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FC (Forward Control Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your FC model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.......List your FC Parts here too.

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Old 05-22-2012
brianhinfl brianhinfl is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Sarasota
Posts: 26
Default Updated the stereo

Finally something I can give back to WOG. Here are some pictures of what I've done to replace the stereo in my 'Bird. It's a work in progress so none of the new parts have been covered in vinyl yet.

First I replaced the overhead panel that the original speakers were mounted in. The holes were the wrong size, and since I was changing the color of the vinyl anyway, it was pretty easy to make a new panel and put the speakers where I wanted them. Those are a pair of Focal Utopias I had from a previous car project. If after I check out the reason my dash A/C isn't working is an expensive one, I'll put a subwoofer in that overhead and have it's port tube come out of this panel as well. Panel still needs vinyl.

What you can't see in that picture is that in place of the 2 volume knobs in the overhead I've installed 2 toggle switches that control LED ambient lighting for the inside front and one for the outside(LEDs need to be installed). There is also a toggle switch that turns on/off the amplifiers.

I built this new dash "pod" to replace the smaller one that was originally there. It holds the Jake Brake and Bulk Oiler lights and the two front vent switches. Above those lives my XM receiver that shuttles between the 'Bird and car. to the right is a 10" tablet that runs Centrafuse as a front-end. Plays any of my MP3's, inputs from the XM, and I might add a radio tuner someday. For navigation I run CoPilot Truck, which runs inside of Centrafuse environment. This setup has been great so far.

Behind the front panel of this pod is an Apple Airport Extreme and a USB hard drive that holds all my media. The Airport allows me to connect all of my other devices, Boxee, iPads, etc to it. I then configure the WAN port on the Airport when I get to a racetrack or campground with WiFi internet access, and all those devices will have access to the internet without having to set them up individually again.

Amps are installed in the front left overhead. One is 300W 4channel Xtant amp for front and rear speakers and the other is a 500W subwoofer amp. Who says FC's are noisy? What fun it was to route those 4AWG power wires all the way down to the battery compartment

Speaking of the battery compartment, two 100AMP circuit breakers were installed there to protect the power supply to the amplifiers.

What you can't see is just behind these circuit breakers are the two new power posts I installed. One of these posts is for the generator battery, the other the main battery(or I should say to the master battery switch before the battery). These posts, are then routed to the Magnum ME-SBC (Mounted up by the audio amplifiers) which takes care of keeping the generator battery topped off.

What I've got to do still:
  • Make the mounting plates for the rear speakers that will replace what were the speakers for the TV in the airplane overheads near the rear of the front couches.
  • Finish the new dash pod. I think I'm going to have it angle downwards towards the back to match the current dash. Tops and back needs to be installed as well.
  • Wrap everything in vinyl.
  • Finish transition to grey vinyl.
  • Clean up the wiring.

Brian Hanson
Sarasota, FL
1983 FC35SB "Tealamonster"
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Old 05-22-2012
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JD33 JD33 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Perth, ON
Posts: 2,223

Jim Doel
Birdless for the first time in many years!
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Old 05-22-2012
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rselin rselin is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 796

Great work. Thanks for sharing.
Richard Selin
Former owner 1992 SP36
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Old 05-23-2012
Rick Davis Rick Davis is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tellico Village, near Knoxville, TN
Posts: 2,569

Brian, do you make house calls? Seriously though, if you are at RATS I would like to get some advice from you.
Rick & Marilyn Davis
Loudon, TN
1997 WB43 Mid-door-Sold
1986 PT36 6V92 "Golden Memories"-Sold
1993 WB40 "freeNeasy"-Sold
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Old 05-24-2012
brianhinfl brianhinfl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Sarasota
Posts: 26

Thanks everyone, I look forwarding to posting an update once everything is completed.

Unfortunately no RATS for me this year. I'll be up in Birmingham at the WERA Grand National Finals racing that weekend. Actually, all of October is horrible this year as the schedule is crazy, in October I go Atlanta, Birmingham, Daytona, Birmingham in back-to-back-to-back weeks. Going to log some milage on the old 'Bird!

If there are any questions you have, or something I can help you with, let me know. I'll do my best.

I will say one of the greatest things I did during this process was install the indirect LED lighting. I got the idea from John Finn in this post. It's perfect for just hanging out in the front, reading, watching tv, etc. I like it more than the fluorescent lights as never gets in your eyes or distracts you, even if you lay out on the couch. I liked it so much, installed them in the bedroom as well, although set lower on the dimmer.

Brian Hanson
Sarasota, FL
1983 FC35SB "Tealamonster"
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Old 03-23-2014
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'just wanderin? 'just wanderin? is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Payson
Posts: 120

'Nice post, Brian. Any updates/picts/thoughts? How do you like using Centrafuse/Co-Pilot Truck with a tablet, and how do you feel it compares with just buying a stand-alone GPS like the Rand Mcnally 7". I understand The Centrafuse and the Co-Pilot Truck can cost $300 or more. Is that a one-time cost or are there recurring costs for upgrades, recent maps, etc? Also, what do you use for an audio pre-amp (vol, eq,etc.), - a regular in-dash CD deck?


Fred & Wendy Bellows
Payson, AZ (hour north of Phx)
SOB 2015 Sprinter van DIY conversion
"The Wunderlodge"
build blog info
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