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custom center console ideas

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Old 12-01-2009, 09:08 PM
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Knowing that it seems that all the first gen center consoles fall into one of two catagories - either the hinge has broken, or will break soon, and knowing that there was never any decent cup holder options available (I even looked at Bravada consoles, but like many, they have the two holders way too close together, so you're not fitting two 44 ouncers in there together), I've decided to just start from scratch, and build a whole new custom piece.

I picked up some wood today to start building some forms, but figured I should get a game plan going here before I start cutting and end up with half a dozen revisions before I finish like my sub box has gotten to (and I've used nearly a full sheet of MDF for one box for a single 12" )

What I'm looking for now is some ideas of what other people would want in their consoles if they had the option to add whatever to it. I know I should be building it for _my_ needs, and I am, but I'm still curious as to what other people would want, as there might be a good idea tossed out there that I might not think about.

I'm planning on building it full length, to go as far back as the stock console, and all the way up to the dash, although I haven't decided if I want to meet the existing dash pocket area, or go up to the ashtray. I will not be switching to a floor shifter, so I have a lot of area to play with.

Obviously, I'll be designing in functional cupholders, and I want to retain some level of concealed storage. I'm considering moving the stereo head unit to the console, as well as providing an area for some gauges. I typically have a Samsung Q1 UMPC in the truck for tunes and navigation (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1955884,00.asp), but I haven't decided whether I just want to provide a spot for it to sit in, or permanently mount it in the truck. I figure I should have plenty of room to mount a hard drive inside the console for the music storage, along with a couple cooling fans. I'll probably also add in a switch panel for accessories.

What other ideas are out there? Also, maybe some pictures of other custom jobs that people have done? I tried searching, but only found some modified factory consoles in the 2nd gens.
 
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:35 PM
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I have often thought about adding a cig lighter both inside and outside the concealed storage area. I constantly need to charge cell phones, etc. and don't like them flying around while I drive. But I also like to plug in my laptop at times while on the road. I'd also include a connection for an Ipod, and maybe even a slot to that holds it. A GPS mount would be nice too, if you have a unit with an external antenna. Maybe even a speaker or two.

Only other thing I can add would be that the drink holders, etc. seem to set low in the console. I'd like them raised to a more comfortable level so I could reach them without leaning down.

Good luck, and keep us informed. I have considered doing something like this myself. I don't care for the way the stock console curves in toward the driver's leg in front.
 
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MrJP View Post
I don't care for the way the stock console curves in toward the driver's leg in front.

I'm guessing you have a 2nd gen truck, as the first gens are just a rectangle that ends right about even with the front of the seats when they're all the way back. Although you could be speaking of a Bravada console as well, though those bulge out on both sides in front. A friend of mine with a Bravada has commented that it does tend to get in the way. Unfortunetly, I don't see there being much of a way to get around that and still maintain some usable area up front. Except for maybe molding in some reliefs for the knees to go into.

I do like the idea of the power ports though, and I do have a triple port adapter that I could probably work into it fairly easily. I'm also planning on putting in an 120VAC style electrical outlet or two, and tying those into my inverter in the back (800watt continuous Statpower that has to be hardwired in with heavy gauge wire. I have it tied into the 2 gauge feeding the amps) to run the laptop or other AC devices, although I'll probably wire in a dedicated DC feed for the Q1.

The GPS is another thing that I've been thinking about, although typically my Q1 handles that function, along with the MP3s. I do have a HP ipaq PDA phone with built in GPS that I have loaded the TomTom software onto and use occasionally for GPS duties, but I don't think I can put an external antenna on it.

I agree, cupholders high. It's one of the things i like about the cheapie unit that wedges between the seat and console now - it's really easy to grab and replace the cups in. Sometimes a bit of a pain to find the spot at night though...ooh! LIGHTED cupholders! I could easily pop in a couple LEDs in the base to solve that problem.

I'll make a build thread for sure when I get going on this, although I'm still in the planning stages, and I'm thinking this would be a good excuse to learn 3D CAD and modeling, so it might be a few weeks out before I actually start building
 
 
 
 
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