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Ammo Can Console


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#1 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 03:16 AM

Hardcore, right?

 

I've posted most of this in the "what did you do to your Pathy today" thread, but figured I should quit spamming that and put this all together.

 

When I got Rat Trap, the factory center console was broken around its mounts and every crevice was full of a foul mixture of cigarette tar and Armor All. I hacked it out and threw it away. I considered swapping in the console from my '95, but it turns out the square dash sticks down a little lower than the round dash, so the console wouldn't clear unless I butchered the front of it. That seemed like a lot of work for something that would look like a puppy chewed on it when I was done.

 

I considered the R50 console swap, but the idea of paying money to deal with more plastic crap didn't excite me. I liked what Nissan Nut did with his cupholders, and I liked what some of the Jeep guys do with ammo cans. A little comparison of measurements told me that a standard 50-cal can would fit between the seats with room to spare. How hard could it be?

 

My first step was to budge the e-brake over. I didn't want to modify the brake itself, so I drilled some holes in some steel strap and came up with this.

 

IMG_7125_zpselvejz2b.jpg

 

This worked alright, but the longer strap did flex a little when I pulled the brake. I welded more strap steel between the two, then welded the head of the bolt for the front brake mount to the floor plate. That got it solid.

 

I cut up a bed frame to make a sort of cradle and some legs. The top of the frame has to clear the e-brake, but the top of the box has to clear my elbow, so I measured a few things and made the legs as short as I could get away with.

 

IMG_7186_zpse3wdwevi.jpg

 

The E-brake bracket ended up being the perfect thing to bolt the console frame to. I drilled a couple holes, welded up some M6 nuts, and bolted the frame down. Already, it was more stable than the factory console.

 

I skinned the frame with scrap sheet metal and filled the blank spot on the back with a cheap 300W inverter. Rather than build mounts, I just cut the sheet metal to sandwich in between the inverter's body and face like a gasket. I also relocated the inverter's power switch to the face where it's easier to get to.

 

IMG_7194_zpsoauih9yn.jpg

 

As easy as it would've been to just weld the skin to the frame, I knew I'd have to take this thing apart a few times during the build, so I drilled a bunch of holes and bolted it on.

 

I considered bolts or a toolbox latch or something to hold the can down, but decided it was easier to fit the frame with neodymium disk magnets. Should work pretty well so long as I don't store credit cards in the can. I also glued a strip of a Rockauto magnet to the underside of the handle to hold it against the lid so it wouldn't rattle.

 

Rat Trap's got some loose switches that need a home. I wanted to use the factory switches, and the factory switches fit a rectangular hole. How hard could that be?

image_zpslrsr93cs.jpeg
 

A bunch of cutoff disks and a pile of filings later...



#2 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 03:40 AM

Cut and welded.

 

IMG_7393_zpseogcofb3.jpg

 

Let's test-fit this thing. (The yellow bundle is the power feed for the inverter.)

 

IMG_7397_zpskj7xz8z3.jpg

 

It fits pretty well, I think. Next up, I figure out the cup holders and start building forward towards the dash.

 

I'm not quite sure what to do with that big blank spot, though. Maybe another 12v outlet so I don't have a cord draped over the shifter. Maybe a dedicated Altoids tin holder. Maybe the switch for the ejector seat. Anything that's not another row of rectangular holes! :lol:



#3 OFFLINE   RCWD21

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:17 AM

I really like this, it could almost be used for a quick first aid station too, just pluck it up and you've got everything you need.

Where did you get that inverter though? I found some on ebay that I think is what you have and was roughly $30 to $50.



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#4 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 05:06 PM

That's what I'm going for. I'll put some road flares and an aid kit in there just in case, and maybe one of those window smasher/seatbelt cutter things. Could be a good place for the tow strap, too.
 

I think it's this critter. It's a pretty small unit, and modified sine so some things won't run on it, but for the price it's nice to have around.



#5 OFFLINE   RCWD21

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:35 PM

I don't see why you wouldn't have room for the strap too, you could always tack weld a plate in the middle to have 2 compartments basically that way everything doesn't get jostled around too much. And thanks for the link to the inverter, I think I may end up getting one just to have it for when I go camping and stuff.

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#6 OFFLINE   daver123

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 09:23 PM

I need to do something like this for my Pathy. I had to gut the storage in my console to move the e-brake back to fit the engine swap I did. Also gutted the glove box to move the ecu's off the floor in case I ambitiously take on too much H2O.



#7 OFFLINE   RCWD21

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:10 PM

Hey Slarti how's the console coming along?

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#8 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 03:57 PM

It's been cold and I've been distracted! The last pic is how it sits. Most of my shop time has been going towards getting the trans mounted in my dad's hot rod, keeping the snow plow running, and trying to hang a snowblower off the front of a riding mower. Hopefully things slow down this month and I can get back to this.



#9 OFFLINE   RCWD21

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 04:15 PM

A snow blower on the front of a riding mower... sounds like something I would do! I look forward to seeing more progess on this when you get the time though. I have a few of these cans laying around and might try something like this if I can't find a decent center console to complete my manual swap

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#10 OFFLINE   Bunchie

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 08:54 PM

Hey Slarti, I'm kind of curious my did you go w/11 gauge for the face of ur console? Must be a bitch cutting out the switch holes...and no wonder you don't want to add any more "things" to it-lol. I love makin custom stuff like that but my preferred medium is plastics. Little jealous of ur welding skilz, though.I find plastics and their associated adhesives SO versatile AND easy to work with. And with interior parts, plyable is in ur best interest. You smoke ur elbow on that while bouncing around, ur gonna know it...just sayin.

#11 OFFLINE   Bunchie

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 09:19 PM

Oh and where'd you get the "Sport/Comfort" switch, thats awesome! Jsut waiting for the temp to get above 0º for any length of time so I can put my Xmas present in and have a proper media console and all of my stereo speakrs workin! Then my complete suspension overhaul/upgrade. Been an epic winter so far and great for this years fishing season but, I need to do somethings outside that DON'T require the ground to be frozen. I WILL be asking a lot of Q's to you PF modification veterans in the next few months...like: did you ever find the build sheet anywhere in the interior when you were working on it? Thx

#12 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 02:33 PM

I had some laying around as scrap from a TV I tore down a while back, and figured it would be thick enough to hold the switches. Overkill I'm sure but it was free! I've mucked around with plastics a little but I prefer working with steel--it's just so much faster to weld something than to glue it, especially with wire-feed and shielding gas, and it's so much more durable. I do like how easy plastic is to cut, though, especially after filing those switch holes. And I've got two more holes to drill now, once the 12v and USB outlets I ordered show up. I've learned, though--I got the kind that mount in round holes!

 

I've got it pushed back far enough that it's not too hard on the elbows. I've brushed it once or twice but nothing too bad, no worse than the stock console, anyway. I'm more worried about burning myself on it this summer. The top may get some padding before I call it done.
 

The sport/comfort switch is factory. Many of the WD21s had dual-mode shocks. I cut one open a while back and there's a little motor in there that opens or closes a valve to bypass the usual shock valving. Kinda cool, though after 23 years, I'm not sure it does much anymore. I've thought once or twice that the circuit would be easy to repurpose for rock lights or something, though whenever I think of attaching lights to the floors, I think of a Pathfinder with sikk neyonz yo and think about something else.

 

I've never seen a build sheet in one of these. If you want to know what options it came with, and the PO didn't keep the window sticker, I think a few guys on here can look up the info with your VIN.

 

As for the build, I'm waiting on those outlets to show up and looking for a local source of 3" exhaust pipe to make cupholders out of. I think I can get five cupholders into this thing if I really want to go nuts with it.



#13 OFFLINE   Slartibartfast

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Posted Yesterday, 12:09 AM

My power outlets came in today. They mount in round holes--imagine that. Install would've been easy if I'd thought to pick up a decent hole saw... I think the one I used was made of cheese.

 

IMG_7711_zpsz9hgmpcc.jpg

 

The outlets I got do a good job of covering the mess I made.

 

IMG_7715_zpsmp7vhc4m.jpg

 

I got a little carried away and mounted the inverter and the rear outlet, and roughed in the wiring well enough to test everything on the bench. I'll need to shorten a few wires and add a ground bolt somewhere to clean everything up at some point.

IMG_7713_zpsizjhm72o.jpg
 

The inverter was originally assembled with the 120v wires soldered to the circuit board and the inserts in the face plate, which meant that I had to cut the wires to take it apart. It's got spade connectors bodged into it now so that I can disassemble it without cutting anything. This will probably come apart again a few times before I'm ready to paint it.

 

IMG_7714_zpsuwhhrl3j.jpg

 

When I find a good length of 3" pipe, I'll pull this thing out again and get some cupholders going.






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