2003 Lexus  IS300 PC "Carputer" Install

Overview | Glove Box Part 1 | Glove Box Part 2 | Monitor | Final

After hearing a friend talk about installing a full computer in his car, complete with mp3s, divx and navigation, I immediately became very jealous. I've always wanted a GPS in my Lexus but couldn't justify shelling out the few thousand dollars in cash to have one installed. I do have some computer skills (chics dig guys with skills...nun-chuck skills, bow-hunting skills) so I thought this would be a perfect task to take on. From start to finish, it took about 6 months to complete. A lot of that time included figuring out which parts I wanted and needed, but a good 4 months were used to just install it into my car. For all those non-believers out there who thought I couldn't do it (namely my girlfriend, can you believe she doubted me?) all I have to say is this....HA! :-)

Anyway, here's a pretty intricate walkthrough of my install. There was definitely a lot of sweat and blood (literally) poured into this install, so I hope this website does it justice. All the images are clickable to their bigger version, so be sure to check those out for a closer look.


Here are the final computer specs and prices:

VIA EPIA M10000 Mini-ITX Mainboard ($150 - Mp3car.com)

512MB DDR RAM PC2700 184-Pin DIMM Memory ($95 - Mp3car.com)
60GB 2.5" ATA-6 Notebook Hard Drive (7200 RPM) ($95 - Newegg.com)
Slot Load DVD-ROM/CD-RW ($80 - Mp3car.com)
OPUS 120 watt DC-DC power Supply ($93 - Mp3car.com(
XENARC 700TSV Monitor ($365 - Ebay.com)

Also bought:

Notebook HD to IDE Converter 2.5" to 3.5" ($10 - Mp3car.com
Slim CDROM Adapter ($7 - Mp3car.com)
Bluetooth USB Link ($20 - Newegg.com)
GlobalSat SiRF Star III USB GPS Receiver ($70 - BuyGpsNow.com)
OEM Lexus Nav Housing ($150 - Lexus Dealership)

The total damage: $1135
(which is what is expected for a full working computer and LCD touch-screen)

As for the software, I'm running:

1) A lite (stripped down) version of WinXP. It loads in under 30 seconds (from hibernation) and is beautiful.

2) I'm using RoadRunner as my front end with modified skin of Simplistique.

3) iGuidance - which works perfectly! I originally had Microsfot Streets and Trips, which absolutely blows! The GPS Mouse that comes with it is horrible and I hardly got a Satellite lock. Even if I did, the program is just horrible. It's more of a mapping program than it is a nav system. After buying the Sirf III GPS receiver and iGuidance, I never lose the lock and it works without a hitch! I HIGHLY recommend this!

4) Winamp since it integrates every-so-nicely into RoadRunner

OK....ok, now onto the install