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Replace an Old TV with a Smart One

Posted 11-15-2021 at 10:46 AM by HiBanky
Updated 11-15-2021 at 05:14 PM by HiBanky

My 2005 Journey came from the factory with loads of audio and video components, nearly all of which are now obsolete. The big one of course is the CRT television above the dash. If you have not already done so, replacing this is a bit of a challenge but in a day and with some fabrication skills it can be cleanly replaced with a new smart TV.

Once you have figured out how to get the old TV removed, you will see behind the wood frame is a big and very strong steal frame. Leave this as is. Measure the horizontal distance at the front. It may be just short of 29 inches and if so it can be bent by hand to achieve this number. Find a TV that measures 29 inches horizontally overall. A Visio 32” worked well for me. TVs change often so take a tape measure with you to the store.

Find a length of 2x2 angel iron, Unistrut, or similar material and cut it to 33 inches. Cut the ends so that a two inch tab can be bent at 90 degrees on each end and use to attach to the existing steel frame.

Center the new cross bar (2x2 angle) horizontally on the back of the new TV. Locate the existing mounting holes on the back. Drill holes in the cross bar to match and attach it to the TV with the appropriate screws.

Measure from the top of the TV to the cross bar to determine the vertical position of the cross bar. Measure from the front of the TV to determine the horizontal position. Remove the cross bar from the TV, and place in the steel frame. Drill and screw it in place.

Place the TV against the cross bar and attach it with the appropriate screws from behind. If properly done, the TV will fit snugly at the top and from side to side. Replace the wood frame. Again if done correctly, the wood frame covers the bezel of the TV but none of the viewing screen.

There will be about a 4 inch opening at the bottom of the new TV. This is a good place to attach a sound bar. A panel can be fabricated from inch plywood with 3 inch holes drill in it to cover the sound bar and the opening. Speaker fabric works well to finish the panel.

When it’s all done, you should have a sturdy and nice looking replacement. I would even say a vast improvement over the factory look.
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