Category Archives: Interior

3D Printing accessories

I’ve not done a lot else to the bus recently that involves going outside. I did see an advert on Facebook for a phone mount that pushes into the CD slot in the head-unit.

But why would I buy one of those when I have a 3D printer! I measured the Pumpkin’s slot size and check around it for any obstructions, then knocked up a design that is tailor made for my phone. I printed the first test with some PET-G I have been using but fancy doing a black one next.


The angle of the head-unit is perfect for the phone which sits quite snugly in the holder.

I would have taken a photo with my phone in it, but that was the only camera to hand.

Although the first attempt came out ok I wanted to make a black one to fit in better with the dash. The PLA printed a lot nicer than the PET-G.


And seeing as the road flare was removed in Japan I decided to print a replacement. This was modelled in Tinkercad in two pieces. It’s hollow and the top comes off so that it can hold stuff.



A zipped .stl file of the flare is available here. I modelled two different styles of cap, both found in Japanese cars.

Cables. I hate (cheap) cables.

Firstly I’d just like to point out that I have no idea if the problem with the wires was caused by me soldering them, or just cheap shonky wire. The wire was breaking down a good 6 inches from where I had soldered them.

This was a set of audio cables to convert Nissan Micra to ISO plugs. Because of the restricted room behind my double-DIN head unit I unclipped the pins from the ISO connectors and connected them to the head unit harness wires with solder and heatshrink.

While I was soldering one wire I noticed that it just came away from the pin with next to no tugging or wiggling. When I tried to strip the insulation back the wire was very brittle and powdery and just seemed to crumble. I replaced this wire with some from an old Skyline engine wiring loom and that was fine.

I put the harness in the vehicle tonight and found I was only getting audio from the right channel. That’s odd, and annoying. I immediately thought of the dodgy wire and wondered if there might be more. I got my meter out and started testing continuity…to find four wires with no connection.

Each wire I replaced was all powdery and was breaking up. The harness that came with the head unit was perfect with clean bright copper wire. The dodgy wires weren’t even copper colour.

Here’s the item. I strongly suggest avoiding this one.


Pumpkin install started

Today I started removing the Japanese head unit that came with the bus so I could fit the new double-din Pumpkin unit.

I removed the console fascia and pulled out the old unit. While it was apart I got some wipes and gave it a good clean.

I then connected the Pumpkin up to test it before installing it properly.

Before (with the crap on the buttons and fag ash in every crevice):

Fascia before

After removing and cleaning everything:

Fascia after.

Here’s the Pumpkin connected up and playing some Seal.

Pumpkin test

I need to put some cables in there out to the rear AUX input and possibly to the wing mirrors for the cameras I’ve bought.

So far I’m really pleased with it, it sounds great!

New dials

As the bus hasn’t been converted to KMH I decided rather than fit a converter chip I’d just buy a replacement fascia that reads in MPH. This way the computer isn’t being fooled into thinking it’s travelling at a different speed.

I’ve seen two types on Ebay; Lockwood and some other cheap version. Unfortunately the cheap version is just that and from pictures I’ve seen the light diffusion is pretty poor. You can see the LEDs through it. I bought Lockwood.

Fitting was easy until I got to removing the needles. I tried to put all of the needles at 6 o’clock after pulling out the stop pins. I then levered them off carefully with a forked spudger. After the needles were off I peeled the old fasia off.

The new fascia doesn’t come with any adhesive and I had no thin double-sided tape anywhere, so I used superglue. BIG mistake. It eats through the printing and has left dark marks in the dials.

Anyway, I got the needles back on and put the dash back together. It all works fine from what I’ve tested so far. I just hope I got the needles back in about the right angles!

Lockwood dial fascia