Hacking a Car Stereo and a Computer




This is in response to my posting of case mod
carig14 ask me to do this so blame him .
I take no responsibly for you using power tools on a computer!
The same with eye protection , hearing and such.
If not familiar with a complete computer build then this is way over your head.
Try something like this on a junk tower first .
I will not go into the details of the MoBo install or any of the computer building.

Step 1: Strip Out the Computer Tower

I will not make this on how to build a computer loads of instructions on the web for that .That said eather start with a new tower or strip everything out of an old one .
This tower is a lenov ADM that was used in my lighter mod .
The tower must be complety striped as chips from the sawing /grinding will flat mess up electronics .
I located on the plastic faceplate where I wanted the stereo mounted marked it with a sharpie the stereo has a thin sleeve for mounting it into the dash I slid this off and used it to trace the outline of the stereo mounting hole.
Drill a 3/8" hole into the 4 corners of faceplate then connect the holes with a saw ( jig or sawsaw) light work with a file made the sleeve fit the faceplate nicely.
I then mounted the faceplate to the tower,dropped in the sleeve and traced the cut I needed on the face of the tower.The side the MoBo mounts to was in the way of the stereo so it was rough cut to make room.

Step 2: More Chopping/drilling

The car ant takes a 3/4"mounting hole this takes some good layout work might need to dry fit most of the computers parts ,also the cable for ant was 6' long so I had to shorten it .
Just cut it off to length and Radio shack has new end for it.
PCI slot cover was drilled with 1/4" holes x4 for the RCA jacks also from Radio Shack
PCI slot cover drilled 5/16" then tin snips to open the hole to the top so the molex connector will drop in.
Drill a 3/16" hole in bottom of the tower to strap back of stereo down ,as this stereo has a cd player in it ,with out strapping it down bad things happen

Step 3: Wireing

Left front.left rear right front right rear the harness fron the car stereo is wired to the RCA jacks soldered and heat shrink tubed
Molex soldered to the 12VDC ,Clock,and the night light onto the yellow (orange) wire. Ground wite was tagged to the strap mount and to the 12 DC- wire.

Step 4: Mounting

MoBo ,power supply hard drives,CD/DVD player put all of that stuff into the tower.
Mount the stereo and strap it down.
Install all the PCI cards.
Put the PCI cover plate for the RCA plugs in open slot.
PCI cover with slot feed molex through it and put in all the screws.
Mount ant in its hole .
Plug up everything ,
Put on the side cover ( s )

Step 5: Extras

I side mounted my pair of USB ports as it was much easyer than making a front mount for this computer.
The Lighter stayed .
The hole in the faceplate is for another mod" how to light up your case badge "
I put a fan in each side of this tower , and it has an exaust fan as well.
Painted the face and top blood gulch red .
the stereo is powered from a seperat power supply.
the front speakers go to a kicker box under my table the tower lives on.
back speakers are jacked to the input of my sound card .
the stereos remote has front rear fade so do not need the computer on to listen.
I did not hook up the in side of stereo to the output of the sound card maybe later .

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    41 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    It looks like the centre console from a modded ricer (no, not racer, ricer!!!) car... :P I've often thought of fitting a car stereo into a PC case, but I just couldn't be bothered to... :D Nice work... :)

    8 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    The next step will be to mount a car stereo that has a motorized dvd screen that comes out and hard wire it as a second monitor.

    As the stereo can be jacked to the sound input on the sound card and my MP3 player has a built in Fm transmitter .I have dark thoughts late at night of another way to stream data to my system .Maybe an old hayes modem conversion? got one in the parts bin.

    bikerbob2005Lance Mt.

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    getting closer i just got a server rack for a new home computer 2 xeon dual cores 3.0 gig 8 gig of ram,sounds like a huey on takeoff

    Lance Mt.bikerbob2005

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     lol, your punishment to it would to BLUESCREENOFFDEATH him. Hehehe,


    Actually, that would be more like mac.


    7 years ago on Step 5

    i did mine the other day and it works great but i got a brand new case and put the stereo at the top and put a shield in it so i could have speakers built in and the pc is all still working fine at the same time so yeah but it was a lot harder to do my case for some reason it had more metal to cut out then my first one


    10 years ago on Introduction

    you done it well done it looks nice and do be honest i have never seen a car stereo installed to a computer what psu are you using for your computer?

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    D8 Intel 2.4 Ghz a Gig of ram Windows XP on an 8Gig Hard drive 40 gig backup Hd 128 meg video card Video capture card DVD burner 600 watt Power supply 5.1 sround sound PCI card its a screamer as I am almost reddy to get my A+ cirt. so very tweaked system.and do not tell me to go dual core ,I am looking at a 3.06Ghz CPU then this tower will be at max. Let me make you a package deal ;)

    small update.took laptop to a friends shop to replace the cd drive ,he ask me if i wanted a cpu said it was untested 2.6  with VM .took about 5 min and my system was better :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    a note about the cd drives: most drives come with another faceplate which makes 2 paint the second one red and install that or remove the installed faceplate and tray cover to paint those


    10 years ago on Introduction

    :-D i have that same stereo!!! They should have put more than 4 RCA ports on it, great stereo.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    you know, I was just thinking about making a little capacitor penguin that looks exactly like that! lol

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    So um, why do you need a stereo? you already have a cd drive, and that computer probably came with powered speakers

    2 replies

    Its not that I need a stereo in my tower,the voices said come on you can do this build for carig14 .just kidding . The stereo is 80 watts on 4 channels it thumps out good! listed on the bottom of this are the major components of my computer ,nothing came with the D8 MoBo ,some parts in tower are from last computer .I recycle towers ,shop around carefully when needing parts.counting everything in it including win xp I have less than 400$ in it. I have been building computers seance 1978 analog as well as digital,


    well, ok, it wouldn't put out 80watts X 4 channels
    80 X 4 = 320
    so that stereo puts out 320 watts total
    But where does that power come from? your PSU
    so your PSU is 12v, just like a car battery
    but not enough amps, your psu probably puts out ~3 amps

    now here's the problem;
    Watts = Amps X Volts, right?
    So your PSU puts out 12v X ~3Amps = 36 Watts

    your stereo needs 320W+ to operate properly, but your PSU gives it 36W

    -The sound quality will be heavily distorted at high volume-