Finishing the hazards lights compartment
Narrator: "When last we left off at 'As the Bug Turns,' Tom was trying to figure out what in the world to do with his hazards lights. The pain and trauma of moving the heater controls down to the section that was occupied by the hazard lights caused a cascade of issues requiring movement of the hazard lights SOMEWHERE. But where?!
On this episode, Tom builds a compartment for the lights. Join us after the break."
Okay, recall that the original dash looked like this:
The issue was that making the iPad opening required the heater controls and the hazard lights below them to be relocated. I chose to simply lower everything but that required an all custom fab to contain the controls and lights.
Starting by using a Razor Saw to cut out the OEM heater control fascia...
I then fashioned sides and bottom from plastic stock...
And got a box that fit under the iPad holder for the heater controls.
The overall effect looks a bit like this.
So, what I did was take the heater box and the front fascia for the hazard lights and glom them together. I didn't take intermediate pics of it, but the finished product is below.
It turned out pretty good. It was tricky to combine the two pieces. The existing hazard light box was actually too wide for the heater control box, so it stuck out on each side about 1/2 inch. I carefully sliced each side and shorted them, then glued them back together to make them the same width as the heater control box.
Then, I glued the top of the whole thing to the bottom of the heater control box and used a soldering iron to weld the plastic together on the inside. You can see the two boxes stacked on top of each other in the picture below.
Outside, I use a combination of bumper plastic (basically black epoxy) and a flat file to smooth the edges together and make it look like one piece. It mostly worked. There are a few slight indentations you can see in the light and a little bit of scratching that didn't quite go away. I could perhaps fix this but in general it looks pretty damn good for a DIY who doesn't know anything about fabrication, so it's good enough for me.
I've used a combination of flat black high heat grill paint for your barbeque grill as the base and a hammered texture spray paint to help hide imperfections. The only problem is that it is a little too glossy for my taste. I have a can of spray on truck bed liner that I may put over top of it to flatten it out a bit. Or perhaps a clear flat. Not sure yet.
Here's the finished product, ready for installation. It holds the seat heater controls, rear defroster button, hazard light and a blank that I've been using for a valet switch for the car pc.