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The Don.
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6,151 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
'94 Altima SE - Heads Up Display (HUD) Retrofit

I first want to give special thanks to HUD Daddy - stealthmode20 - for the inspiration in proving you can add HUD to a non-HUD Altima. And secondly thank y'all for the willingness to share information on so many great topics.

Well, I finally was able to complete a HUD add-in to my '94 Altima SE. I initially started the project like stealthmode20 had done but took a slightly different approach because of a few things I encountered along the way. But here is a synopsis of the project in case anyone decides to goes down this road.

I bought most of the HUD components from eBay; the dashboard with the display unit hole, the HUD display unit, the HUD instrument cluster, and the entire wiring harness for a '93 GLE. It will cost you from $200 - $400 depending how you shop around.

My first problem became the dashboard. It was a bear to take the original one off and the one I bought didn't come with passenger side air bag. So I decide to make a template off the one I bought and cut the HUD unit hole into my original dash using a razor blade and a Dremmel tool. This is delicate surgery.

After closely reviewing the FSM wiring diagram I came to the realization that I can keep the wiring in place and tap it for the required HUD signals. This allows me to interchangibly connect a HUD or non-HUD instrument cluster in the car. So all I needed from the '93 wiring harness was to add in and wire the plug label M45 for the HUD display controller. I cut about 1/4 inch off the wiring insulation to tap for the signal wires and soldered the electrical wiring. Finally, I used electrical tape to protect it from electrical shorts.

I noticed that the display unit shines nicely on the windshield without any shaded plastic film on it. It just has a slight ghost image but otherwise looks very nice. I didn't take any pictures during the project but let me know if anyone needs any info on the stuff and I will try to help you out.

EDITED 9-30-04
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This reference is for those with manual transmission.
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One other detail I forgot to mention is, if you decide to go along and make this project a HUD on a non-HUD system, you will have to remove the Overdrive (OD OFF) bulb because it messes up the VSS signal. Otherwise you will get a CHECK ENGINE light with DTC code 14. In addition, the regular speedometer gauge, HUD speedometer, odometer, trip odometer, and ASCD will not work. So it is safe to say that the VSS signal is the most important thing that should be checked carefully.

Cheers.
 

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The Don.
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6,151 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
There is a slight ghost image on the windshield but it is barely visible. It will probably go away if I use a small piece of tint screen on the windshield. Splicing the wires is very time consuming. The worst part for me was getting the cutout for the display unit on the dash because of the small amount of space to work with. Mine came out looking very nice overall. Just take your time and do it right. I used an 800 watts inverter for the Dremel tool and soldering iron and did the work outside because of the good lighting. In retrospect, this was much easier than what I initially thought. The hardest part was finding the pieces especially the HUD cluster.
 

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392 Posts
can u get some pics of what your dash looks like now and some pics of the hud in action?


sounds pretty cool but id like to see it :)
 

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The Don.
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6,151 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
As soon as I get a chance I can post some pictures. For now, here are some wire color diagrams to start with. I will edit this post to include the HUD hole template and so forth.

Instrument Panel
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/instrument_panel.pdf

Cluster Gauges/Indicators
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/M41.pdf
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/M42.pdf
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/M43.pdf
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/M44.pdf

Heads Up Display Control Module
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/M45.pdf

Heads Up Display Pinouts


HUD Template Cutout -- updated 7/03/09
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/HUD_template.pdf

HUD Hole Cutout -- updated 3/05/08








EDITED: 3/20/2005

Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) and Overdrive (OD) explained:

It has come to my attention that there is a lot of confusion surrounding the VSS part of HUD. Hopefully the following description will completely clearify this. The VSS, irregardless of transmission type, is similar for the '93 and '94 Altima. However, it is different for the '95 and newer models. You will need the VSS for a '93 or '94 Altima for those doing this project in a '95 and newer Altima.


Non-HUD Instrument Clusters

As shown in the picture below, whether for manual or auto transmission, the VSS signals goes directly to the speedometer on pin 3 (M41-3) and pin 19 (M42-19) of the instrument cluster. Not shown is the overdrive signal which comes in on pin 31 (M43-31).




HUD Instrument Clusters

As shown in the picture below, whether for manual or auto transmission, the VSS signals goes directly to the head-up display control module on pin 55 (M45-55) and pin 61 (M45-61) of the instrument cluster. The control module will provide the proper signal to the speedometer. Now the overdrive signal is somewhat different because it goes to pin 3 (M41-3), not pin 31 (M43-31) as previously stated in the non-HUD version.



The fact that the VSS signal enters the instrument cluster on different pins is the reason why a HUD and non-HUD cluster are not interchangeable and will wreck havoc with VSS.


Combined Wiring Diagram

Here is another wiring diagram of both systems,



Hopefully, this little explanation will help clarify a puzzling part of the HUD project. But if you still have questions, then sent me a PM and I will try to explain this more on a personal level.
 

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Ex 1st gen owner
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5,576 Posts
jserrano said:
I first want to give special thanks to HUD Daddy - stealthmode20 - for the inspiration in proving you can add HUD to a non-HUD Altima. And secondly thank y'all for the willingness to share information on so many great topics.

thanks man, good job, your only the 1 of 2 I have helped at all on the conversion, as far as i know no one else has done it, just us 3, I give you mad props cause I didnt have to walk you through the FSM to do it like I did the other guy. Oh yeah and it would have never been possible for me to do it if dementia didnt hook me up with some copies of her fsm
 

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Ex 1st gen owner
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5,576 Posts
Decoy said:
i hate you all...you better post pictures you focker. stealthmode do you live in u13 heaven?

I keep trying to leave, shiiit I dont even drive an alty anymore, I just pick up parts here and there cause I know what to make money off of, U-Wrench-it Saint Louis moves cars like you wouldnt belive
 

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The Don.
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6,151 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
whoa353 said:
how much would everything run??
I will give you my costs for the items from eBay. Shipping cost will vary depending how it is shipped.

HUD Display Unit $37
I picked up two of these puppies and the second one did not include the bevel trim piece. The second one cost me $26.55 and is a spare backup.



The unit sits on the left-hand side of the top dashboard.



Here is the setup running in my car,



I placed a rectangle piece of window tint so it shines back nicely and cuts off "ghosting effects".


HUD Dashboard
I hadn't noticed that the dash didn't come with the passenger side air bag which is very important to me. However, it is perfect in every other aspect. So it will eventually go back on the auction block. I did take advantage of the piece to make a template cutout but need to take measurement points before posting it.




HUD Instrument Cluster $40.00
This is the priced jewel and most critical component. This is a hot sell item on eBay so your chances of picking one up cheaply is very rare. Don't even think of buying a new one. The used ones are highly priced as well. I've tried unsuccessfully to pick one up but lucked out on this one because of timing, the "Buy it Now" option, and the seller didn't recognized it was a HUD cluster. How do you know you have the right one? On the lower right-hand corner of the fuel gauge is the MPH-Km/h selector knob and on the lower left-hand corner of the temperature gauge is the HUD ON/OFF - Dim knob. Good luck with your search.




HUD Wiring Harness $200.00
What??!!! $200.00 USD. Well actually I found a source which was gutting a 93 GLE and he said I will give you everything in the interior cabin that the harness connects to for that price. Fan blower, Automatic Temperature Control, Fusebox, etc. etc. etc. You name it. Hum?? Is there a ATC system in the horizon? I don't know yet because it is too far out in the future but all the components are sitting around collecting dust in the meantime.

Edited: 2/19/2008 - Fast forward (Back to the future)

http://www.nissanclub.com/forums/general-nissan-altima-discussion-1993-2001/216498-howto-manual-automatic-digital-climate-control-conversion.html

The main piece you will need from the HUD wiring is labeled M45 in the FSM and it is a 20-pin connector. I haven't looked around for a source for just the plug itself but my hunch tells me it is out there somewhere and stealthmode20 probably knows where and how to acquire it. Any information would be helpful if anyone else knows.

So let's see. How much does this all add up to? $353.50 from the US Treasury. Not bad. The only thing is that it doesn't add horsepower to the car. Oh well.

This is not something hard to do. I am sure stealthmode20 and myself will be available to help if any of you need some help. Good luck if you choose this project.

One final comment. The HUD controller in the instrument cluster is known to fail miserably. I have extensive electronic knowledge and could quite possibly fix them. So if you happen to locate one that needs repair I will give it a try but of course I would have to charge for the work. How much? I don't know because it will have to be looked at but I am thinking $50 off the top of my head.

Best wishes.
 

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Ex 1st gen owner
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5,576 Posts
I got a cluster and the necessary wiring for let say 100 shipped

I may have a display. I do have a dash with no pass. airbag. that would be a pickup only item in STL MO

What up Cory, aint bullshitted with u in a while
 

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The Don.
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6,151 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
AltimateX said:
pics in use?
Ok fine. These are the cheesie pictures taken tonight. The CHECK light is on because I didn't have my seat belt on. It is grainy because of the cheapo camera and jerky because I have not mastered turning the steering wheel, shifting, recording, and chewing gum at the same time.

http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/hud2.avi
http://www.stac-consulting.com/serrano.j/altima/hud/hud1.avi

EDITED: Looks like the .avi files contains codec issues. I will have to re-encode with another codec. Sorry folks.

Ok, here is the codec you can download and install to see the .avi files. It works!

http://www.free-codecs.com/Motion_JPEG_Codec_download.htm
 

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does auto or manual matter at all?
 

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L4D2 Rage!
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that looks awesome!
 
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