Army Inspired Center Console

A while back my dad and I thought that it would be a good idea to buy a project car to work on and bond through. Two years later and the car is still a project and we have put much more money into it than it is worth. However, him and I being the stubborn people that we are, haven’t learned and wont cut our losses so we continue to demonstrate the labor of our love on the vehicle.  In the spirit of continuing to waste money and to “fix” and “add value” to the car I am going to make a new center console for it since it is broken, worn and just overall not that great.

(I wish that mine looked as good as this one does)

The vehicle in question is a 1989 Ford bronco and the center console that I will be replacing looks like this

On my cars console the lock is broken (that little black thing) and the bottom of the console is very worn and kind of sticky which isn’t great. Not to mention that the depth of the cup holders are pretty shallow, like to the point where you get concerned that you may have hot coffee in your lap when you take a corner slightly too quickly and are surprised when it doesn’t happen. In order to remedy the short comings of this, I plan to make a new custom console out of military ammo cans with deep cupholders.

In the spirit of upcycling, and because I personally think that they look neat I want to use ammo cans as a center console. I have checked the dimensions of the stock bronco center console and it has a height of 10.5 inches, length of 17 inches and a width of 12.5 inches.  The ammo can I want to use is the 40mm one and after checking its dimensions it comes in at 11 inches tall, 17 inches long and 6 inches wide. Now I am in no way a mathematician but if I were to create a fixture to hold two of these together, I could fit them both inside my car!

Now because just taking two ammo cans, drilling two holes into the bottom of each and then bolting them into my car seems a little light for the final project of this class and honestly pretty underwhelming, I want to incorporate two different features into this custom console. The first being better cupholders. As seen above, that is a cupholder, and not just any cupholder, but a universal one from amazon with prime shipping. I hope you see where I am going with this. The second thing that I want to incorporate, is I want my console to be modular. See below image to see what I mean.

There are a couple features here highlighted by this very very crude drawing. The first being that I want to install a handle on both cans that allows me to open them together, or individually depending on preference. The second is the the cupholders in blue. Lastly those little curved lines coming out of the bottom of them will connect to some fixture on the floor of the car so that I can manually lock them down and also if need be, remove them whenever I want. I am trying my absolute best to not drill into the cans since they are water tight, and holes are… well not so much.

I have yet to start this project but I am quite excited about fabricating a new console for the pile of bolts and pieces in my garage that at one point was a running bronco. Maybe, by completing this little project it will give me the second wind that I need to finish up replacing the oil pan gasket on my it.


Featured Picture:

Bronco Picture:

Console Picture:




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4 Comments. Leave new

  • James Brown
    March 8, 2021 1:19 pm

    Josh, this looks really fun. I’m glad that you have a larger project going on that this class can help you continue work on. Have you started thinking about how you are going to attach the cans and everything? I’m quite curious to see how this turns out and if you maintain waterproof-ness (is that a word? oh well). Another thing I’m curious about is how these will add to the overall aesthetic of the car? Do you plan on making the interior look all military / industrial? I think it could be a really cool vibe. Or would you want to paint them like Hannah suggested and tie them into a different aesthetic?

    • The way that I want to attach the cans is still up in the air since I want to make sure that it stays locked down but can still be removed, its honestly the most challenging part of this project. I have yet to decide what I want them to look like, but I already have some military-esc seat covers that offer some storage of tools and what not so I think it will tie in well.

  • Hannah Moller
    March 6, 2021 5:49 pm

    Your project really interests me since I have grown up with project cars and still love to get into the thick of it every now and then. I have a bug that actually uses an old road work sign as a gage holder and it works great. The ammo can idea for the glove box is a solid idea and will definitely add some more character to your project car. I am really excited to see how this project turns out. Are you planning on painting the ammo cans once you’re done or are you planning to leave it the original color?

    • Painting the cans depend upon a couple of things, If there is rust on the cans, I may have to paint over them so that they last longer, I would prefer not to though. I think that the writing on them and military green is pretty cool and plays to the militaristic aesthetic. I will have to see when I get there I guess.


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