Offroading Subarus

Where we modify and drive flat fours

PDA Pocket PC Car Stereo and Custom Center Console for the Dash

I was thinking, what’s the point of having a radio or CD player when I could just use my PDA as a MP3/WMA player. Also my IPAQ Pocket PC can play video. So, after a couple of ideas, and designs, I came up with a good place for it. Right where the CD player was. I was motivated on doing this because after trying to fix the plug on the back of the CD player, while it was still in the car, so I could get the left channel working. I heard a sound, like a screw falling thru the player, and then all my speakers when “thud” and there was no more music. Well… seems the CD player was free and my bro had been using it for about 2 years before I got my hands on it I thought; ahh well no need to fix it, it’s had it’s time.

My idea was to take out the center console, put in brackets that hole three gauges, some switches, and my pda. So I started ripping the center console out. Cleaned up all the wiring, took all the unneeded ‘metal things’. I got a little side tracked on fixing my shifter, but that only lasted about 1 hour, so then we were back to business.


My brother had some alloy tread plate that he was going to use on his dash for his Fiat X1/9. But, seems he isn’t going to be working on that car for a while he thought we may as well use it on my Subaru 😀 We cut out some cardboard to fit as a dummies center console. Then we traced that on to the tread plate and cut it with a jigsaw. We decided that we may as well box it off a bit. Remembering I was only planning on have brackets holding things, but that’s how we work, changing the idea on the spot all the time. So, we needed 3 bends. One at the top so we could bolt it on, and two on the sides so it’s boxed off. To do the bends and keep them looking nice we clamped the tread plate between two bits of wood and hit it with a wooden mallet. It turned out a lot better then I expected it too.

center_console_new_tredplate_cutandbent_subaru_brumby center_console_fitment_after_bending_subaru_brumby

Once we fitted it in there, and found out it didn’t need any trimming (AMAZING!,) we moved onto the gauges. Just by chance I found two plastic gauge cups that my bro bought for his Fiat too. So, we drilled the holes, bolted them on and wow, they were looking pretty good. Closer then I wanted them, but that’s alright.
Because I bought a alloy case for my PDA I wanted to make it so I just had to clip it on, like I do when I put it on my belt. So, we cut up a stripe of alloy, bending it all over the place to get the right angle. After trying this a couple of times we got a good working product out of it. Bolted it on and bingo. We cut a slit in it and had a bigger hole at the top so the screw on the back of the metal case can just slide right on and hold securely.

   center_console_pda_mount center_console_finshed_product2_subaru_brumby center_console_finshed_product1_subaru_brumby

The PDA/Pocket PC is a IPAQ RX3417 (similar to the RX3715) I have a “deluxe metal case” from InnoPocket for it. When I have the PDA and/or GPS in the car I have them plugged into the car chargers and the PDA is plugged into my audio. The Bluetooth GPS is a IPAQ HP with NAVTEC (12ch). I am using some software called GPS Tuner, with it I can import my own maps and plenty more.

The Audio is comprised of 2 4″ Clarion door speakers, 1 12″ Pioneer Sub, An Alpine 2ch bridged AMP and a very crap 2x35watt amp for the Clarions. I am also using a Ground loop Isolator because the PDA charger gives the crapo amp some horrible noise.

I give full rights for anybody to copy this idea/design. Have fun!


I bought my first Subaru back in 2005, it was a 89 Brumby, flair red. I lifted it, fitted Kumho 27″ MT’s. After a while I swapped the dual carb EA81 it had with an EJ22 bolted on a custom gearbox which used EJ D/R casing, EA82 5sp low range and an RX centre locking diff. Once I sold the Brumby I got a 83 Leone. Converted it to 4WD, put the Kumho’s on it, added a 5sp and drove it like I stole it. I then upgraded to a 99 Outback. It was hail damaged so I repaired it myself. I fitted it out with some storage and a mattress. I now have a 87 Brumby that I’ve resprayed with two pack urethane in Waratah Red. I am planning to fit an EJ with PT gearbox and a little bit of lift. It’s another project in progress.

Phizinza – who has written posts on Offroading Subarus.

December 23rd, 2005 by Phizinza
Posted in Modifications