Knight rider’s, Blade Runner’s, Mad Max’s car and almost every space ship has an overhead control panel, so naturally, Capri needed to have one, too. Creating and mounting it became a bigger challenge than anticipated.
After the initial design, we could start working on the piece. An illustration above is actually a 3D sketch done by my friend, who made it out of my 2D designs just to show how complicated was the build of the relatively simple looking finished unit.
After the initial measurement and brainstorming, I started with drilling holes for the rivet nuts, and main anchor points for the console.
Inserting the steel rivet nut.
With the use of flexible glue, original rear view mirror mount was covered, so the headliner doesn’t distort on that particular part of the roof.
Everything was leveled with a piece of Forex.
After the CAD designs, some parts were laser cut and the assembly of the console has started.
First piece done.
Prepping for the zinc plating.
Some pieces were powder-coated and some were zinc plated.
CNC cutting of the Forex sheets.
Punching out the holes.
Time for the upholstery.
I found out that the double sided tape works great for the temporary adhesion before sticking.
Also i used the automotive upholstery glue.
Couple of hours of drying.
Thickness of the complete panel is stretching the limits of my sewing machine.
This plastic tool was really helpful in pushing in the stubborn fabric.
The model of the mounting bracket is fabricated.
Nice view from the top to the bottom; my model, crappy bending from the local shop and precision bending from a high quality shop.
Line for the angle.
That was simple enough.
Some more rivet nuts, embossing the holes and test fit.
Using the hydraulic punching tool for some lightening holes.
Test fit of the roof bracket – for this mock-up I was using long bolts, so that’s why you see all those washers.
It’s going to be a tight fit for connectors.
Everything looks aligned and ready for the next step.
Patching up a couple of holes.
A thick piece of Forex has been CNC milled to make a cover for the switches.
Some gluing and cutting later.
Sinking into the holes.
In order to make the alcantara material more flexible, I removed its cotton backing.
Some gluing and stapling later.
Milling the various pictogram plates.
I made a couple of spares in case I accidentally brake or scratch them.
Time to start with the soldering. I am using red/green LEDs.
Everything in the shrink wrap.
A bunch of other wiring.
Data connector, also wires in the shrink wrap, because I like to have redundant everything.
Custom pictograms were designed and printed on a vinyl sticker, I also glued one of the top of the other so the back-light won’t protrude trough the black part.
Some more prep work.
Unit fully assembled. However, the power connectors were switched with the better ones.
Cover plate removed.
Detail of the wiring.
Unit with the cover plate installed.
A connector detail.
Trying to figure out which wire goes where.
Everything ready for the installment.
At this point, the car is currently in the museum, so I’m making my mess there.
Tight fit with a bunch of short wires.
Good thing the windshield is out, makes the work much easier.
Pictograms switch from red to green when activated.