HOW-TO: Making an Ashtray Switch Panel (for neons, LEDs, and whatever else)
this is my first "HOW TO" so i hope i do this right... 
This how to make an Ashtray Switch Panel to control your Neons, LEDs, Fog Lights, and whatever else that could be controlled with a switch. This mounts in your 00-04 factory pull out ashtray. Only minor modifications will be required to install this switch panel and are completly reversable.
I am a sheet metal worker so I have all the tools required to make this job easier and also have access to the metal very easlly. I also linked pictures of the tools/materials below to keep this page as small as possible for the 56k users so be sure to click them if you don't know what they are.
What you will need:
26 gauge sheet metal 6-3/4" x 4-3/4" (find at home depot etc...)
4 - On/Off switches (can be lighted)
12 ga. wire
14 ga. wire
spray paint (color of your choice)
hot glue gun
sharpie permanent marker (or scratch awl)
inline fuse holder or add-a-circuit
Reamer Drill Bit (Picture)
tin snips (rights and straights)
tongs (folding bar)
Pics of Tools (tin snips, tongs, scratch awl)
to disassemble the ashtray, pop off the top spring plate. next turn it over and take a small screwdriver and pop out the small block tabs through the little square holes to remove the block in the front.
first take your piece of sheet metal, measure and draw lines as follows
you'll notice how one side is shorter then the other, this is because one side of the ashtray is taller then the other. that way the tray should slide in easily without the switches catching onto anything.
cut out using the straight tin snips
fold in a 1/2" all the way around using your tongs
next fold the remaining 3 sides in all about 85* angle. it will seat in the ashtray a whole lot nicer and easier.
measure your switches and then center them up on your cover.
(the mounting holes for mine were 13/16" so I measured 5/8" from the sides to center of hole and then 3/4" from the front to center of hole. then measure 1-3/8" center to center of holes for the front to back one.) using the reamer drill bit, drill out the holes for your switches
next you can spray paint the cover the color of your choice and then let dry for a few hours.
then snap switches into the holes. using a hot glue gun, glue the switches from underneath to keep them from turning.
here are some of the ones i made for other users on FF.com
I'll come back and edit this so I can show you how to wire it up.
Now that is what your supposed to use the ash tray for.
too bad the 05 and up lost it
Added to the 'HOW TO ARCHIVE'.... [thumb]
Great write up! I am glad I already have one of these... because I'd never be able to make one myself.. I'm all thumbs... hehe.
Bump for the best idea EVER for a place to put switches.
yes CrazyMatt was my first sucker... errr... i mean customer. which is very happy btw with his switches [:D]
I'm not just happy.. I am super mega happy.
Now.. what about that LED Cupholder Mod? Hmmmmmmmmm? Heheheh.
oh yeah forgot about that lol, been too busy working on my LED vents [:)~]
But I don't need them all in the same spot, I like this idea, good place for a hidden switch or something.
I'd like to see something like this using only the back half of the ashtray
OrangeSVTguy has a PM [;)]
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