DIY Overhead Ceiling Console

OFC Ranger

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CURRENTLY BEING COMPILED NOT FINISHED / CLEANED UP.

Reserved For Instructions/Article later today.

This write up, while DIY in nature will require a heavy amount of user-end choices and creation. Think of it more of a "starting point" guide.

IMG_20221024_115605.jpg


So much like my other projects, this stemmed from complete lack of product in this category. The closest thing is a console from ARB which is available (I believe Stage 3 has them if you e-mail for their South American market), but it is not publicly advertised in North America. I suspect one reason for that is no one has been the guinea pig to test it. I believe it should fit however. Also at this time it is close to $500 dollars. That $500 gets you a plastic console with a radio insert, a small storage compartment, and some LED dome lights.

RCPXMK2.jpg


Again, per my usual mind-set, this is a ridiculous amount of money for such a feature light product right up there with GooseGear's rear seat delete kit of plywood for $2,000 bucks. (I'll have a third article coming for a DIY rear seat delete kit to put that to shame btw...)

As usual this guide is just that, a guide. I can show you key requirements (like mounting points), but a lot of items like the dimensions, content of attachments, and so forth have to be decided by the end user. Same can be said with the tools and materials you use to construct. I did a total of three versions, with the first being a sectionally assembled unit to the last which is a one piece unit, so you may see me sharing some photos from all testing. So lets get started;

Tools that I used; drill, jigsaw, sander, hammer, electric staple gun

Materials I used;

$18.00 - 2' x 4' x 1/2" sanded plywood sheet (medium quality) (Lowes)
$10.00 - Weldwood Contact Cement (Lowes)
$10.00 - 1 Yard Vinyl Upholstry (Joannes Fabric Store)
$ 9.00 - Steel L Brackets (16 Pack Amazon Link
$20.00 - (2) RAM Mount Flat Bases (Amazon Link)
$10.00 - RAM MOUNT Short Arm (Amazon Link
$11.00 - 3/4" Plastic Grommets (10 Pack Amazon Link)
$1.50 - 2" #8 Bolts/Nuts 4 Pack (Walmart)
$1.50 - 1/2" #8 Bolts/Nuts 20 Pack (Walmart)

Total: $91.00

These are the basic items to give you a console. What goes in this console is completely up to you. I will give you my list for the sake of price to compare my unit to a nearly featureless ARB unit with a few caveats; my 50W radio unit was a freebie from a friend, and my two Feniex Mini Controllers (digital controllers) were decom'd from my agency which I grabbed for a nominal price.

Add-ons I used:

$12.00 - Nighlight 5 Gang Small Rocker Switch Panel. These control dome light and ambient cabin lights. (Amazon Link)
$46.00 - (2) Nighlight 6 Gang Rocker Switch Panels. Various item controls (Amazon Link)
$12.00 - (2) Single Rocker Switch Blank Panel. These will act as ports to access the bolts for attaching the console. (Amazon Link)
$8.00 - Rocker Switch Panel Covers 4-Pack. See last line item, just covers. (Amazon Link)
$9.00 - 12V to USB Converter. Used to charge/power tablet. (Amazon Link)
$9.00 - LED 3/4" Mini Round White Clearance Lights 10 Pack. Used as dome lights.(Amazon Link)
$10.00 - LED 3/4" Mini Round Green Clearance Lights 10 Pack. Used as dome lights. (Amazon Link)
$60.00 - Onn 8" Tablet (Walmart, bought on sale)
$24.00 - Wireless OBDII Dongle (Amazon Link)
$5.00 - TorquePro App (Android)
$13.00 - ABS Car Storage Nets 2-Pack (Amazon Link)

Total: $208.00

Materials + Add-ons Total: $299.00
Estimated Fabrication Time: 2-4 Hours


As always budget a little bit for unforeseen material needs.

So there are two ways you can construct this, sectional vs one piece. Version 1 was sectional, meaning I made it so there were "panels" for each section that could be installed/removed individual. The downside to sectional is generally it adds a dimensional increase and also you get more "visible" installation hardware (screws, bolts, etc etc).

Keep in mind A LOT of this article is up for tweaks and personal preferences, I can give you the basics and what I did, but ultimately I CANNOT walk you through step by step for dimensions or shapes, as this is personal preference.

Recommended basic dimensions:

W = 10"
L = 24"
D1 = 2"
D2 = 4"

These dimensions (especially depth) will ensure no rear view mirror field of view loss.

100-0131.jpg


Whatever you build, the console is going to require something mandatory - connection points. This is the deciding factor of this type of product even existing, it has to be able to connect to something and stay connected. With that said the first order of business is to remove the factory ceiling console and the center dome light console (Google it, very very simple). On the front what you need to locate are two small bolts that hold the black internal console framing in place. This is where you rig up your L-Brackets to form a "U" shape. Then connect your brackets back to the factory mounting points and if you want go ahead and put your 2" bolts in place. This is how your console is going to connect in the front. At some point in the build you need to drill two holes to align with these.

IMG-20221014-193726.jpg


And this is ultimately how you access the nuts so you can tighten it all down You more or less either use a finger, or a pair of 90 degree need nose pliers to get tension on the nut then lock it all down. Make sure to slather some blue locktite on:

100-0162.jpg


The rear connection point on the ARB model requires some cutting of the roof liner and some drilling of the factory roof nibs. I wanted something that did not require any of that. My solution is a bit unorthodox, but it works. When you remove the center dome light section you will notice the roof is right there. Not only that, it is basically a completely flat spot of the roof without curves. So this is where you take one of your RAM MOUNT bases and sacrifice it by connecting it to the roof permanently. In my case I ultimately ended up using JB WELD. Some people might recommend a more flexible sealer/epoxy, but I used what I had on hand and no issues yet;

IMG-20220928-202615.jpg


IMG-20220928-202644.jpg


But how does that connect to the console? Again very simple. On the other end you cut and connect a small square block of wood (I used JB WELD again). I think I used a 1/4" thick 4" x4" piece. Be mindful of any clearance for wiring you do and making sure this connection point stays clear for your apparatus here.

crude1.jpg




100-0165.jpg


Really that is all there is to securing the console. I am sure given more time and effort these connect points could be spruced up, or up-armored some more, but I've been on a handful of outings so far and nothing has come undone.

The following are just the basics of my construction. I ended up doing a single piece unit for a lower profile and cleaner look. Everything was assembled with contact cement and then upholstered. If you have specific questions about something speak up as I am not doing to go into detail regarding anything as nearly all of this is personal choice in shaping and component install;

100-0004.jpg


100-0125.jpg


100-0126.jpg


100-0128.jpg


100-0129.jpg


100-0131.jpg


100-0132.jpg


100-0133.jpg


100-0134.jpg


100-0136.jpg


100-0137.jpg


100-0164.jpg


100-0166.jpg


IMG-20221023-194820.jpg


IMG-20221023-194850.jpg


IMG-20221101-160452.jpg


IMG_20221024_103623.jpg


IMG_20221005_102502.jpg


IMG_20221005_102516.jpg

 
Last edited:

DukeCanBuildit

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Great work as usual Jack - so glad you did version 2.0 - but then again, you always do.

It really looks sharp and I’m sure others will agree.
 

GTGallop

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Holy Schnike!
 

Dr. Zaius

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I don't really need one of these, but I kinda really need one of these...
 


RangerTX

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CURRENTLY BEING COMPILED NOT FINISHED / CLEANED UP.

Reserved For Instructions/Article later today.

This write up, while DIY in nature will require a heavy amount of user-end choices and creation. Think of it more of a "starting point" guide.

IMG_20221024_115605.jpg


So much like my other projects, this stemmed from complete lack of product in this category. The closest thing is a console from ARB which is available (I believe Stage 3 has them if you e-mail for their South American market), but it is not publicly advertised in North America. I suspect one reason for that is no one has been the guinea pig to test it. I believe it should fit however. Also at this time it is close to $500 dollars. That $500 gets you a plastic console with a radio insert, a small storage compartment, and some LED dome lights.

RCPXMK2.jpg


Again, per my usual mind-set, this is a ridiculous amount of money for such a feature light product right up there with GooseGear's rear seat delete kit of plywood for $2,000 bucks. (I'll have a third article coming for a DIY rear seat delete kit to put that to shame btw...)

As usual this guide is just that, a guide. I can show you key requirements (like mounting points), but a lot of items like the dimensions, content of attachments, and so forth have to be decided by the end user. Same can be said with the tools and materials you use to construct. I did a total of three versions, with the first being a sectionally assembled unit to the last which is a one piece unit, so you may see me sharing some photos from all testing. So lets get started;

Tools that I used; drill, jigsaw, sander, hammer, electric staple gun

Materials I used;

$18.00 - 2' x 4' x 1/2" sanded plywood sheet (medium quality) (Lowes)
$10.00 - Weldwood Contact Cement (Lowes)
$10.00 - 1 Yard Vinyl Upholstry (Joannes Fabric Store)
$ 9.00 - Steel L Brackets (16 Pack Amazon Link
$20.00 - (2) RAM Mount Flat Bases (Amazon Link)
$10.00 - RAM MOUNT Short Arm (Amazon Link
$11.00 - 3/4" Plastic Grommets (10 Pack Amazon Link)
$1.50 - 2" #8 Bolts/Nuts 4 Pack (Walmart)
$1.50 - 1/2" #8 Bolts/Nuts 20 Pack (Walmart)

Total: $91.00

These are the basic items to give you a console. What goes in this console is completely up to you. I will give you my list for the sake of price to compare my unit to a nearly featureless ARB unit with a few caveats; my 50W radio unit was a freebie from a friend, and my two Feniex Mini Controllers (digital controllers) were decom'd from my agency which I grabbed for a nominal price.

Add-ons I used:

$12.00 - Nighlight 5 Gang Small Rocker Switch Panel. These control dome light and ambient cabin lights. (Amazon Link)
$46.00 - (2) Nighlight 6 Gang Rocker Switch Panels. Various item controls (Amazon Link)
$12.00 - (2) Single Rocker Switch Blank Panel. These will act as ports to access the bolts for attaching the console. (Amazon Link)
$8.00 - Rocker Switch Panel Covers 4-Pack. See last line item, just covers. (Amazon Link)
$9.00 - 12V to USB Converter. Used to charge/power tablet. (Amazon Link)
$9.00 - LED 3/4" Mini Round White Clearance Lights 10 Pack. Used as dome lights.(Amazon Link)
$10.00 - LED 3/4" Mini Round Green Clearance Lights 10 Pack. Used as dome lights. (Amazon Link)
$60.00 - Onn 8" Tablet (Walmart, bought on sale)
$24.00 - Wireless OBDII Dongle (Amazon Link)
$5.00 - TorquePro App (Android)
$13.00 - ABS Car Storage Nets 2-Pack (Amazon Link)

Total: $208.00

Materials + Add-ons Total: $299.00
Estimated Fabrication Time: 2-4 Hours


As always budget a little bit for unforeseen material needs.

So there are two ways you can construct this, sectional vs one piece. Version 1 was sectional, meaning I made it so there were "panels" for each section that could be installed/removed individual. The downside to sectional is generally it adds a dimensional increase and also you get more "visible" installation hardware (screws, bolts, etc etc).

Keep in mind A LOT of this article is up for tweaks and personal preferences, I can give you the basics and what I did, but ultimately I CANNOT walk you through step by step for dimensions or shapes, as this is personal preference.

Recommended basic dimensions:

W = 10"
L = 24"
D1 = 2"
D2 = 4"

These dimensions (especially depth) will ensure no rear view mirror field of view loss.

100-0131.jpg


Whatever you build, the console is going to require something mandatory - connection points. This is the deciding factor of this type of product even existing, it has to be able to connect to something and stay connected. With that said the first order of business is to remove the factory ceiling console and the center dome light console (Google it, very very simple). On the front what you need to locate are two small bolts that hold the black internal console framing in place. This is where you rig up your L-Brackets to form a "U" shape. Then connect your brackets back to the factory mounting points and if you want go ahead and put your 2" bolts in place. This is how your console is going to connect in the front. At some point in the build you need to drill two holes to align with these.

IMG-20221014-193726.jpg


And this is ultimately how you access the nuts so you can tighten it all down You more or less either use a finger, or a pair of 90 degree need nose pliers to get tension on the nut then lock it all down. Make sure to slather some blue locktite on:

100-0162.jpg


The rear connection point on the ARB model requires some cutting of the roof liner and some drilling of the factory roof nibs. I wanted something that did not require any of that. My solution is a bit unorthodox, but it works. When you remove the center dome light section you will notice the roof is right there. Not only that, it is basically a completely flat spot of the roof without curves. So this is where you take one of your RAM MOUNT bases and sacrifice it by connecting it to the roof permanently. In my case I ultimately ended up using JB WELD. Some people might recommend a more flexible sealer/epoxy, but I used what I had on hand and no issues yet;

IMG-20220928-202615.jpg


IMG-20220928-202644.jpg


But how does that connect to the console? Again very simple. On the other end you cut and connect a small square block of wood (I used JB WELD again). I think I used a 1/4" thick 4" x4" piece. Be mindful of any clearance for wiring you do and making sure this connection point stays clear for your apparatus here.

crude1.jpg




100-0165.jpg


Really that is all there is to securing the console. I am sure given more time and effort these connect points could be spruced up, or up-armored some more, but I've been on a handful of outings so far and nothing has come undone.

The following are just the basics of my construction. I ended up doing a single piece unit for a lower profile and cleaner look. Everything was assembled with contact cement and then upholstered. If you have specific questions about something speak up as I am not doing to go into detail regarding anything as nearly all of this is personal choice in shaping and component install;

100-0004.jpg


100-0125.jpg


100-0126.jpg


100-0128.jpg


100-0129.jpg


100-0131.jpg


100-0132.jpg


100-0133.jpg


100-0134.jpg


100-0136.jpg


100-0137.jpg


100-0164.jpg


100-0166.jpg


IMG-20221023-194820.jpg


IMG-20221023-194850.jpg


IMG-20221101-160452.jpg
Dude... wow! Freakin awesome.
 

rydfree

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Back in the day I made floor , roof consoles and speaker enclosures in a similar fashion but instead of wrapping in vinyl I used speaker grill cloth . You can stretch the grill cloth easily around bends and corners with no wrinkles and staple to the rear . Take a good paint brush that does not shed bristles and coat it with fiberglass epoxy . The first coat will fill in the cloth and soak into the wood then after drying you apply a second coat to smooth things out . After sanding smooth cut your openings out and coat with your choice of finish . I normally used the Hammered finish out of a rattle can then painted for a final color match . That method ends up looking like most plastic side panels according to how thick you spray the hammered coat .
 
OP
OP
OFC Ranger

OFC Ranger

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Looks like you forgot the sunglasses holder. Oh well, back to the drawing board. :crazy:
Pardon me sir, rocker switch #87 activates the automated sunglasses telescopic pole.

IMG_20221024_115605.jpg
 

D Fresh

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Really looks good.

I wonder though. What would it look like color matched to the headliner?
 

GTGallop

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OK - Read the deets three times now. I'm missing something. What are the cables out the back for?
 

 
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