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15 May 2008 @ 10:28 am
Long-Term Project: George Van Defcon  
This is my work log for turning my Ford Windstar into a geekmobile. If anyone stumbles into this page from google or something looking for info on how to solve electrical problems with their vans, email me and I can help you out.


I have recently aquired a minivan, which my woman and I named 'George'
The name is an homage to my professor, who's class we skipped often to go driving around. Also it makes me think of the Bugs Bunny episode where George loved and squeezed the crap out of Daffy.

Anyway

Its a 1995 Ford Windstar GL with a towing package. It cost me a grand total of nothing. It runs fine, despite a few minor problems. Steering pressure, interior lights wont shut off, etc. The idea is to turn this 200hp beast into an efficient and hacker-friendly travel van. The idea is that for Defcon '09 I can drive to Niagara and pick up my friend, then drive all the way to Vegas and be very comfortable. The van will sport a suite of computer-friendly gadgets and stuff for wireless devices and such. Here is a small list of stuff that needs fixing and the easiest solutions:

Sliding door closed, but 'Door Ajar' light stays on
Inside the sliding door are 4 contacts. Two of these wires run to a switch inside the rearmost latch. Find the black and black/white wire, and twist em together. Now the circuit will not close because of the switch, but rather when the door is actually closed. Problem solved.

Replaced the radio, now rear speakers wont work
The ford radio has this really useless thing in the middle row, where the kids can press buttons and control the radio. A remote module. This has a relay in it which disconnects the rear speakers if something if earphones are inserted (or if the module is unplugged). The only solution to this, if the radio does not support a ford remote module, is to remove the module and solder two pairs of wires together. You'll notice there is a problem when you try to wire the rear speakers to the radio unit. If you decide to keep the module plugged in, keep in mind the buttons will do nothing. Use the space for something better.

At the unit:
Tan/Yellow - Left Rear +
Tan/White - Left Rear -
Brown/Pink - Right Rear +
Tan/Green - Right Rear -

At the remote module connector:
Short Pink/Green to Tan/White to enable left rear speaker
Short Pink/Blue to Tan/Green to enable right rear speaker

And that should do it.