It's a 2009 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4. It's much more versatile and can haul around my ever growing family much easier than my small coupes of yore (although I miss those fun little cars)! I bought it last year and started installing my system around the New Year. I've done all of the work myself (as I have done with all my systems in the past).
I also wanted to keep things fairly stock looking…which I am not finished working on. Right now, I have everything operational; I just need to make it look pretty.
Although it is the same computer that I have used in the past two cars, I decided to upgrade some of the components while it was out. Here's what I have:
CarPC Components: Harware:
•Castronic/Travla C-138 case
•Zotac H55ITX-A-E WiFi (Mini-ITX Motherboard)
•Intel Core i3 530 CPU
•2x 2GB DDR3 GSkill 10666 RAM
•Intel X25-M 64GB SDD (for all software)
•Additional 500GB 7200rpm sHDD (for the music, pics, and videos)
•M4-ITX 250W DC-DC power supply
•Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium soundcard
•XM PCR (XM radio receiver to USB)
•XM PCR Optical output add-on
•7" Transflective Optically Bonded Lilliput 669GL Touch Screen Monitor with HDMI (an amazing screen)!!!
•Qstarz BT-818x (GPS receiver)
•OBDPro Smart Switch (OBD II reader to USB tool)
•Viston HD radio (HD & standard radio to USB controller)
•External slot load DVD Drive
•JoyCon EX steering wheel controller (not hooked up yet) Software:
•Windows 7 32-bit Home Premium
•RideRunner frontend with DFX 5.1 skin
•Media Player Classic – Home Cinema
•Garmin Mobile PC software
•DashCommand OBD II software
•Audison BitOne.1 sound processor
•JL Audio HD600/4 amp (powering tweeters and mid ranges)
•JL Audio XD600/6 amp (4 channels bridged powering woofers and 2 channels powering coaxs)
•JL Audio HD750/1 amp (powering subwoofer)
•Morel Elate 9 3way front speaker system (all active crossover with the BitOne)
•Focal 165 CVX 6.5” coaxial rear speakers (for the kids)
•Image Dynamics IDQ10V3.D4 Subwoofer
•Mr. Marv custom ported subwoofer box (1.0 cu ft tuned to 30Hz)
•KnuKonceptz Kolossus Flex KFX-PK20 (0/1 gauge wiring kit & distro blocks)
•Plenty of sound deadening material from sounddeadenershowdown.com
•Escort Passport 9500ci stealth system
•Access Limited Edition soft tonneau
•Wet Okole full piping seat covers (charcoal w/ black piping)
•WeatherTech side window deflectors
•Weather Tech digital cut floor mats (gray)
•Window Tint - Solar Gard HP Charcoal 28 (front) & HP Charcoal 50 (on top of factory tinted rears)
•LED lights inside and out (except main Headlights and fog lights)
•Oznium High Intensity Flood LED’s under the hood and in the bed (soon to be added)
•Pop N Lock PL5300
•OEM bed extender
•Extra D-rings in bed
•SS braided brake lines
•Anytime Rear-view camera switch
•Color Matched Grill and mirrors
•HID’s behind Modified grill
•Goodyear Wrangler Duratrcs (265/75/16) on my stock rims (I really like those rims)!
•SpiderTrax wheel spacers
•Toyotec lift kit w/ new leaf pack (not going for full 3” lift…just something to improve ride and level things out)
Although this is something that I could do in about a week, it ended up taking me many many months thanks to work, school (online), my family, etc… The only way I was able to get as far as I did is because I’d work on what I could during some lunch breaks or between coming home and eating dinner. So I drove around without any music (or even any seats except the driver’s seat) for many weeks in a row. But it is well worth it!!! Plus, there is always that something extra special about knowing that you did the work (and saved thousands in labor).
Sorry I didn’t include more pictures of when the truck was completely gutted. It was the last thing to cross my mind during those busy times…plus, there are already some good pictures of sound deadening installs in the audio section. But here are the pics that I do have to share.
I have to point out how awesome this optically bonded screen is (from Mo-So-Co). it's expensive, but well worth it! Here it is in direct sunlight at high noon:
The amps and sound processor are under the rear seats. Even though they are in there pretty securely right now, I plan to build a small amp rack so that it doesn't look so messy. Sorry for the washed out pics...it was really hot and sunny that day. Here is where they are hiding:
Here is the Morel CDM-88 3" mid-woofer. I was originally going to mount it behind the stock mid grill, but I wanted to play with the imaging so I currently have it temporarily mounted on the front side of the door. It's funny how most people don't notice them since they're black...
Here's the door as it sits today (notice the Morel MT-23 tweeters in the sails):
The actual CarPC resides under my driver's seat:
The XM PCR and the Viston HD Radio reside under the front passenger seat:
I didn't like how dark the cabin was, so I went to Autozone and picked up some LED's for the Dome/Map lights. Even then, I wanted a bit more. So I grabbed a 12" strip of LED's, soldered them to the dome light switch, and installed them in the front foot wells:
The system certainly sound amazing!!! It really helped that I have an active crossover system, otherwise they wouldn't have sounded as good (because I initially used the crossovers that the passive crossover uses for the Elate 9 3-way as a starting point...and it didn't sound that great at all).
But before I used the passive crossover settings, I tried using the same points and slopes that I had previously stored on the BitOne when it was in my last car. It's amazing how this same system sounded so different in my last car. For the first month, I was worried that it was going to sound worse because those previous settings, and the passover setting both didn't work, I was back at square one and I wasn't having much luck tuning it properly. Thankfully, I gradually got each speaker closer to their sweet spot I am in love!!!! Plus, it certainly helps that the ported sub compliments the Elate 9's muuuuuuch better than it did when it was sealed.
everything else looks good. i like it and can't wait to see it oh, theirs also another asus board, newegg doesnt carry it for osme reason asus might of even stoped making it becuase of low demand but it's has a crap ton more features, wifi, video, and some other stuff.
I would have chosen the Asus over Zotac anyday but, at the time, it was the the only board that could support the i3 AND had enough USB ports for my system (I use all 10 ports).
I need a USB port for:
- power supply monitor
- mini wireless Keyboard
- steering wheel controller
- open port that is extended to the front dash
- 2 ports for the external DVD
So far, the Zotac hasn't been bad other than the BIOS being too slow and very limited (I can't speed it up since I have very limited settings I can change). But other than that, it has done pretty good for the past year and a half.
The speakers are powered by the amps just as they are in a normal setup.
The hard part is getting a good signal from the PC before that signal is amplified. I had to use a soundcard in the past because you could hear every little change that was happening on the Hard Drive through the speakers. Luckily motherboards have improved so onboard sound output has improved significantly, so most don't need a dedicated soundcard anymore.
To connect the PC to the amps (or in my case, to connect the PC to the sound processor), all I really need is a 3.5mm to rcacable without any issue. But since I still had my dedicated soundcard that has an optical digital output, I use that output to go into my Bit1.
Did you have to mod the door at all to get those Elate 9's to fit? ie. have to widen the opening at all? I am curious as I have a Rav4 that is quite similar I think. The speaker baffle sure looks the same anyways (but mine has a 7 inch driver in it). I don't know if you have had much experience with hi end 6.5 drivers but what is the output difference? Is it huge for midbass or just barely noticeable?
To get those Elate 9's to fit, I first had to trim some of the excess plastic that went around the OEM speakers. Once the back of the door was flat behind the OEM grill, I only needed a few more millimeters of clearance (with the Morel metal grills on). I probably didn't need the metal grills on, but I didn't want to chance any rubbing on these speakers.
To get the door to snap on, I heated the spot where the door touched the speaker grill with my wife's hair dryer. I had to heat it for a few minutes and then push out on that spot from behind until the door had cooled again.
But I didn't have to do any cutting or modification of the actual metal door.
Unfortunately, I was in a hurry while installing the screen, so I didn't take pictures. Luckily, it was pretty strait forward since I actually didn't have to fabricate anything from scratch (like I had to do in my past vehicles). I got lucky because Lilliput has a mount so you can attach the screen to a standard double DIN stereo mount by using this adapter (or another one if you don't have the 669 screen like I bought). I then found a double DIN trim from ebay that was specific to my truck to make it look stock (aka, good).
Just make sure that after you wire up the screen, you test it out before you screw it in and snap in all of the trim. It's not fun taking it all apart when you're trying to trouble shoot an issue...
When building a car pc do you have to account for the weather extremes it may be exposed to?
In the planning phase, you should definitely take it into account. For example, the touchscreens can easily have a problem when below 32 (F). I had the problem on my first touchscreen...I would have to wait for my car to warm up before using it. If I didn't, I would press on the screen in on area, but the touch would register on the other side of the screen (if at all)!
I also had a problem with overheating when I lived in GA during the summers. after some testing, I found out that my car would go well above 120 (F) during the summer months inside the cabin and the trunk. In fact, I found that the cabin got hotter than the trunk (when sitting in the sun for hours).
Anyways, my first CarPC was a SFF desktop (a Dell Optiplex). Once summer hit, it kept shutting down on me due to temp problems. So for my second carputer, I made sure I found a MB that could operate in higher temps which led me to the Via Epia EN15000. I never had any overheating problems with hat (or my current) motherboard.
Also, don't forget that you'll have to think about problems with HDD's or even SSD's and RAM.
If you live in super cold or hot areas, it might help to put the PC under one of the front seats if you have floor vents under there. I have that floor vent blowing directly into the side of my case so that the AC or heat can get my PC into the proper temps faster than it could do on its own. (you can't see the floor vent in the pictures above because it's under the carpet)