come into his own and is one of the more talented installers out there. I ask him for input now! Don't be scared of his work (he does build bondage furniture so be a little scared!). He knows what he is doing. If I had enough time I'd be up there more often.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
(he does build bondage furniture so be a little scared!)
Ok, I'm in.


I'm still researching the screens I'm interested in. Needs to be motorized retractable, maybe multiple av inputs so I don't have to worry about using an av selector. Built in dvd player and touch screen control are a major plus, that way I can get a 'dummy nav' system by picking up a nav dvd.

Final goal is digital gauges for various temps, voltage, a/f and maybe boost in the far future (datalogging would be sweet too, not sure if the hks I'm looking at can do that yet), dvd/playstation/computer output, and touchscreen nav.

I get giddy thinking about it. Loss of coherency, sorry.
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Old 03-22-2004, 03:27 PM
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