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Ford thunderbird console swap/build

amfw

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Sooooooo, on the "what have you done to your Bronco today" thread a few weeks back, someone posted a pic of a Bronco they saw at a car show in Florida. It had a 64-66 Thunderbird console in it, and I thought the look was spot on. I currently have a tuffy stereo console in my '74 that came with the truck when I bought it. It has been cleaned up and painted and has treated me just fine, but they have never looked that great to me, all boxy and plain, not to mention that they are in all manner of Jeeps and FJs etc besides Broncos. But when I saw the Tbird console, I knew I wanted to give it a try. The fit seemed good, and the styling is perfect mid 60's Ford, same as our Broncos.
I went on FB marketplace and Craigslist and managed to score a Tbird console in pretty good shape fairly quickly and cheaply.
I am starting this thread for a couple reasons, not the least of which is that I don't entirely know how to accomplish what I am undertaking, so feel free to chime in with ideas, experience, advice, or encouragement. the other reason is that a couple members on this site and on FB have expressed interest in either doing this themselves or seeing how it turns out, so this is a place to follow along.
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amfw

amfw

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This is the console I picked up locally. Paid 50 bucks for it, and some other Thunderbird parts. I have pulled all the chrome parts that I think I will reuse. The trim over the tunnel cover area is pretty pitted to I am considering either getting it rechromed, hitting it with a wire brush, or sanding and painting it chrome with clear coat. I have tons of other trim scraps I can practice one, but any input here is appreciated.
 
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amfw

amfw

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Here it is kind of getting sized up for trimming and placement
 
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amfw

amfw

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I trimmed off the front bottom piece with two cuts on my jigsaw. ^^^
I also trimmed an angle piece off the thicker black part that has the blue tape on it in this photo. this is to kind of match the incline in the tunnel cover. Down below here is a pic of it kind of where I think it is going to end up, after trimming. vvvvvvv
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amfw

amfw

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and that is where I am at now... My current thinking is that I am going to aim for it to sit as it is in the last photo. I want to extend the bottom of the console to the floor. I don't weld, so I am thinking that I will rivet some sheet metal once I get a good template. I will build an interior box or boxes out of wood. I have the original plastic insert from Ford, but its TINY, and with it off the floor a little, I am making more room anyway. Once I get it into kind of one piece, I want to re-wrap the whole thing with a thing vinyl/leather and re install the trim parts.
 

JKH67302

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Great idea! I just built my own console to put my Winters shifter in and have some storage and cup holders. I always wanted to do it and the daunting task of never ending grinding and precise cutting of sheet metal got the better of me. As part of my 4R70w swap I decided it was time to have a place to put my coffee! So, away I went over Christmas cutting and grinding, and I am pleased with how I turned out. I'm sure yours will come around too! I doubt you needed words of encouragement, but seeing something new like this is really cool. I look forward to seeing it finished.
James

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JeffG

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That is cool how the Thunderbird console fits so well in the Bronco. I will be on the lookout for one of those.
 

gnsteam

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Great progress, I will be following this build. Now if I could only talk my sister out of the console in her 66 T-bird. probably no chance in hell, she love that car.
 
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amfw

amfw

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That is cool how the Thunderbird console fits so well in the Bronco. I will be on the lookout for one of those.
It definitely was a relief.. It's obviously not a drop in solution, but I figured the transmission tunnel coming from similar era fords may work out pretty well, and it did!
 

m_m70

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I've wanted to do this for years with the Thunderbird console! Complete units are a rare find in my neck of the woods and when they do come up they're pretty expensive.
Following this closely as seeing your work on this is giving me some motivation to get back in the hunt looking for a console to start!
Nice work so far and can't wait to see the end result!
 
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amfw

amfw

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Complete units are a rare find in my neck of the woods and when they do come up they're pretty expensive.
I got VERY lucky in that regard... I usually have to search forever before I can find something locally, but I found the complete console in good shape 20 minutes from my house in the first hour. And he only wanted 50 bucks! He said it had been for sale forever and he was seriously considering tossing it
 
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amfw

amfw

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Made some progress today. Did some templates with scrap around the shop, and then put together a 'sled' for the bottom. The bottom edges of the console flare out a bit and they want to land on the seat belt bolt heads. I played around with some clamps and it was easy enough to bring the sides into some sort of straight without any creasing in the metal. So I decided to keep going in that direction. Im basically just building a bottom that fits to the floor and tunnel cover and sitting the Tbird console over that, then fastening the Tbird sides to the sled sides.
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amfw

amfw

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The sides are set with screws and washers right now, but ive ordered some groove rivets to try and get a lower profile fastener that wont be so apparent under the new vinyl covering.

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56f100bbw

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In Tucson Arizona a TBird junkyard is going out of business because they doubled his lot rent he’s got about 20 Thunderbirds from 64 to 66 and I did see some consuls in them
 

m_m70

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In Tucson Arizona a TBird junkyard is going out of business because they doubled his lot rent he’s got about 20 Thunderbirds from 64 to 66 and I did see some consuls in them
Thanks for the heads up! Just sent them an email with fingers crossed!
 
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amfw

amfw

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56f100bbw

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I think this guy is closed on Saturday real nice guy I thought about buying a pair of his bucket seats and consol but I would have to buy another bronco to put them in
 

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admin

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Subscribing to this thread so I can follow how it turns out. From the 1st pic you posted it looks amazing, especially with a stock interior.
 
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