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