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  #31  
Old 12-12-2011, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bipolardave View Post
Thanks for the tips, folks.

I've been debating the matter of upgrading the stereo for a few weeks now.

Part of me wants to retain the stock radio, but the more practical side wants to upgrade the entire system (amp, flat sub beneath the seat, plus mount 4 speakers around the cabin).

Having upgraded several stereos to get iPod functionality in the past, I've came to realize that the biggest issue with aftermarket decks is the lack of a viewing screen to better help scroll through the music. Short of a double DIN touchscreen unit, there doesn't appear any way to get more than 2 lines of text to display on the screen at any time. Given that the sheer volume of songs on my iPod, navigating to the right one is a matter of patience and unsafe driving.

Does anyone have a bead on a single DIN unit that displays 4 or more lines of text? I'm not interested in using the AUX jack, so that's not an option.
Mine is fantastic in that regard. I don't have a picture of it with the menu up, but I can snap one on my break. It has a little LCD screen. The iPod connects to the back of it, and I just ran a wire into the glovebox so the iPod just sits in there away from sight (very easy to connect and disconnect) and you control it via the knob, through a scroll menu similar to the iPod's. Very easy and I personally think it looks nice. Mine is an Alpine iDA-X100 from 2008 so there are newer models since, but I'm sure they're similar.

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1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--137,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--3,700 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--32,000 miles (Dad's car)
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  #32  
Old 12-12-2011, 07:04 PM
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gorgeous! LOVE the boost gauge, whats that next to it? you have a manual boost control?
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1985 300CD Silver/Blue H&R Suspension (Sold, still cryin over that)
1982 300SD Silver/Blue '85 OM617 (Sold)
1982 300D - Blue/Blue (Sold)
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  #33  
Old 12-12-2011, 07:10 PM
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If one stays modest, and I mean, with a small amp (I believe mine is no bigger than 300W), you won't be stressing the alternator/charging system. I ran the "aux out" plug from the HU, to the amp under the back seat, then the wires from the amp to the two low power box speakers on the floor. I get excellent sound. The main hot wire is a very thick red wire, direct from the battery, with an inline fuse, to under the back seat, and hooks up directly to the amp. Any radio shop can sell you the hot wire to power the amp, with the fuse built in, if you're going to install it yourself, like I did. Our charging systems absolutely won't handle a 1,000W amp or power convertor . . . that's for sure!!! LOL
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1983 300D, the "Avocado"
1976 240D, 4-spd the "Pumpkin", SOLD to Pierre
1984 190D, 2.2L, 5-spd, my intro to MBZ diesels, crashed into in 2002
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  #34  
Old 12-12-2011, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SpecialDelivery View Post
gorgeous! LOVE the boost gauge, whats that next to it? you have a manual boost control?
No boost control ... just got the gauge when I was playing with the overboost protection plumbing and decided I'd install it permanently. Next to it is actually just the 9V charger that was originally in the ashtray, with a black rubber washer around the rim so that it fits snugly in the wood. The panel is just plywood with zebrawood veneer glued to it ... I was really surprised it came out looking as nice as it did!
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1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--137,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--3,700 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--32,000 miles (Dad's car)
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  #35  
Old 12-12-2011, 07:46 PM
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where did you get the zebrawood veneer? awesome job duder!
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1985 300CD Silver/Blue H&R Suspension (Sold, still cryin over that)
1982 300SD Silver/Blue '85 OM617 (Sold)
1982 300D - Blue/Blue (Sold)
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  #36  
Old 12-12-2011, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SpecialDelivery View Post
where did you get the zebrawood veneer? awesome job duder!
I'm pretty sure I got that piece on eBay from a seller who was selling guitar veneers, but I have since found really nice veneer sheets at Woodcraft. If you don't have one near you, I think you can order it online: Buy Zebrawood Veneer 3 sq ft pack at Woodcraft ... I've been meaning to use some to make a cupholder, but never seem to get around to it. For finish I use Epifanes Clear Marine Varnish and it's held up very well so far.
__________________
1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--137,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--3,700 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--32,000 miles (Dad's car)
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  #37  
Old 12-12-2011, 08:33 PM
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is that what all the wood trim is made from? Zebrawood? There is a woodcraft shop near me. Do they keep it in stock, or does it have to be ordered?
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1983 300D, the "Avocado"
1976 240D, 4-spd the "Pumpkin", SOLD to Pierre
1984 190D, 2.2L, 5-spd, my intro to MBZ diesels, crashed into in 2002
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  #38  
Old 12-12-2011, 08:34 PM
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What stain?

Where did you get the varnish, and was it in a can, or spray can?
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1983 300D, the "Avocado"
1976 240D, 4-spd the "Pumpkin", SOLD to Pierre
1984 190D, 2.2L, 5-spd, my intro to MBZ diesels, crashed into in 2002
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  #39  
Old 12-12-2011, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by piccolovic View Post
is that what all the wood trim is made from? Zebrawood? There is a woodcraft shop near me. Do they keep it in stock, or does it have to be ordered?
They had a package in stock at the store near me. I think it's zebrawood veneer in all the 123s and earlier 124s ... later 124s use burl I believe. Woodcraft also carries various thicker cuts of zebra in addition to the veneers.
Edit: to answer other two questions. Stain is a combo of four (I worked forever to get it right): 1) General Finishes Georgian Cherry gel stain. 2) Minwax Red Mahogony. 3) Minwax Sedona Red. 4) Zar UltraMax Cayenne Pepper. I refinished the factory pieces at the same time, so it was a little easier to get a match between all the pieces. Once the stain is dry you can rub mineral spirits on it to "preview" how it will look after finishing it. The varnish comes in a can, and I sprayed it on with an HVLP gun ... think I did 8 or 9 coats, lots of drying time between. Worth the effort though.
__________________
1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--137,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--3,700 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--32,000 miles (Dad's car)

Last edited by BodhiBenz1987; 12-12-2011 at 08:50 PM.
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  #40  
Old 12-12-2011, 09:51 PM
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HA! you should be SELLING that blend pal...looks SPOT on to me!
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1985 300CD Silver/Blue H&R Suspension (Sold, still cryin over that)
1982 300SD Silver/Blue '85 OM617 (Sold)
1982 300D - Blue/Blue (Sold)
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  #41  
Old 12-12-2011, 10:09 PM
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Yeh, my stock speakers came to life with the new head unit. With a 10" sub and a crossover I can get by but I have ZERO mids. I will upgrade the speakers down the road and run new wires when I do.
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  #42  
Old 12-13-2011, 12:05 AM
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Not being much of a minwax fan, I have to ask why you used it, since it's water based, and the varnish is oil based, and would be much harder to match. Do you know of any oil based stains that are supposed to work? Did you work off of a DIY sheet? Was that here?
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1983 300D, the "Avocado"
1976 240D, 4-spd the "Pumpkin", SOLD to Pierre
1984 190D, 2.2L, 5-spd, my intro to MBZ diesels, crashed into in 2002
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  #43  
Old 12-13-2011, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by piccolovic View Post
Not being much of a minwax fan, I have to ask why you used it, since it's water based, and the varnish is oil based, and would be much harder to match. Do you know of any oil based stains that are supposed to work? Did you work off of a DIY sheet? Was that here?
I did get the idea from a DIY sheet here (not sure if it's still here, I'll search later), although I ended up basically just using trial and error (and for the actual varnish part I followed Epifanes' instructions). I just picked the stains based on the colors I wanted. Actually the first time I did this, I used Magnalac precatalyzed lacquer, laid in on way too thick, and it crazed once the wintertime came (hard lesson, hours of work down the drain). I stripped it all off then had to restain it, which was different this time because the veneer was a little thinner, I guess, having been sanded again. That's when I added the gel stain to the mix, because the MinWaxs were coming out too light and the gel "stuck" a little better to the wood. And I topped it off with the Zar because it didn't have quite the red hue I wanted. To be honest, I have zero woodworking experience so I pretty much just guessed and kept improvising if it didn't come out the way I wanted. I did not have to match it with existing wood though, since I was refinishing all of it at once, so I think that made it a lot easier. I did have to use a little bit different balance of stains on the custom piece because the veneer took the stain a bit differently than the factory bits.
(sorry to hijack thread ... )
__________________
1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--137,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--3,700 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--32,000 miles (Dad's car)
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  #44  
Old 12-13-2011, 10:38 PM
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Well, newbie, or not . . . it looks fantastic, and thank you for sharing your experience.

What did you mean the lacquer "crazed"?

I vaguely remember reading another member's experience with it. However, I think he used a spray urethane/high gloss . . . don't remember the stain color but he seemed to have the info on that too. When I get there, I'll ask Hunter to look it up for me, if I don't find it on my own.
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1983 300D, the "Avocado"
1976 240D, 4-spd the "Pumpkin", SOLD to Pierre
1984 190D, 2.2L, 5-spd, my intro to MBZ diesels, crashed into in 2002
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  #45  
Old 12-13-2011, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piccolovic View Post
Well, newbie, or not . . . it looks fantastic, and thank you for sharing your experience.

What did you mean the lacquer "crazed"?

I vaguely remember reading another member's experience with it. However, I think he used a spray urethane/high gloss . . . don't remember the stain color but he seemed to have the info on that too. When I get there, I'll ask Hunter to look it up for me, if I don't find it on my own.
Crazed just means thin cracks going in all directions. I think i was even warned that there was a strict limit to the build depth for that lacquer, but alas I didn't believe them.
Actually found this not-very-professional writeup I did some time ago (on now-defunct blog I just use for storage), think it's still accessible: Automotive wood restoration The sad mechanic exercise
__________________
1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--137,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--3,700 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--32,000 miles (Dad's car)
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