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Old 09-03-2009, 01:02 AM
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Idea for switch panel

Hello all. This is a long post but I have nothing better to do at work for the next week or two, and I mean absolutely nothing.

I am currently in Iraq and will be coming home pretty soon, so I started thinking about things to do to the truck. This is kind of a few ideas put into one project. I'm planning on getting one of those shelf things that goes between the sun visor's and the roof. My GPS's suction cup doesn't work anymore and it's illegal in California to have that kind of stuff on your windshield. So I'm gonna drill the GPS mount into the bottom of the shelf for a permanent home,probably just to the right of the rearview mirror so it doesn't interfere with my vision. Run the power cable up top as well and zip tie it to one of the screws I used to mount the GPS base. From there run the power cable to the driver side A-pillar and through the dash to have it come out somewhere underneath the middle of the dash and into the cigarette lighter. Might need an extension to run it that far but should be doable.

Also I was trying to think of a spot to mount switches when I came to the conclusion how easy it would be just to get a switch panel. Went to Summit Racing website and found a 5 switch panel, basic toggle, on/off switches. It's meant to be installed into the dash of a race car type of deal so it is just a faceplate with the switches mounted to it, with led lights for each switch also. The plate is 2" tall and 5.5" wide. I will build the box out of wood because it will be easier to work with (no metal fabrication shop that I know of where I'm at). It would end up measuring 2" tall, 5.5" wide, and 3 or maybe 4" deep. I would cut out a hole in the back big enough to run conduit that will hold all 10 wires from the switches and a couple more for the lights perhaps.

The box itself would mount on the top side of the shelf directly centered above the driver. Conduit would run from the back of the box inside the A-pillar, under the dash and through the firewall. Thinking 8' for the wires to have enough play in them. I will probably end up painting the box black seems how the plate already comes black. I will prewire this whole thing because I just don't see it being very doable when the box is installed on the shelf before the wiring. I will mark the wires as "#1+", "#1-", "#2+", "#2-", etc. so I know which wire goes to which switch.

As far as what the switches will actually be used for is as follows:
1st switch- Air Compressor, for future if I put bags or train horn
2nd switch- on/off for the switch box led's, so I can turn the lights off at night if they get irritating on a long drive or something or I can use it for any future projects I may do.
3rd switch- on/off for the 10k mod, I currently have 3.9k resistor because that is all the local radio shack had, and like other people know, it can get anoying driving around with it in all the time.
4th switch- Exhaust brake, using the EBPV mod for my trucks year.
5th switch- Torque Converter Lockup mod, switch 4 and 5 right next to each other so if i wanna throw the brake on the switches are right next to each other.

I'm thinking that by doing this I won't have to drill a ton of holes into my dash and it would keep the truck tidy and neat without switches all over the place.

Only problem I am having now is "how would I mount the box onto the shelf without the screws or bolts showing through the bottom"? If anybody's got suggestions to this I'm all ears. Only thing I can think of right now is either gluing velcro, or using self tapping screws, but I don't know how thick the shelf is because I haven't gotten it yet. Like I said before this is what I'm thinking of doing when I get back to the good ole' U.S. of A.

If/when I ever do this, if I actually like it I might think of moving my Sirius radio up there too, because right now it's mounted in front of the little shelf that they put right were your right knee is.

I look forward to any Questions, comments or input, maybe I'll get some more idea's or somebody might have a better way of doing this. I've already put the schematics together and the specs for making the box on power point because I'm so bored out here.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2009, 02:03 AM
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Sounds like you will be having some fun when you get home! (You haven't forgotten about girls have you? ) These projects will make great "how-to" pictorials. Take pics as you go.

I will be watching and waiting.

Oh yeah and welcome home early!
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:59 AM
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Well, as far as the "girl" subject goes, I don't think there's a word in the dictionary that describes what's gonna happen to the wife when I get back!!
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:04 AM
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You may look into the F650 dash mod. Raul sells them. there are lots of different ways to put switches there.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:30 PM
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What exactly do you mean by the 'shelf'?

And exactly which Summit switch panel?
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:26 PM
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Pace Edwards Shelf-It Overhead Storage at Truck Parts Pro Shop

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Old 09-10-2009, 05:53 AM
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Has anyone who is really tall tried one of these? As is is, with my seat lowered, my line of vision is near the top of the windshield. (I have to hunch down to see past my rear view mirror) I can't drive most cars, a truck is the only comfortable vehicle for me. This shelf looks like a great idea, but it looks like it obstructs the top part of the windshield.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:58 AM
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im 5'9 and its just ok for me.... I think anyone taller may have issues with it. Im willing to sacrifice the height for the added storage space personally. May not be everybody's cup of tea.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:20 AM
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Thanks, sounds like I'd better stay away. Storage isn't too much of a problem with my crew cab, but I do have a lot of gadgets, in fact I am a gadget-holic.
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