Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
From the box, the PDA mount has a little spring lever that provides constant tension for the suction cup that holds the thing to the windshield. I tapped the pin out of the lever and removed that whole suction cup assembly so I could mount it directly to the pillar trim, as you can see in the above pic.
Then I cut a notch at the botom outside corner of the pillar trim. This is to allow the power cord and the audio cord to be out of sight and out of the way except for the portions that are in the PDA. I already had the two cords sticking through the dash before I put the pillar trim back on.
And, here's the finished result. Not what you'd call "trick", but it looks better than having it hang from the windshield and with cords strewn over the dash. I do want to find a couple 90-degree elbow adapters for the two cords so it pulls them out of view a little more--especially that power cord on the bottom.
Then, it was time for the Bondo. I put an initial base layer of filler over the affected areas. I sanded, then added a bit more where there were low spots. Sanded again, and then hit a couple of other obvious spots one time more.
Now, my approach to the roof was a little different than what other people would have done. Ideally, the whole front section would have been stripped down to metal and a larger area hit with a thin layer of Bondo, followed by a lot of sanding and smoothing and repeated process. However, my plan for the roof was different than a traditional smooth and paint to match job. I wanted to add a utility/off-road touch to the car by covering the roof with a tough, durable truck bed liner. Weird, I know. I haul mountain bikes a lot on the roof, and am constantly laying things on the roof, so I wanted to go this route. With the factory roof rack lines that were black and separated the roof from the rest of the car, I thought it might work. And, as a bonus, it would cover many of the small imperfections that would have taken hours and hours to work out. If not for the fact that I'm putting a bicycle carrier on the roof rack, I probably would not have gone this route. Hard to tell how it will look until the car is finished, with the complete rack setup installed.
I cut the beams into pieces that fit the strip that needed reinforced, then flattened the ends to help them fit into place between the roof beams in Project Green. Then, I wedged them in place and positioned them where needed. The first beam and the windshield support beam had been gapped a little from the roof structure, and there didn't seem to be a way to bring the two together. Besides, this method offered the strucural rigidity under the damaged area that I wanted.
I was rather pleased with the finished product. It has a LOT of strength/support, and I thinkI could sit on that portion of the roof and not worry about those dents falling back in.
Finally, I hit the beams that were cut and installed with a seam sealer. This should seal things together and be similar to the factory stuff that's squirted in there at assembly.