Overhead Console (98-04 GMC/ Chevy)

Discussion in 'Interior Restoration' started by CDesperado, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,287
    1
    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    Over the last few years, I have seen a few people discuss installing an overhead console on their second gen. However, there haven't been many posts about anyone who has actually done it. I decided to look into this further and have a tentative plan that I will start documenting since others may be interested in making this mod as well.

    There are lots of different overhead consoles out there. I had some specific things I wanted to accomplish, which is why I went the direction I am going. I am rolling with a console unit from a 1998-2004 GMC Jimmy or Chevy Blazer with the sunroof option. This unit is smaller than the full-sized console that came in cars without the sunroof.

    Before I discuss the smaller version, I want to talk about the longer version that is used in these same vehicles. I actually have a 2000 Jimmy with the full-sized console. This is what each of the compartments is for.
    [​IMG]

    This is what the full-sized version looks like when it is installed.
    [​IMG]

    There is one small modification that was made to this unit to make it sit flush with the Camaro roof. The original console has a recessed area to contour with the roof in a Jimmy/ Blazer. I am guessing someone plastic welded a patch on this, then covered everything with the same materials as the headliner. I can post up more pics of the original if anyone is interested in this.

    Assuming this idea works, I am going to use the smaller version of this console for the following reasons:
    1. It provides the compass and temperature settings that I want.
    2. It provides 3 buttons for integrated garage door openers and can support up to 6 remote devices. (I prefer this over the larger console, which only features a massive hole in the large console that is designed for the larger style garage door opener, not the smaller ones that are used today.)
    3. It provides the map lights that I desire. (They are not adjustable like the ball-mounted lights in the larger version, but that is a small trade-off.)

    The next generation of this console is in my 2008 Envoy. It does not have a compass or temperature sensor. It has the three HomeLink buttons for the garage door. Versions from 2005 and up no longer have TravelNote (a digital voice recorder), which I am not interested in.

    Enough background info. Here are some basic pictures of the unit:
    [​IMG][​IMG]



    Tips When Selecting a Unit
    I've gone through five of these units trying to figure out how to make this work. You can pick up a unit from anywhere from $25-45 bucks on Ebay, plus the ride. (I got one from a junkyard for $15, but it took several hours to find one in good condition and another 30 minutes to carefully remove it.)

    When looking for a unit, whether its at a junkyard or on Ebay, look for one with the little nipples on the HomeLink buttons. That is a good indicator that the unit wasn't heavily used.
    [​IMG]



    Electrical Wiring
    The key is the wiring harnesses. In my next post, I will throw up a lot more detailed pictures of the electrical-side of this unit and will label everything as best as I can, for now, here are a few reference pictures.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In my next post, I will try identify each wire from the two wiring harnesses going into the console.


    Compass
    The Compass is attached to the mounting bracket, which won't work when installing in our cars because there isn't enough room between the headliner and the roof. My plan is to extend the wires and mount the compass under the dash. (It needs to be level.)

    [​IMG]

    I have noticed there are two different versions of the compass, which I am showing below. (The green version came from a Blazer and the white version came from a Jimmy. I suspect the difference is based on the model year, not the make/model of the car.)
    [​IMG]


    Temperature Sensor
    This is the temperature sensor. You can see the clip that is used to attach the sensor to the metal bracket behind the front grille. The sensor has two wires that run all the way to the firewall. I pulled out everything but will be running new wires once we mount this.
    [​IMG]

    I will conclude with this. For this idea to work at all, I will need to fabricate a new mounting bracket and make a couple of other minor modifications to ensure the console can sit flush with the headliner without sitting too closely to the underside of the roof. At this point, I am pretty sure I know how to accomplish this and will post up more detailed wiring instructions and install photos as we move along.

    If you have any questions, let me know!
     
  2. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,287
    1
    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    Here is a quick shot of the main mounting issue. You can't use the bracket because it is WAY too thick.
    [​IMG]


    Without the bracket, there are a few areas to contend with. I will either need to cut a hole in the headliner OR create a thin 1/2 bezel that will pull the console away from the headliner slightly. The bezel would be covered by the same materials as the headliner.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ratpatrol71z28

    ratpatrol71z28 Veteran Member

    1,573
    6
    Mar 29, 2012
    Mantweeka, California
    Wow very interesting in what things we can adapt from new cars to our cars to make it more modern and practical, amazing!
     
  4. earnhardtgm3

    earnhardtgm3 Veteran Member

    1,800
    24
    Dec 18, 2007
    Camaro Country,GA
    Interesting--I got some ideas as well
     
  5. earnhardtgm3

    earnhardtgm3 Veteran Member

    1,800
    24
    Dec 18, 2007
    Camaro Country,GA
    Why is the bracket to thick to use?


     
  6. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,287
    1
    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    The clearance between the headliner and the underside of the roof isn't going to be thick enough (deep enough) to accomodate the mounting bracket. I'll post up some pics in a few days with measurements so you can see the thickness.

    I may get lucky when I go to install the headliner and find there is enough room, but Im 99% certain there wont be. The solution is likely going to involve using a flat piece of ABS plastic with holes in a couple key spots and a few minor modifications to the console.

    The goal is to make the console removable without having to dismount the entire headliner board in case I need to replace a light bulb, etc, but Im not sure whether that will work yet or not.
     
  7. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,287
    1
    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    What kind of ideas? I'm eager to hear anyone's thoughts on this!
     
  8. buckeye79

    buckeye79 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    636
    0
    Dec 16, 2007
    Crestline, Ohio
    I will be watching this one. I will say though that I really like the look of the long console installed between the t-tops.
     
  9. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    3,287
    1
    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    I have gone back and forth on using the long version and ultimately decided not to use it. The sunglass holder is handy and I used it all the time. The garage door opener is a little tricky if you have a small door opener, but you can get it to work if you play with it.

    The CD holder is basically useless. I used it to store my insurance card. I dont think I ever had a CD in it the entire time I had the car. There is an elastic band on there that will dry rot and you basically just have to cut it out.

    Be careful with the ball joints on the lights. They can wear out and make the light loose. There is a redneck fix for it though.
     

Share This Page