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BigAl1 12-08-2012 12:57 PM

Flush center console conversion design input
4 Attachment(s)
OK, I'm at the stage of design where I think I have everything accounted for that could be wanted in a flush center console conversion - but this is usually where I get bitten by unexpected problems! So, looking for feedback from the group about what should be considered. This conversion has been trial fitted on my 1980 Euro S with leather console, and the shape has been checked against 6 other consoles of varying condition and material type - all OB style.
Good points of this design are:
Gauge knock-outs at the bottom for optional use, plus a power port option.
All hidden mounting hardware.
Will be bare steel to be trimmed as desired (paint, vinyl, leather, 3M,....)
Minimal alteration to the HVAC head and warning strip.
Will fit a universal 2X DIN mounting sleeve.
The center vent duct extension is incorporated.
The center vent plastic shell will need the original mounting pins removed.
The original clock mount crossmember will need to be removed, as well as the original mount bosses for stereo, HVAC, warning strip inside the console framework.

Negative points;
There is no room to fit rear AC controls. Unless they can fit where the gauge options go? I don't have these items to measure to check in the design.
I have not tried fitting this to a newer console - don't know if there are differences?
Consoles seem to vary slightly in the opening shape due to age, leather pull, damage, etc. , so the steel perimeter may need to be ground slightly for best fit.

So, looking for feedback from everybody. Things that should be considered for the design, wishes, concerns? The goal of this is simple install that can be done by low to medium skill level.

Ninespub 12-08-2012 01:33 PM

Verrrrry interesting!

Lets see, low skills, thats me.
Double DIN, yeah baby!
Minimum mod to vent system, great!
Uses existing AC/heat control fascia (which might someday get updated - if ever finished by Hans) awesome!
Would want leather covering, very cool!
Don't need clock, good to go!
No room for for rear air controls - I am eliminating my useless rear air, perfect.

Question #1: Does this keep or eliminate the ashtray system?. I see a need for a power source but the guage (2 or 3??) capability is probably more important, especially if supercharging, therefore: Maybe a USB/power point source could be mounted in the ashtray or on the side of the console?

Question #2: Does this fit recessed as the normal inserts or does it bring it to a flush level at the sides of the console?

Questions #3 & 4: When will it be available and how much?


P.S. I have a friend who has a couple of cad-based computerized laser cutters worth 4-5 million $$$ he uses to cut finished stainless steel parts for his manufacturing business that could probably punch these out for you in minutes if you do not have a source.

Alan 12-08-2012 01:45 PM

Get rid of the dated HVAC - otherwise what's the point in a refresh - it really looks the 30 years old it is. Also just get rid of the seperate rear AC control while you are it it - it was always a stupid idea - integrate.


Ducman82 12-08-2012 01:54 PM

^^^^^ got any hints on how to upgrade a Vac controlled head unit for an OB? :-)

i will be waiting for my test kit!

BigAl1 12-08-2012 03:51 PM

For Ninespub questions - #1 it eliminates the ashtray area and replaces it with either 2 gauge options or a gauge and 12V power port option, or just leave it all blank. These cutouts are "knock-outs" so choose your setup.
#2 This brings it flush to the sides of the console.
#3 I hope to have a couple units out for field testing by the end of the year. Cost not determined yet as the manufacturing costs have not been quoted, but I have the laser cutters and CNC brakes available to me. The cost will be very reasonable!

For Alan - I don't want to get into figuring out a different control system, but maybe the VW digital unit could be fitted with the mods from Steve? in Australia. I would be happy to have 2 different versions of the adapter bracket for different HVAC controls, as long as it fits into the available space.

For Ducman - I hope to see a vac controlled HVAC head tomorrow to verify fitment. Don't know how to upgrade though - probably need the vac solonoid strip and the diffuser control on the main dash box with a bunch of wiring.

BigAl1 12-08-2012 06:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Pictured is the latest prototype set in my console.

77tony 12-08-2012 06:55 PM

4 Attachment(s)
For surround trim I wrapped some leather around some small cord. T

BigAl1 12-08-2012 07:05 PM

Thanks for the idea Tony. Yours looks good!

77tony 12-08-2012 07:13 PM

Al, Your prototype looks great. Just wrap it in leather and your good to go. Will you be selling these units ? T

AirtekHVAC 12-08-2012 07:37 PM

Al, I like it....I assume it will fit 5 sp as well?

BigAl1 12-08-2012 07:47 PM

Ron - I believe it will fit either 5spd or Auto consoles. A slight concern is finger clearance between the shift knob (either version) and the new location of the HVAC controls - they are much closer now. With my Auto I will learn to live with it, but on a 5spd it might be a hassle in the forward gear lever positions to not bang your knuckles on the HVAC knobs.

dprantl 12-08-2012 08:17 PM

Sign me up for one. When will it be ready? :)

'91 928GT S/C :eek: 475hp/460lb.ft

BC 12-08-2012 08:24 PM

Hans is working on a final solution as well.

BigAl1 12-08-2012 08:31 PM

I hope to have a couple units out for field testing by end of the year.

Lizard928 12-08-2012 09:34 PM


With my shifter design for the 5spds this will not be an issue. ;)

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