Search This Blog

Thursday 2 February 2017

Switch panel

Adding a couple of switches to Fender for the heated seats has proved considerably more difficult than expected. I've ended up having to make a mounting panel for them.

My first thoughts to place the switches was on the cubby box but I don't like the idea of cutting in to the fabric covering so my next choice was going to be in the space on the dash between where the rear wiper switch was and where the lighter socket is.

After several hours trying to find a cable route, I gave up on that idea. The switches will have to go near the cubby box.

The panel I have made is intended to fit between the cubby box and the centre diff lock lever. It will be secured using the two screws I have fitted to mount the cubby box.

With the switches near the cubby box I only need two wires from the fuse box. These can easily be hidden under the rubber matting of the transmission tunnel.

For a car that has no mod-cons and a very sparse dashboard, running cables is a pain. I could not even get a cable from the radio housing down the 4 inches or so to the fuse box! The only solution for running cables, neatly behind the dash, looks to be to remove all of the dash panels.

I've spoken to others and they have said the same. Allow about a day to remove and put back the dash! I'm sure it would be quicker the second and subsequent times but I have no desire to do that at this stage.

The panel I designed is deliberately at an angle from under the cubby box to just in front of the rubber surround for the gear levers. The switches have to be positioned low enough to give clearance for the cables behind. Mine are centred 30mm from the bottom edge.

Adhesion aid

30mm between screw hole centres
I bent the front panel at 80mm from the lower edge. The rear needed to be over 70mm to reach the cubby box screw holes. My bit of aluminium was only about 20mm oversize so I just left the excess, it saved a cut.


Gloss black top coat

Design the end caps

Print the end caps

Just short of 3 hours to print

The panel is made from 2mm thick aluminium sheet with holes cut for the switches. To close the ends I've 3D printed some end caps.

The shape of the end caps leaves some space for the curve of the carpet that will be deliberately trapped behind.


Fitted to the car 5 Feb. 2017:


End Cap Blend file
End Cap STL file
Licence attribution

My designs on

No comments :