[HOW TO] DIY iPhone 4 Swivel Car Mount

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by QuarterSwede, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #1
    [​IMG]

    YouTube video

    Sure it’s nothing to look at, as I haven't spray painted it yet, but I first decided to make my own iPhone 4 swivel car mount when I looked at what everyone considered to be the best mount out there. Apparently that was the ProClip system. I checked out their site and system and realized that on the low end I would be spending $60. That’s a wee bit expensive for someone who is currently unemployed so I decided to make my own based on their mount (PDF). Although this guide is for a 2000 Dodge Neon the basics could be applied to most of their mounts. The swivel and holder should work will any mount you can make.


    [​IMG]

    These are all materials that I had on hand so it cost me nothing but my time to make this. I'm sure other materials could be substituted. What really makes this work cheaply is using a Teflon Tape dispenser as a swivel. They should be under a $1 at most home centers

    Materials List:

    1. Teflon Tape Container
    2. Door Latch Plug (I'm not sure what it's really called. It came with an exterior door knob kit)
    3. Command Strips (4) (or thin doubled sided foam tape)
    4. Package Tape (Any thicker tape should do)
    5. Xacto Knife
    6. Straight Edge
    7. OtterBox Commuter outer shell for iPhone 3G or 3GS
    8. Heavy Duty Scissors
    9. 2 ply Cardboard
    10. Official iPhone 4 Bumper (Not Pictured)


    [​IMG]

    Step 1: Cut Cardboard into one tall rectangle (pictured right) and one square (pictured left). I eyed the length of the mount and have no exact measurements. To figure out a good angle to mount I cut the rectangle, bent it where I thought it should bend (next step) and held the iPhone to the mount. This allowed me to see where any reflections would be. I wanted the mount's angle to be such that I had no reflections from the sun roof or the back windshield when driving.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 2: Bend cardboard where pictured above along arrows using straight edge. These are rough mask but they should get you in the ballpark. The perfect spot will depend on your height.


    [​IMG]

    Step 3: Put Door Latch Plug into Teflon Tape Container. It does take some force. I just used my palm.

    Regarding the Teflon Tape Container: I had three on hand and only one took just the right amount of force to move yet wouldn’t move on it’s own. This allows it to stay horizonal when in landscape and to not wiggle right and left when driving.

    Step 4: Put Package Tape on top of Door Latch Plug to bridge the hold and create something for the Command Strips to adhere to.


    [​IMG]

    Step 5: Trim Command Strips to fit Door Latch Plug with Xacto knife


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 6: Trim Otterbox outer shell right above the protruding sides to create the Holder. You can use an Xacto knife but I went with my Cutco kitchen shears to make quick and accurate work of it. Then file down top edge if desired.


    [​IMG]

    Step 7: Attach Swivel to Holder. If you’ll be using cables to connect to the iPhone’s dock connector then mount the Swivel closer to the bottom of the Holder so it will stay horizontal in when in landscape.


    [​IMG]

    Step 8: Cut another piece of cardboard so that it fits like so. This will create an angled platform that will face the driver.


    [​IMG]

    Step 9: Cut out a flap like so on either side


    [​IMG]

    Step 10: Attach Angle piece with Packaging Tape


    [​IMG]

    Step 11: Trim Command Strips to fit angled piece and mount Swivel.


    [​IMG]

    Step 12: Attach Command Strips to top of long rectangle, then mount it to the underside of the dashboard. It’s hard to see here but the bottom of the cardboard mount goes into the top of the center stack.

    I've been using this setup for a few weeks now and driven over all types of bumpy terrain and it works better than I had hoped. The only thing left to do is spray paint it black.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    #2
     
  3. thread starter macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #3
    It's the official Apple bumper.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    #4
    nothing like securing your 200 (or 500) dollar phone to your dash with a bunch of glued together garbage hahaha

    some of you people just need to up and spend the 50 bucks on the right stuff.
     
  5. QuarterSwede, Feb 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    thread starter macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #5
    Apparently you didn't notice that I am unemployed. I'm not about to spend $50 on a mount (on the cheap end) when I can make one for free. Also, this thing is surprisingly stable. It doesn't rattle around at all. Plus it was fun to make. *raspberry* :D
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    #6
    Great job, nice pictures of the process man.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    #7
    LOL I definitely say I have to agree. Most people won't realize until the mount cracks or falls off and the phone goes flying in the car.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    #8
    Thanks for taking the time to do a write up and supply step-by-step pix.

    I can appreciate this fact in itself - the time involved in a DIY writeup isn't unsubstantial. I've done some of these DIY posts on other forums, and they're certainly more useful than just the result. :D

    Not sure what's up with some of the remarks above; the OP had an idea and took the time to share it. If it doesn't suit someone -- either:


    • Modify the process to your liking
    • Ignore the DIY method and buy a pre-made version
    • Or just step back and 'let be'.

    Wait, the last suggestion would be paramount to me telling you what/how to post; so ignore it. :cool:
     
  9. thread starter macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #9
    I just wanted to chime in and say, over a month later and it's still rock solid.

    You underestimate the stickiness of the command strip. I work in retail and have been around plenty of foam tape (what the command strips basically are) and can attest to how adhesive they are. Generally the foam rips apart before the glue gives.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #10
    if you look over at sw-box.com they have many types of mounts for under $10, most are $5. I cannot speak for the quality but one of them might be ok. Even if they sucked it could be a starting point and may be further modified to become great!

    I'm going to order one soon, one of these days. I will let you know when i get it.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #11
  12. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    #12
  13. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #13
    There was a time in the world when do-it-yourself skills were necessary to survive. You should have some respect for people who choose not to purchase everything they own. It's impressive.

    Great job OP. I wish I was half a handy as you.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #14
    Gotta hand it to you for the effort!
     

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