DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Head units and speakers, MP3 and CD changers, GPS and SatNav, plus PDAs, mobile phones, Bluetooth, TalkAbouts...

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Southernboy
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DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 12:23

As you may have gathered, I've stripped my dash out to have stuff done etc. But as per my a--l self, I clean everything, and the entire palstic parts composition of the dash has been done...
In the process, I discovered a small 130mm x 96mm x 24mm compartment which serves no purpose other than to be there... The pic below shows the compartment with the single center hole in it. It's the one which is roughly square / rectangular with 2 corners rounded (there are 2 others, but of little immediate interest).
It is correctly centered left to right, and is accurately 202mm from the front edge of the dash above the headunit airvent. ie. if you remove the center airvent control, and measure 202mm back towards the windsheild, you would reach the front edge of the compartment. It extends 96mm further back towards the windsheild from that position. Being 24mm deep and 130mm wide. It seems an ideal position to have fitted a smallisg pop-up satnav unit of the Garmin type instrument. The requirements would be a matching lid accurately made to fit into any aperture cut into the top of the dash. The pop-up mechanism is as simple as the OEM ashtray lid which operates on a push release / push close system...perfect for the application. There is heaps of space to route a power cable etc under the dash to any such instrument.
With the very limited storage space in the Z3, I am somewhat surprised that it wasn't originally made into a flip top tray...I can just imagine all the hairdresser types being delighted to have a place to store hair clips etc.... :D
Now I am aware of this opportunity, I shall pursue it with the intention of accomodating a small Garmin satnav set-up.....
Watch that space !

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Robert T
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Robert T » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 12:35

On bmwfans/realoem I have seen reference for a TV monitor option, and two options for BMW navigation - any idea where these fits? Might well be where you are looking, particularly as the hole would appear to drop through into the void behind the radio/heater controls.

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 12:46

Hi Rob
If you pop into your Z, and measure back from the edge of the dash center vent where it butts up to the dash proper - 202mm, you will see how far back this compartment is. Nonetheless, it would be comfortably position for a small unit without interfering in forward windsheild visibility. I would envision a 130mm wide x 90mm Garmin housed on the underside of a pop-up lid, which when open would stand up vertical to the dash top surface and hinged at either side.
below is a pic of a guy with a Skoda, which already has a pop up lid container on the front edge of the dash...he has simply used velcro to hold his Garmin in position....but you can get the idea....
I haven't seen any Z3's fitted with anything in the dash top, although the Z4 has a compartment on the dash top.... Perhaps a visit to the breakers yard is calling.... :wink:

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Robert T » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 12:53

Just reading about the OEM Navigation System - the GPS antennae is installed in "the void behind the centre air vent" and secured with a sticky pad on top of the air vent - which sounds like the same place to me - this would mean that there is only the thin plastic of the dash and the windscreen glass between it and the outside world.

If you could make a decent job of the trim, it would certainly make for a decent installation of a pop-up screen.

Cheers R.
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Southernboy
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 13:00

You're right Rob...If you google BMW Z4 dash top images, you will see that they already have a very neat dash top fitting. It may be possible to transplant it to a Z3 if the curves etc etc are close to similar...
I don't think I'd like the garmin stuck to the dash top...needs to be a neat job which the eyes of the scumbags can't penetrate....also must be fully auto...ie. turn the ignition on, and the thing powers up...tap the lid and it pops up into position...punch in the destination, hit GO...and .....go... :wink:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 13:06

.........GUESS WHAT A Z4 HAS UNDER THE DASH TOP LID....

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Jonco » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 13:12

Southernboy wrote: ...I can just imagine all the hairdresser types being delighted to have a place to store hair clips etc.... :D
Oi! you'll upset a lot of us with those comments :wink: :wink:

Seriously seems a great idea - will watch with interest.
I do not have the passenger airbag fitted on mine and was considering looking to see if there is a suitable void there. Disadvantage with that one is distance from driver's position and it would have to be on a swivel.

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 13:18

I've just re-fittd the center air duct and it has a further 20mm of clearance above the little compartment....it's getting even better !!
Definitely a visit to the breakers...Need to see what they have which may be applied.... :D

Apologies to those who are sensitive about their hardressing bents..... :D
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 13:49

.....some possibilities....bearing in mind it's the mechanism / hinging system which is the most important component... the lid can be made fairly easily and fitted to the hinge system..etc ...

a).
Hyundai Elantra dash top storage - $. 55.00
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b).
Ford "Freestyle" ?? $ 43.00

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Skylark » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 14:01

My 2001 Z3 has Sat Nav fitted as a factory option but the GPS receiver is just sitting on top of the dash - maybe they didn't know about this recess :roll:

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 14:17

According to Rob's earlier reply above, BMW used that space for the GPS Antenna....and the screen is what is on the dash...??
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Davejue1 » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 18:04

Very interesting Barry. I wait in anticipation! I'd be up for one if the price was right. :D

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 18:19

The price is always right....it's the flippin' work involved getting it to a professional level... :wink:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Davejue1 » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 18:34

Lol! I'll leave that bit to you mate! But I'll happily have one from you if as said before......'the price is right!' :lol:
Ooh and just so you know , we spell "centre "like that over here!!! :colourful: :lol: :lol:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 19:24

English 101....
"Center" and "centre" have different connotations... The first relates to the position of an object relative to other adjacent boundaries...the secong describes a hub of function / activity / as in "shopping centre" vs "Center forward".....but then, it is often true that the colonies were established to ensure the survival of the motherlands values, tongue, sports etc etc... as in the "centre of world cricket" is now several hours east of it's English origins, in spite of this, the greatest cricketing centerpoint, Lords still endures ..... :roflmao:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Davejue1 » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 19:47

Bloody hell Barry, I'm a lorry driver not an English lit teacher! I'm sure your right though in your theory or dictionary reference. I'll stand down and allow you to spell center/centre exactly as you wish! :lol:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 20:33

..... just pulling your "center leg" mate... :roflmao:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by bertiejaffa » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 20:38

Southernboy wrote:English 101....
"Center" and "centre" have different connotations... The first relates to the position of an object relative to other adjacent boundaries...the secong describes a hub of function / activity / as in "shopping centre" vs "Center forward".....but then, it is often true that the colonies were established to ensure the survival of the motherlands values, tongue, sports etc etc... as in the "centre of world cricket" is now several hours east of it's English origins, in spite of this, the greatest cricketing centerpoint, Lords still endures ..... :roflmao:
....aye, but they are essentially all English anyway.... all they need to do is get those bloody stars off our flag !!
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 20:42

.... the cheek of those colonials !! :D
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Wed 29 Jan, 2014 08:21

here's an interesting link which is worth further investigation.... BMW Z4 retrofit of dash top storage... With pics !
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=222753
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Wed 29 Jan, 2014 14:41

....more good news...Captain - who lives in Durban has a dash top storage box in his Z4. I've asked him to send me measurements....
Anyone interested, the Z4 storage box is available as a retrofit item...part# 51450428424. :wink:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by gIzzE » Wed 09 Apr, 2014 23:59

I have done a few mods like this.

This was a Sony Nav system fitted to the 1 series nav monitor, the screen would open/close with ignition.....

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Also fitted a GPStar nav system (Navigon based) to my first 1 series....

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Also used the BMW tray for their Garmin system and fitted a Pioneer F500BT unit.....

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You do have to just go for it with the Dremmel......

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 07:08

I like the look of the fitting in the last pic you posted. Which car does that fitting originate from?
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by henrycrun » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 08:21

No need for all that work. Simply place the satnav securely in your passengers lap and turn up the volume !

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 08:34

... hahaha...generally when I have a passenger sat next to me, I don't need a satnav...She tells me exactly how to drive and where to go.... :roflmao:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by gIzzE » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 09:39

Southernboy wrote:I like the look of the fitting in the last pic you posted. Which car does that fitting originate from?

That was just a generic one from a German company called GPStar.

Not sure if they are still trading though.

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 09:53

Do you have a link to their website?? If not I'll try the google... :wink:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by gIzzE » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 10:06

Looks like they have gone...
http://www.gpstar.de/

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 11:21

How / where did you find such a supplier...maybe someone else has taken up the franchise for these??
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by gIzzE » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 15:58

Back in 2008 when I did that they were quite big, made different units for loads of different cars, often those that had a storage tray in the dash, but saw that and thought it would work in the 1 series.

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 17:57

I guess that with most new cars it comes as standard kit now, so not much market for "aftermarket" any longer.... :(
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Martini » Sun 31 May, 2015 11:51

I'd like to see this mod on the Z3.

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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Sun 31 May, 2015 13:40

Ditto........ let me know if you ever find a really "compact" unit as per the pics above...... :wink:
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by peter2b » Thu 30 Jul, 2015 20:36

I use the sucker pad to mount my sat nav then unclipped it when I leave my zed then hit the were am I now button to mark where I have parked , makes things very easy when some where new or at big shows
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Re: DYK.....HIDDEN VOID UNDER DASHTOP !

Post by Southernboy » Fri 31 Jul, 2015 12:01

My Garmin is mounted onto the rear center storage box trim just above the little switch plate - (some cars have a small storage box thingy there) I have used one of the switch slots to mount a UBS connection port to power the Garmin when the ignition is turned on.... Since the Garmin provides vocal instructions to guide me to the chosen destination, I don't really need to see the screen.

Can be seen hiding just behind the armrest...

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