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Bronco Snob
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
In the 10 plus years I've owned my Bronco, I've broken 2 shift tubes and 1 shift lever.... :shrug dunno why, don't think I'm particularly hard them..but so it is. Ever since I installed my 2000 Expy center console, I've had it in the back of my mind to convert to a floor, or console shifter. Ebay is a beautiful thing, or awful thing, depending how you look at it. I placed a bid, what I thought was a rediculously low bid, on this 2010 Expedition shifter.

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Then, of course....forgot about it. It caught my eye because it was totally black, and the shift lever grips were hard black rubber, with checkering...like pistol grips. Exactly what I wanted. So, a few days later I get an email from eBay. Oh yeah...the shifter!..:doh0715:..$70 incl. shipping...ok...guess I'm gonna do a floor shifter mod.:thumbup

Hat tip to our beloved mod Bikerpepe for editing and moving this thread for me.
 

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Bronco Snob
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited by Moderator)
Here's a closeup of those grips, pretty cool, huh?

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One of the first things that I noticed, was this unit was wayyyyyyy too damn tall, and was gonna need to be cut down.

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Kinda figured that would need to happen. After some consideration, I decided to stick it right in the middle of the big center pocket of the console. I've never really had a use for this big trough, and frankly, it aided in my decision to do this.

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Bronco Snob
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited by Moderator)
I say 'after some consideration', because a few things were factors in the placement of the shifter. Things like... Reach, Interference with other functions...Erogonimics in general. I didn't want to do this just for the sake of doin it, If there isn't an Improvement, whether it's performance or just personal preference (and thats a pretty broad spectrum) then why do it? I thought about placing the shifter further back towards the cup holders, and fitting in a few gauges between the climate control and shifter, but it was just too damn tight, though I wouldn't be suprised if the position changes before I start fiberglassing.
I won't bore you with step by steps, but here are a few pics of the process. The wood I used is called Appleply. It's a 12 layer hardwood plywood used for many applications. It's very strong, and accepts fasteners well. If I were using much more structural material, I'd probably use aluminum, but the work here is minimal, this amount won't add too much weight. And, I'm a carpenter, so wood is the medium I am most comfortable with.


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Bronco Snob
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited by Moderator)
The 'tower' of the shifter, provided some nice areas to glue and screw some small blocks of Appleply for backing. One of the things I like about the appleply is it doesn't split or crack and works well for small pieces.
A few pics of the center console, hollowed out.

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And how the shifter is fastened.

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Bronco Snob
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1,946 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited by Moderator)
Well, I decided to reposition the shifter. Moved it down and back. Much better, more comfortable to reach, and frees up some space to add auxiliary switches.

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Bronco Snob
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Hey! I've made a bit of progress over the last few days. Everything is hooked up now, shift cable and electrical. Here's the pile of left-overs.

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Getting the shift cable unhooked from the column was a lil tight, but hooking it up to the floor shifter was about the most aggravating thing so far. Ended up cutting out the plastic cross brace, (wasn't needed after the new bracing i added) That helped a lot, but getting the end of the cable on the stud was a PITA. Also had to shave down the little saddle that the shift cable sits in. Once on, it shifted nice and smooth, no adjusting was needed.

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Made a ring for around the base of the shifter to provide a nice flat, level surface for the fiberglass work, it won't be there when I'm finished.


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Bronco Snob
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Since I'm losing my shifter, I'll need to relocate the overdrive-off light. There is a button located on the new shifter, but no indicator light. Keeping in mind my commitment to making this mod look OEM, I decided to put it in the now empty PRND12 indicator window inside the instrument cluster.

Started by removing the window from the shift nob. Then rounded the corners to match, using the window pocket as a gauge.

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Bronco Snob
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When I was at the junkyard, there was a 95 f150 there with a 5 speed, they don't have the PNRD21 shift indicator in the instrument cluster.so I snagged the blacked out window to mount the o.d. off light in. Also scored the steering column cover. :thumbup

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Bronco Snob
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Cleaning up the cut with a dremel. A really useful tool for this project.

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Ill use the light from the button as well. All the electrical went pretty easy. The brake interlock switch works. I didn't use the key interlock circuit. I took the illumination power from the abandon ashtray, its on a dimmer to, so the PRND21lights dim with the rest of the dash.
More to come. :thumbup
 

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Bronco Snob
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I had to crush the old shifter knob in the vise, and those tiny pins are a pain to get out of the connector, but managed to get the entire harness out of the shifter in one piece.

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Drilled a hole for the wires, only need two, but I'll just leave the third and remove the pin from the Bronco side of the connector.

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Tight fit, but no bigger than the other unit. I'll glue in the female connector...or now bulb base. That way if the bulb ever goes out, it can just be unplugged and replaced. The button doesn't work because its jumped at the connection.

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Just taped up for now, need to make sure it fits and works.

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Bronco Snob
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She works :thumbup. Now I've gotta unwind it all to solder the connections.:doh0715: ..then, on to the fiberglass work on the top trim bezel.

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Bronco Snob
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It's a good feeling to have all the electrical finished and done right. Also have the manual steering column cover installed. It has a small hole for the key release lever, which I do not have, and probably will not use. But that hole is gonna bug the hell outta me, so I'll deal with it later.

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Thought I might save some fab work by picking up another cup holder trim piece from the junkyard. $3 at the junkyard is well worth it, don't tell the boys on eBay that charge $50 for them. That window is for either climate control knobs, or a storage pocket. I'm using for Auxiliary light switches. If you look closely you can see that these were built out of square, to fit the contour of the Expedition dash. I'll have to deal with that.

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After some hacking and cutting and more hacking and cutting, I got it where I wanted it. Hot glued some sugar pine sticks in for supports. I wanted the forward portion of the frame tipped up a bit to blend with the dash, and so the switches won't be lying flat, they'll be more square to your operating level, if you know what I mean.

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Bronco Snob
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Here's the switches I'll be using, its a Ford oem fog light switch. I find them in first generation Explorer limited editions, and I guess they were in some other obs Fords. They have the same green back lighting as my dash, so they should go well in my effort to make this mod look oem.I can fit 5 perfectly.

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I hot glued the piece to a pedestal to make for easier working. It'll pop right off as I will do this several times.

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Added a small piece for backing, this will come off after the fiberglass has cured.

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Here was mistake number 1. This is D815. I've used it on carpet jobs, for seams, or laminate repairs, etc. It's not that the glue didn't stick. This stuff sticks. It'll hold a whores ass in a church pew. But it's too heavy bodied for this application, as well as it sets up to quick. It worked, but it could have gone smoother.


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Bronco Snob
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The fabric I used wasn't fleece. It was a thinner polyester/cotton blend, basically a T-shirt.

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After some pulling and stretching and smoothing.

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Mistake number 2. The adhesive melted the foam. Guess I should have brushed up on my chemistry.

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Bronco Snob
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A little rough-up with 80 grit.

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A little clean-up with alcohol.

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First coat of resin.

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Form block

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Form block removed and another coat of resin.

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Bronco Snob
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Addressing mistake number 2, after a layer of fiberglass clothe.

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Reinforcing the corners with matt.

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I'll do 2 layers of matt on the top, it will get the most abuse.

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A gauge block to check for square and pitch, I can use it as a guide for the dremel as well.

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Bronco Snob
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See. Second layer, should be strong enough.

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After a final coat of resin, and a lot more elbow grease.

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Time to cut a hole. The mdf backing piece acts as a cutout template. I can just drill holes from the bottom, them connect the dots up on top.

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Bronco Snob
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Time for a test fit, to see which areas need attention before I start the Bondo-glass.

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I wanted to make sure it's close to the dash, but not touching. Don't want any squeeks or rattles. I want it to finish out about 1/16" away, then I'll line it with some 1/8" weather stripping so it compresses against the dash when the console is bolted down.

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Here I made a sharper corner, I'll have to extend the bottom part of the console to meet the dash.

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And here, I'll have to build it up a bit.

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