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In this mod I installed 2 new switch plates under the driver’s side vent. It will fit any of these awesome switches: many switch body options, colors, interchangeable face plates, waterproof and 20A rated.
Way cheaper and better looking than the OEM, ~$12 each
Switches found only at OTRATTW
- Dremmel Stylus – stock adapters (pointed grinder used a lot) and the separate 420 cutting disks
- 5/8 inch wide mending bracket
- 2, Three Position V-Series Switch Holder
- Loctite 5min Epoxy
- Lots of time and patience
This is very long and hard, the room for error is very little, precise measurements and a lot of cutting are required, not for the timid mod-er.
To start, grab the top and bottom of the driver’s side vent panel and pull it towards you, a few tugs and it will come out.
Flip it over and measure out the switch plate on the back, to fit 2 switch plates you need to have this area close to the bottom clip as possible, plus the bottom will line up with the mirror switches.
A lot of cutting and grinding later, a perfect fit.
I want to install another switch plate above this one, the furthest I could fit them apart was 5/8 inch, the piece of plastic that would be left in between the 2 switch plates could become weak and crack. I cut a 5/8 inch wide mending bracket to fit across the back of the panel and glued it in place with the Loctite 5 min Epoxy. Add the support bracket before cutting the 2nd hole, the top of the bracket becomes the bottom of your next hole, very important for the placement.
I measured out another switch plate and cut out the hole. I had to cut off one of the clips that hold the panel in place. It didn’t make any difference removing this clip as the panel is over engineered, typical Toyota.
Time to test fit the vent panel back into its home in the FJ. You will notice above that the metal mending bracket spans the width of the panel and abuts a lip that fits into a groove on the dash. I marked the section of the dash groove that needed to be removed and cut it out.
The vent panel now fits back into the dash
If I were to place the switch in the switch panel, the back of the switch hits the plastic behind it, no room for attaching wires to the switches. Time for more cutting, I measured and then cut. Part of what was cut out is the socket that corresponded to the clip that was removed from the back of the vent panel.
Insert the switch panels into the vent panel and place it back into the FJ.
Update, pics of switches 5/1/2010
Update 10/24/2010, Another location you can fit a switch
You can remove the illumination dimmer for the control panel, trim the hole a bit and fit a switch in there. Removing the dimmer doesn't do anything, just set the dim level before removal.