Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The No-Update Update...

OK--I haven't done a stinking thing to either car since the first post. The cars are in my dad's garage, and I live out of town, so I'll only be working on them when I get the chance to visit my folks. I have, however, been doing a little plotting and buying for the future. I had decided a bit back that I wanted to put an aftermarket GPS unit in the car; however, I didn't want to just stick it to the dash w/ velcro stickers or in one of those windshield arm holder things--I wanted to do a bit of a custom install to it. My first thought was the little pop-up storage unit on the top of the dash, but I couldn't decide exactly how to incorporate it in that thing and didn't like the idea of having to lift a lid to see it, as that would be dorky to drive w/ the lid popped open. Then I dropped the headliner and thought I might try to customize a pop down holder/bracket that I'd attach to the roof right there in the middle, at the windshield. I'll have to scavenge some junk yards to cadaver some things from other cars to use for this. I'll post something when I figure it out myself.

So, I started checking eBay for GPS units. Some are pretty basic and some do a little more. None were really all that cheap. Then, I saw a GPS upgrade for a Palm Pilot, and I just happen to own one of the two models it worked with. BINGO--new idea. I get a refurb Palm GPS package for $47. And, the cool part, I got lucky and won another PDA just like mine for $20! A Zire 72. Usually sells for triple and more. Now, I'm going to be able to make the PDA a permanent fixture to the car. With the PDA in the car I will be able to use it as an auto GPS device, I can play all my MP3 songs through the radio, I can control my cell phone via bluetooth through the PDA, I can play movies (very tiny movies of course) with the audio through the car's speakers, and all the usual PDA stuff like a calender and calculator and MS Office applications. I'm excited to get this installed and working and professional looking. Kind of like a little mini onboard computer for the car.

Of course, with the headliner removed from the car already (so I can work on that roof damage), I can run all the wires (power, audio) behind the headliner and behind the pillar trim for a super clean look. Now, I have to figure out what to do about the radio. It has the factory cassette deck radio, so I am going to have to do something to replace it so I an play CDs too. I might find a factory CD/cassette combo unit, or just get an aftermarket CD player that has line-in jacks to plug the PDA directly in w/o having to use the cassette adapter, which should produce a better sound for my MP3s.

While Project Green is at the frame shop (hopefully soon), I'll continue stripping the donor car. Hopefully, I can find another project car at a good price to rebuild using all these other parts. If not, I suppose I'll sell most of them and keep a few as spares.

Here's a short video shot of Project Green. Hopefully, on Sunday, I'll be able to post all kinds of progress...

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