Introduction: Modded Xbox Incorporated Into a Scion TC

Picture of Modded Xbox Incorporated Into a Scion TC

This project is not for the procrastinators who are faint hearted.

In doing this project the DIY'er holds all responsibilty for any type of damage. Whether it physical, mental, or property.

The brain of the project is a Xbox softmodded with linux running XBMC (Xbox Media Center) and a 250gb hard drive. There will be no section in this tutorial on how to softmod or instal XMBC on your Xbox. There is more than enough information already out under that subject. This project will show how you can take an Xbox and have the on/off, eject/close buttons, and the dvd drive in the center console for your convenience. It seems like a silly idea but imagine carrying your entire itunes library and any shows or movies you would like to watch on a long drive (as long as your not driving, Dangerous!!).

In this project I handled all the hardware situations but the software installations was all my friend BJ (so thank you, sorry missed halloween)

Step 1: Opening the Xbox

Picture of Opening the Xbox

First we will open the Xbox and get comfortable with what lies inside. To see how to open the Xbox or Xboxscene have excellent tutorials. After opened use Xboxscene to decipher which version the box is. If you have V1.0 to 1.5 you can use's atx to xbox psu converter.

I unfortunately did not have version 1.0 to 1.5 so i do not know exactly how to but you can use the converter to take the power from the car (12v) and use it to power the xbox directly. I had to use an old fashion inverter, which isn't bad but it would of made the project so much cleaner, more built in, if you will.

Well this is what my boxed looks like now. Pretty simple stuff. The bottom left is the two inputs for the 4 controller ports. Top right (bigger box) is the Ide cable which I kept as the flat ribbon style. I definitely think it is possible to get the rounded type of Ide cable for this project but I have not tried it. The small top right box is the power to the dvd drive, incredibly small wires. The mid right is the fan which I thought I should keep in there since it will be under a hot seat with not a whole lot of ventilation. The big middle box is the power cables to the hard drive, pretty self explanatory.

Step 2: Layout

Picture of Layout

Before you extend the wires or get busy buying wire you must figure out where the items will be setup. You can literally put any item anywhere you would like, given functionality and style, except the Ide cable. The Ide cable has a limit on how long it can be while still functioning correctly. I bought my custom cable from stone wall. Order a cable with the longest distance being from the motherboard to the hard drive because then you can tuck the hard drive under the carpet or anywhere incognito. Unless your seat is high enough to house the Xbox with the hard drive in it. You should figure out where you want the dvd drive and the Xbox, make sure it is not more than 48 inches and somewhere in the 48 inches plan where to put the hard drive. Anything else can go wherever you would like. Ports built into the console or in a cubby in the car. Whatever you want but be creative and buy a dremel to make precise cuts.

Don't Forget: This picture does not included the A/V cable.

Step 3: Modding the Car

Picture of Modding the Car

Now that you have fiugred out how the Xbox will lie in the car. Where the dvd drive will pop out from and where the hard drive and controller ports will stay out of site. It is time to measure twice and cut once. Measure the place for the Dvd drive make sure it fits. If cutting needs to be applied be careful and make sure measurements are accurate and that the ide cable will reach that far with the hard drive attached. Take out any necessary parts like the center console, seats, glove compartment, stereo, molding, and anything that could hide wires or any hardware. In the TC I took out the cenbter console by taking the shifter top off. Then prying up the piece of plastic that attaches to the boot and don't move it too fast because there will be a wire to unhook.. Then the cup holder piece and finally the stereo piece. Then unscrew the two phillip head screws. Then in the bottom of the center console cabinet is two bolts. When bolts are removed Put the stick shift in the farthest position to the back. Also undo The console is a power cable for the power outlet, undo that. Take the farthest back part of the console and pull towards the rear of the car. When it comes away from its screw spots in the front just remove carefully out the door. Probably have to trim a bit of the front corners for the dvd drive opening. Just measure and be careful with the dremel.

Step 4: Tedious Work.

Picture of Tedious Work.

Alright everything has its place but no power or information to make it work. This is the part that I messed up on and you can improve. I used single wires for each individual wire of each individual piece in this project. All you have to do is find out how many wires one cable has and find cable in Home Depot or Lowes or the Internet with that many conductors in it. Not too thick though, try to match the gauge. Cut a wire at a time and solder it. Keep doing this until all the wires are the lengths you need to fulfill the projects demand.

At this time you should also be waiting for your ide cable to come in the mail.

Now it is time to cut the Xbox down to size (only if your seat can not accommodate the height of the Xbox). Remove everything such as the mother board and the tin if it comes off. I had trouble removing mine.

I chopped the Xbox at the point of the middle of the vents. I cut the tin inside but be careful it sharp. Wear some gloves if you can. With no hard drive, dvd drive, buttons, or usb ports. You can chop it down tremendously.

When it is all said and done should fit quite nicely under a seat in your car.

Step 5: Removing Items for Work Room

Picture of Removing Items for Work Room

The seats, center console should be removed, and anything else in the way that could hide wires or objects. The seats in my car was five bolts. Three in the back covered in two plastic pieces that pop right off. Take the 5 bolts out and tip back the chair, but do not pick up. There should be a couple of wires to undo. Undo them and fold the chair up and carefully remove it.

Step 6: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up

Wires and controller (if thats what you want) are tucked away. Buttons are in place and tight. The power is hooked up and all the cords are plugged into its respective place in the motherboard. Now start it up. Does the xbox logo come up and then the Microsoft under xbox pop up? If it doesn't and the lights are flashing red. You may have not connected the a/v cable. If you get that far and an era code comes up. Google the era code and it will tell you what is wrong. Then fix accordingly. If you are running normal xbox I hope your game, dvd, or cd played. If your are running XBMC I hope the home page popped up. Congrads on a ridiculous (in a good way) project.

Step 7: Transfer Files.

This took me forever. I used the wireless router for xbox but that sucked and the speed was unbelievably slow. So I just bought a long Ethernet cable and plugged one end into my router and the other end into my Carbox. I downloaded FTX which is a program that can manually connect you to a computer. In XBMC set the network connection to static and put in the address and port number, name and password. Remember them and then put them up in FTX and do connect. It should show all the drives on the hard drive. It is as easy as taking a file, be it a movie, music, or show and dragging it over to the xbox drive you desire. Also with the dvd drive You can burn dvd data disks of music and play 4gb of music off of that or even transfer the music from the dvd to the xbox hard drive.
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Irock148 (author)2011-03-28

EVERYONE RUN FOR THEIR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fail, this isn't a Xbox 360...

Gostin (author)TheRealDutchOwner2012-10-25

Really? This is a fail? it's the original Xbox.

lonerayven (author)2011-08-25

I think I'm going to do a classier version of this mod in a scion XB. Anyone want to fund the research? :P Just kidding. I do have a serious lot of ingenious ideas for my XB, maybe ill just be that guy on instructables.

Royse9808 (author)2011-03-19

thats cool but did it destroy some of the car parts though

LennyTheDub (author)2011-01-02

Just wondering where you are? Just curious about effect from the climate? I'm in Canada, so hot and humid in the summer and freezing in the winter.

Squaretek Spenser (author)2010-10-07

You didn't need a power converter for the Xbox. Most gaming systems actually use around 12v of power. Instead of spending the extra $50, you could have just found the inverter that is inside the xbox case and disconnect it. Then run the 12v from the Xbox to a regulator then to a fused line to your battery.

Squaretek Spenser (author)2010-10-07

I've got a '95 Chevy Astro which I have converted into at "Shagin Wagon" and this modification is great. It's a rolling box of awesomeness. What the cool part is is the fact that I also have a projector set up so when I press a button in the front console, the rear window opens and I can project up to 112 inches of awesomeness onto anyone's wall (or on the side of a tractor trailer :))

waffleman (author)2009-12-19

you should try this with a 360 and try to somehow connect it to live. or even try to connect this one to live. your choice.

To connect a moving car to live, you would need to get a Verizon or ATT 3G USB router on a laptop and bridge the connections. The thing is, if you're out of cell phone tower range, no Live for you. BUT, if you wanted to, you could get a WiFi reciever for your 360 or PS2 and if you are on the road and stop at a WiFi-enabled hotel/motel, you'd have a nice little system. (no guarantee that the network would be able to handle that though. Might want to use a laptop or PC and see what the network settings are)

crc09 (author)2010-02-04

any tips for doing this for a ps2??

ikirt (author)2009-11-29

 Just wanted to add that you can also use USB sticks to transfer data to your xbox's HD or play media right from the USB stick.

cornboy3 (author)2008-04-22

I am so going to do this in my VW Van except geekier!

abadfart (author)cornboy32009-11-26

i am getting a mini van so that we are more comfortable when we visit family in new mexico "im in NE colorado" and this would be perfect to put games on but i might do it with a modded 360 

sashadalton43 (author)cornboy32009-01-21

thats the spirit!

gwolff (author)2009-02-03

I have a Scion tC.. if i had enough money,and didnt care about damagin my car forever, i would totalllyyy do this

abadfart (author)gwolff2009-11-26

you just don't have enough experience at modding your car  i have put so much stuff where it shouldn't be in cars and trucks

Kuhan (author)2008-09-24

hahaha the diagram is hilarious!

fjkl; (author)Kuhan2009-09-27

I keeeeel u! lol!

Lftndbt (author)2007-12-04

And the sound...?? Read it 3 times now and still can't find reference... In built into the existing system...? Yeah it would be... How's it sound? I only have a inverted PS2 with the joytech monitor in my glove box... I have wireless controller's to so it's pretty sweet... Are you looking into any eng/comp management intergration with the car? When I add my supercharger, i'll need the comp/fuel sys info setup so i'll be switching to an xbox... which I have ready to go in....

richiehops (author)Lftndbt2007-12-05

Should I answer all these open ended sentences with the question marks at the end of them...? I appreciate the comment so I will try and answer the question marks. The sound is straight my stereo speakers so it sounds exactly like a scion tc with a sub woofer would. My head unit has the computer/engine controls and navigation with a dvd player so xbox is just a media storage. The head unit has a auxilary hook up so the xbox sounds exactly like a dvd or cd would sound like in my head unit. There is a slight humming at time from the inverter and thats my next step when I get a chance. For the ps2 I know there is a product you can buy to replace the old power supply and have it running off of 12 volts. In my old car I had the big ps2 with an inverter and the picture sucked.... the place that installed it said there was nothing else we can do... i said F#ck that I'll figure it out. If you google ps2 12 volt power supply you should be able to find the website. I forgot it, it's been a couple years.

Lftndbt (author)richiehops2007-12-06

Thank for the reply.... yeah I was rambling a bit.... Infact I already know the answer's to "all" my questions... Was more interested in how you liked it not the tech side.... My ps2 is in and running sweet.... And ive located my inverter in the boot so no interferance... Bad luck on the first install.... My joytech 10inch looks very tidy indeed..... Your head unit has your computer/engines controls on it.....? Do you have eng stats and comp fuel ratio's etc on your head unit or just temp batt voltage etc? Can't wait to get the xbox hooked up with engine management on it... It's going to be sweet to change fuel mixtures and boost via computer/xbox.... ;)

ryugatana (author)Lftndbt2009-07-21

Too much... not enough making sense. jk :D

warlord (author)Lftndbt2007-12-08

you can't have any engine management using the xbox since there isn't any way to connect or control the sensors. You'd be better off using an emanage and connecting it to a small itx or matx cpu. You could build up a capable carputer for just a couple hundred $$$. My supercharger runs fine on the TRD piggyback so a carputer with an emanage would just be for novelty...

N1CK4ND0 (author)2009-04-22

nice ride!

beauwalker23 (author)2009-03-18

This is so cool! im deff. going to do this with my old nintendo 64, but a bit softer mod if you know what i mean :]

viper2788 (author)2009-01-24

what do you have under the hood? or any other mods?

btop (author)2008-11-12

You are my hero. I wish I had a car... Mobile LAN party's!

sashadalton43 (author)btop2009-01-21

thats the life!

MJTH (author)btop2009-01-01

Mad Idea.

Shinta786 (author)2009-01-02

ow, and ONe question. how did you connect audio? I have a BOSE surround in my car. 6 side speakers, one front, one woofer, 2 tweeters.....and I would like to have REAL surround in the car like the surround I get when listening to a CD or watching DVD. With the XBOX, there is only R+L. Do you know any program/device which can create a real surround sound? right now, all speakers make the SAME music, it would be nicer if I could control sound like in a game. Imagine a racing game and there is a car behind you, then I would like to hear the car behind me and in front of me when it passes me by. Is it possible to do so, or does it also depend on the game? Probably a stupid question, but I was curious.

richiehops (author)Shinta7862009-01-11

My head unit pretty much does all the work. It does the surround sound on it's own.

Shinta786 (author)2009-01-02 actually did what I did (almost). I also have EvoX and XBMC on my Xbox. Xbox under passenger seat + slim PS2 built-in in dashboard, buttons separated and in front console and DVD loader in armrest. My inverter is in the BOOT. But still....I also love it. I am planning to put Linux on it and then put some navi-prog on, but.....then I wondered.....what about a laptop under the driver seat. So thats whats gonna come now. Laptop + touch screen with NAVIGATION on linux (somehow). Wish me luck, you also did a VERY nice job.

DIYDragon (author)2008-11-12

I can see you making lots of gamer friends wherever you go. haha! Cool project though!

elheffe (author)2008-10-05

I am assuming that you already had the screens put in.. nice mod! would love to do this as it is a dream to make a carputer or something to keep the kids entertained... well, just one kid now and hes 19 months, but still... always plan for the future! :D

DannyboyINXS (author)2008-06-29

ahahahaha you spend weeks on this and when u start it all up u get this red ring of death ahahahaha it would make it even funnier if the steering wheel had the lit ring lol

The regular XBOX can't get the RROD

yes, i know that, but i thought that this mod wasn't based on the regular xbox at the time.... obviously i was wrong

smmiller506 (author)2007-12-29

you need to be careful when undoing the bolts holding the seat done. when you put them back in, you need to make sure they are torqued to spec, or else scion could decide to void your warranty and the insurance company can void your claim if you are in a crash. nonetheless, still very cool. i am thinking about doing something like this, except, i want to use a true computer like a mac mini or a micro pc or small linux box. have it control all of the sound and the controlling device be a seven inch touch screen

Spokehedz (author)smmiller5062008-03-25

I am thinking that the other non-certified electrical work would be an easier claim than non-properly torqued bolts.

Self-Serving Martyr (author)2008-03-14

Can it still play games?

frosty1433 (author)2007-12-16

it would be sooooo cool if you could get each player on a different screen instead of having split screen on a tiny display.

richiehops (author)frosty14332007-12-16

I thought about that but spent so much time doing everything else was exhausted to research it. If you have any ideas how to let me know.

frosty1433 (author)richiehops2007-12-19

well, you could go by a new xbox for each screen for $20 each, if you're lucky... and only play network connect games? that might be too much though...

richiehops (author)frosty14332007-12-19

yeah thats a bit much..

frosty1433 (author)richiehops2007-12-20

afaik, games with split screens, like Halo 2, use a whole map, to divide the screen. Halo 2 uses a file called "". I'll bet you can edit this file to change the way screens split, but idk about different screens.

richiehops (author)frosty14332007-12-20

I'll definitely check into it, thank you

IamTheCreator (author)2007-12-13

Yeah this is pretty cool, just don't focus on it too much while your trying to drive :P

warlord (author)2007-12-08

Great project for a retired xbox. I've got a modded one that I'm selling to a buddy. It's in a PC case with USB controller port mods (good for keyboard and mouse) internal logitech wireless controllers, internal wireless adapter etc. I'm going to be helping him install it in his truck so the instructable is nice. It'll probably get mounted caseless with just 120mm fan on the heatsinks. Anyway how are you transferring data to the hdd? do you have some sort of wirless connections or something? I was thinking of hooking him up with some sort of external for his wifi so he can connect to his home network in when parked in his driveway. Although if he takes to long to buy this from me I might just install it in my Corolla :D

richiehops (author)warlord2007-12-10

I use my computer in my house. On my computer I use FlashFXP, which is a very easy program to use. On the Xbox I would go to network settings and do the connection manually. I use the user name xbox and password xbox just so I couldn't forget it. Also I used port 21 I believe but that doesn't matter you can put any number there as long as you remember it. The Xbox was hooked to the microsoft Xbox wireless adapter. On FlashFXP (on my home computer) the left column is your computer and the right is what you hope to connect to. Top left of the right column is a lightning bolt. Click on that. Then on quick connect. Now under URL put custom URL that you programmed into the xbox. Then your user name (xbox) and password (Xbox). And on the right is port and apply what port number you used. Hit connect and it should show all the drives in the xbox on the right column... now you can transfer files back and forth. I eventually ditched the wireless because it was ridiculously slow and just bought a long ass ethernet wire and plugged it into my router. The previous steps are still all the same for me. Whats also cool is I have another modded Xbox in my house and I plug the two into the router and they always find each other without doing anything... awesome. So thats it...thats a tutorial in its self.

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