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FLUSH Center Console Development

 
Old 08-03-2010, 11:07 PM
  #91  
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Greetings Jerry. Ero, my restoration genius has been telling me all along the 3-instrument din was going to be a problem. He proposed three possible solution: 1. leave the lower trim piece recessed, 2. relocate or reduce the size/shape of the AC vents and move everything up, or 3. move the gauges to the pilar or eliminate all together. I'm an old AV8tor and feel comfort from as many gagets and gauges as possible and the pilar post reminds me of afterthought. Obviously having the auto shift recessed is a distractor from the professional appearance that you are creating and in my opinion is the last option. However I am intrigued with the idea of minimizing the size/shape of the vents or moving them as you suggest for more facial space. Could a reduction in size provide sufficient air flow and free up desired space, or is it possible to provide a smaller vent in the upper console adjacent/adjoining to a vent in the dash? And if possible, is the cost unrealistic just to accommodate gauges? Jerry, hopefully these ideas will stimulate your creative juices. Any thoughts? Jimmy.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:44 PM
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Jerry, Sorry for another idea but I couldn't sleep thinking about placement of AC vents and gauges. Imagine the upper console with vertical AC vents and instrumentation in between, as in some cockpits. Does this have merit? Conceptually, if the AC vents were verticle (1" W x 3.75 H) along the outer edge of the flush console there could be space in the middle for two rows of two gauges (stack of 4). Sufficient air flow could be acheived by venting out the front AND to each side (with a forward damper). Is there any space between the AC Control module and the bottom of the upper trim piece that can be captured and allocated to the AC Vent/Gauge area? Would a scale draft be worth a look? Regards, Jimmy.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:10 AM
  #93  
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[QUOTE Ero, my restoration genius has been telling me all along the 3-instrument din was going to be a problem. He proposed three possible solution: 1. leave the lower trim piece recessed, 2. relocate or reduce the size/shape of the AC vents and move everything up, or 3. move the gauges to the pilar or eliminate all together.[/QUOTE]

Hi Jimmy. Actually that is four possible solutions. What your and he are overlooking, it seems to me, is a fifth and more likely solution, and that is to simply find the gauges you want in a configuration and SIZE that will work in what I am already nearly complete in developing, at least in terms of the basics. I have redesigned the lower trim piece with as much "flattish" space as I can reasonably muster for such things as a clock, rear AC controls, power outlet, and gauges that might be found to fit there. There is also space for lites and switches that might me useful for whatever.

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Old 08-04-2010, 11:34 AM
  #94  
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Jimmy, I am an old "AV8er" too and now I suppose we are later day "PV8er's." Get it?

When I was deeper into my aviation mode I rebuilt the instrument panel in my airplane including relocating the panel and building new structural members to both improve the looks and placement and to improve the structure. In the process I too found myself designing around the instruments and avionics that I had to work with, but even then I found myself looking for a couple of instruments that I needed but didn't have space for. I found one that was small and another that was configured differently that with a modification of its case could be used where I wanted it.

This current project of mine is based almost entirely on the advise I was given early in my previous HOW TO thread and that was that the ideal solution would be to develop a system that could be used to do what Keith Widom did in his one-off flush center console conversion, or words to that effect. That is almost exactly the direction I have chosen to go with this development. I am way past the early design phase of this project except in terms of minor configurations within the limits of what I am goiong to make.

Doing much or any of what you are suggesting is much more radical that I have attemped to accomplish, and there are others who are taking the more radical approach. Even they are way down the road in terms of comitting to a design and are way ahead of me in their development.

At this point, for you, I think the tail is wagging the dog, or attempting to. I still think that devoting your creative efforts to finding the right instruments is the best solution. I looked a little on-line last night and saw that there are possibilities, and maybe more in the motorcycle realm. Give it a try and see what you come up with. I am not able to change direction at this point.

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Old 08-04-2010, 12:03 PM
  #95  
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In the last couple of days I have been able to finish the two side forming members and have them mounted in the machine. Last night I finished the reverse male form which will push the plastic down into the convex curvature at the lower end of the upper insert. All I have left to do is the two short plastic hold-down (OOPS, hold-up) bars for the upper and lower ends of the plastic frame and then I will get to form the first upper insert. Maybe even tonight.

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Old 08-04-2010, 12:35 PM
  #96  
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:37 PM
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WILCO. I will look for the gauges suggested. I'll table the far out ideas and let you concentrate on the creation. I'm still ready when you are! Anyone interested in 3 really nice Prosport Digital Blue gauges? Jimmy.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:00 PM
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Great, Jimmy. That's the spirit. I'll be real interested in what you might find. I am sure there are others who are interested in more than a clock in the lower trim panel, so what you come up with will be good for everyone.

I have the first pull of the upper insert cooling as I write. It was a bitch to force into position even with the forming temperature much higher that I was shooting for. Dinner put me off a little and it got away from me. Nevertheless I think I am going to have to have some clamping force to make these inserts. No big deal. Its just nice to know.

I'll post some pictures when I get the insert removed from the machine and we can see what we have.

Stand-by.

By the way, Jimmy. I like "wilco." It is old fashioned, probably like you and me, but still means so much.

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Old 08-04-2010, 10:01 PM
  #99  
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I got the first of the upper inserts formed and it looks pretty close to what I need. It has some need for adjustment, but I think that is built into the machine and after I make another one I'll trim one out and see how close it comes to the console.

Here are three pictures of the first pull.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:12 PM
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As I am sitting here waiting for the second one to cook I took this pictures of roughly what the two items kind of look like together.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:12 PM
  #101  
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Well, this is a long way form the end, but this is what both of the pieces I have formed look like installed, sort of, in the console. The contours appear reasonably close to the console and the gap around the edges and between is about right for leather, so I think we are getting close. What do you think?

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Old 08-04-2010, 11:31 PM
  #102  
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Wow. You would think this was stock from Porcshe if one had not followed your progress here on Renn. Really nice work Mr. Feather, I think I smell an old A&P mechanic with this project.....!
I'm officially a fan.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:38 PM
  #103  
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Jerry, I think it is MAGNIFICENT! What's next, and have you a timeline?

Jimmy.

I'm guessing from WILCO, your AV8ing days were VF/VM. Am I close?
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:43 PM
  #104  
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lookin good!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:00 AM
  #105  
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Hi Jimmy. I was an air transport navigator during the Viet Nam era. I have been a pilot since l980. I have about 7500 hours total, most of it navigating, but about 2500 flying my own airplane.

For you. Alex, no I am not an A&P, but I do all of my own aircraft maintenance, "under supervision."

For all, What I have to do next is make another trimming jig to make the cut-outs in this new upper insert for the three major items, the air vent at the top, the NAV in the middle and the HVAC at the bottom. What I want to do is build a jig that I can simply put one of these in the with a trimming guide and guide on my router, cut out the openings.

I will be removing about 80 percent of this upper insert and then putting back about 30 or lthose percents in additional beef-up plastic both for rigidity and for mounting the air vent and the HVAC units. There will also be some beef up around the opening for the NAV unit, but it will be mounted in the console.

I have to design and fabricate a cage or rack for the NAV unit to mount in the console, but that will be made out aluminum sheet. With all of that I may want to design and build some kind of jig to cut openings in the lower trim panel for my clocks in one place or another. I may just do that by hand. However, if there is any kind of common desire from others, the jig will be the way to go.

What I am going to do next is the trimming jig and start mocking up one or two of these with leather covering so you can all get the idea of what we are going to end up with.

Time line is anytime after now. In fact, I could theoretically start now with one of these and fab it up to put in a car, but then it will be too much like a one-off which is what I am trying to avoid. It really needs to be duplicatable.

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