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May 08 ROTM
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7,192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, this is not for a mustang but can be applied to most any switch plate build where one would want it back lit.

I know first hand most of you don't want to roll around with a hacked up center console, so take my creativity and apply it as you see fit.

This was done in my recently purchased 05 GMC Denali-

The plan - I migrated to my Avic Z3 I had from my Avalanche which rendered the changer useless. My last Denali I put a 10" screen there, but it's not necessary with the Avic on board. Changer location was the perfect spot so that's what I went with.

I started off with a 1/4" thick piece of plexi glass and took my measurements. Cut it to size on my table saw and ended up with this (light blue protective coating left in place throughout my cutting processes):



Next I had to decide just how many accessories I wanted to run off this panel. I decided on 5 potential items and went with that, chose 1" led confirmed on switches and plunged my holes on the drill press:



Test fit:



The next few shots are as I progressed to finishing cosmetically, but I'll have to explain because I didn't stop to take pics at every step. I chose plexi glass because you can back light it, pure and simple. Problem is getting a finish that looks decent in your dash. I elected to speak with a vinyl shop I routinely do business with and see if they could drum up a flat black overlay for the panel and cut out wording so it would light as desired. We had to get creative because vinyl cutting is limited when doing text as to sizing. It simply can't do tiny intricate work. So abbreviatations and positioning was an issue. Switches from left to right are - Strobe lamp, Pattern change, Ambient lighting, and then two auxillary for some items I have to get pieces for yet. Here's the results of our abbreviations to the above:



On to the wiring plan. All my accessories are running with relays in line, so my switch panel isn't carrying any load. This makes for a cleaner wiring job at the panel in that you can daisy chain your positive and negative at the panel and carry your hot outbound accessory wire quite simply to the panel.

I also pocket drilled the led holes on the drill press, and used hot glue to secure them in their locations. Not easily seen in the pic, I scuffed the back side to frost it so that the leds would light better through the cut out areas:



That's it for that. To secure it to my console panel I used dabs of JB weld in several locations. I did so because engaging the switches requires some pressure, epoxy may give way. JB weld will not. I don't have any shots of this yet, but may get some up later. End result once cured was this:





I should have some installed and lit pics sometime over the weekend. Turned out fairly well. I'm not 100% in love with the abbreviations and text size. Might entertain making another and getting with an engraver to allow smaller font and whole wording. Not sure yet.

So there you have it, looks clean, goes good with the interior. Additionally with a dremel you can cut the JB weld and put it back to stock in short time if necessary or you change plans.
 

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Not a Rational Car Guy
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38,186 Posts
That is sweet :rockon

Nice work Emay
 

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Premium Member
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10,464 Posts
great work there Emay
 

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Premium Member
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33,198 Posts
looks good man, good work
 

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Tini Tini Bo Bini
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9,029 Posts
what did you use to cut the plexi? i have a project coming up and i heard is hard to cut due to the heat melting it
 

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May 08 ROTM
Joined
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7,192 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For that 1/4" stuff you can get through it plenty easy with a normal finishing blade on a table saw.

For 3/8" and thicker, entertain a diamond tip blade or better yet water cooled saw. Not much fun getting half way through a 1/2" thick sheet of plexi and having it melt or worse yet, melt on the front side and cool on the back side. Disaster-
 

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Rebel Of The Sacred Heart
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2,338 Posts
That turned out really nice man, good job.


I know what you mean about cutting tiny things in a plotter. I was pinstriping an art panel for a buddy and wanted to have some scales in the background, so i came up with a design took it in to my cutter, and was amused by the look she gave me. I had originally wanted the scales to be about a 1/4 inch wide. Well she llooked at me funny, but since we were friends she said she would give it a try. Oh yeah, by the way it was about a 2'x1' sheet i wanted the scales on, the Entire sheet lol

So about three days later she calls me and says to come to her shop. I get there and she has this defeated look on her face, she had come to the conclusion it wasnt gonna happen with the scales so small and how the pattern it was. So i ended up making them about an inch and quarter wide scales, came up with a new layout for them, and left it with her.

Several days later i go back and she wanted to kill me. Turns out the second pattern i made for the scales made the plotter go retarded when trying to cut it out, so she said she had to spend hours figuring out how to "trick" the plotter into doing what she needed it to do. But she got it done and i was eternally grateful.


Moral of the story, befriend plotter operators if you plan on wanting things cut that are a pain in the ass lol
 
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