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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had an extra laptop lying around that was still able to run XP, so I decided to use it as a navigation/multimedia system for the Escape. I didn't find any mounts for the Escape seat bolts (only for Crown Vic and Mustang seats), so my mount attaches to the floor pan. Because of the rear vent going right under the floor, I had to buy longer 2" sheet metal screws, drill right through the plastic vents, and because of the 'softness' of the plastic, I had to rest the arm of the mount on the left edge of the passenger seat. The mount is made by Jenico, and cost around $50.

(click on thumbnails to enlarge)

Here's everything folded up and turned off.


Here's the inverter setup with a three-way splitter at the top of the picture. I blew out the three-way splitter, so that's why it's plugged back into itself, half removed, and had the cigar lighter relocated there (needed another outlet for phone charger).


Here's the mounting point for it. I think only the right side (bottom of the picture) had to go through the rear vent channel.


Still lots of passenger space. If you have really long legs, they might hit the laptop. In that case, you can remove the stand in five minutes; you can see the attachment screw in the picture above.
(note the shameless product placement)


View from the driver's seat. The GPS receiver is at the center of the base of the windshield. Stalkers beware - that's not my real address. ;)


Back in 2005, I tried to change my cluster lighting to a blue and red scheme. I quickly found out about the gradient of the factory film, after I ground it off. So, I had some ugly looking gauges until I picked this up in 2007. Seller on eBay mistakenly listed a Tribute cluster as an Escape cluster, so there weren't a lot of buyers. Got it for $99.98 and took 20 minutes to swap the faces (used my old cluster electronics to keep my mileage correct).

(click on thumbnails to expand)

Closeup:


View from driver's seat:


Me recklessly going 200 km/h beyond redline and overheating the engine :D (and with the doors open too!)
 

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That's a very cool setup Squishy! Thanks for such a detailed writeup!
 

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That is cool, Squish...Please keep your eyes on the road...Looks like alot of distraction there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The GPS is mainly voice-prompt-driven ;)
 

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Nice car lappy set up Squishy. That's a pleasant looking Toshiba. I currently have the Toshiba Satellite Pro P100 which is my net surf and media gadget. Also have an old second hand Toshiba laptop, for programming my uhf transceivers.
 

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Have you looked at ebay's Canadian site (ebay.ca)? There are still many US sellers on it, but more Canadian sellers than the .com site. I can't find one there now, either, but keep both sites in mind when you're looking!

Also, make sure you get a cluster for a 2001-2002 tribute. There were minor changes in the 2003-2004 clusters, and the 2005-2007 clusters were entirely different (and not interchangeable at all with the 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 clusters).

I swapped out the gauge faces in my 2005 Escape with the faces from a 2006 Tribute a few years ago. I had to wait for months before I found a dual-window Tribute cluster (with the left-side message center).
 

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jpark said:
Have you looked at ebay's Canadian site (ebay.ca)? There are still many US sellers on it, but more Canadian sellers than the .com site. I can't find one there now, either, but keep both sites in mind when you're looking!

Also, make sure you get a cluster for a 2001-2002 tribute. There were minor changes in the 2003-2004 clusters, and the 2005-2007 clusters were entirely different (and not interchangeable at all with the 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 clusters).

I swapped out the gauge faces in my 2005 Escape with the faces from a 2006 Tribute a few years ago. I had to wait for months before I found a dual-window Tribute cluster (with the left-side message center).
I always go on the .ca site, and it always shows a few CDN sellers but mostly US sellers. There are very few actual cdn sellers on ebay...Well, for the stuff I'm looking for anyways...I'd just like the gauge faces as well, so if the cluster itself isnt compatible, it's not a huge deal to me...unless the symbols and all that stuff dont match up at all? :shrug:
 

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The gauge faces and surrounds (the surrounds are also part of the clear window) from 2001-2002 should fit a 2003-2004 and vice-versa, if that's all you're changing.

But while the 2005-2007 cluster looks the same, the needle sweeps, some of the markings, the plastic "keying" of the housing and window, and the electronics and mechanical innards are different from the 2001-2004 clusters. You have to look very closely to see the differences, especially in the tach and speedo sweeps.
 

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I seeee....valid points! I dont think I would actually change it to a Mazda cluster face, I cant say I'm a fan of the green/red colour combo. :worry:
 

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i dont want to be mean... but its funny how u said that your going that fast... AND YOU HAVE YOUR DOORS OPEN WTF :shock: ... and i know that you were not going that fast... BUT SAY I LIKE THAT LAPTOP MOUNT LOOKS NICE :thumb:
 

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http://www.gamberjohnson.com (goto configure) now has full laptop mounting kits for Escapes. Much like the one posted, this has the pole running up the right side of the shift console. The base plate attaches with the two front seat bolts, rather than drilling. We use this supplier for a lot of our emergency vehicle setups, although I haven't tried to outfit my personal FEH. These mounts look good with a Panasonic CF-19 toughbook too... :)
 

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Nice!!!

I'd like to get a Panasonic Toughbook for the beach!
 

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Very nice looking! Good find! :thumb:
 

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jpark said:
Nice!!!

I'd like to get a Panasonic Toughbook for the beach!
The new CF-52 is a lot thinner, has a widescreen and is much lighter than my CF-29.

However. I feel like I could hammer nails in with my CF-29. Not something I'd wanna try with the CF-52.
 

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Do you use those in the rain? And are there any areas for dirt or sand to accumulate?
 

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jpark said:
Do you use those in the rain? And are there any areas for dirt or sand to accumulate?
I've used it in all weathers and it's never caused any problems.

It's been thrown (sometimes in anger!) in the back of my van and continues to work no problem.

It's never really gotten particularly dirty, but there are flaps covering all the ports and points that would stop the bulk of dirt/dust/sand getting in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thought about getting a ToughBook when my tablet burned out, but as I can keep most notebooks running for at least ten years and I can't stand to discard working technology, a ruggedized notebook would mean I would be stuck with 2008 technology for the next 50 years. :wall:
 

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I don't discard working technology. I sell it on eBay, then I upgrade.

:bill:
 

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Big Chris said:
<snip> It's been thrown (sometimes in anger!) in the back of my van and continues to work no problem.
I can relate. Sold!
 
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