Spitfire & GT6 Forum

Installed a Double DIN, head unit with GPS, Back-up camera and custom dash

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poppabear Poppa B
Briceville, TN, USA   USA
Installed a Double DIN, head unit with GPS, Back-up camera and custom dash.
(Purest, walk away now.......... smiling smiley )
The head unit is a touch screen, powered by Android OS, with CD/DVD/AM/FM, blue tooth, Front/Rear speakers plus sub-out,
Power antenna and Remote On for Amps, steering wheel controls (currently working on my controls), wifi and has USB, I-pod, and SD inputs.
Got the thing off ebay for about $140. I put the front & rear 5-1/4" speakers in the lower/front part of the doors, and rear quarter panels.

I put the GPS antenna in an enclosure where the ash tray used to be, and put the back-up camera
at the top of the Tag Frame. Ended up putting all Equus gauges:
Speedo, Tach, H2O temp, Fuel, Oil Press, Oil temp, Volt and a Clock.
added LED left & right turn indicators, Batt. and High Beam indicators.
Moved most all of the electric over to a custom fuse and relay panel that lives
where the passenger glove box used to be. (just had to add, a USB double stack phone charger, 12VDC power port, and a digital volt meter)
Where the "Stock" radio hole was, I put 6 rocker switches that control various things.

I made an entire build log, for the car, which is STILL in process. Many things left to do, fix, or mod.
Here is the build Log:

Now I just wish I could find a small emergency type of spare tire that would not take up so much room in my trunk,
and figure out what would be an easy rear diff/suspension assembly that could handle a more powerful engine/tranny swap.


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IanF Ian Furqueron
Croydon, PA, USA   USA
Well... that's different. I'll be the first to ask: A backup camera in a Spitfire? confused smiley

There is some irony in wanting a compact spare for a car that already has one of the smallest tires available. However, I totally understand where you're coming from in wanting more trunk space. If the car is a 1500, the wheels are slightly wider than the earlier cars, so one option is to get a wheel from an early car and mount something like a 155/80-13 tire on it. The diameter will be about the same, but the width will be a bit less.

"Lisle" - '72 GT6 basically stock and original. For now... T-9 conversion pending.
"Winnie the Poo" - '79 Spitfire 1500. Rubber to chrome bumper conversion, otherwise stock at the moment.

Manana Avatar
Manana Steve Wten
Thornhill, ON, Canada   CAN
Hey Scott, welcome to the forum and nice work there.

This thread (along with a few other recent ones) would fit beautifully here for one-stop shopping....,1250080,1250080#msg-1250080

I too initially questioned the merits of a back-up camera, but clearly your system has that as an option, so why not! smiling smiley

Nice web-site by the way. Curious why you've done so much work before an engine swap, much of that will need massaging later if you do one?

Really like the way you did the GPS antenna; although I'm really not fond of GPS Speedos at least you don't have the antenna in plain view.

I carry Slime instead of a spare, and if I go far, or to Autocross (higher probability of failure) I'll throw in the space saver from my Miata donor (I've modded my front hubs for 4x100 and have adapters in the back).

You put up a nice document with "speaker standoffs". I was going to ask how you fit them in the doors. How do you find it? If it doesn't stick out too much might be a great way to go.

As for a simple rear end swap.... lots to read about that here so I encourage you to get good at using the advanced search function.

Nice job, hope to see more.


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Wolfcreek Steve Steve P
Central, WI, USA   USA
Being an old fart that can't hear anything anymore, I can appreciate the work involved, but anything sound oriented is wasted on me.spinning smiley sticking its tongue out Now the GPS is great, I've been contemplating a GPS speedo for "hook-up" simplicity, and a back-up camera is important to us old geezers with stiff necks.
Having just switched over to an R-180 differential, I would recommend the 160 instead. (just too much cutting to get it lined up front to rear)

Growe58 Avatar
Growe58 Greg Rowe
Hatfield, PA, USA   USA
I like it!

Two questions
- Did you have to remove the heater or heater controls (they seem to be still in place but might just be external)
- Any problems with the display washing out in bright sunlight?

Welcome to the forums!

65or66 Gold Member Jim B
Lake village, IN, USA   USA
1965 Triumph Spitfire MkII
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Jusanudda Munny Pit"
appreciate all the work too. Buuuuut...I'd be a little worried about wash-out...during a wash-outgrinning smiley

74Spit Avatar
74Spit Rick Ladd
Brooklyn, NY, USA   USA
Wow, that’s a first, having a back up camera installed. You never know when a snail will dash out behind you!

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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Could be worse:

poppabear Poppa B
Briceville, TN, USA   USA

1. The screen does not wash out unless the sun is low behind you (with the top down), and then you can
still see it, just difficult.
2. Back Up Camera "Why?"........ "Because I can", and since I am an admitted UBER GEEK, it appeals to me!
Further, when backing out of my driveway (outside), in the cold, and there is frost on my rear plastic window,
and mirrors are frosted, the camera (with LEDs) can see behind me GREAT!! And, like one other old guy like
me said.......... I do not have to twist my OLD stiff neck around either!! But mostly because I just like the
fact that I have a 2018 level head unit in a 41 year old car.........
3. Speakers on the front doors, I made 1" tall standoffs (see link to drawing on how to make them on my wix site),
to clear the window mechanism. I was going to put them in some DIY Front Kick panels but then you could
not see (easily) the speakers...... I enjoy "Wowing" the young car punks in my town.
On that note: I have the ULTIMATE Anti-Millennial car theft device, it is called a manual tranny....... hehehee
4. Heater controls, stock, untouched work as normal.
5. The GPS antenna is for the Navigation on the head unit, my speedo is mechanical.

Of course my own personal level of crazy and because I can, will probably also extend to putting, electric windows, power door locks,
bonnet and trunk power locks........... Why?........ again, because I can, and I enjoy the challenge of doing stuff like that.
I just really have a blast doing odd-ball custom stuff, it keeps me out of the house and in the garage. Beats the shit out of
sitting around the TV waiting to die, and keeps the grand kids coming around to visit "Crazy Grandpa"..

I am also seriously considering just dropping the Spit body onto a Miata frame (with appropriate mods to make it work.)
I love tinkering with stuff, (I guess if your on this page, you do also). The modern upgrades to my car keeps the wife happy
while put'n around with me, which means I get to spend more time/money in my garage!! (Yes, sad I know, but if mamma ain't
happy, ain't nobody happy!).

Thanks on the advice about getting/using a R-160 diff..........So, I am new to Spitfires (only had mine about 2 months now),
where do I get a R-160 in the US? I was looking on Moss, and they want dang near 5K for a 5 speed tranny which is
crazy prices to me. I was also looking at the Datsun 260 or 280 motor/tranny/diff/rear-end as an option.

So, is there a place that makes 4x100 hubs (front & rear) that would be easy to swap on the spit?
I am STILL considering if I go to a Miata (or like) motor, to use one of those classic cars under dash A/C units...
(Yes it is a convertible, but sitting in snail traffic in the middle of the summer, a cool breeze blowing is NICE!).
Been also specking out the full 100% LED lights conversion (to include electronic flashers/hazards),
except the halogen Headlights.

Thanks for the feedback, jokes, tears, derisive laughter, and help!! Loving all the cool people of every walk and opinion.
Lets face it, we are ALL driving really OLD cars!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-01-18 10:19 PM by poppabear.

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ctcrouch Avatar
ctcrouch Chris Crouch
Prairie Village, KS, USA   USA
I was thinking about GPS speedo and consolidating gauges, then I found this haven’t followed up with this yet, dash work is further down on the list.

Manana Avatar
Manana Steve Wten
Thornhill, ON, Canada   CAN
Scott thumbs up

There will be a few (or maybe more than a few) here that wouldn't agree with your philosophy, but I respect the innovation.

I prefer speakers to be completely hidden if possible, but have found that forward of the doors I just can't hear them. Perhaps I need a few more amps. An inch out seems like it may be a bit much for me but if it doesn't interfere might give it a go.

In my neck of the woods the R-160s are getting scarce, and even more scarce with the gearing I want. Plus I'm hoping for a shorter diff, for drive-shaft geometry. Short nose R200 I hope, but will require a lot of surgery; which doesn't bother me as I'm trying to do my own double wishbone suspension.

My opinion on 5-spd swaps with the stock engine is not very positive. Costs twice as much as a engine/tranny swap, is no more original, and you've still got one of the worst parts of our cars up front.
There are a few engines from which to chose; I went with the 1.6 Miata.... and also use Wix thumbs up . On my links page you will see a few links to other swaps as well.

Canley used to, and may still sell aluminum hubs that were not drilled so you can have them drilled as you like. I modified mine up front and used adapters in the rear.... check my Journal....

All the best.

Chris..... not my cup of tea, but it's great we all have different ideas. Am I reading that correctly though, 7" gauges!!! I went with standard sized SpeedHut gauges, but yet to be installed.


carChips Avatar
carChips Victor Harnish
Kelowna, BC, Canada   CAN
1933 MG Magnette
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Chip"
1989 GMC Sierra 1500 "Bush Truck"
Stereo is nice, but you should work on those seats.

'S all for now

poppabear Poppa B
Briceville, TN, USA   USA
Seats...... Yeap, I agree, they are on the "to do" list, ordered complete rebuilds from Parklane, but they will not
be shipped to me until mid Feb...... so, gotta do what I gotta do until they come in and I can redo them.

Front Door Speakers: They do not even come close to hitting my feet or legs ect. even though they are 1" above the
door panel, they are in the front/lower corners,

Motor/Tranny/Diff......... I am really at a loss here, I guess my best bet would be to buy a used Miata,
and just modify it's rolling frame, suspension, drive train where it would fit under the Spit body.
I can do the welding, cutting, machining etc., it is just the possible body surgery that makes me sweet a bit.

Steve: So who now sells Hubs and/or adapters for the front and rear so I could use 4x100 bolt circle (and hopefully find more easily,
one of the small emergency tires for the trunk to save some space.)?

Thanks one and all for the feedback and ideas!

poppabear Poppa B
Briceville, TN, USA   USA
I enjoy night driving (obviously more in the warmer months):

The gauge back-lights look green (I guess the phone camera does that), but they are actually blue to the "Mark 1, eyeball".


Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I took the pictures of my dash with my pad.

It seems to work better on available light and shows the LED lighting fairly accurately.

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