Just completed the Exploder Overhead Console (OHC) mod to my 2005 Ford Ranger FX4. I had some difficultly getting the console to fit the contour of the headliner and had to do some trial and error cutting and fitting to make it fit properly. In addition to that, I also could not find any reference on how to properly locate the mounting bracket and in none of the other threads on this site or other Ranger sites was it mentioned to cut the hole for the bracket center tab.
So to make life a little simpler for future installers of this mod, I went to a local salvage yard and took a couple of pictures of the mounting holes in a 1999 Ford Exploder. In addition to the pictures, I made a rub off tracing of the mounting holes on a piece of paper.
I took the paper and darkened the cutouts and labeled the edge that contacts the roof center support. Now you just center the template on the windshield header (measuring from each side of the roof structure) and transfer the hole pattern for the cutouts and the mounting holes.
Here is the location of the PDF file of the template.
Thanks 04blackedge for placing this on your server.
This first photo is of the Exploder OHC mounting bracket installed in the vehicle. Notice the center mounting tab of the bracket.
This photo is the Exploder OHC mounting holes that must be transferred to the Ranger Windshield header. The round holes on the bracket centerline are not required since the wiring is different between the 2 vehicles.
This photo is a close up of the Exploder mounting locations.
If you notice in the second and third pictures, the slotted cutouts for the mounting tabs are located on the windshield header as it curves under toward the windshield. I located the paper template so that the cutouts look similar to the picture and then scooted the paper up the windshield header until it hit the roof center support bar. I transferred the pattern and cut the 3 holes. I also used the pattern to mark the 2 screw holes that hold the bracket to the windshield header.
Now you can install the tab on the mounting bracket into the center slot and the OHC will now be supported just like Ford did on the Exploder. Once the bracket was installed, I installed the headliner and used an exacto knife to trim the remaining headliner to clear.
When the bracket is installed per this template in my truck, the zee portion of the mounting bracket was about 3/8" down from the roof center support bar. On an Exploder, the bracket nests into the upper angle of the windshield header at the roof which leads me to believe that the Ranger has a slightly thicker windshield header.
I hope this will help some of you who are considering this mod and any of you who may want to revisit your mod to add the center slot for the mounting bracket tab if your original mod needs additional stability.
Let me know if you have any questions or need clarifications.