Customised Prefacelift Centre Console - Tutorial - In-Car Entertainment (Mk3 Mondeo) - TalkFord.com

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Customised Prefacelift Centre Console - Tutorial


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#1 The Guv.

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 01:05 PM


Here's where I've got to so far, I'm letting the Devcon Plastic Weld set for 24h before I continue to ensure the strongest possible bond.

So... What you'll need:

* Prefacelift Centre Console (If possible, the black LX console with raised vent symbols - others will do, just requires a little more prep).
* Facelift Double Din Adapter/Facia
* Devcon Plastic Weld
* Zap-A-Gap Glue
* Sandpaper (course 60 or 80 then some wet & dry 800, 1200, 1500, 2000 and 2500).
* Dremel or some other multi-tool.
* Alloy toothed cutting disc (cuts nicely through ABS without excessive heat) & small drill bit
* Masking tape & Alloy Foil Repair Tape (optional)
* Digital vernier caliper or decent rule
* Sharp craft knife
* Putty knife / spreader
* Marker Pen

Sorry for not having photos for the begining of this tutorial but I had already started before thinking about making a tutorial! But it should be fairly obvious from the photos I do have and the methods below.

---

First, measure up the centre console, mark a centre point running down the middle, this will be your reference point.

Study the rear of the console around the ETAC area, you want to cut this part out without cutting off the plastic threaded fixing points, you also want to preserve any contours. Mark out where you need to cut avoiding the things you need to preserve and cut out using the dremel and alloy toothed disc. Run at a slow speed and move to prevent heat buildup/melting.

You want to cut out the 1.5 din cradle as well, make your cuts as straight as possible leaving as much material as you can. Ideally you want a few mill gap between the opening and the ETAC cutout when you're finished. The more untouched ABS you retain the stronger and easier it will be to put back together. Keep any waste ABS as you can use this along with Zap-A-Gap to make stronger fills.

Once that's done, you'll want to cut the facelift double din facia to fit closely in to the space cut out of the console. This should only be a matter of trimming the sides and a little around the clock and ETAC fixing points when in place.

Small_SANY0319.jpg

Roughly sand the parts, pay attention to the edges and surfaces where Devcon or Zap-A-Gap will bond to, the rougher the surface the stronger the bond.

Small_SANY0326.jpg

Mask up the front of the console where the ETAC will rest, stick the ETAC surround on to the masking tape from behind and adjust until it's square and in the correct position, this is where you'll need your rule/caliper. You will want to do this on a flat surface to make sure everything sits flush on the front of the console.

Once in place, use some ZAP-A-GAP on at least 4 points between the console and the ETAC surround to hold in place.

Remove masking to make sure everything lines up nicely from the front and test fit the double din facia in the remaining space above. If all is well, mask up again and mix your Devcon Plastic Weld (otherwise cut the Zap-A-Gap bonds and start over).

Small_SANY0331.jpg

From the reverse, allow the Devcon to flow evenly between the gaps (make sure the Devcon is at a warm room temp as this will allow it to flow easier). Allow to set and the bond will be as good as the original ABS part.

You should end up with something like this:

Small_SANY0330.jpg

Once set, roughly sand the surfaces again to promote adhesion.

Follow the same proceedure for the double din facia in the remaining space above the ETAC surround. You will notice that the double din facia will not sit flush as the profile is very slightly different, you will need to build this up using Devcon. I will cover this in Part 2. You will see from my photos I have drilled holes in the double din facia and the console, this is to strengthen the bond and finished part.

Zap-A-Gap process:

Small_SANY0334.jpg

Check to make sure everything is good and sits flush on the front:

Small_SANY0336.jpg

Devcon the sides (just between the gaps to create a strong piece to work with):

Small_SANY0340.jpg

Next steps to follow!!

I could rebuild a Mondeo from the ground up with my eyes closed... that's thanks to owning a TDCI.


#2 myksterx

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:15 PM

looking forward to the rest of the tutorial mate, uve done a crackin job! any chance your selling one done ? ;)
2002 (52) Mondeo Graphite 2.0 TDCI <- click me for pics!
ST Front/Rear Bumpers, ST Sideskirts, ST Bootlip, ST Exhaust, ST Badge, Half Leather Trim, 18" Chrome Faced/Grey Reared ST Alloys, Full Respray, Lowered 50mm, Carbon Exterior/Interior Parts, Black Eyes, Blue LEDs Interior, Door handle LEDs, Flat Blades All Round, Fitted Mats, IPOD Holder, Wind Deflectors, Bonnet Bra, Chrome Parts, EGR Cleaned & Blanked
To Do: Boot Lighting, Floor Lighting....

[Mondeo Owner Since: 28/05/10]

#3 The Guv.

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 12:00 AM

Yeah done a few before for people now, although they wanted double din in the original location.

I'm nearly done, just need to order some more epoxy to finish the front off then it's sanding, prime, paint and clear :)

Getting the screen bezel machined at the moment so hopefully that'll be here before the end of the week :)

I could rebuild a Mondeo from the ground up with my eyes closed... that's thanks to owning a TDCI.


#4 The Guv.

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:06 AM

OK so I used the Devcon Plastic Weld for all structural joins. The good thing about the Devcon is it's worth its weight in Gold, it withstands insane force, the devcon material itself will exceed the pressures the original ABS would normally fail. So it's fantastic for that job. The only trouble with it is it's hard work to sand and shape! So my finishing epoxy is by Unibond, it's very cheap too, £1.49 a tube on eBay. It's still very strong, bonds well, easily sanded and shaped as well as resisting temps up to 150c, so like the Devcon it will do well as a material exposed to the heat of the sun/car.

Top tip: Warm the Unibond Power Epoxy Plastic Repair up on a radiator to about 25-30c, this helps the epxoy flow easily and it will self level.

Because it flows very well, we need to make a wall of masking tape to prevent it simply running off of the edges!

Small_SANY0342.jpg

Small_SANY0347.jpg

Small_SANY0344.jpg

Break down the epoxy filling in to 3, each side then top and bottom. That way you won't have your epoxy setting half way through the job if you know what I mean. Don't worry if it's not even or anything as you'll be sanding this back flush anyway. Just make sure that you extend the epoxy out nicely to create a good bonded surface area and also a good area to feather easily. Try to avoid getting it in to the button recesses etc though as that'll just generate more sanding work for no reason.

Mine will be fully cured soon then I'll start the first sanding session.

I could rebuild a Mondeo from the ground up with my eyes closed... that's thanks to owning a TDCI.


#5 myksterx

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:12 PM

love the work mate, the time and effort put into this is brilliant.

looks like a top notch job so far!

would definately be interested in this (or normal position screen) if it could be done with just sending you my parts to be modded/painted?

im assuming you wont be anywer close to merseyside plus its more than a days work (setting, sanding, painting, drying etc)
2002 (52) Mondeo Graphite 2.0 TDCI <- click me for pics!
ST Front/Rear Bumpers, ST Sideskirts, ST Bootlip, ST Exhaust, ST Badge, Half Leather Trim, 18" Chrome Faced/Grey Reared ST Alloys, Full Respray, Lowered 50mm, Carbon Exterior/Interior Parts, Black Eyes, Blue LEDs Interior, Door handle LEDs, Flat Blades All Round, Fitted Mats, IPOD Holder, Wind Deflectors, Bonnet Bra, Chrome Parts, EGR Cleaned & Blanked
To Do: Boot Lighting, Floor Lighting....

[Mondeo Owner Since: 28/05/10]

#6 The Guv.

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:36 AM

Thanks, I take pride in my work, figure if a jobs worth doing and all that. I go to the shows and see some scary craftsmanship- yet some how they seem to get awards! lol My car is going to the Digital Car show this year, hopefully my work won't go un-noticed lol.

It does take quite a bit of time to do a good fabrication, but it's worth it. It's important to give the epoxy enough time to go off- All of the epoxy products I use suggest that you can continue working after an hour or sometimes less but you can feel that the material hasn't fully gone off. The Unibond stuff for example feels tacky almost like a rubberised surface until about 16-20 hours later where it feels like a hard shiny plastic. Only at this stage would I consider working it, otherwise you'll mess up the bonds integrity.

Many people fabricating don't realise this and wonder why after the jobs been painted small cracks start to appear etc.

I'd say this will take me to Monday before it's finished and in the car. Tomorrow morning I will be doing the final sand down and prime. Sadly I'm still waiting for my laser cut facia to arrive!

If you're keeping the unit in the normal location then the fabrication is far easier and quicker. To do that it would only take me about a day to fabricate and a half a day prep and painting to paint.

As the parts are so cheap now, it's worth doing it all on a second set.

I could rebuild a Mondeo from the ground up with my eyes closed... that's thanks to owning a TDCI.


#7 raynkar

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:56 AM

Nice work so far.

I can see you are a fan of the devcon stuff, and must admit it seems to be useful as a gap filler, but ordinary ABS solvent weld must also be useful for close fitting repairs/fabrications. Do you use that too?

I only ask that as solvent weld (any brand, about £7-8 per tin) is the industry standard in many trades for permanent and long lasting fabrication of ABS (for jobs needing a twenty year life or more). It is not a gap filler in any way, but is very easy to brush on and make precise joins, plus only takes 60 seconds to weld the join.

Another filling material I have used for fabrication is milliput. Is that something you have used too? The superfine version sets in about three hours (any thickness), and it VERY easy to file, drill tap etc. It wouldn't be ideal for the job you are describing here as it doesn't flex at all, but is useful for loads of other stuff. It is a two part mix a bit like plastercine, but can withstand a lot of pressure, plus it can set underwater or other liquid. I have used it to repair leaky fuel tanks, make models and fabrication, and even used to to repair a cracked diesel fuel pump once.

I'm not telling you to swap materials here or anything like that, but was just wondering if you had used either of these two in your other projects :)
Looking forward to seeing the finished results now.
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#8 The Guv.

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 09:20 AM

Yes, I was planning on using Acetone, but it is hard to get hold of for some reason (bloody bomb makers!).

I was considering making ABS sludge (ABS chip in Acetone) but after reading up on structural comparisons it was found that Devcon provided a stronger substance (as strong as ABS if not stronger) and bonds very well with the ABS, you can use an adhesion promoter but I haven't found I've needed to, I did a test with two bits of the cut console and I couldn't pull them apart- the ABS material started to bend! What I did was use Zap-A-Gap on the surfaces I was looking for a very strong bond between the Devcon and the ABS. Zap-A-Gap is similar to an adhesion promoter as it melts the ABS slightly. The other upshot was the rapid drying time and way you can work it. I also noticed that many model makers swear by both Devcon and Zap-A-Gap (also Slo-Zap), in the states they call it something else though but it's the same product and manufacturer.

The other downside of using ABS sludge is, the trial and error aspect to get the right consistency. I simply didn't have the time for that lol.

I've used milliput before, it's a very good product, but I noticed quite a few people have complained about micro cracks forming as it doesn't expand/contract at the same rate as the underlying material which is why on this occasion I've decided to do everything using the two epoxy welders which do. Although the ABS Ford have used is very hard ABS and I would doubt any issues would arrise from heat expansion in this setting. But better safe than sorry! :)

Sad news- the bezel won't be here till Wednesday. It's being lasercut out of 3mm alloy but apparently they ran out of stock so it delayed the job :(

I could rebuild a Mondeo from the ground up with my eyes closed... that's thanks to owning a TDCI.


#9 raynkar

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 05:38 PM

Thanks for the speedy reply :)

What colour(s) do you spray the finished project. The 'black' in my LX's interior is more anthracite, and the silver which is on the gearknob and door handles is pretty much the same as one of the VW silvers (I cant find the spray can right now lol).

I'm always looking for tips on what colours to use.......after making the mistake of simply believing that Ford stardust silver was nearly the exact colour Ford use on their alloy wheels :tonofbricks:
You can put your vehicle info at the bottom of your posts to give details to help others know what you drive :)

#10 The Guv.

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 08:38 PM

To be honest I'm still considering the colours to paint the console and gear surround!

It's been rattling around in my mind for some time now and I'm still undecided.

My shortlist is:

A slightly darker version of Medium Steel Blue (Body colour)
Piano Black
Ford Magnum Grey
Or a SEM interior texture paint (hard to get hold of and expensive though).

At the moment I'm leaning towards Magnum Grey or the darker Medium Steel Blue, the facia is going to be made out of satin black anodised aluminum, so things should contrast nicely.

The OEM finishes are developed during the injection moulding process. They're not paints, just a resin coated image/texture which is why I prefer to use the LX trim to modify :)

I could rebuild a Mondeo from the ground up with my eyes closed... that's thanks to owning a TDCI.