Genuine DODGE letters on bonnet

A couple of years ago I fitted some chrome DODGE letters to the bonnet.

These looked great at the time but that was a couple of years ago…

After just twelve months or so, the chrome started to peel, it went faded, one of the letters fell off (the sticky wasn’t very good) and in the end I had to paint them all silver just to cover up the peeling. Not good… but that’s what happens when you buy cheap chrome letters on eBay China for a few quid I guess.

It got to the stage where the letters were that bad, they either had to come off or be replaced.

The search was now on to find some genuine chrome DODGE letters. There were a couple of reasons I wanted genuine letters:

  1. They won’t fade
  2. The sticky pads will be better
  3. The letters will be larger
  4. The font will be correct (this was the important one)

Well, it was eBay to the rescue again, this time is was eBay USA though, in the form of genuine Dodge letters:

You’ll notice the ‘D’ letter is cut – the font is genuine Dodge!

It took around three weeks for the letters to arrive, I’m sure they went the long way round to get here.

I offered the new letters up against the old so you can see the different (click on any photo to enlarge it):

Bigger. Bolder.

Once I’d replaced the letters, I offered the old ones up to the new ones for another comparison:

And here’s the finished article:

Close up:

Left side:

Right side:

Much, much better 8-)

Dash Command on an iPad

I’ve been wanting to do this mod for a long time!

Dash Command is not only a great looking piece of software, it’s also quite handy too!

Here’s what Palmer Performance have to say about it:

“DashCommand™ is a touch screen friendly software application that is designed to integrate OBD-II data monitoring and logging into the in-car computing experience. Use DashCommand’s capabilities to create and display stunning virtual dashboards with many styles including digital gauges, analog gauges, indicator lights, and more! Thanks to our patent-pending DashXL™ technology, the dashboards look great on any screen size, large or small.

Using WiFi technology and a supported hardware interface, you will be able to connect your iPhone to your OBD-II compliant vehicle and monitor, log, and playback vehicle information and parameters.

Data logging is also supported in DashCommand™. You can record logs from a dashboard or a data grid view and then playback your logs in either view for simple analysis tasks. The logs can also be viewed in ScanXL™ from more thorough analysis.

DashCommand™ also supports the scripts written in ScanXL™. The scripts can be imported to supplement the data that can be displayed in the dashboards. Write scripts to calculate fuel consumption, boost pressure, power, torque, and many more based on data from the OBD-II values.”

It also does the usual engine diagnostics stuff by being able to read (and reset!) error codes directly from the your cars computer. Ideal if you’ve got the dreaded Engine Management Light glowing!

For my setup, I wanted to connect my existing dash-mounted iPad to the OBDII interface wirelessly. This meant I’d need a wireless Elm327 OBD interface.

If you’re looking to do a similar mod and use your iPhone or iPad, be 100% sure to buy the WiFi model! The Bluetooth Elm327 interface will NOT work with Apple devices. Have a look on eBay, I was able to pick up a WiFi Elm327 for just £15 quid, delivered.

They look like this, and usually have an blue/orange sticker on them (instead of this white one):

And connect to a standard 16-pin OBDII port:

For those of you who may not know, the OBDII port is constantly powered, even with the ignition off.

I didn’t want to leave my WiFI adaptor powered up all the time, not just for fear that some chancer might connect to it while I’m not around, but more for the fact I didn’t want it to drain the battery. The power consumption is only low so if you use your car every day you’ll probably be fine. Better to just unplug it when not in use though.

However, the idea of unplugging it every time I got out of the car didn’t appeal to me either so I decided to control the power to the Elm327 WiFi via the use of a relay and a switched ignition source.

In order to do this, you’ll need a couple more (cheap!) parts. The first one being an OBDII extension cable:

And the other part being a relay and the appropriate wiring for the relay:

So your total kit will comprise of these three parts, all of which should cost less than £30 quid all in:

The reason for the extension cable is so we can tap in to the normally-powered feed that goes to the OBDII port and insert our relay (which in turn is connected to a switched ignition feed) without altering the cars wiring to the OBD port.

Pin 16 of the OBDII extension cable carries the +12v feed so you’ll need to (carefully!) splice in to the middle of the extension cable, but the wire for pin 16 and divert it to the relay so it’s normally-open. The other two relay wires then get attached to an ignition live. That way no power will get to the Elm327.

I should have taken some photos of the wiring splice really, but here’s how it looked after I’d finished soldering the cables to the relay:

So the relay is currently just taped to the back of the Elm327. What I’ll probably do it hot-glue it to the OBDII extension plug. That way I can then still remove the Elm327 and put it in another car if needed, without any tools!

The two wires you see are simply GND and +12v (from an ignition source).

Mounted up under the dashboard, I can now forget it’s even there as when I switch on the ignition it’ll now power up the Elm327 device:

So, that’s the hardware side of things all done!

Now for the software.

There are a bunch of OBD apps available for iOS, including as mentioned “Dash Command”. You might also wish to check out “OBD Fusion” too as it looks to be another good app.

Well, how does it look?

Here’s the ‘home screen’ of Dash Command:

There are just way to many features to list here, check out their web site for the full list.

You can change what’s displayed in each ‘bar’ by simply tapping it too.

Sorry for the slightly dark photos!

Another great feature of Dash Command is the ability to be able to change the skin or theme, you can download them, or even make your own.

This one is a bit star-trekky but looks pretty cool:

And has loads of gauges:

And other various readings:

So there you have it!

It’s almost a virtual dashboard 8-)

DODGE logo LED footwell lights

I bought set of puddle lights recently, not the cheap eBay 3w LED imports from China but some high quality units, complete with 7w CREE bulbs and fitted with twin-coloured Dodge projected logos.


The lights were intended to fit in the bottom of the doors and shine on the floor when the door opens. The problem is, getting wiring from the door to side the car is nearly impossible (thanks, Dodge).

So I spent a while looking for an alternative use for the lights and came up with the idea of replacing the original white bulb footwell lights and so a plan was formed!

Tucked up under here:

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Is a hole though which a light shines when you open the door.

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Removing the lining reveals the bulb itself, with a domed diffuser.

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Removing the lower dash panel reveals just two wires going to the back of the bulb (+12v and GND).

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The bulb assembly is held in place with just the one screw and here’s how it looks when removed.

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I debated removing the bulb from this holder and drilling out the centre but that seemed a bit over the top so I decided to make a bracket to hold the new LED lights.

First of all I made a cardboard template (well, I made a couple) and got everything in the right place and nicely lined up.

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And from the top:

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Here was another version, same idea, just slightly different alignments.

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Once happy with the cardboard template, it was time to transfer it to something more permanent.

Grabbing the nearest Tupperware box from the kitchen the plastic was nice and thick, perfect for holding the lens unit.

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For some reason I forgot to take photos of the next steps, but it was a simple matter of placing the cardboard template over the plastic and drawing around it, then cutting it out.

Once the plastic bracket was ready it was simply screwed in place of the old lamp assembly.

The end result is that now when you open a door on the car, there’s a coloured DODGE logo projected on to the floor mats.

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And on same thing on the drivers side.

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It’s really hard taking photos in low light.

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I bought four of these originally, one for each door – not sure what to do with the remaining two now.

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I’ll let you know if I come up with an idea for the remaining two :cool: