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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dashboard- "B" pillar panels

These are the panels that sit between the seats. There is one on each side of the tubing, so there are two panels. They sandwich together hiding the tubing structure of the center console as it comes back to the "B" pillar. The back piece is simple, the front piece has an "envelope" made from 22 gauge sheet metal to store anything from cigars to small documents.


Wayne working on the "envelope" on the front piece of the "B" pillar panels.

Dashboard- Top cover

This was by far the hardest piece to make. It had to be shaped to accomodate the roll of the top part of the dash, cut to accommodate the "A" tubing in the windshield part of the cage and tabbed down to the same holes that already existed for the wind deflector/ windshield.

With that said, Wayne did an AMAZING job! Made with 22 gauge sheet metal, the main part of the dash "hood" has a 2.5" sun visor built into it. He tucked the seam behind the face of the dash.

Great view of the sun visor to keep the sun off the gauges and LCD monitor.

Getting ready to trim it down.

Tabbed for the existing holes I drilled for the wind deflector/removable windshield.
Bolted on.

Great shot on how the "hood" and the "face" of the dash seam together. It's pretty much invisible.

The side pieces of the "hood". These are not removable, they are welded in. Not in this picture though. This completes the look of the top of the dash from end to end.

The sun visor end caps. These will be welded in. Sweet!!

The welded in side pieces of the top of the dash.

Dashboard- Face sheet metal

The face of the dash contains four gauges (volts, oil pressure, transmission temp, water temperature), 7" LCD monitor, custom switch panel, OEM head light switch and (2) 12v cigarette lighters. It is approximately 48" wide and 11.5" tall. We used 22 gauge sheet metal and cut everything out on the mill.

The sheet metal follows the lines of the tubing behind it but allows the tubing to be slightly exposed as to see the color of the tubing after it's painted.

Wayne clamping the face to the dash to mark the tab holes.

The lowest part of the face has a 90* bend in it so that it tucks underneath the center console piece, that way the two are joined together and you can't can see through the seam.

Wayne Howze drilling out the area behind the LCD monitor to allow the wiring to run through the dash.

7" LCD monitor will be on top of the custom 10 switch panel. The gauges will be split, two on each side.

"Oh Sh*t" handle. Made from 3/4" hrew tubing.

I'm going to paint this the sale color as the rest of the tubing (light gray) and wrap it in black leather.

The housing for the Accele 7" LCD monitor on top. The custom 10 switch panel from www.12voltunlimited.com on bottom

The custom 10 switch panel from 12volt Unlimited. Chris did an amazing job on this! All waterproof switches, indicator lights and it's backlit in red.

The back of the switch panel. All soldered connections, triple sealed switches.

Dashboard- Sheet metal center console

Finally we're on to the sheet metal. I turned this project over to Wayne Howze at The Off Road Connection in Fultondale, Alabama. One of the finest metal fabricators in all of the land.

I used 22ga. sheet metal through this project both for its strength and ease of cutting/shaping.

The passenger side center console piece.

The drivers' side center console piece.

The top center console piece. The pieces trimmed out were (top to bottom of picture) cup holders, factory OEM center console bucket and lid, horn button and Ox locker shifter, and OEM transmission shifter.

The inside of the center console. The side pieces were tabbed on with longer right angle pieces to prevent the sheet metal from "bowing in" between tabs.

The transfer case shifter, the transmission shifter, the Ox locker shifter and the horn button and part of the center console lid.

All the frame work for the shifters, just tacked on here, finish welding after everything is done.

Center console frame work. Just tacked on here, finish welding after everything is done.

The transmission shifter, horn button and Ox locker shifter.

The cup holders. Big enough for koozies and tapered down at the bottom for bottles.

The stock OEM center console.

Dashboard- Tubing structure

The structure for the dash was recently built. It will be the skeleton of the sheet metal and hold all the tabs the sheet metal will bolt to. We used 3/4" hrew tubing.

The design of the dash is a "T" style. The lower part of the "T" is the center console and the upper part is the face of the dash.

The passenger side of the center console and face of the dash.

The passenger side corner of the dash.

The rear of the "B" pillar support for the center console.

The passenger side of the center console

Where the center console meets the face.

Dashboard- Final Templates

After deciding on the dashboard design I needed to do some final templates. Templates that I would be tracing to sheet metal. This is what I came up with.

These were excessively time consuming but had to be perfect. I used wooden popsicle sticks to prevent the cardboard from bending in or out. It had to remain square to the surface to get accurate templates.

Templating is tedious work. Start off with the mass of the area, add some more, take it off and trim it, re-apply it, add some more and repeat until you have it perfect.

The center console and side pieces.

The face of the dash.

The rear of the console as it meets the "B" pillar.

The rear of the "B" pillar template.

Powertank Mount

I needed a place to mount my powertank. Things are getting tight inside my Cherokee, Much tighter than originally thought. I found a place behind the passenger seat that kept the powertank elevated above the floor to prevent it from rattling around and allow ease of use from the mounted position.

So we mounted it to 3/16" steel plate and welded it to the horizontal "B" pillar tube. Used 1" stock to connect it to the lower tubing and drilled holes in the same pattern as the Powertank mount.




3/16" steel plate, welded just on the top.

1" stock used to connect (support) the bottom

With the Powertank mount on

Without the Powertank mount on