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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Looking for advice around installing a double-DIN DVD receiver in the door of my limo. The door has this nifty wooden thing installed. On the right is an ice chest, on the left is where a little TV used to be (this was way-cool in 1994). The TV would flip out on that metal bracket, and flip back so you could close the roll-top door.

I want to install a double-DIN receiver for the rear passengers on the left. There are 2 options:

1) take out the swing-out bracket and fabricate some sort of face-plate/mounting plate. Usable dimensions of the opening are 7 3/4" wide, 7" deep and 7" tall. It would be a little tight, but I think I can get a standard double-DIN receiver in there. The question is how to mount it. I haven't seen a double-DIN with a "sleeve", or at least the last couple Pioneers that I bought didn't have one. They seem to rely on aftermarket installation kits for mounting. Not sure what would work in this custom arrangement.

2) Keep the flip-out bracket and install the radio in it. This would give me 2" additional depth (about 9"). The bracket dimension is 7 1/4" x 4 1/2", which I can tweak to secure a double-DIN receiver. The issue then is that the whole receiver will pretty much be exposed when you flip it out. I'd have to fabricate some sort of cover to make it look better.

So which is better? Flip out or make-a-face-plate? Advice on construction of either?

Thanks!

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Actually, after looking at it, I can hack out the back of the box to get infinite depth (or at least to the door's sheet metal, which is way more than I'd ever need).

So I'm leaning toward fabricating a faceplate/mounting plate. Should it be wood? With 7 3/4" width, I don't have a lot of room to play with on the sides, but I can make a beefy mounting point on the top and bottom.

I don't even know where to begin, really. I want something that won't look cheesy, and maybe complement the wood that's already there.
 

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Alpine W505 has a sleeve. If you find a used one without one PM me and I have one I didn't use in my custom fab install. I have done..........About 4 limos now. Best thing you can do for that is get something that does have a decent cage around it (like a w505) and make a veneer wrap that matches the wood and wraps the cage but also can be concealed by the beauty ring on the face of the HU so you cannot see any gaps on the front. If you have never worked with veneer, ask and I will do a quick write up. Then mount the whole deal to the track and you are done. Clean up any wiring you may have. W505 is pretty clean, but there is a ****load of it, especially if you add screens, rear cameras, etc.....

Jesse
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alpine W505 has a sleeve. If you find a used one without one PM me and I have one I didn't use in my custom fab install. I have done..........About 4 limos now. Best thing you can do for that is get something that does have a decent cage around it (like a w505) and make a veneer wrap that matches the wood and wraps the cage but also can be concealed by the beauty ring on the face of the HU so you cannot see any gaps on the front. If you have never worked with veneer, ask and I will do a quick write up. Then mount the whole deal to the track and you are done. Clean up any wiring you may have. W505 is pretty clean, but there is a ****load of it, especially if you add screens, rear cameras, etc.....

Jesse
Thanks! It's cool that you've worked on limos. I like the old-school RWD Caddies and had to have a stretched Fleetwood. It's the last of the big, RWD Cadillacs and has the benefit of being powered by a Chevy 350 (read: easy to wrench on). Having a 17-year-old car with modern electronics is a blast.

Veneer sounds like a great idea to keep the whole wood theme going. I can fabricate a frame to hold the receiver and put a veneer plate over it, right? I've never worked with veneer before.....

As far as the cage goes, I guess Pioneer is kind of unique in not providing them. I was looking at the JVC KW-AVX840 and it comes with a cage. I'd also like to put RCA A/V and USB in the panel I fabricate. I can bring that stuff from around the back of the receiver to the panel. This way, I don't have to try to run the aux input through the door pillar - I already have a lot of wiring to jam through that rubber conduit. We can plug in the iPod/iPhone or Xbox right at the receiver in the middle door. The middle door rarely gets used, so I'm not worried about pinching/crushing the wires over time.

I'll check out the W505, too.

This is kind of off topic, but maybe someone will know: Inside that wooden box is a coax cable that was previously used for the TV. It runs to a second, dedicated power antenna at the back of the car (the other, factory antenna is used for the stock radio and the currently-installed rear receiver). It appears to be a standard FM antenna and cable. Trouble is, whoever removed the TV cut the end off the cable. Anyone know of a source for an antenna-type connector that I can crimp on the end of it? Or should i get a short antenna cable and use a barrel-type connector to splice it? It would suck to have to run new antenna wire to that door.
 

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I'd also like to put RCA A/V and USB in the panel I fabricate. I can bring that stuff from around the back of the receiver to the panel. This way, I don't have to try to run the aux input through the door pillar - I already have a lot of wiring to jam through that rubber conduit. We can plug in the iPod/iPhone or Xbox right at the receiver in the middle door. The middle door rarely gets used, so I'm not worried about pinching/crushing the wires over time.

I'll check out the W505, too.
The W505 has inputs and outputs for all of those accessories. iPod/iPhone plug and play. You can run a usb cable around to the face from the back and fab that in easy.

This is kind of off topic, but maybe someone will know: Inside that wooden box is a coax cable that was previously used for the TV. It runs to a second, dedicated power antenna at the back of the car (the other, factory antenna is used for the stock radio and the currently-installed rear receiver). It appears to be a standard FM antenna and cable. Trouble is, whoever removed the TV cut the end off the cable. Anyone know of a source for an antenna-type connector that I can crimp on the end of it? Or should i get a short antenna cable and use a barrel-type connector to splice it? It would suck to have to run new antenna wire to that door.
No new wire needed, you can get those ends online or mmmmaaaaayyyybe at the shack. Yes you need a special crimp tool, but hell I use to buy those ends by the bags. Make sure you get the right stile end for your cable type. Should only be pennies, but since you only need one it may be a couple bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No new wire needed, you can get those ends online or mmmmaaaaayyyybe at the shack. Yes you need a special crimp tool, but hell I use to buy those ends by the bags. Make sure you get the right stile end for your cable type. Should only be pennies, but since you only need one it may be a couple bucks.
Cool - I'll look for those ends. The only downside is that the second antenna is operated manually from a switch up front. I could run a wire so that it would go up automatically, but it's not worth the effort. I don't listen to the radio much anyway, particularly in the back of the car.
 

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Cool - I'll look for those ends. The only downside is that the second antenna is operated manually from a switch up front. I could run a wire so that it would go up automatically, but it's not worth the effort. I don't listen to the radio much anyway, particularly in the back of the car.
When does the antenna need to go up? With the HU? If so just run a rem wire from the HU that is right there to the actuator wire of the power window motor so when the hu comes on so does the ant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When does the antenna need to go up? With the HU? If so just run a rem wire from the HU that is right there to the actuator wire of the power window motor so when the hu comes on so does the ant.
I can do that. I need to run wires to the rear speakers so I guess I may as well run a rem wire to the second antenna, too. Wasn't thinking, I guess....
 

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I can do that. I need to run wires to the rear speakers so I guess I may as well run a rem wire to the second antenna, too. Wasn't thinking, I guess....
Limos require enough wiring, might as well make the simple stuff easy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Limos require enough wiring, might as well make the simple stuff easy
Yep. I got lucky on a couple of occasions with the wiring. There are some options that were pre-wired from the coach builder that weren't installed. As a result, I've got a lot of wires running from front to back that are unused. Have been able to use them for other things.

As per usual with used cars, previous owners have done some pretty hokey things with wiring and repairs, but I'm catching up with all that. I've only had the car for a couple of months, after having sold a shorter '96 stretch.

Thanks for all your help. I'll post back with my progress....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Here's my progress so far. It looks crude, but I bought some upholstery-grade black leather to cover up the face plate. There's so little material showing once the radio is installed, it doesn't make any sense to mess around with veneer or other materials. The leather was $35/yard, but I only needed a little bit so it was $9.

I used 3M General Trim Adhesive to affix the leather to the faceplate. It's drying now, then I'll screw the faceplate into the wooden box.

Pics:







In hindsight, I probably should have used MDF for the faceplate rather than plywood, but what can you do? I also needed to hack out the back of the box for the head unit. There's no way it was going to fit depth-wise.

And since I'm on a budget, I got a JVC AVX640. I don't need bluetooth or navigation in the back of the limo, so I got the lower-level unit.

I'll post pics of the finished product in coming days. Wiring is next....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Two more pics. It came out decent. I'd have centered it top-to-bottom, but the roll-top door hits the back of the head unit. I'm going to put the AUX IN (audio and video) RCA jacks up there anyway, so that will fill the black space above the radio.



 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
All done for now. It's functional. Need to tidy up the wiring a bit, but it sounds great. I had an old RF 500a2 amp laying around so I installed that instead of bringing the JVC wiring out of the wooden box. All I needed to bring out of the box was USB, RCA and the remote antenna leads. Everything else was already in the door: constant hot, switched hot, ground and a dimmer lead (that wooden box is lit up at night).

The Radio Shack Motorola adapter worked awesome on the previously-cut RG59 cable. FM reception is great. Antenna is still manual via a switch under the dash, but I like it that way. I'll only raise it when we want to listen to the radio.

I'm hanging the TV next, and would really like to get another set of speakers in there. I just have the rear ones hooked up. There never were any front ones, but I'm going to change that eventually.





One pic is with the door open, the other is with it closed. It's cool because when we're tailgating, I can open up the door and you can mess with the receiver without getting into the car.
 
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