Category Archives: Jeep

Problems with the Jeeputer…

Sometime this winter my “Jeeputer” broke, would not boot, wasn’t getting power basically. First I pulled the computer and test booted it on my bench as all the other accessories were fine, I assumed hardware issue.  The PC tested booted right up with my power supply so the next step was to check the PC leads.  There are 3 leads; 12v power, Ground, and 12v ignition on.  The power supply is smart enough to only trigger boot on 12v ignition. The headers on the motherboard connect to the power supply (DC to DC) and trigger a power button action when 12v ignition is sent.  When 12v ignition is cut it waits 30 seconds and triggers the power button again.  I currently have the  power button set to sleep so it’s a fast resume when I start the Jeep back up.  I have a relay feeding the 12v always on power in case I need to hard reboot or if I don’t want the computer on for whatever reason.

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I started by checking the neon power distribution unit I put in to control all of my accessories.  I pulled it out, checked all the connections underneath, and everything looked good.  I put the PDU back and moved on to the switches.  These are LED switches so I know they are getting power, but I moved from 1 spot on the PDU to another (from 1 to 7) to see if there was a break in the switch wire that triggers the relay.  As I moved over to check the power coming from relay 7, I traced the power line to the PC and found the culprit, a bad wrong sized connector…  Lesson learned here, no more connectors and I’ll be checking these connections first next time.

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Replacing a Jeep clockspring

Well, for a year now I have had an airbag light on constantly and need to pass inspection this month.  So I bought a new clock spring from amazon and installed it today.  The hardest part was getting the airbag off.  I found this video pretty helpful for assistance. To get the airbag off you need a 90 degree flat head, I just bent an old cheap flat head I had, worked really well.  Was also a good opportunity to clean up the dirty plastic around the steering wheel.

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The Jeeputer!

Here is a “bucket list” item for me, I went a little overboard with it.  Total so far comes to about $1850 which includes the Tuffy console.

So, being in IT, and a computer nerd, I have always wanted an in-car PC (of course that is a general term, this is a Jeep after all), and finally I decided to pull the trigger.

Here’s the hardware I decided to go with:
i3-2100 3.1Ghz CPU
Foxconn H67S LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Mini ITX
4GB DDR3 1333Mhz Crucial RAM
OCZ Agility3 180GB SSD
160w DC-DC power supply
Mini ITX case
Inelmatic 7” Sunlight readable screen, found a good deal on this and was the basis to start the build.
Micro Bluetooth Keyboard
GPS antenna, bluetooth dongle
HD/FM/AM radio tuner
USB wifi
NO CD/DVD drive
Hacked apart Logitech G15 keyboard with custom keys, and LCD (placement to be determined)

Here’s the unit, mostly assembled:


Next was the build plan.

Obviously the screen would go where the head unit is, simple.  But where would the amp/or head unit go.  Obviously the Jeep is lacking in space, and because I had an old alpine with an aux input, I decide to go that route. As far as placement, decided on a Tuffy Full console as it has a location for the radio and based on reviews is twice as functional and spacious as the factory console.

I am a car audio idiot, and had help with the wiring here – my Extended harness:


Console (pre wired for head unit):


Removed factory:


Console installed with head unit:


Now locating the PC, too much money to put under the seat, having no doors often and well there’s always a chance of water.  So I will be hacking apart some of the glovebox to locate in there.

Here’s the mount for the PC, wanted it to be sturdy yet somewhat easily removed if needed.


Me hacking up the dash, will be building a custom metal enclosure for screen that will allow for a removable screen and some water tight storage, possibly a second monitor…


And the system operating, with Centrafuse, next will be topo maps with GPS locations, routes and more!


Holy wires!!!


Direct sunlight shot, still readable (looks better in person than pics). This is easier to read than my iPhone.


Finished product (for now)