Cruisers Forum

Main Forum => Tips and Tricks => Topic started by: Pax on December 13, 2016, 11:49:19 am

Title: E450 Custom Upper Dash Panel
Post by: Pax on December 13, 2016, 11:49:19 am
E450 Custom Upper Dash Panel

Found an interesting project on an interesting site.  This guy replaced the little storage bin and coin holder in the upper dash area with a custom panel which better suited his needs.  I'll probably take a deeper look into this after the holidays to better organize the dash area.  Right now I do have my secondary braking system remote light installed in the coin holder.  I can see moving this light to a custom panel, along with lightweight holders for my Scangage and TPMS, and possibly a couple of USB charging connectors.  No, I don't know what Front Panel Express (as mentioned in the article) charges for a small custom panel, but I do know that I wouldn't want to install one that I actually made myself for a few bucks.  :lol  In any case, with limited space for 'stuff' this little storage bin looks like an opportunity.

Here is the link:  http://rv-project.com/projects/upperdash.php

     - Mike
Title: Re: E450 Custom Upper Dash Panel
Post by: Ron Dittmer on December 13, 2016, 01:43:14 pm
Interesting, thanks for sharing!  Doing a quick search, I found the 3 pods for sale on Ebay HERE (http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-1A-Dual-12V-USB-Charger-Voltmeter-Triple-Socket-Power-Outlet-Marine-Plug-Jack-/172154049934?hash=item28152e558e:g:Y-0AAOSw3mpXKDLo) for less than $15.  But it lacks the right escutcheon plate.

Of the same family of products, I purchased a 2 pod panel from Ebay HERE (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-USB-Car-Cigarette-Lighter-Socket-Splitter-12V-Charger-Power-Adapter-Outlet/111834722411?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D38530%26meid%3D7a04f4469d654afd81ffc18caf9580d1%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D111834722411) for less than $9 and used the outlets as shown on my older E350 interior design, installing them into the front of our center console.  Power to them is seen as the short length of vertical gray cable below the radio.  I have a connector in back so a mechanic can unplug and remove the center console.

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/762/22047323699_d158cc6e33_z.jpg)


Our older console design has a problem with the 12V outlets placed just to the right of the gear shift lever.  The power cords we plugged into them, stuck out so much that they badly interfered with shifting gears up & down while driving in the mountains & canyons.  Also, the power cords laid across the center console to the passenger seat which was messy and interfered when using the cup holders.

The two new outlets (one 12V & dual USB) resolved all that.  Electronics getting charged are placed in the lower bin so the cords to them don't interfere with anything, and the cords to the passenger stay off the center console.  This has worked out exceptionally well for us.  Now the original 2 outlets by the shift lever don't get used at all which is great for the driver.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5818/21613151283_1e03831732_z.jpg)
Title: Re: E450 Custom Upper Dash Panel
Post by: jatrax on December 18, 2016, 06:47:21 pm
Mike, thanks for posting this.  I came across it a while back and intended to mark it for reference but didn't.  Looks like a great project that I intend to add to my rig.  Thinking about adding a Scangauge to the line up if it will fit.

- John