1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Motors Uni's Van Project [15-12-14 Electronics update & bonnet catch refurb]

Discussion in 'General' started by Unicorn, 10 Nov 2014.

  1. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

    Joined:
    28 Feb 2010
    Posts:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    406
    Speakers and sub depends on your budget really
     
  2. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    I'm probably going to limit my spend to around £1000 on the whole system.
     
  3. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    Vehicle Stereo Help

    Hmm, interesting... Although those are 13cm. 16.5 would be better for my application I think.
     
  4. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    I know that Pioneer is not the be all and end all of car audio, but this set of speakers looks quite good on paper. Unless anyone can think of a reason not to purchase and install these, or can recommend something much better, I'm looking at the following;

    Component speakers

    Although the tweeter pods in the Kangoo are 25mm, so I would need a fitting adapter bracket for these which Pioneer make and sell with some other tweeters. I could also just mount them on top of the existing pods with the included slant spacer...

    Subwoofer

    I don't need a massive amount of bass, and I also don't particularly want to install a large box in my cargo compartment.

    I'm still unsure about what type of amplifier I'll need to get the best out of the speakers. Some advice on that would be much appreciated. Since I've chosen an amplified sub, will the input for it be the pass-through from the component amp?
     
  5. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

    Joined:
    28 Feb 2010
    Posts:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    406
    Speaker wise you planning to run them off a seperate amp or use the HU? (active or passive setup)

    Guessing your looking more at SQ the annoyign the neighbours. Speaker wise id be inclined toward a set of Hertz which has a warmer sound to them the Pioneers can be a bit too clinical at times.
     
  6. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    I think the components would benefit from being run off a dedicated amp. Head unit outputs are generally not up to driving high end speakers at true RMS output for extended periods of time.

    SQ is definitely of paramount importance. Don't get me wrong, I love my music loud, but there's no point in it being loud if it's not crystal clear, and I simply don't get all this "competition SPL" crap. I definitely don't want to run a system that annoys the neighbours or the passengers of the car 5 vehicles behind me at the lights! Warmth and clarity are exactly what I'm looking for, so thanks for the suggestion. I'll have a look at some Hertz this evening.

    [edit]

    The Kangoo is a bit of an enigma until you actually start pulling panels off*. I've learned that you definitely can't rely on any information you read online, little as there is to begin with. The speakers in the doors are in fact 13cm but can apparently be upgraded to 16.5cm (or should that be 17?) with a set of adapters. The thing is, the grill in the door card only has a 13cm opening in it, so I assume that the installation of the adapter and bigger high end speakers involves drilling out the moulded plastic "rivets" allowing the stock grill to come away, and using the grills provided with the aftermarket set.


    *This is a chore in itself. The repair manual will say "remove the trims" with arrows pointing to some bits of plastic in the cab, and achieving that involves breaking trim removal tools, cutting your fingers and some mild swearing. You also need a good supply of trim clips/retainers on hand when re-assembling because they almost always have to be broken to remove the panel :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: 17 Nov 2014
  7. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    Whilst I deliberate on the stereo and wait for some garage time/free time in daylight to try and get other nagging things sorted out, I began the LED conversion of the interior and signalling lights. Installation pictures to come, but here's what is going in;

    Twenty20 60 SMD modules for the sidelights, which were a horrible, dim incandescent yellow when I bought the vehicle:

    [​IMG]

    A Twenty20 82 SMD module for the rear fog (sadly I don't have front fogs... yet):

    [​IMG]

    I pulled all of the Philips W5W 6000K LED modules from the Clio and installed four of them in both interior lights and the license plate lights of the van (might swap these for slightly less harsh 4000K equivalents in the future):

    [​IMG]

    Philips 12764X2 Amber Intense for the turn signals:

    [​IMG]

    The modules look like this:

    [​IMG]

    And come with 5W load resistors to avoid the hyperflashing and CAN bus problems (bulb out warning lights etc) associated with replacing high wattage incandescent bulbs with low power LEDs:

    [​IMG]

    Philips 12899RX2 red intense for the stop/tail:

    [​IMG]

    The modules look like this:

    [​IMG]

    What might seem like a simple install has turned into a mammoth task with the Philips LEDs. Here's what has gone wrong with this so far:

    • The turn signal reflectors in the front headlights of the van are too small for the heatsink to fit into. I'll modify them to fit.
    • The removal and refitting of the front turn signal lamp holders is a nightmare. You remove them through access flaps in the front wheel arches, but you need to have tiny hands and the most flexible wrists ever to get at them, neither of which I'm blessed with.
    • One pin of the front NS turn signal holder snapped off when I removed the connector from the back of it. A new one was purchased from Renault at a cost of £12. It's coming into the local dealership tomorrow.
    • The amber LED modules will not actually work in the front of the vehicle, broken contacts or not. I suspect that the connectors for the front turn signals have the polarity reversed, which would obviously prevent the LEDs from working when installed. To reverse them and test it I am going to have to remove the headlights themselves. This involves removing the front bumper (installing the load resistors/CAN bus cancellers at the front will require this anyway).
    • Metering out the rear tail light clusters to install the load resistors and installing them has been a chore. The van, as most if not all vehicles do, uses a seperate signal line for hazard lights and turn signals, and no two wires are the same colour. Finding a flat metal area on the body to install the units near the rear light cluster loom was a nightmare too, and so was breaking into the loom itself, but I got there in the end. I may have had to dismantle the entire rear end of the van to do it, but they're in and they work.

    Nobody said it would be easy! I dread to think what horrendous roadblocks I'll come across during the stereo install. I'm determined though, and am solving one problem at a time.
     
  8. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    5,234
    Likes Received:
    210
    How exactly do the load resistors relate to the CAN bus? I'm assuming there will be some current sensor in series with the light to check for blown bulbs, which is what the resistor is there to fix I assume. The CAN bus is just the medium that data is transmitted throughout the car.

    Also, some beefy lights there; for our solar car all we have is 12 puny 5 mm thru-hole LED's for each light. Bit minimalist, but it seems to work.
     
  9. TheStockBroker

    TheStockBroker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    107
    Does NI have different law on external vehicle lighting?

    We can't use those over here, sadly...

    EDIT: I realise you're horrendously busy, but before and afters would be awesome if possible!
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2014
  10. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    The CAN Bus detects the load across each lamp circuit, specifically looking for drops, so when a bulb blows or becomes faulty and the load goes to zero or lower than normal, a signal is triggered on the dashboard display to alert the driver that they have a lamp out. This is not the problem that I had with the van when I installed them since I don't have a warning system, instead I just had the 'hyper flashing' in the indicators because the resistance of the bulb filament had been removed and replaced with a much lower load in the form of a diode. The load resistors connect in parallel with the LED and place that load back into the circuit, slowing the flash down to normal again.

    Why can't you use them in England? I read something a while ago about there not being any current EU legislation on the use of retrofitted LED lighting for signals, but I don't know for sure. The lights are clear, fully functional and the correct colour, so until someone tells me to remove them, I'm going to leave them in. As far as the white LEDs in the sidelights, reversing lights and number plate go, I ran pretty much the same setup in the Clio for over a year with no problems.

    I will do my best to get some before and after shots/video. I forgot to include the reversing modules I'm installing which look just like the sidelight ones above. The Kangoo only has a reversing light on the drivers side, but there's a lamp holder behind the empty blanked off reflector on the near side as well, which is 12V high when the vehicle is in reverse gear, so I'm drilling it out and adding a second reversing lamp. This is quite common for Renault, I know from being on owner's forums that some models of the Clio only had one reversing light too with the same easy modification possible.
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2014
  11. lysaer

    lysaer Suck my unit! Kirk lazarus (2008)

    Joined:
    15 May 2010
    Posts:
    1,467
    Likes Received:
    71
    Here is the video man, it's really crap quality, not sure why, I will record it again if you need but it shows you the basic functionality, I just keep the tablet in the glovebox in a case.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGaNW0wiqAQ&list=UUo7bGqwS_VGOMTAERpY2aHA

    The tab is running cyanogenmod rom along with appradio unchained reloaded for full control on the pioneer headunit.

    A couple of other mods as well, like disable turn off screen on magnetic lid closing, otherwise the screen is blank on the display when I close the case in the glovebox, but another mod allows me to switch only the screen off on the tablet and keep it running on the HDMI output.

    Obviously you can do the same with any android device, I just use the tablet because it was something I wanted to keep in the car.

    All pretty easy to setup I can help you if need be man

    I also have a set of these I need to get rid of I can do you a good price if you are interested , I will throw in a Vieta m-2130 amplifier which I will throw in with them, I am not actually sure the amp works, it's been in my garage for like ages, but I will test it first.

    http://www.rainbowcaraudio.com/cs265vanadium.html

    Pretty good amp does 2 channel 130w RMS which is more than enough to run the speakers


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2014
  12. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    Thanks for the video* mate, looks like exactly the sort of setup I'm after. I'm still waiting for the local company to get back to me on custom fitting a double DIN unit. I think it's probably going to end up being a one-off fiberglass fascia/bezel in place of the central paper tray on the dashboard. Given how much work I plan on having done, I think it's easiest to leave it to them, and think it will be worth the extra cost to have it completed quickly with little disruption to my work schedule.

    So the loose plan at the moment is to hire a van for a day here and there over the next few months and commission them to perform most of the electronics work. I am capable of performing most if not not all of the installations myself, but have very quickly realized that I just don't have the time or the proper facilities at the moment. I spent three hours working on the LED install on the driveway a few nights ago, with poor light and intermittent rain. I eventually got sick of it and put up a pair of 300W halogen work lights. It might have annoyed the neighbours a bit but I didn't care at that stage, I just wanted decent light to work by! I'd love to do as much of it as possible myself, and could wait until I have more free time for it or a holiday period with a block of time, but I just want it done and working as soon as possible so I'm willing to leave it with the professionals who do this for a living.

    I would definitely be interested in the speakers and amp, as soon as I confirm that I can fit 6.5" speakers in the doors and have good sound reproduction through the door card opening, I'll get in touch with you about them.

    *Glass doesn't have good auto exposure; I've noticed this in a few demo videos. It was trying to keep the dark areas of the shot exposed and as a result, blew out the back lit screen.
     
  13. lysaer

    lysaer Suck my unit! Kirk lazarus (2008)

    Joined:
    15 May 2010
    Posts:
    1,467
    Likes Received:
    71
    I could possibly print a fascia ☺, but you could go with the single din pioneer with fold out screen
     
  14. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

    Joined:
    15 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,225
    Likes Received:
    407
    lysaer - I can't find this single DIN Pioneer unit with fold-out (maybe I am just rubbish at searching these days haha) - which model is it? TIA :D
     
  15. lancer778544

    lancer778544 isnt really an ultramodder...

    Joined:
    5 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    2,809
    Likes Received:
    335
    I think it could be the AVH-X7700BT.

    I know your probably looking for higher end stuff Uni, but I have a BNIB set of JBL GTO508c 5.25" components available if lysaer's 6.5" set wont fit :) I think I might have a JBL GTO-504 4 channel amplifier too.
     
  16. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

    Joined:
    15 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,225
    Likes Received:
    407
    Nicely done sir. Ta!
     
  17. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446

    Fold out screen units won't work in the van because the heater control bezel hangs over the head unit area. Thanks Renault ._.
     
  18. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    Lots of stuff about many things.

    It’s update time. I haven't done much, but I've made progress at least, mostly on the “tidying up” and detailing front. Electronics wise, I had a meeting with the owner of the company which is going to install almost all of the electronics in the van. Beginning in the New Year, the van will progressively be transformed from a modest base model into a well spec’d vehicle with more creature comforts and as they’d say on Top Gear “stuff to play with”.

    Audio system wise the setup will be something along the lines of:
    • Alpine ILX-700 *or another ILX model* in custom moulded double DIN head unit slot
    • Audison component speakers - 6" mids custom fitted to doors, 25mm tweeters in existing pods etc.
    • Audison SR2 amp
    • 8" slimline sub between front seats - unsure of brand
    • The aerial on the van seems to be fairly poor at the moment, so they're going to replace it with a high quality, high gain shark fin antenna
    • Eventually I will be adding an Audison Bit Play HD but I might opt for a Bit One to begin with

    Soundproofing will be taken care of using a healthy dose of Skinz (which is a cheaper alternative to DynaMat but is essentially the same product) throughout the cab including the doors, roof and both sides of the bulkhead (that's the panel which separates the cab and cargo compartment) which will also then be upholstered in either Alcantara or sub carpet.

    I'm also having a few other pieces of plastic trim in the cab upholstered and toying with the idea of fitting a stitched steering wheel from a Megane GT or RS for extra comfort, and having the guys custom wire the steering wheel controls to the new HU.

    The van has no fogs, so I'm having LED DRLs and fogs (in one housing) installed. I've chosen the OSRAM LEDriving units:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm also having the rear windows tinted to about 20% and caged in with a set of official Renault security mesh panels:

    [​IMG]

    Reverse parking assist sensors are being installed in the form of rear bumper sensors and a brake light reversing camera. Because the Kangoo has the rear washer jet on the brake light and because I'm caging and tinting the rear windows, I'll be doing away with the rear wiper at the same time.

    The van has no electric windows, so a kit is being retrofitted to add this functionality (I'm sorry but manual window handles are a PITA!).

    The cargo compartment will get a lot more attention in the future, but for now I am just having the custom fitted rubber floor mat installed. Eventually it will look like this (mine already has a window cut-out in the bulkhead, it will be fitted with a 7mm plexi panel);

    [​IMG]

    It didn't come with floor mats in the cab so I ordered a set from Renault for a 2014 model. The floor shape hasn't changed since 2008:

    [​IMG]

    There's lots more as well, including the two most important items; the Clifford alarm system and GPS tracking immobilizer. Those are going in straight away, before anything else.

    In the meantime I'm going to bump the detailing thread with an update on the progress in that department which is where most of my free time over Christmas will be directed.
     
    Last edited: 15 Dec 2014
  19. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    The engine bay of the van has obviously never been cleaned in its three years as a fleet vehicle, and I will include the before and after shots of that in the detailing thread after I give it a thorough clean later this week, but one small thing which was bugging me more than anything else was the condition of the bonnet latch, so I pulled it off last weekend and spent some time cleaning and painting it.

    Fresh off the van, covered in a thick layer of filth and starting to rust around the mounting holes:

    [​IMG]

    Quite a lot of soaking in oven cleaner, lots of scrubbing and half a can of brake cleaner later, it was looking pretty clean again. I knocked the surface rust around the mounting holes off with a rotary wire wheel and removed the two springs that I could. These are plated from the factory and the one on my Clio looked like new after 4 years, but this one has had a much harsher life and the plating had become badly pitted, so the concentrated oven cleaner removed some of it:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Once I'd got it clean and back to bare metal I shot some metal etch primer on it:

    [​IMG]

    And finished it off with a few coats of satin black, followed by re-oiling of the pivot points and replacement of the springs which I removed earlier. No, it's not the most even job in the world, and the micro-bubbles you can see in the paint were caused by over-aeration, but it's a lot better than it was and should last a reasonably long time with regular cleaning and oiling:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And here is is refitted with plenty of copper grease on the bolt threads :thumb:

    [​IMG]

    This was just one of many little jobs I plan on completing to tidy it up. Mechanically it's 100% but the small cosmetic issues are letting it down and making it look older and more tired than it actually is. It'll be off the road on Thursday for a couple of days to have the fuel pump, timing belt, water pump and transmission fluid changed, all of which are due at the current mileage.
     
    Last edited: 15 Dec 2014
  20. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    446
    This thread needs a healthy bump. Lots of work has gone into it since my last post in December, and there's still a lot to do before it gets anywhere near where I want it to be! I'll update the thread with a large progress post sometime soon.

    I have a few days off work next week, so I aim to park it in the garage and get the following done:

    Finish headlight restoration; almost happy with them... can and will be better though.

    Finish LED conversion; the front indicators proving to be a PITA to get working.

    Polish rear fog light lens & rear reflector lens; Didn't do them at the same time as the tail lights because they are slightly recessed and need to come out for polishing, which means dropping the rear bumper.

    Finish paintwork correction; there's a lot left to do in this area!

    Stone chip/rust touch up; lots to do here as well. Days of work in fact. I've been patiently waiting for a decent block of time to get this done since I started work on it in November!

    Install mud guards; purchased a set of genuine vehicle specific guards from Renault this week. I'm hoping they will help to keep it cleaner between washes.

    Complete interior LED installation; still haven't had a chance to finish the cargo compartment lights yet.

    Complete rear-facing cam wiring; the USB cable which powers my rear-facing Mobius cam is still visible in a couple of places. This is unsatisfactory so it's going to be extended and run behind the ply lining to the cab.

    Finish roof rack mount plug up; I took the roof rack off not long after I bought the van to clean it up and paint the brackets, and despite having needed to put it back on once to transport several bundles of trunking and conduit, I took it back off again because it's incredibly ugly. At some point in the future I may buy a nicer looking, new one for it but for now I'm leaving it off and will buy some nice stainless steel dome head bolts and rubber washers to weather seal the holes.

    Replace "Renault" tailgate badge; It has a couple of letters missing, I've had a new one waiting to go on for months now but wanted to polish the area before I put it on.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jul 2015

Share This Page