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New Ideas Have a new idea for your Ford Ranger? General discussion of new ideas for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2005
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aux panel switches

this is still in the making process, but i spotted a switch panel on ebay that had switches in it, and i thought to myself, why couldn't i build one myself, and save money?


well here is my creation, only thing is its not done yet. still have to get another switch, and some paint to paint it. i don't wanna hear about how the switch is crooked, i fixed that already........... it fits over that usless little pocket under your radio if you have an aftermarket kitit measures 6 3/8 by1 3/8's






i think the most expensive part on this thing was the switches
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2005
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Mmm, I'm still trying to find a nice set w/ blue LEDs like Neil has..

But where are you planning to mount that?
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Old 01-27-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
But where are you planning to mount that?

"it fits over that usless little pocket under your radio if you have an aftermarket kitit measures 6 3/8 by1 3/8's"

Looks good man. lights up green i believe? same hue as the factory headunit? if so that'd be slick! look like it was meant to be there =P
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Old 01-27-2005
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Duuuuh! ... Somday I really do have to learn to READ!
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2005
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lol. we all do it man
isn't it a pain in the *** when u typo while commenting on a reading/spelling mistake?




(and yes. i just read that sentence 3x to make sure i didn't typo...)
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Old 01-28-2005
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updated pics............ i got some black plastic paint, and its starting to come along nicely...........

the paint is american tradition plastic paint, got it at Lowe's




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Old 01-28-2005
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lookin good man

but whats allt he switches gonna be used for?
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2005
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i think im going to do this, i have the space for it above the radio. how do you plan on getting it to stay there?mounting options? i need to get some lights anyways.

Andrew
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2005
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My b/f and I made a switch panel out of a piece of scrap aluminum. It's bent so we could attach it inside my center console with a couple of screws.

Looks good!
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Old 01-28-2005
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Yes, punkin, your setup looks quite good. If memory serves yours sits in an unused ash tray?! Very cool. So far the most creative spot I can come up w/ in our later model trucks is the little cubby-hole next to the passenger side airbag disable keylock. Near the head unit is too high on the dash for my tastes..
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Old 01-28-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Yes, punkin, your setup looks quite good. If memory serves yours sits in an unused ash tray?!
Actually, in the older consoles there was a coin holder with a piano-style cover. We cut out the coin holder and attached the aluminum piece.... we bent it with the mounting holes in the top, and the switches on a flat lower surface. I tried to do a little picture on here but it came out all garbled. When you roll the cover down, you'd never know there was a bunch of switches there.




Sorry it's a crappy picture...

I don't know if any of the newer models have anything similar to that? I've seen a few pics of newer Rangers with the switches installed right into the stock panels... like near the a/c, foglamp, etc switches (don't know exactly how to describe it as it's different than my truck). Looked really clean, like it was factory.
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2005
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Ah, I thought that was an ash-tray. Now I see the real tray in front of your shifter in the second photo. I missed that the first time.

Newer bucket seated trucks don't have anything like that. Our consoles are similar to yours, but where your coin holder/switch pannel is I have a second cup holder.

I too have seen the switches on the dash. The best implementation I've seen so far is to nab a bezel from an explorer which has two switches on it, one for the fogs and one for the rear defrost. You can then replace the defrost switch w/ a second fog switch for accessory lamps. Unfortunately most explorers that had the rear-defrost seemed to have been 4x4 XLTs, which have the 4x4 selector on the bezel too. That means it won't work for those of us w/ the manual t-case. Also I don't like the unused control for the rear wiper you get w/ the explorer bezel..

I still think your setup is pretty trick!

Truth be told I can't stand the arm-rest/consoles in our trucks. I think they were designed by a moron. I know I'm not a small guy or anything, but any leaning on that arm-rest will result in it breaking because there is so much overhang. I thought it was a goof on the ~'00 through '03 models (Neils '04 has a different console). I didn't realize the older trucks had this too! Shame on Ford for not fixing this years ago..
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Old 01-28-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TippnOver
lookin good man

but whats allt he switches gonna be used for?
i have an aftermarket switch in the pocket for my driving lights, i was gonna take that out, and use switch #1 for thoes, the second switch will be used for my lights on my safari bar when i get it, and the 3rd one is for turning my amp on and off

Quote:
Originally Posted by redranger4.0
i think im going to do this, i have the space for it above the radio. how do you plan on getting it to stay there?mounting options? i need to get some lights anyways.

Andrew

superglue! i'm gonna cut the pocket out so i wont need to take it off to access the switches
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2005
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finally installed

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  #15  
Old 01-31-2005
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Nice job at fitting that panel into useable space on the dash
why did you go with different switch colors?
I have had to paint over my dash pannel (A/C cut out) mounted LED switch because it was too bright
I bought some blue nail polish and put on 3 coats, dotted right on the LED
tried black magic marker but the coating was not thick enough
I might go and do the other 5 switchs on the side of my console
they do not shine back at me (the A/C switch was like a spot light on my girlfriends chest-not totally a bad thing ) but they are marginally too bright at night

Last edited by LILBLUE04FX4L2; 01-31-2005 at 09:05 PM.
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
The best implementation I've seen so far is to nab a bezel from an explorer which has two switches on it, one for the fogs and one for the rear defrost. You can then replace the defrost switch w/ a second fog switch for accessory lamps. Unfortunately most explorers that had the rear-defrost seemed to have been 4x4 XLTs, which have the 4x4 selector on the bezel too. That means it won't work for those of us w/ the manual t-case. Also I don't like the unused control for the rear wiper you get w/ the explorer bezel..
You don't need to find a matching Explorer bezel, Colin. Just cut another hole in your Level II bezel for the second fog lamp switch. Like this:

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Old 01-31-2005
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Bob, well done! I've seen that done before too, but never as well. Usually the result is a somewhat more jaggie cut w/ very rough edges. How'd you round out the edges so well? Does it look as good close up?

I seriously like that!
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Old 01-31-2005
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damn, i might have to change the blue one to green, its too bright, and the light reflects into the windshield


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  #19  
Old 01-31-2005
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Dremel probably, and a smooth hand...

I could easily do a smooth cut. Making sure it's level and in line with the other hole, that's the problem...
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Old 01-31-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Bob, well done! I've seen that done before too, but never as well. Usually the result is a somewhat more jaggie cut w/ very rough edges. How'd you round out the edges so well? Does it look as good close up?

I seriously like that!
Thanks, Colin. The Ranger bezel uses the same double switch bracket on the inside that the Explorer does. I just laid out on the inside of the bezel where I thought the switch would line up and drilled a 1/4" hole in the center of that area. Using the switch as a guide, I slowly opened up the hole till it matched the switch, then radiused the edge like the other one. I used a dremel, then files and sandpaper. Then I shot it with Ford interior paint from a rattle can. It came out better than expected.
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Old 01-31-2005
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That is an AH-SUM job fabricating that 2nd switch rwenzing...
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2005
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I love the mods, I wish I was talented enough to do something like that....lol

Brenton
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2005
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The paint must be the secret.. That and you've no doubt got some patience and a delecate hand. Where did you find Ford 'Interior paint', a (st)dealer? Is it the same as the original silver color? On second glance the bezel looks much more white than the original silver our trucks had off the lot. Is it just the photo, or did the paint come out slightly different? I imagine you hit the whole bezel while you were painting, not just the area around the switch cutout, right?
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
The paint must be the secret.. That and you've no doubt got some patience and a delecate hand. Where did you find Ford 'Interior paint', a (st)dealer? Is it the same as the original silver color? On second glance the bezel looks much more white than the original silver our trucks had off the lot. Is it just the photo, or did the paint come out slightly different? I imagine you hit the whole bezel while you were painting, not just the area around the switch cutout, right?
The flash washed it out and made it appear much more white that the actual gray. It is a different color from the original silver because, at the time, I was matching it to my gray overhead console which I have since painted black. Besides, no one that I talked to was able to find the correct original color code for the LII radio bezel.

The paint used to be a dealer stockable item but that has changed in the last few months. According to the local parts guy, you place your order at the dealer and they drop ship it directly to you from the paint company. I found mine at a dealer that had a leftover can in stock, though. It is absurdly expensive for a spray can ($13) BUT the paint is exactly the right color and sheen to match a stock interior if that is what you're looking for.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2005
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I'll have to look around the interior. Maybe I can make do w/ another shade of silver in an aftermarket brand from the local autoparts store instead. Save me a few bucks. If it isn't going to match the original, I might as well go w/ a whole different color anyway, presuming there isn't much else in the interior that is that color anyway-and I don't think there is. I hear people having good luck w/ that Kraylon (sp?) stuff on plastic. ... But, gotta find another switch first! This'll definitely be a worthy little spring project though. ..And an excuse to buy a Dremel! Mmm, power tools!

Good tips, thanks again!
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