This is a build I did quite a while ago and thought, why not share it! In this post I will do my best to show you how to install a tablet in your dash.
This is mostly intended as a basic guide because it will vary quite a bit depending on what tablet you are going to use, and what vehicle you are going to install it in.
In my case, I am using a Asus Transformer (TF300T)., I have had this tablet for about 3 years, and I used to use it quite a bit but lately, not so much! It is a 10.1 inch tablet, and I also have the keyboard dock for it, so early on in the build I decided that I would make it removable as well, in case I wanted to use it in the house at any time.
I am installing this tablet in my 2001 Chevy S10.
Because this tablet doesn’t support FM radio, I also decided to keep the Alpine deck functional so i could use FM when I want to. If you use a tablet without FM radio, and want to leave a FM stereo in, I suggest you make sure your current stereo has Bluetooth, so you can play music from your tablet if you want. If your deck doesn’t have Bluetooth, you will have to use a AUX cord.
There is really no special tools you need for this install. The only tools I used was a hack saw to cut the plastic dash, and a sharp blade to cut the wood I am using.
Aside from those tools, you will also need some strong glue like JB Weld, some Sand Paper(80 and 120) a can of Fiber Glass, and a can of Body Filler, and the hardener that comes with the body filler. The same hardener will work with the Fiber Glass and the Body Filler.
First Things First
Remove the Dash Cover
Once I had the piece removed from the truck, I held the tablet up to it to see where and how it would fit. The tablet took over two heat ducts, and also took over the current radio mounting spot.
When I decided the best place for the tablet, I marked my cut lines and used my hacksaw to chop out the two vents and the original stereo spot. My truck also has a passenger airbag switch that operates with the key, I also had to get rid of that. All I did was turn it on and hide it behind the dash.
After I cut away the unwanted portion, I took the 80 grit sandpaper and sanded all around the big hole I made. JB Weld will stick better to a rough and clean surface. After sanding use some soapy water to clean it up.
Build the Mount
Now its time to cut the wood for the mount. I took measurments of the hole, and cut a piece of wood for the back part of the mount. I have no idea what kind of wood I used, but it was only 1/8 inch and easy to cut with a sharp blade.
I glued the back piece to my dash cover with JB Weld. On my dash cover there is nowhere for me to put screws, and I figured JB Weld will hold it no problem.
After gluing the back piece, I let it dry for a few min and then glued on a thin piece of wood on one side. I glued it in place so I could set the tablet on the back, right against the one side so its easier to glue the other side.
The side pieces and bottom pieces I made about 1/16th taller than the tablet would sit, to allow room for felt, and to be able to easily slide the tablet in and out from the top.
Before you let the second side fully dry, make sure everything is level. I had straight lines on my dash cover so making sure it was level was easy for me.
Now we need to glue the bottom pieces in. I made the bottom in two pieces because on my tablet the charge cable in on the bottom, right in the center.
While the bottom two pieces dried, I glued on the top four pieces. These need to be perfectly straight on the inside at least. I used the bezel on the tablet to ensure everything was straight.
I also added shims which can be seen in the picture, just so it wasn’t a tight fit because I am adding felt into it still.
I then let the glue dry for a couple hours. Once it dried, I sanded it down to nearly smooth with the wood, and then filled in any gaps.
Body Filler and Sanding, and More Sanding
Its nice to get to this part because this is where it really starts to take shape. When everythign is glued in nicely, its time to get the Fiber Glass out.
I used Fiber Glass because it is strong mostly. I think if it was just Body Filler, it would crack over time.
I filled and shaped with a couple layers of Fiber Glass. After the Fiber Glass dries, sand it with 80 grit paper.
After you have it mostly built up into shape with Fiber Glass, get your Body Filler out.
This is also a process of add some, sand some, then add more and sand some more. I did two layers on most of it, and three in the corners and edges.
I started sanding with 80 grit paper and finished with 120 grit. It is a good idea to go with a even lighter grit after 120 but I knew I didn’t need to because I am using Rocker Guard as my paint. That will hide any scratches easily.
When I had it all sanded and smooth, I used a damp cloth to wipe it clean. You don’t want any dust on it when you go to prime it. Take it outside and put a couple coats of primer on it.
Let the primer dry, then go over it again with 120 grit sand paper.
Now your ready to paint it any color you want. Like I said, I am using Rocker Guard. I chose Rocker Guard because I wanted it black, and I wanted a texture to it, like the factory dash cover. Rocker Guard dries bumpy and I figured this would work perfect.
I think it turned out pretty damn good for my first attempt at anything like this. I have worked with Body Filler before but not like this.
As I said, the tablet covered the stereo spot, so on my truck it was easy to remove the ash tray and slide the deck in there.
Let me know what you think.