I thought my last dash that I customized for my Gem was pretty good and functional however after converting to ac, sevcon controller, lithium and my wife wanting a place to put her phone I have newly remodeled my dash again. Here is what I did this winter.
First off solving the phone storage issue. One day when traveling with a friend I noticed that the center dash tray in his 2013 F-150 would be perfect. I was able to find one on ebay and after shaving a few factory lips off the tray it fit perfect.
When I converted to lithium and the hot rod ac setup I lost the speedometer and battery level gauge. With the help of @MikeKC (big thanks for the help) I was able to come up with what I feel is a great solution to this problem. I installed a 10.25" Android car stereo with a thunderstruck motorsports CAN translator and was able to regain all the functions I was missing and a lot more.
The stereo I used was a Joying 10.25" single din with the extended ribbon cable. What made this the perfect thing for my setup is that the screen can be remotely mounted independent of the single din radio chassis. I had to fabricate a custom mount and attach it to the lower windshield bracket to get the result of a floating screen. For a first try on the bracket it turned out pretty good but next winter I will refine it to look better. The ribbon cable that connects the screen to the chassis I painted it black to match the bracket and then used @grantwest favorite item (black industrial strength Velcro) to attach the ribbon to the bracket.
Finished floating screen
Screen with Bluetooth can translator & torque app running. Don’t get excited. I am not running a pack with 186 volts. One of the PIDS needed adjusting.
Screen split with a speedo & navigation app running side by side
So far I am really happy with the way this turned out and there are many things I am discovering that I am able to do with the onboard apps. Bluetooth garage door opener, search the web, control under car lights and wireless apple car play. I will try to update as I discover more.
Here is a link to my last dash mod thread.
Gem Car Dash Mod - GEM Forum - Electric Forum
Nice job! I’m going to have to look into these things.
How hard is it to reach up there for the occasional poke and swipe of the screen? It seems pretty far away.
Does it dismount easily? I’d be worried about having it out there in the direct sun(overheating) when left parked at the market(sticky fingers).
OMG! Super cool! And I love your dog and your workshop! Really nice setup you came up with, you should be very proud of your work!
Great Mod! This will be on my 2 Do List.
What did the entire upgrade cost to do?
I have set the unit to automatically start the speedo & gps apps on startup that way its ready to go. It is not hard to reach up when needed. A drawback I have noticed for touch screens is the lack of a knob to adjust volume on stereo. I am going to try out different remote knobs and will update. The screen does dismount easily and the ribbon cable does also (same as inside a desktop computer). As for theft there is no perfect option and no matter what you do if they want it bad enough their going to get it. It has the same risk as any in dash radio would in a Gem.
@grantwest - This is using the thunderstruck CAN device to talk to the Sevcon and the Android device.
Look up my thread on digital dash for more info on that part.
Depending on the DCF you used to program the Sevcon the code may already in the there, if not I can send you the DCF changes
The head unit was $406, Can translator $100, OBDII $18, reverse camera $23, dash tray $25, vinyl & pad $27, steel $11 and I did all the work/fabrication. Total cost of the project $610. The one way you could cut costs is to use a different android head unit (there are numerous out there that will work). Here is the link to the one I used.
Joying 10.25 Inch Single Din Touch Screen Android 10.0 Car Head Unit Support Android Auto&Carplay (joyingauto.com)
Re: No knobs!
I hear you. The current trend I’m seeing in the marine world is all glass dash. Sure- it’s neat and shiny, but it takes a while to hunt for information when things move around.
Also- critical adjustments now take a few pokes, maybe a swipe, then a tap on the Y to confirm. Not good when you need to suddenly adjust course on the autopilot and wish you had a dial to give a quick twist without taking eyes off the target.
They should provide an API for one or more remote control panels so someone can build custom panels of knob for those who want certain things immediately available without a glowing display.
Looks like a job for someone building plug and play system. I would certainly pay a couple hundred extra to not need to learn something new.
You can get knobs on marine gear… you just have to PAY for it.
You know if it has Marine or Avation in the name you pay through the nose.
Joying is one of the best Android Chinese screens IMO. I have it in My 2016 and it’s working perfectly. It doesn’t have Swipe lag, it’s very responsive.
I’ve added a Steering wheel remote too.
It has FM and amplifier output.
Did you use their own obd2 (joying) or you just bought one from Amazon? I’ve read that the unit is. A little bit picky with other bluetooth devices
I bought the one from Joying that there was no communication issues. I also heard they were picky.