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Old 09-07-2017, 06:30 PM   #1
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Front Tv Cabinet upgrade

It has been awhile since I have made any significant changes to our 2002 MADP. Couple items that I have never liked is the front TV cabinet and the old windshield curtain. The front tv was a bit of a hack in how the old tv was removed and replaced with a new flat panel. The lower space was made into a cubby hole but looked like it did not belong. So with the upgrade required on the cabinet I also decided to shorten it to possibly allow for a one piece MCD shade to be installed.

Here is what I am starting with.
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And what I am planning on the cabinet. The TV will be mounted on a plate with a hidden hinge to allow easy access behind the TV. The bowed front also will be cut straight to allow for a flat face frame to match the flat tv.
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First up is the demo. The wiring behind the tv was a mess so that will also be cleaned up.
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The TV frame that will need to be stripped down and then cut. It is a metal box with the faux leather on the sides. I already have it stripped and cut down but no pics yet. Need to add the bends on the tabs to hold the bottom floor.
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And with the tv cabinet removed you can see where an MCD may mount. Couple issues are the blower vents and I will not be able to go all the way to the ends. I think the side shades should fill that gap though. I am going to call MCD and see what they think. The current small shades will be removed if we install the MCD.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:36 PM   #2
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Very interested in this project. i have similar plans for our 2005 Northern Star.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:42 PM   #3
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Not a lot of work tonight. I did get the original tv cabinet structure cut down. I used a counter rotating saw which makes short work of the metal. Also used a break at work to bend the new tabs on the bottom.
Did a test fit of the sides and prepare to cut the bottom and re-attach the sides.
Here you can see how much was removed from the rear and the front is now flat and not a bow front.
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And now a shorter box fitted for an HD flat panel tv.
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Once the bottom is cut and attached the box will get upholstered with the same material that was removed from the original cabinet.
New TV is on the way so I can get the new face frame built and fitted.
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Old 09-09-2017, 03:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spk64 View Post
Not a lot of work tonight. I did get the original tv cabinet structure cut down. I used a counter rotating saw which makes short work of the metal. Also used a break at work to bend the new tabs on the bottom.
Did a test fit of the sides and prepare to cut the bottom and re-attach the sides.
Here you can see how much was removed from the rear and the front is now flat and not a bow front.
Attachment 175935
And now a shorter box fitted for an HD flat panel tv.
Attachment 175936

Once the bottom is cut and attached the box will get upholstered with the same material that was removed from the original cabinet.
New TV is on the way so I can get the new face frame built and fitted.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:06 PM   #5
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Front Tv Cabinet upgrade

Put in some more time on this today. Box was finished up and upholstery applied. Along with cutting down the steel box, new wood was installed in key places for staples and face frame attachment.
Have it permanently mounted now.
First step in upholstery was applying new foam with spray adhesive.
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Then the process of putting the vinyl back on stretching and stapling. I would have like the buy new vinyl but decided trying to match it up may have been too much hassle. Only issue is 2 holes where switches were installed for the current shades. I will cap that with a small plate.
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Then mounted in place, with a new top rail added for the new face frame.
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Next will be a new face frame with grill for the rear and patching the hole in the shelf where the blower hoses are in the picture.
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:58 AM   #6
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I'm working on this same project right now in my 2001 MADP. I'll be watching this too.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:37 PM   #7
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Front Tv Cabinet upgrade

Made more progress today, the shelf insert to fill the gap at top of windshield was machined out and a new back for the cabinet. Originally I was going to reuse the old back with the wire mesh. But that was going to be a lot of work and not a clean look when finished. So tossed it and made a one piece back with slots for ventilation. Back is cherry plywood and shelf insert solid cherry.
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And machining the shelf insert.
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Along with the tv mod I am looking at MCD shade for the windshield and front sides. MCD has no information on sizing for their shades. A drawing of the profile would have been nice but they claim they do not have it. So with lots of internet searching and some vague references to dimensions I created a mock up for the ends. This is used on a telescoping pole to measure the fit and check clearances. Created a quick drawing and laser cut some parts. A little hot glue and I can now check how I may fit the shades.
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And the mockup used for checking the fit. With the existing cabinets getting all the way out to edge of windshield is a problem unless I lower the shaded considerably. Lowering the shade is not a good option but I can bring the side shades up close to pretty much seal the gap.
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And after adding edges and some sanding a coat of stain to start the finishing process on the shelf and back. Not a perfect match but close enough for me.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:54 AM   #8
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Good to see your back , another add to your MOD's and upgrades in QT's # 3.

SPK64 has many repairs and upgrades of his Spartan chassis mechanics and interior of his 2002 MADP much helpful information, with pictures, of MA and DSDP owners coach's during the early 2000's and mid 2000 coach's, have a look.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:28 PM   #9
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Thanks 007!

The new TV arrived yesterday and I was able to work on the hinge design more. After looking at many types of hinges and swinging different ways. I think a swing up design will be the simplest and most efficient for this application. Not accessed frquently so simple is good. Mechanically it is also the most stable in my opinion.
Still need to work out a latching method and possibly add a gas spring.
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Hinged up.
Hinge is a simple steel rod welded top 2 plates that will bolt to the TV mount.
Ends are steel plates attached to side of cabinet.
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:12 AM   #10
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For those following along (like me) keep in mind that new TVs have "down facing" speakers along the lower back edge.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:25 AM   #11
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For those following along (like me) keep in mind that new TVs have "down facing" speakers along the lower back edge.
Good point. Also there are several ventilation slots that should be kept open.
I am hoping that my sound works well with the vented back. Otherwise will use the AV receiver, which we do most times anyway.

Here is a view showing speaker slots and rear vent slots.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:33 PM   #12
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Slow going but getting there.
Got the back side all buttoned up and firmed up my measurements for new shades.
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The shelf insert shows how large the original cabinet was.
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And a test piece to make sure the mount is aligned with all the connectors and vent slots. Laser cut 1/8 hard board.
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And the measuring jig for the windshield shade. Made it easy to get an accurate measurement.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:47 PM   #13
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I want your shop and tools, but my DW has other plans!
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:07 PM   #14
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The hinge was finished up and mounted the new TV. The pivot worked perfect. Now just need a face frame and a latch.
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And pivoted up.
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Hinge bar. Steel bar welded to steel plates. The TV mount plate is 1/2" MDO plywood. Hinge is mounted with threaded inserts in the MDO. Side hinge plates steel and mounted to side wood inserts.
Hinge pin extends slightly into the wood. Shaft collars keep it centered.
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