Second Glovebox Project
|You can never have enough storage so when a second glovebox kit surfaced on the web I
thought what a great idea. After searching the web to find out a bit more about the kit I was a little disappointed to find
that the feedback on the kits focussed on its average build quality and limited space. I was all ready to buy one but had
changed my mind when many people said that it could be built for a fraction of the cost. So after a couple of posts on the
forums to find out what others had done, it was time to sit down and plan out my own custom second glovebox.
A couple of things I wanted that the other kit failed to offer was to be more robust with a solid base and sides. I also wanted AC and DC outlets inside so I could charge cameras and the like and finally I wanted something bigger. With these things in mind, the first thing I did was to remove the panel that would normally hide the passengers side airbag so I could get a good idea of how big I could go. With this removed, a pretty ugly non-uniform plastic panel was revealed. Looking behind this (with the normal glovebox removed), one could see that it was quite cavernous in the dead space behind the panel and the only thing that limited what could be done was a steel tube that ran behind the dash. With a rough idea of the length and height, it was out with a sharp Stanley knife to start hacking out a hole. I originally started with a hole that was approximately 50mm from each side but slowly whittled this back to around 10mm. Getting the sides straight and square was a bit of a problem, especially as the area is not square, but patience, a steady hand and small cuts was the key to end up with something that was pretty close. The end result was a hole that measured 380mm wide and 115mm high.
Next thing to do was to measure the height, width and also the depth to the steel tube so that I had the dimensions of the glovebox. As I was going to put in a couple of outlets as well, I decided to have a small recess in the glovebox so that I had clearance behind the plugs so they wouldn't foul on anything. Knowing what I needed, it was off to the hardware store to get some 3mm MDF sheeting, some automotive carpet and spray adhesive.
Cutting everything out was a piece of cake so it wasn't long before I had all the pieces laid out ready for assembly. The glovebox measures 380mm wide at the front and 300mm at the back with an 80mm recess for the power outlets in the back right corner. Depth is 145mm at the deepest point with the recess being 100mm from the front of the opening. All walls are 115mm high and I opted not to put a top on to allow for taller items to be stored. I decided that I would use a hot glue gun to glue the sides and base together as this provided a fair amount of strength and quick drying time. I used copious amounts of glue and then rounded each inside edge using the head of a large screw (sort of like using silicone around a bathtub). After several minutes to let the glue cool, I checked the sides to make sure they where firmly adhered to the base. A dry fit to the hole that had been cut in the Patrol revealed a nice snug fit.
Another thing that needs to be done is to slightly modify a metal bracket that is used to secure the top part of the normal glovebox. There is a lip on this that encroaches into the area where the custom glovebox will fit so a couple of small cuts and a little persuasion from the hammer to fold it back was all that was needed to allow the new glovebox to fit.
Again using the Stanley knife, I proceeded to cut up the carpet into 2 sections. The first was the base which had around 1" overhang on the front and the second was the sides which was done in one whole piece to minimise mucking around with fiddly bits. Again this had around 1" overhang on the ends. The reasons for the overhangs was to fold them over the plastic which I left around the holes. This was to provide a little strength but also to improve the look. Using the spray adhesive, I coated both the carpet and MDF and proceeded to stick it all together. I was pretty happy with how it all went as well. A couple of holes were cut for the 240V and DC outlets which were latter fitted.
Another dry fit in the hole and with everything all nice and snug, it was time to start putting it together. I sprayed the plastic around the hole and the carpet overhangs on the glovebox with spray adhesive and then fitted the glovebox in the hole making sure that all carpet was stuck to the dash. A couple of tec screws were used in the back of the glovebox to secure it to the steel tube. The last thing to do to finish everything off was the front door. I have seen piano hinges used in most case but I decided on a simpler idea that ended up working out really well. The route I went was to use 2 long screws right in the corner of the panel. I drilled a pilot hole in the panel first and then screwed the screw in making sure the whole lot pivoted reasonable well.
Overall I am extremely happy with how the whole lot turned out. Cost was $6.00 for the MDF, $9.00 for half a metre of carpet and $13.00 for a can of spray adhesive. Along with 4 hours labour to do, I don't think you could argue that it was money and time well spent.