Building a Center Console
I decided to try my hand at building a Presenter console to house my air conditioner control module, radio, and most important my Tim's mug holder. If the project does not work out I would have to attach my A/C control module to the bottom of the dash and skip my radio and cup holders. I scoured the internet to find my options:
• Buy a complete fiberglass console from "Classic TruckConsoles" for about $300 and hollow out the various holes required.
• Buy large pieces of Styrofoam, glue them together until the required dimensions are achieved, then hollow out the holes.
• Built it from scratch
I decided to proceed with the third option.
I started by taking a very heavy soldering wire and laying it on the floor of the car, bending it to match the curvature of the floor and the underside of the dash. I then took the wire and traced it onto white cardboard. I did this for both the driver's side and passenger's side.
Starting the fiberglass procedure:
I installed the console in the car and attached the shifter ring. One day when my brother-in-law was over, he sat in the driver's seat and began shifting gears. He quickly found out that he was unable to put the transmission in low gear. The circular shifter ring prevented the shifter from arriving at all the gears. I had to start over again! I purchased a rectangular ring from Lokar that would provide the full range of the shifter.
This time I cut up a a very thin chopping mat (above) and taped it to my frame. This would provide sharper edges to the sides of the top panel.
The console looks great so far, but I suspect the hardest part will be connecting the components when the unit is in place. I may have to cut out a removable panel on the passenger side to connect the cabling. I have not picked out the color for the remainder of the center console. It may even be a type of vinyl.
The color will be decided when I finish the interior.
The Finished Console
With the car interior 95% complete, I turned my attention to the center console. I looked to SEM Color Coats for vinyl paints. I sent a swatch of the interior to SEM Color Coats in the States and they sent back a quart of matching Color Coat paint. I used SEM Vinyl Prep 38343 on the vinyl top and sprayed the Color Coat on top. I sprayed Sand Free 38363 on the plastic parts and then sprayed the top coat while it was still wet (as per instructions). I was quite satisfied with the results. The original color of the vinyl top was black!. The Color Coat did not need to be thinned and no catalyst was required. It sprayed on very nicely. The picture below shows the console painted and covered with a low-luster clear coat.