I flipped my main switch on and slowly reached for the Power button and pressed it. WOW, I was stunned! I played with it for 30 minutes and tested the PANP functions. All works flawlessly. I then removed the dash again to begin the cluster connector, external speaker for the MP3 player which is all that remained for the dash itself.
Next up is the cluster connections and building my molex connector. This takes patience. I bought a special tool for crimping the pins.
The MP3 player for the dash requires a 4 ohm 3 watt speaker. Most speakers like this are very small and after some searching, I came across one that was removed from a musical keyboard and it is quite large in size and I feel will produce a fuller sound. I chose a perfect mounting spot central to the car and this turned out to be perfect place to mount and fits the cluster bezel like a glove which was just pure luck.
The connector is finished and the two speaker leads also run through the same connector.
One of my main goals with this project is to have absolutely no exposed wiring hanging down anywhere and simplify the installation with just two connectors. Also, when looking up behind the dash, you will see the factory dash as-is with the cluster and even the bezel in its place. No unfinished look behind the dash. The headlight switch also remains in the factory location and due to the thin ZA electronics is easily reachable where it's at.
The last thing I've done so far is light up the lower console. The 5 red and green I have came with a breadboard to simplify wiring. I had to section the breadboard for better fitment, but it worked out good. All switches are wired to a single power and ground cable. The 4 white rockers are always lit, the 5 red are always lit and the 5 green only light when you press them. In the future, I can easily connect the switches to functions, but for now, it's just for looks.
The last piece of the puzzle is the pod switches which have got the best of me. I almost considered just running with the fake ones! There is simply no good way to mount these. I've tried and failed several things and will be regrouping after Christmas to give it another go. After all of the work I've done so far, you would think these tiny little switches in the small fiberglass pod would be a breeze, but it's turned out to be the most complicated part of this project. Stay tuned for further updates!
Back to the PODS. Finally finished this up and it was not easy. I have a ridiculous amount of time in creating this, but it turned out exceptional I think. So after some thinking and more thinking and searching, I found out you can buy electrical red fiberglass in varying thicknesses and sizes. So, I bought a 1ft x 1ft x 3/8" thick piece and began!
This stuff is nice to work with and after an eternity of filing and sanding, here's the rough look:
It's also ideal for drilling and tapping as well to secure my POD swtiches to and secure the whole unit to the pod and I also put a slight radius on the corners:
Last edited by KentuckyKITT on Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This design allows me to not have to cut the back of the pod out at all. Originally I was going to have two countersunk screws in the back, but I ended up only being able to use one on each side due to the other screw would have been exposed in the side curve and not work very well, so after determining one would hold tight, this was finally done!
Next I fine tuned the bezels and primed and painted them:
And this is the final result and ready to go back in the car! Except right now it's frigid cold, so it will be awhile before I get it all back in the car, but I think everything turned out pretty good. Still debating on keeping my non-functional CRTs or just going ahead and putting LCDs in. Not sure yet. Wish I could figure out a way to have the CRT look, but also functional LCDs when I want.