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OK, the cat's out of the bag...

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If anyone's read the turbocharger vs supercharger thread you may have read my last post where I mention:

I'd love to see some really tough Corollas on our streets, but mine's not going to be one of them, I'm going "multimedia cruiser" style with mine. I'm off to buy an Apple Mac Mini in the morning to put into my 'Rolla with the system from my old car and a touch-screen. I'm planning wireless, gps, all audio&video formats, webserver, webcams... the lot.

To that end, I'm in the planning stage now and I plan to tell you all about it and show you the build and the results. Regardless of whether I do go thru with it I'll get it working 'on the workbench' and post a detailed description of the process and the plan.

What I need first is any information you guys (and gals) think is relevant. What features you'd like to see in something like this, and any considerations or problems I may encounter.

Primarily I'm interested from hearing from anyone who's modified their dash and console or just explored what's behind the dash and found spaces where you've put remote units for high end head-units or similar. I'd like to keep my glovebox untouched so I'll look at hiding all the parts in behind the console/dash.

I am thinking of losing the ashtray and the compartment above it so if anyone's removed these I'd like to know what's involved. I'll either fibreglass a screen into there (possibly tough to see and use) or onto the dash above the headunit.

Also, I'd like to put a small antenna for Wi-Fi on the car, I'm looking for a 'glass mount' like mobile phones have but if there's a roof rack for the hatches I might be able to route cable thru a hole near where a roof rack would mount and this would allow me to use a better antenna (with higher gain). If anyone can help with suggestions for this I'd appreciate it. Or if anyone's had a good look under the roof lining you may have some input that could help.

Also, can anyone tell me if the towing kit includes an upgraded alternator or additional electrical capacity of any sort? I'd like to ensure minimal impact as possible and wiring peripherals into the fusebox or existing loom is preferential.

Again, all questions and suggestions are welcome, VERY welcome. I look forward to hearing from you. Wish me luck.

PS. I'll compile all my ideas and post the project plan some time in the coming days. I dream of an Autosalon display with a big plasma mirroring the incar screen and allowing music playlist control to passers-by thru their mobile phones with bluetooth. So who in Melbourne's interested in entering as a group next year?

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Custom work? Yay!! :D

For my headunit I thought the whole 'two trays' thing looked a bit unattractive. So the screen and headunit are mounted bang in the middle of that compartment. I think it looks great, looks better with a beefy headunit like mine. The pioneer screen I have is amazing as well. Great touchscreen and amazing imporvement on sound etc. RRP price is $4400.

Here is a pic of that headunit http://au.toyotaownersclub.com/forums/inde...rage_mod&id=288

I'm not too sure about hiding things in the actual dash, could be a little bit risky or cramped. Two places for large pieces of equipment are under the passenger and driver seats. Another place is in the actual door trim. And another place which I have used to full advantage is just behind the rear seats. Since I have a custom boot install the fibreglass covers it up and everything can tuck away nice and neatly there.

Another thing I have often thought about is an actual computer in the car. Like a proper PC. It looks to be like this can be achievable. This would make your project incredibly easy. Especially if you can somehow manage to hook to the PC up to the touchscreen. Buy a simple computer such as a motherboard with built in graphics board, some ram and a nice processor and that should be all you need for a PC. a small custom box could then be made for it which could slot into whereever you wanted it to go. Two ideal places are either the glovebox (which is a no no for you) or the center bit where most people store cd's and so on... where you can rest your arm whilst driving. If you have all power on buttons facing up and all usb ports/other ports facing up as well this should be more than possible.

Don't think you need to go exclusivly alpine to get your ipod to work with your headunit either. There are soon to be many headunits with that feature.. just be patient on that one.

The compartments in the console are fine to get rid of. In my WRX I have gotten rid of my ashtray compartment and put a turbo timer in there. Its mounted in properly to look good in the exact same way my headunit from the corolla is.

Speakers will be very important for your system. I urge you not to buy brand name speakers and instead go with the speakers that actually try hard to get quality. I would recommend Tru Technology amps, they are amazing. I would recommend rainbow speakers if you are wanting a clear sound and it's not for r&b music non stop. I would also recommend DD subwoofers, simply amazing subs.

Also one other thing, for wireless/bluetooth/gps and all that stuff, look for a pocket computer that has it all. A friend of mine has one and it is even a navigator too. Works like a treat and will save you cash on buying each feature seperatly. His simply clips onto the dash and away he goes.

Good luck with the custom world my friend :)

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