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Four small-scale enhancements to my TR6

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AgingTim Marion Gaines
Clinton, SC, USA   USA
The photo illustrates some of the need and the four fixes that were accomplished at little expense and only modest effort.

1. The cigarette lighter plug-in digital device to the right of the radio, below dash:

I came across a Blue-Tooth transmitter that funnels music from my smart phone to the old car radio. Cost from the Chinese t-Mart was about $10 with a wait of a few weeks. Tune it to an empty frequency in your area and you get clear sound on that station, or run a phono plug wire from the speaker plug on the phone (or an MP3/I-Pod player) to the device for the same effect. It also features a usb charger port, and it even allows hands free phone use which I have not used yet.
I had to first install a cigarette plug, on the metal front-to-back support for strength, and I wired it directly to the unused top circuit at the fuse box. On the supply side of the box I jumpered from the circuit below to get power only with the accessories "on" key position. The plug alternately allowed me to power a portable GPS device before that died. More on that fix below.

2. The GPS mount on the windshield:

Rather than buy a new windshield mount for my phone as GPS, I removed the screen half of the dead GPS, cut out a matching sheet-oak substitute front plate, and glued it to the old GPS back that accepts the perfectly good suction mount to the window. Heavy rubber bands hold the phone to the "new" mount, but I'm working on an idea for a spring-loaded clip.

3. The 5-speed shifter knob and the phone speedometer app:

I had installed the HVDA kit with a 5-speed Toyota tranny several years ago, but I found that recalibration of the speedometer was an expensive proposition. For the time being I use an app on my phone that has a nice big display.

4. The circular in-dash usb charger and blue digital display in place of the old rheostat:

My old dash-light rheostat seized many years ago, luckily in the full on position. It did nothing after that but plug a 1.1-inch hole in the dash. I came across several online ads (Ebay and Amazon) for cheap little ATV/motorcycle usb charger plugs, most with one of two additional features: either an electric clock or a voltage readout to monitor battery/alternater output. I elected the voltage monitor (with two charging slots) and wired it to the circuit created for the cigarette lighter plug because I didn't want a clock that would gradually drain the car battery over long periods of non-use. The digital display is little easier to read than the original dash gauge.
There was a hurdle here. I had to search for a charger device with an insertion diameter of 1 inch, and I found only one. However, it was that diameter only at two flat spots down the threaded shaft, so it wouldn't fit the hole in the dash. I found and purchased a cheap conical stepper-drill bit set ($16 or so at Harbor Freight, Ebay, Amazon) that centers itself in an already-existing hole and drills progressively larger holes as you go. Those bits can sell for much more, but my cheap one worked well in wood and is supposed to do the same for various sheet metals, so it may be handy in future projects. The last problem was that the thickness of the dashboard wood exceeded the depth of each successive bit diameter cut, so when I reached the desired hole diameter at the surface of the dash, the tapered hole at the back still blocked insertion. Arrgh! I was fortunate to have among my tools a hole-saw bit for installing house door latch hardware that nicely fit the surface diameter. With that bit guided by the shallow hole itself, I made the hole deeper. The fit is good.

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Bpt70gt Brian T
Westmoreland, NH, USA   USA
Nice work, good clean installation.

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1509539 by AgingTim The photo illustrates some of the need and the four fixes that were accomplished at little expense and only modest effort.

1. The cigarette lighter plug-in digital device to the right of the radio, below dash:

I came across a Blue-Tooth transmitter that funnels music from my smart phone to the old car radio.
I tried a couple of those a few years back, on a cross-country trip. Giant PITA IMO, as every area had stations in different places and I wound up having to re-tune it every few hundred miles. Also had to charge the phone more often as it won't last all day while playing files.

I was much happier with the MP3-CD player I had in my previous TR3A. I only get 2-3 audio books per CD, but it's easy to pop in a new CD and a single book usually lasts longer than I care to drive in a day. And I keep the files on my computer at home, so the CDs are basically disposable (in case something happens to them).



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

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AgingTim Marion Gaines
Clinton, SC, USA   USA
I can appreciate all you say Randall, especially for long-distance driving. Most of my use is local, and the good quality music is welcome. As you may be able to see in my photo, my radio is OLD--not even a CD player but cassettes! For about $10 at the time (maybe a few more now) the Blue-Tooth device was worth a try, and it works well. It does work with my MP3 player too, by wire connection. The on-board usb charger on the device keeps the phone or MP3 charged when I use it.

By the way, I did NOT buy the device for its hands-free phone capability. Before retirement I conducted several experiments on the effect of such use in lab-simulated driving on reaction times to even anticipated events. Times were significantly slower during phone use. In real-life settings with less frequent, surprising events to respond to, the slow-down would have been even greater no doubt. Inattentive driving (as in phone use, hands or not) is risky, though no one ever thinks that he personally is affected. It's always the other guys who are the idiots!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-26 06:32 AM by AgingTim.

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