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HUD in F-Body??

This is a discussion on HUD in F-Body?? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Since the original line of this thread seems to have been lost over the years, allow me to hi-jack it ...

  1. #81
    Junior Member UH60Driver's Avatar
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    2002 Trans Am WS6

    Since the original line of this thread seems to have been lost over the years, allow me to hi-jack it if only temporarily to offer a few answers to questions out there. After reading through this thread, I spent about 8 hours today poking around the internet, (being on call for medevac has its perks) looking at how other people have done it, ranging from hondas and acuras to boats. It looks to me like this is a pretty washy market, saw prices ranging from $85 to over $300 for the same product, so I would definitely shop around, ALOT, and also be innovative. There are alot of things out there not explicitly meant for HUD's that would work very well, look into the MSD Dashhawk, or the PLX KIWI MPG, the Kiwi mpg is kinda what I am leaning towards, because I only really care about Vehicle Speed, which it does, it also has a on the fly code reader built in that pops up the code as soon as your engine throws it which i though was kinda cool, no more stopping and reading it to find out if its a serious one or not. Alot of the "performance" monitors out there plug right into your OBD2 port, and with some velcro or 2 sided tape could be put on the dash and angled to present reasonably straight and focused display. use of a sharpie or tape to block out logos would easily stop them from being projected. There are a handful of "HUD" units that have built in GPS receivers and use that to display MPH only on the windshield that can be had for about $60. I would avoid the use of EBAY for this project period, except in the case of you are wanting OEM parts off of another GM car that came with a HUD, everything on ebay can be found elsewhere cheaper in this case, usually buy $100 or more. It's worth noting that with regards to using OEM parts and Fabbing it up, I have yet to see a successful completion of this anywhere on the internet, for any car, not just F bodies.

    IN SUMMARY (for those that didnt read or have a bad short term memory like me)

    1) Be innovative, just because it doesn't say HUD, doesn't mean it wont reflect off of your glass and be readable
    2) Avoid Ebay
    3) PLX Kiwi has one for $80 that could easily be used with velcro (I'll let you all know how that works in about 2 weeks when I go home on leave)
    4) You probably will need to put some tint or Mylar on your windshield where you want the display to make it work, GM cars came with special windshields for their HUD's. I fly with HUD every night in my helo, and you need it to not have a ghost image, believe me.
    5) If it sound to good or cheap and easy to be true and says "HUD" in the name, it probably is.

    **EDIT** The MSD Dashhawk refers to the car needing to be CAN compatible, the website for the product explains what this is and shows how to find out if your car is. By check the 13 and 16 pin on the OBDII plug, being as I am literally 10k miles from my Trans Am, does anyone know if our cars are CAN compatible?
    Last edited by UH60Driver; 05-08-2010 at 09:34 AM.

  2. #82
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    Thanks UH60, for the Kiwi info! I ordered one just now from Amazon, and will post for folks here once I get it, with my impressions.

    I made a little 'Kiwi MPG mockup' in actual size (1" x 2.5") and tried it out on my dash. I found that placing it up on top, right in line with my normal eyes-ahead viewing, it is almost up where the HUD shows in my Grand Prix.

    I love HUD's. Hoping this gadget provides at least the basic emulation of speed readout. I firmly believe my Grand Prix's HUD has saved me from several speeding tickets

  3. #83
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    So I got the Kiwi MPG today. I'm kind of bummed about it

    1. The readout is pretty hard to read if in the sun... might be ok with a little hood on top but wow. Not very bright.

    2. Power switch is ultra-tiny, just about impossible to operate. I would have thought that didn't matter, since the online docs said it goes into a power-efficient 'standby' mode when engine is shut down... but...

    3. The device runs pretty hot when in operation - but stranger still - it's also pretty hot in standby. It's almost as if the only thing being turned off in standby is the display digits. I tested it for an hour or two in standby mode, and it stayed hot (100-110F maybe?) the whole time. I put a batt charger on my car during that just in case so I don't know what it would have done to the battery state of charge. But just as a rough gauge, it seems to be about like leaving a dome light on. Our cars have a RAP 10-minute shutoff for that, but this device gets power right from the OBD connector which apparently is always up. Bottom line, is it seems this Kiwi MPG being in standby mode is about like leaving on one dome light - seems like that would be a problem after a few hours, and definitely would be a problem if I left it that way all day at work.

    So I'm returning the device for a refund. Crutchfield was very nice about it, even canceling the ship-back fee. Oh well. Maybe will look into the Kiwi wifi next.

  4. #84
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    doh that's unfortunate ! keep us updated!

  5. #85
    Junior Member UH60Driver's Avatar
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    I must say thats a little disappointing, I had moderately high hopes for that gizmo, or at least that it would do enough to get the job done, obviously not the case. Im glad they were good about the refund and shipping. and Scratch that one off the list.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by UH60Driver View Post
    I must say thats a little disappointing, I had moderately high hopes for that gizmo, or at least that it would do enough to get the job done, obviously not the case. Im glad they were good about the refund and shipping. and Scratch that one off the list.
    Yep me too... I suppose it still might work for some here. If I was really determined to make it work, I imagine I could rig up a little glare hood for it... but it'd still be a problem with the power and standby situation. To really be safe and not kill your car battery, you have to turn it off with that eetsy beetsy switch, and every time you turn it on it defaults back to its MPG display so you have to sit there toggling slowly thru 3 or 4 other modes to get to the speedometer mode. If I cared about analyzing and tracking my MPG... I sure wouldn't have bought an LS1 Firebird

  7. #87
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    It's me again. I found another gadget to try for this

    ultra-gauge dot com. I will keep you all posted with the results.

  8. #88
    Junior Member UH60Driver's Avatar
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    I ended up just giving up on the hud and just putting in one of those aeroforce gauges on the pillar. Works out pretty well, has alot of coole features too. Let us know how this goes though!

  9. #89
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    Cool. I did get my ultragauge... it's very nice. It has a lot of brightness controls/options, and a pretty good range of brightness with a built-in light sensor as well. I tried it out with my two boys in the back... both had a lot of fun monitoring my speed and being back seat drivers

    I'm planning to build a little nacelle for it to sit on top of my dash, and will keep all you posted. There's also a couple threads about it over on the G8 board forum....

  10. #90
    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueStreak View Post
    Cool. I did get my ultragauge... it's very nice. It has a lot of brightness controls/options, and a pretty good range of brightness with a built-in light sensor as well. I tried it out with my two boys in the back... both had a lot of fun monitoring my speed and being back seat drivers

    I'm planning to build a little nacelle for it to sit on top of my dash, and will keep all you posted. There's also a couple threads about it over on the G8 board forum....
    pics?

  11. #91
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    Sorry 1mile, I don't have pix of mine yet... but here's a pic of a unit on a Pontiac G8 dash...



    I tried out mine some more today. It adapts very well to different lighting conditions... so I'm no longer worried it's going to be too bright or dim. It has a ton of little cooling holes on the back, and never really got what I would consider "hot" to the touch today despite my 35+ mile drive to work each day. (That was a BIG worry with the previous device I tested/mentioned in this thread). I tried holding it up in the approx place I plan to mount it (on the top of the instrument cluster hood, with the bottom half to be blocked by my steering wheel) and it looked very good. Starting out, I've been running the MPH readout in the upper left 'pane' and the intake air temperature in the upper right. I have a couple MPG readouts in the lower two panes, in case I ever begin to care about that

    This gadget is still not a perfect replacement for a real HUD. But I do believe now, that I've found an affordable device for displaying my speed and maybe a couple other parameters, up in the primary field of view, in pretty much the same spot I'd see the HUD on my Grand Prix. The spot I picked for mounting has the gauge sticking up just an inch or so above my steering wheel... so I can see the MPH almost without moving my eyes at all from the road. I will post pix once I rig up a little mounting point.

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