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E46 Custom Ashtray Panel

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  • E46 Custom Ashtray Panel

    In my other thread:

    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=70211

    Hark asked about my plans for a custom media panel. I thought I'd start a new thread to explore the possibilities. I don't smoke, and the little ashtray area on the E46 is useless as a coin tray (too small). Therefore, I'd rather use it as an area to plug USB and other portable devices / storage.

    I've actually made some progress prototyping it out of some inexpensive PVC material I picked up at a local hobby shop. My theory was that I could easily glue the stuff together with standard PVC pipe glue...I was right. The materials I used were easily cut and manipulated, and I suspect would sand and paint easily as well. While I was experimenting I even threw a sheet of the PVC in the oven to see if I could shape it - and I could, but it really smelled bad!

    Anyhow, here's some pics of my prototype, which includes a couple of USB ports and some sound jacks from the front plugs off an old case. Please post your ideas for other uses / improvements. Ideally I'd like to fit an all-in-one reader there, if I could find one small enough!
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Some more Pics

    Here's the rest of the pics...

    Oh and by the way, if you have the "smokers package" the ashtray area has a little red LED, which happens to backlight the USB ports!
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      That's really nice.
      I've seen some card readers that could fit in there.


      Too bad I can't give up my ashtray...
      Renault Megane...the OEM look

      The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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      • #4
        This is really interesting - I'll be especially keen on hearing how it is to paint, and which paint you use. I want to do something like this for some switches (backup camera on/off, pc reset, etc.)
        My install log
        My "selling entire system" thread

        Comment


        • #5
          Did you remove the ashtray insert completely and replace with the panel? How do you have it stay in place?
          My install log
          My "selling entire system" thread

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hark
            Did you remove the ashtray insert completely and replace with the panel? How do you have it stay in place?
            I removed the insert. I'm still working through how to keep it in place. I was thinking of just drilling a hole on the back of the console ash tray area, then using a long wood screw, but I'm open to suggestions.

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            • #7
              How about some silicone adhesive in the corners, just enough so that you can pry it out if you really need to?
              My install log
              My "selling entire system" thread

              Comment


              • #8
                Look at this thread - he put tabs on the back that go in the same slots that the ashtray uses: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=293426
                My install log
                My "selling entire system" thread

                Comment


                • #9
                  Any painting updates?
                  My install log
                  My "selling entire system" thread

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for checking in Hark.

                    No real updates so far, as I've been focused on gathering the parts for my CarPC. On that note, I took your advice and stayed away from the Super Touchscreen. I purchased a Gain 700TSV instead. I have a VEN4 (the old one) on its way from ebay, and a DSSC from an MP3Car member. The only thing I need now is the HU wiring harness and possibly a four channel line driver - but perhaps that's for another thead.

                    Back onto this thread...The link you provided with the tabs is interesting. That idea did cross my mind, but I just don't see how it would keep it in place, that is unless it is super tight. Maybe that's why he put electrical tape there. $160 for that little panel...he must be out of his mind! It does not look good enough for that much, and the fabrication is really not all that hard. But if he sells it, Im going into mass production man!

                    On the painting, I really had no intention of painting this panel until I paint my screen bezel...which reminds me, I need to track down that OEM looking paint - SEM or something like that, right?

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