finally finished my chase vehicle

Apr 13, 2005
Jackson, Ms
It is a 2004 Nissan Titan that I bought almost two years ago. I have been working on it bit by bit and finally have a finished product.

Here is a list of everything I have inside the vehicle:

Pioneer Avic N2, This is my pride and joy, it has the in dash LCD screen that folds in when the vehicle is turned off. It has GPS, a TV tuner (where I can watch local TV), xm radio and xm traffic, I have a camera mounted under the rear bumber that comes on when I put it in reverse or I can leave it on when needed. I also have a Playstation 2 hooked up to it so I can watch DVD's and leave the navigation disk in the head unit. I have a pioneer 6 disk cd changer installed under the driver seat that is easy to access. The radar detector is a whistler pro and is hard wired in.

For the audio I installed Cerwin Vega competition series 6.5" components in the front, Vega competition series 6x9 in the rear with planet audio 1" tweeters. The amp I have running on mids and highs is a Punch 100x4 RMS @ 4 ohm. I also installed to 10" HE2 subs under the rear seats in a custom box. Those are powered by a Fosgate 400x2 amp with a 2.4 farad capacitor. I used 2 guage wiring with a distribution block and have it fused at the battery and in the rear.

I have a 2400 watt power invertor that runs directly off the battery with 4 guage wire. The power invertor comes in handy for just about everything imaginable. I have a surge strip that I use to plug everything into. Right now I have my Sportcat scanner, laptop, sony hi 8 camcorder, Panasonic 3 ccd mini dv camcorder, two 3 walkie talkies with a 5 mile range, Playstation and a spare battery charger hooked up to it. The invertor runs all of these with no problems at all. I am running a 880 cold cranking amp battery and the stock altenator since the Titans come from the factory with a huge altenator. I have all my toys were they are easy to get to and hard to see.

The laptop is a dell inspiron 1100. It is an older laptop that was purchased almost 4 years ago but I just upgraded the ram to 1gb and the hard drive to 100 GB 7200rpm Travelstar. The procesor is a celeron 2.0 but that is now on the list for an upgrade. I have mobile threat net, Sony Erickson GC83 wireless PC card (through Cingular) hooked up to it with a 3 watt dual band amp and the mag mount antenna. I can surf the web a good 10-15 miles after I lose cell reception and it is suprisingly fast. The laptop stand was purchased off ebay and I installed it myself. I did have to add an additional piece of piping from Home Depot but it was a deal since it only cost about $35 after shipping. I also have a dash mount for my Sony hi 8 but I only use it when actually chasing and didn't put it in for the pics.

On the top of the car the antenna's are for the wx worx xm and navigation, scanner, xm radio, in dash GPS, and a wilson cell antenna. I take the scanner antenna off when I am not chasing so it is not as tacky.

The titan has 18" off all terrain tires, a K&N cold air induction, vent visors and tinted windows. Basically everything else is stock. When I bought the truck gas prices where about $1.40 a gallon and that is now my biggest complaint. After adding the K&N induction I get just under 20mpg on the interstate and a lot less highway. It is very powerfull and since it is a 4 door it has more room than most sedans. It is a very comfortable ride and has been extremely reliable. It also handles wet roads, gravel and light mud very well. It has a couple of scars from South Plains last year. I got most of the hail dents fixed but one couldn't get fixed on the hood and I didn't worry about a couple on the roof.

To protect my investment I have a car alarm that will sound to touch, glass breakage, electrical charge, etc. It also pages me when the alarm is sounded. This makes me feel better about some of the crap hotels I find myself at during trips to the plains.

The picture in the middle is the back wall of the truck when the seats are folded down. The next few pics show what the back looks like with the seats in the normal position and the other is with the back seat folded up showing the speaker box and power invertor. I also included a shot of the roof.
Very nice indeed - tell me, did you do the work yourself or did you use a car fitout outfit - the sort that would install a custom radio into a vechile.

I am somewhat limited as to how I fit out a car as I have to bring all my quipment with me on a plane and then fit out a hire car once I get to the US.
Very nice indeed - tell me, did you do the work yourself or did you use a car fitout outfilt - the sort that would install a custom stero into a vechile.

I am somewhat limited as to how I fif out a car as I have to bring all my quipment with me on a plane and then fit out a hire car once I get to the US.

I did almost all the work myself. I have a friend that does custom car audio design and installation that installed the in dash unit. There is no way I was going to try to figure that one out. I used to put head units in all the time but that thing has about twice the wires as normal. The box for the subs is a custom box that I ordered over the internet. I really wanted to build my own but a guy on ebay sold me this one for $65 and I can't buy the materials for that. The most difficult part was running all of the wires. I have about a half a mile worth of wires running through the truck. What I did was took the seats out and pulled the carpet. This allowed me to run the wires under the carpet in the wire tracking on the floor of the truck. I then went over the top of the metal floor with a rubber sound dampening spray which works wonderful for a much quiter ride. The Power invertor is sitting where the jack used to be. I couldn't find a place to install the invertor and just so happens the brackets that held the jack fit it like a glove. Now all of my tools for the spare tire are in the rear driver side corner behind the seats. The Playstation fits under the passenger seat with the receiver for the threat net. Under the driver seat is the 6 disk changer, the brain for the in dash unit and the tv tuner. The scanner is clipped to the passenger visor. On most vehicles there would be no way to get all of this stuff in but the Titan has a ton of room behind and under the rear seats and has about an 7" clearance under the front seats which allowed me to hide everything. The little silver box attached to the sub box is a 4 port USB hub so I can upload pictures without disconnecting the threat net receiver and GPS. It is looking like I will be making a trip to the plains this week and hopefully I can get you guys a pic of a tornado near real time.

I do a lot of hurricane chasing and as you know there is never too much information with regards to damage, road closings and other important information that the TV comes in handy. When hurricane chasing I have a 5k watt generator I put in the back with a huge ice chest and about 40 gallons of gas in case I get stuck and have to sustain for an extended period of time. I also have a water tight box that I keep flashlights, protective gear and other stuff.

I own an auto glass business and I use the in dash GPS to guide me right to the customers home or business. The GPS is invaluable because people don't know how to give driving direction. I use the laptop with internet to order glass and quickly get price quotes while driving and the power invertor is used to run a shop vac and a couple of other power tools. In the back I have a glass rack that I take out for chases. I also own a four wheeler and have ramps where I can just drive it up in the back of my truck. I put a LOT of time and money into the truck but I use everything in it on a daily basis. I figured that last year alone I saved about a $1,000 from not calling 411 because I could get any phone number from the dash unit. Cingular is charging so much for information calls that the in dash unit has almost paid for itself. Another plus about the TItan is the front seats will lay all the way back and it actually makes for a comfortable sleep. I just can't wait for the hybrid version to come out in 2008-2009.
That's a sweet setup you have Brandon, you definately did a lot of work since we chased back in June of 2005 up in NE Kansas up around Emporia and Topeka.
That's a sweet setup you have Brandon, you definately did a lot of work since we chased back in June of 2005 up in NE Kansas up around Emporia and Topeka.

Ahh yes, a day I would like to forget :D . During that time frame I had an earthmate and internet card using radar. The card and radar is a great combination but it is not reliable in bad terrain or with a lack of cellular service and I was running 300 watt invertor from Wal-Mart.

What kind of mount do you have your laptop on?

I got it off ebay.
I went to Home Depot and added some extra pipes and couplings to make the angle just right.
The mount is a good deal but you could make one that is a higher quality for about the same price. In the blumbing section of Home Depot you can buy the same stuff he is using. Just get the 3/4" (he is using 1/2" but it is not sturdy enough) pipe with threads at each end and you can buy 4",6",8",12",18",24" and 36" segments and buy the couplets that come in degrees of 45, 90 and 0. Then find an acrylic place to take your laptop and have them design a top for it and you have your stand. I just got back from an acrylic place here and they are making mine with 3/8" Lexan instead of 1/4" plexi. I also got them to raise the edges 1" all the way around so it wont fall off. They are going to leave gaps around my PCMIA slot, power plug and USB ports. When they get done I am going to top it with a thin layer of Latex so the computer wont move or rattle. I might put together about 20 of them and sell them for $60+shipping and they would be very high quality. To answer your question, the one on ebay is good for the price especially if you have a car and not an SUV or a truck
Ahh, well I've got a 2002 Ford Ranger...and I work at Home Depot, so I think I could make one myself...

Thanks for the info.