Defender Dash Console - For Sale - $250 - American Full Metal Jacket - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 29th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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Defender Dash Console - For Sale - $250 - American Full Metal Jacket

After a good solid year of design/redesign and testing I have built a semi custom dash board console with 3 service panels inwhich you call the shots on the placement, location, and size of holes you need for your switches, gauges or instruments. (i.e. ARB, Land Rover, toggle switches etc.). The unit is only 8” wide to allow maximum air flow into the truck from the front bulkhead vents. Other dash consoles on the market are so wide they block most of the free air flow into the truck. My all aluminum design requires NO Drilling and NO cutting to install - it uses factory holes as the hard points for the installation. It is available with a standard head or a low profile head (it stands only 3” above the dash). If you ever decide to remove the unit from your truck you will never know it was there. The panels are held in place with rivetnuts/machine screws. (I am using allen socket head screws on the current unit – but I can source stainless steel Phillips heads as well). The great feature of my design is that if you have to service a switch, gauge or instrument you don’t have to dismantle the unit – you just remove the panel, fix the problem and replace the panel. My design also provides scalable function – you buy a new style switch or gauge - you simple order a new and inexpensive replacement panel built to the design specs of your new hardware. (You don’t have to replace this unit if you upgrade your switches). I also can provide some very sweet stainless steel bolt lights that illuminate the front of the panels. ($20. ea) You probably won’t need them if you are using illuminated switches. I like the low light output to illuminate my retro toggle switches. – I have my console lights wired in to my running lights. This unit is available in any color you want – as long as you want black.



I also designed a matching 2 gauge console that I installed over my rear view mirror. It is available for $50. (I installed a VDO outside tempterature gauge and VDO clock in this unit)



I know most D90 drivers like to conform to the faux “factory look” that is the standard catch phrase used by maufacturers to sell their concepts – So my products aren’t going to appeal to them in the slightest – my target market is those individuals who want American engineering plus, lifetime durability and function from their American dollar!
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  #2  
Old March 29th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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What make of compass is that in the main unit Len?
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Old March 29th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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compass

This is a Ritchey 3" Powerboat compass - can be full compensated for magnetic deviations in the dash board. I use my GPS out in the bush - but you should never travel into places like Death Valley without a conventional compass!
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  #4  
Old March 29th, 2007, 12:07 PM
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I have a Tom Tom with John Cleese's voice. Makes me crack up! You're right, having a conventional compass as a back-up is important to me too. I like your set up, so that's probably the way I'll go with my own. Just need to factor in the rest of my guage/switch needs.
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  #5  
Old March 29th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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I considered the same thing

It turns out the lower dash tray is already designed to accept two gauges. Here is a pic of two gages I installed inplace of my lighter, clock and emergency flasher. I just relocated the flasher to the back of the tray - I orignially diconnected the flasher switch and tucked the harness for it away - guess what - you need the flasher switch connected to the harness operate your turn signals!
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  #6  
Old March 29th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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I guess I should provide some background regarding the design focus I chose when I designed my dash console. First, it was not my intension to design something different for the sake of being different. My design augments existing capabilities the NAS D90 already has. One of the current off the shelf Defender Dash console products flat out removes locations for gauges that the factory has already engineered, designed, built and sold to you. The other console product just covers them up and lets you relocate those gauge mounting assets on their product. My unit augments many years of good Land Rover engineering design and function – it doesn’t cut them out or cover them up.
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  #7  
Old March 29th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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Could you supply your Seat Risers painted black Len?

If so I want a set. I want them to blend in with the existing frame etc.

Cheerz,

Neil
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  #8  
Old March 29th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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No Problem.

What level of rise did you want. They are availble in a 1" rise, 1.5" and 2". I can also supply the 1.5" and 2" rise units with a 1.5" rear ward offset. You can order them mixed rise height or offset. In my truck I have a 1.5" rise and rearward offset on my passenger side. The driver side just has a straight 2" rise. The rear offset on the passeger side gives my passenger more calf room due to the lower AC unit consuming leg space. I did not need it on the driver side. To paint them will be a $10 upcharge for both sets (passenger and driver). If you want - I can go to a local fabricator who has offered to powdercoat my stuff and get a quote for the risers.

Len
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  #9  
Old March 29th, 2007, 09:27 PM
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I've got Len's risers too - they're great.

I've got the 1" risers, but I tried the 2 inchers first. I'm 5'10" and the extra height with 2" ones was too much, it became uncomfortable to push the clutch. Len never had that problem since he doesnt have a clutch.
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  #10  
Old March 29th, 2007, 10:05 PM
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Thanks for that Jim. I'm just under 6'1", so it sounds like the 1" risers would work best for me.

Len, what is the maximum additional travel back for the 1" riser height? My wife is 5'1" tall, so a 2" riser will work good for her I expect. Same travel back would be good too.

Yes, if you get a price for powder coating them and subject to the additional cost, this or you simply painting them for me using your usual excellent methods will work for me.

Can you please quote me a price to my address, remembering to recoup the $2.00 you undercharged me for the wonderful Universal Dash Mount.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
I've got Len's risers too - they're great.

I've got the 1" risers, but I tried the 2 inchers first. I'm 5'10" and the extra height with 2" ones was too much, it became uncomfortable to push the clutch. Len never had that problem since he doesnt have a clutch.
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  #11  
Old March 30th, 2007, 12:43 AM
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The rear ward offset is not available on the 1" risers - there isn't enough material (metal tubing) to get past the seat box/ tub joint. I can only offer the rear ward offset on the 1.5" and 2" risers. You can have 1.5" rear ward offset on either of those riser heights. I will check with my powder coater tomorrow. He is a 1 man shop (but very highend fabricator who powdercoats his own stuff) so I am not sure what his price will be - I'll call or see him tomorrow. I don't usually offer powder coating because it drives the cost of the product up.
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  #12  
Old March 30th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Understood Len.

1.5" sounds good but I'll get the missus to do an eyeball of my head height to make sure it's not going to restrict me too much. Your painting them will work for me, but it'll do no harm to check the cost of powdercoating. PM or email me with a total and I'll send you a Money Order.

Cheerz,

Neil

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenB
The rear ward offset is not available on the 1" risers - there isn't enough material (metal tubing) to get past the seat box/ tub joint. I can only offer the rear ward offset on the 1.5" and 2" risers. You can have 1.5" rear ward offset on either of those riser heights. I will check with my powder coater tomorrow. He is a 1 man shop (but very highend fabricator who powdercoats his own stuff) so I am not sure what his price will be - I'll call or see him tomorrow. I don't usually offer powder coating because it drives the cost of the product up.
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  #13  
Old March 31st, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Len I applaud you for your efforts.

But that stuff is over sized and looks like kit airplane stuff.

I'd like to be able to afford to buy you some vacuum forming equipment and see what you could do with it to make some different style stuff. You obviously have an interest and have put in the time to make this work. If you have some fancy equipment to work with I for-see some potential.

The mud stuff console is closer to what I think people would prefer.

Once again I applaud you for your efforts. I may come off as a hardass sometimes here but the point of my response here is not to ridicule or flame you. But if the emperor is naked I'll tell him.

JP
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  #14  
Old April 1st, 2007, 02:30 AM
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Hey, if I can dish it out - I can certainly take it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pendy
Len I applaud you for your efforts.

But that stuff is over sized and looks like kit airplane stuff.

I'd like to be able to afford to buy you some vacuum forming equipment and see what you could do with it to make some different style stuff. You obviously have an interest and have put in the time to make this work. If you have some fancy equipment to work with I for-see some potential.

The mud stuff console is closer to what I think people would prefer.

Once again I applaud you for your efforts. I may come off as a hardass sometimes here but the point of my response here is not to ridicule or flame you. But if the emperor is naked I'll tell him.

JP
Absolutely no offense is taken - I appreciate your complements and the input -But In actuall cubic inches my unit has a smaller volume. Take a look at the one pic that shows most of the dash area of my truck - your perception that my stuff is oversized may be the perspective of my other images. I want viewers to see the details of the product so the images are rather close up. My unit is narrower (8" wide), (the CB is 7.75" wide) less deep,(1.5" overhange off the front of the lower dash tray) and just a bit taller than MUDs. If you take a look at the MUD unit and the new MUD POT stuff and run some numbers - you see my unit is still smaller than theirs - and yes my stuff looks like air plane stuff for a reason: instrument servicability - it is an important feature on any craft - land, air or sea. ( My dash console design was inspired by U2 and SR 71 cockpits) And as you say, I fully agree - most people like dimpled, rounded plastic surfaces! So my items will never sell to a mass market.

I think if I had some vacume fabrication gear - my hardware could be mass produced of course, ( I could then make some obscene profits by heating up a little plastic and runing it through some forming equipment.) - but the end result ...well it would pretty much look the same as my aluminum stuff! The problem with plastic stuff is that once it has fully outgassed it's elasticity is gone! Take for instance the plastic door panels on D90s - they are all about 13 to 10 years old now - I have not see one that doesn't suffer from some type for cracking or structural decay - it is not due to poor design or misuse - but rather the life of the plastics in the product are over. Which is why everything I have designed and built is either stainlees steel or in the case of the dash console - aluminum. I chose to replace my plastic stuff now rather than later ... I am not trying to be a flamer either but give me a call in 5 years or sooner- You will probaly find someone fabing door panels of fiberglass or carbon fiber- Just like the '97 center consoles that are being made today. I can can't imagine what patroleum based products are going to cost in 5 years.
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Old April 1st, 2007, 07:18 AM
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I am also interested in the seat risers but need more rearward seat travel than height. Since I am wide as well as tall and have a SW, my real interest would be in gaining some space between my left shoulder and the driver's door. Is there any way to offset the risers so the seat is moved closer to the console? I know there's not much room there either but maybe you could accommodate that with a narrower version of the console you offer.

Either way, I'm interested in a set of the risers for each seat with the most rearward travel and the least height and one of those ashtray mounts. I would also like them black but would probably get out the flat black Rustoleum myself. Any problem with that painting idea?
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Old April 1st, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Flexible design features when working with metal

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryBaxter
I am also interested in the seat risers but need more rearward seat travel than height. Since I am wide as well as tall and have a SW, my real interest would be in gaining some space between my left shoulder and the driver's door. Is there any way to offset the risers so the seat is moved closer to the console? I know there's not much room there either but maybe you could accommodate that with a narrower version of the console you offer.

Either way, I'm interested in a set of the risers for each seat with the most rearward travel and the least height and one of those ashtray mounts. I would also like them black but would probably get out the flat black Rustoleum myself. Any problem with that painting idea?

Hi Gary,

Both of your issues can be easily resolved. 1st - I can take the 1" x 2" stainless steel tube rotate it 90º so now we have a 1" rise but a full 1" option for lateral movement (in this case - 1" closer to the center console). The only problem there will be no option for reward offset unless we went to a 2" x 2" steel tube which is no problem. Rearward offset will be limited to 1.5" due to the seat hardware hitting the rollcage hardware. A seat with 2" rearward offset hits the SW"B" pillar supports. If your machine is a ST I can do 2" rearward. ( just realized --- if we move your seat rails laterally - (1") the seat will not hit the roll SW cage - there is plenty of room with etiher truck).

The second issue is to make the center console narrower. Mine is already 1" narrower than the '97 factory unit. (1/2" off of each side) I could probably take another 2" off the width. Let me pull my rear access cover on my unit today and double check exactly where the shifter cable drops into the seat box. That is a"hard point" or limitation on the width of the unit. It will be the same height, just narrower. Also I am going to get a quote this week for a hardend cubby box for my console. There a other who have expressed interest in my unit if I had a locable cubby. Another local fabricator is going to give me a bid on a stout, lockable box for my center console. The one that is currently being iuse is a simple, but useful SS paper towel dispenser I modified to serve as a cubby box. it is 22 gauge steel - too flimsy to be locked. One good kick and the top would spring open. So I didn't even install a lock on it.

As far a painting with rustoleum - that is great - just prepare the metal (sand then metal etch with a product like Jasco) - then spray sucessive thin coats - I use an IR heater to set the paint and make it dry faster. (it results in a tough finish that can be easily repainted if necessary).

Get back with me on what direction you would like to go.

Len

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erimus 1
Understood Len.

1.5" sounds good but I'll get the missus to do an eyeball of my head height to make sure it's not going to restrict me too much. Your painting them will work for me, but it'll do no harm to check the cost of powdercoating. PM or email me with a total and I'll send you a Money Order.

Cheerz,

Neil
Hi Neil,

I got the estimate for the powder coating - it will be $40 for both sets of seat rails. It will be a durable finish. But I painted my first set of seat rails black -they were mild steel rather than SS and had to be painted. They looked fine even after a couple years use. If the get buggered up you can simple just repaint them.

Let me know what direction you would like to go - then I'll get back to you with the full rundown and costs.

Thanks

Len
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  #17  
Old April 1st, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Thanks Len.

I'm more than happy to stick with you painting them for me rather than go to the trouble of powdercoating them, if that's ok with you of course. 1.5' risers my side and 2" for the Wife.

Email me the total and I'll send you an MO.

Cheerz,

Neil
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  #18  
Old April 1st, 2007, 01:18 PM
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Len- Do you get things powder coated locally? If so, where?
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Old April 1st, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldscratchggf
Len- Do you get things powder coated locally? If so, where?
Hi,

A local one, man Fabrication business - "Fabrications Unlimited"- Rob Gross - 408 946.3227 - cell 408 202.0349 www.fabricationsunlimited.com

He does good work- both fab and powder coating. I have not had him power coat anything for me yet, but I have seen his work. I have had him provide bids for some specific items like - providing the initial sheared SS for my door panels

Last time I was over at his shop he was building a custom "sand rail" - about a 150K truck (he builds them from the ground up).

Later.. Len
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