Overhead Stereo Console CJ7
So one of the things I wanted to do when I bought this Jeep was to clean up the dash and build a cage. I was looking for a safe jeep my son could drive and at the same time a little “cool” factor.
I had kicked around a few ideas of using tube for an overhead with a small box for just the stereo. But decided to make a bigger box that would allow me to install a few switches as well as an overhead dome light or two. I’ll probably add switches for auxiliary lights as well as a shut off for the electric fuel pump. I’m certain I’ll pull a few extra 12 gauge wires just for the stuff I forget and want to add later.
The box is made of 11 gauge .120 sheet steel, which is the same thickness as the stock bar and the Kentrol "sport cage" it is tied into. Stainless Steel Specialties, a company here in Raleigh, NC, supplied, cut & bent the steel for me as I don't have a brake. I went with a 10” x 2” box with 1” lip on each of the bottom sides. I had it cut about 12" longer than needed just in case. The bottom plate I had bent with a 7” run at 20* and a 2.5” run for the face plate at 90* back to flat with a 70* I left it a bit long on both ends to get a placement once the box was set.
After setting the front Kentrol sport bar 3/4” off the windshield, and careful measuring distances, a 2" hole saw cut the sides and a circular saw with a 7" steel blade made a nice clean cut of things. This is where the Plasma cutter would have been nice to have. (I'm accepting donations)
A flapper on the small grinder cleaned things up and a test fit confirmed that something was wrong.... it fit perfectly.
After removing the box we set it up for the bottom plate attachment. We marked out and drilled 3/8 holes through the plate and the box at 6” spacing. We then ran the plate holes through at 7/16" to provide some wiggle room during assembly.
Using nylon lock nuts and 1" 3/8 bolts we tightened them up on the box and mig'd the nuts to the inside of the box. Sure the nylon melted but enough material remained to provide the compression needed to do their job. Using a thread chaser after removing the bolts got rid of any excess schleg.
I then measured up the side pieces needed to finish up the returns on the bottom plate and had them cut on a sheer. Using magnetic brackets we then added welded these pieces to the bottom plate. The cut off wheel on the small grinder and a small blade on the Sawzall worked well for cutting out the opening for the head unit. The stereo head unit had it's own slip cage that fit in and locked with tabs. I'll probably add an addl tab or two to bolt the stereo into place to prevent it from growing legs and walking away.
A 3/4” drill bit and the cut off blade helped with making a small access hole into the front cage pipe for wiring, I'll coat it with JB Weld to keep it from cutting into the wiring. Once I figure out what we are going to run up there besides a few dome lights and the stereo I'll build a wiring harness and run it through the pipe and up there.
Now for a few pics
Cutting the box for fit to the cage:
Box in place between pipe:
Drilling attachment holes:
Nuts welded onto box:
Welding sides onto plate:
Cleaning up threads:
Cut out for head unit:
Access for wiring harness:
Stereo in place, box all assembled:
Total cost of the project not including the sport bar was about $75 for the steel and having them make the bends. Fastenal bolts and nuts maybe $7.00.
Tools included a circular saw with metal blade, a 2" hole saw, 3/8 and 7/16 drill bits and a 1/2" drill to turn them, a 4.5" grinder with a cut off, grind blade and a flapper wheel, a mig welder (I used a Miller 180 with .30 wire on gas.) Hand tools ie: ratchet, sockets, thread chaser, etc.
The project was moderately easy to build and certainly one of a kind. I look forward to getting it painted and putting it to use.
Considerations need to be made for running the wiring into the dash from the sport bar and I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about an antenna for the stereo. I’d lay a hidden antenna inside the box but I don’t think the reception would be all that great.
A few updates:
Painted the cage and overhead with 2 coats of POR-15 and 3 coats of textured Chassis Black
Added a lock tab for the back of the stereo to help stabilize things.
Got an adjustable Interior Dome Map Light from a Chevy Suburban, painted it black with Duplicolor.
Made a mount and welded it to the overhead, drilled it out for two machine screws to hold things in place.
Finished Pics: (almost finished pics) Going to add switches.
Cut in speakers with hole saw:
Nice work. I wish I had mad skills to do stuff like that!!!
:thumbsup:Looks Great !!
Thx For The Pics And Your Great Idea
That really is suh-weet...wondering though, does it bother you at all when riding top-down? Or do you ever?
Fatman - still love the idea and your product, but I have split my head open for the last time and am sad to say it is comming out
wow. that's impressive. nice work! looks professional. kudos.
i will never put that much effort into a mod but WOW that is really nice. respect
All I have to say is A-MAZ-ING....
The Kentrol Sport bar...I see it looks like you added a bit of your own to it like handles, additional cross pieces, and the ones behind the seat... Did you buy those from Kentrol as well?
oh yeah, forgot, do you have any kind of top and if so, how does the entire cage and center console work with it?
Strange that I can't post in my own Technical Article, so I have to use my sons account.
Some addl pics:
I plan on making one kinda like this! once i figure out how to wire it all up and get my cage done, any tips or advise on this would be awsome thanks!
Thanks, i was looking for something like this, but what are the switches for.
I was wondering if you could make a drawing of the deminsions and post it on here. I want to make one like that, but without the deck uptop. Thanks
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