Centre console

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Centre console

Post  MGs on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:11 am

Anyone got any experience of fitting a centre console? Looking at the ready made mini consoles, it would appear that they would not
fit the Elf, due to the heater unit being lower. The same would be true of the templates available to make your own. Before I start
work on adapting one of the templates, I thought I would see if anyone else had attempted it.
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Re: Centre console

Post  discoman41 on Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:38 am

If you're gonna do it, it's easier to swap the heater unit with a later Mini heater, then the ready made consoles fit lovely and you can even get them in a wood effect finish. In my opinion, (and it is only my opinion) Elf's and Hornets don't look right with a centre console, so you may as well ditch the original heater.

Jase
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Re: Centre console

Post  MGs on Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:07 pm

Hmmm, I'm torn. However, the car belongs to my daughter, who wants an accessible stereo.
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Re: Centre console

Post  Zef on Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:05 pm

Why not fit it behind the dashboard door on the drivers side. It should be accessible and has the added advantage of being hidden when not needed. Just a thought. :-)
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Re: Centre console

Post  MGs on Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:42 pm

Just made a cardboard mock up to try it out. The console is a non starter, because of the blower switch being so low on the heater box. I could fit in the stereo but it wouldn't look too pleasing. I can now see why the stereo bracket is under the dashboard on the passenger side. Looks like a straight replacement. Keeps the footwells nice and clear and gives a nice view of the new carpets
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Re: Centre console

Post  Red Riley on Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:05 am

I made one similar to the Mini Special type that fit just under the heater. It worked well, save that my foot was right up against it when using the clutch. It came out when I did the VTEC swap. I'll try to find it in the shed and snap a picture.

Okay, this is what I came up with.






Very simple design as you can see. I made it with a 1/2 plywood on the front panel and the back brace, and 3/16 or 1/4 inch on the top and sides, then just wrapped some vinyl over it. The head unit went in at an angle in the upper opening and the lower opening had a plastic cubby hole box that came with the installation kit but has since gone missing. It fit snugly enough between the floor and the heater that I didn't even bother with fastening it in. Served the purpose at minimum expense.


Last edited by Red Riley on Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:07 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Because I wanted to, okay?)

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Re: Centre console

Post  bmcelf on Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:35 am

I would like to see what you made so post the picture when you can.

Jim
ps: Hope you still have that front waist finisher trim in the shed.
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Re: Centre console

Post  superworm on Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:53 pm

Here is a piccy of mine:::



It is nominally made of 5/16 plywood with 3/4 inch cross bars - the whole issue is covered in vinyl to match the top and bottom dash rails. The radio/speaker panel is veneered and varnished and the switch panel is a piece of ally sheet also covered in vinyl. The haeter controls are a "cut & shut" job made from an Austin/Morris 1100 heater controls which a) operate the heater/demister flap, and b) operate the heater tap .cable.

The bottom part is a separate piece which surrounds the gearlever (converted from "pudding stirrer" to Cooper/S) and is about 3" tall and extends to the bulkhead. The upper part "keys" onto this so it doesn't flop around. The upper part has two little brackets which connect to bolts (actually "screws" to give them their correct description) which protude through the bolt holes for the original little switch panel. The Ally plate switch panel and radio panel is held onto the upper console using csk woodscrews into csk washers - all painted satin black.

I can post more piccies when the weather turns warmer !!!!

Cheers
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Thanks

Post  MGs on Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:56 pm

Thanks for the pics. Couldn't use either, I don't think. Not sure if it is normal but the heater has a toggle switch
on the under side, which works the fan. So you need access to the under side of the heater to switch it on and off. RedRiley's looks
like an option but not sure about the clearance under the heater
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Re: Centre console

Post  Red Riley on Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:37 pm

MGs wrote:Thanks for the pics. Couldn't use either, I don't think. Not sure if it is normal but the heater has a toggle switch
on the under side, which works the fan. So you need access to the under side of the heater to switch it on and off. RedRiley's looks
like an option but not sure about the clearance under the heater
Mine (had) the toggle switch as well, and it just cleared the slanted front panel of the console.

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Re: Centre console

Post  MGs on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:20 am

OK, may have a re think then
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Re: Centre console

Post  asahartz on Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:43 pm

I'm of the thinking that centre consoles don't work well in Minis/Elf/Hornets etc as they restrict the footwell space. I settled for putting the stereo under the passenger dash in my Elf; it's not a solution I like but it's not too bad. Perhaps you could find a stereo with a remote control?

It's less of an issue with Minis as there is room above the dash rail. But I have wondered for some time why nobody makes a car stereo in any shape other than a standard DIN box these days, you can't even find shorter ones. Where there's a CD deck then obviously the size is predetermined to an extent, but there are stereos available with just radio and USB + iPod input - I can see no reason why they couldn't be made as little as an inch deep, and they would be so much easier to fit for us classic owners (even my '80s VW camper won't take a full-size unit in the dash without it sticking out 1/2 inch so that you bash it with the gearlever going into 3rd...) I never use CDs these days anyway, everything is ripped to mp3 for me.
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Re: Centre console

Post  MGs on Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:05 pm

asa

I've gone down the same route as you and purchased an under dash mounting from a mini. We had one in a Mayfair
some time ago, not ideal, but workable.
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Re: Centre console

Post  Red Riley on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:34 am

My head unit is mounted in a custom "dash" under the rear seat along with two speakers. I use a remote to control it. It's a bit of a pain but once you learn to use the remote while pointing it behind you at the head unit, it's functional.
I'll be using this unit next time.
Secret Audio

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Re: Centre console

Post  asahartz on Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:09 am

I like the look of that. I'd like it more if it had a USB input, but I can do that with a radio microtransmitter.
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Re: Centre console

Post  bmcelf on Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:03 am

I just bought this Radio to install in my Elf. Probably under the back seat like Red Riley.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002J9GHHU/ref=oss_product

It has USB and Aux inputs plus a SD card. No CD but it comes with speakers. At $65 with free US shipping it is worth a try.
My car came with an aerial mounted on the rear wing.

I will see how it works when I get it in.

Jim
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Re: Centre console

Post  asahartz on Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:47 pm

Marine! I never thought of marine. The head units are still the same size, but with wired remotes... most of the remotes for car audio are too easily lost and/or too complex to use on the move, but this Kenwood looks just the ticket. Not cheap, being marine spec, but I guess it will last forever! About £75 for the remote, and £140 for the KMR-440U head unit.
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Re: Centre console

Post  TONYELF on Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:53 pm

I can't understand why anyone in the middle of this country wants to listen to shipping forecasts Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Shocked Surprised

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Re: Centre console

Post  MGs on Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:12 pm

Stereo mount
Went down this route in the end. Easy to fit and no problem with the heater or pedals.
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Re: Centre console

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