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 [MOD] Dual Switch Panel for Early TJs. « View previous topic :: View next topic » 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:34 pm    Post subject: [MOD] Dual Switch Panel for Early TJs. Reply with quote

Site Founder
Site Founder

Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 1769

[Mod] Dual Switch Panel For Early TJs.




One thing about TJs is that the space is at a premium that you can hardly find space to install things on. This mod has been around forever and originated from Harry Brosfsky(sp?). Since 1998, I have been thinking about doing this modification but I finally found a reason to do it with the in-cab winch control switches. (In-cab winch control will be covered in a different write up; this write up will only show you how to place the second switch bezel on the ash tray location.) This isn't exactly a bolt on mod.

Many of you probably have seen this mod done before, so I am sure some of you might be asking, "what is so special about this write up??" Well, for one thing, I didn't use any glue or duct tape. Second, I created mounting hole on the dash, so that the dual switch bezel is attached via screws on both sides holding it in place securely. This allows the bezel can be removed and reattached whenever you like just like stock bezel. And as usual, I took plenty of quality pictures to "show" you what is actually being done.

Tools and Parts Needed

Cigar. Lighter Bezel (OEM Part# 56007314AD, ~$23 from dealer)
Aluminum Angle Stock 1/2" (Lowes, ~$5)
Machine Screws, Matching Nuts and Washers (Lowes, ~$5)
Speed Nuts (Lowes, Under $2)
Drill and Drill Bits
Dremel with cutting wheels and sanding drum attachment
Screw Drivers (Flat, Phillips)
Hex Saw
Various Grit Sand Paper (fine to coarse)
Straight Edge

Job Hours
~3 Hours, take your time in cutting. You cannot re-grow a cut plastic. Measure 5 times and cut once.


1. Start by removing the top dash bezel by prying with a flat head and this exposes 2 screws at the top. Then remove the ash tray to access the 3rd screws that holds the center bezel. *I am also showing how the Trail Guide is attached. Once all 3 screws are removed, pull the center bezel out by grabbing the top of it and the opening for the ash tray. Pull straight out.

2. Once the center piece is pulled, you can see the factory switch panel which can be removed by removing 4 screws shown in the picture below and undoing the electrical connection on the switches.

3. We will start with the center bezel trimming. We are removing the ash tray insert and make the area just like on the left side where the OEM switch panel was sticking out. Notice the area to be cut.

4. Remove the big chunk of the insert by using the hex saw like this one. Make sure you leave enough. You can always go back to remove the excess. You cannot make up the deficit!!

Here is the rough cut.

5. Once the big chunk is remove, it is time to finish the edges using the Dremel cut out wheel and the sanding wheel attachment. *WEAR EYE PROTECTION!

*You can always go back and remove more. Go slow and remove/grind small amount of plastic at a time. Fast spinning cutting wheel attachment WILL melt the plastic. Remove big chunks with cutting wheel and grind/finish it with sanding drum.

Here is the finished product. I believe this particular step took about 1/3 of the total installation time to give you an idea.

See those broken cutting wheels?? They do fly wherever they want to when they break at 5000RPM. **Wear Eye Protection!

6. The second switch bezel have to be cut up so it can be attached right by the old bezel. Notice the red line indicating the cut required on the second bezel pointed with an arrow.

Make a paper template off of the original bezel and start by making the rough cut on the new bezel with the hex saw.

Use the template to check your progression of the cut.

There is a reason for making a cut like this because the groove indicated by red lines above will support the second bezel. It is imperative that you cut precisely. Otherwise you will have unstable foundation for the switch bezel which can break or move when you push down on the switch that is attached to the bezel.

7. Once some of the plastic is removed. Mock fit. If the panel does not fit flush with each other use grinding wheel to remove excess and refit.

8. One more thing before attaching both bezel pieces together, notice the thickness difference in the bezel at the top and the bottom indicated by the arrow. This difference will cause bowing of two bezels put together and this won't fit over the center dash bezel. Grind the top portion so that it has similar width as the bottom.

9. Notice the protrusion indicated by red line. The new bezel will have to accommodate that.

Cut the new bezel carefully! Keep as much plastic on it as possible. More plastic the bezel has, more strength/rigidity it will have at the end.

*Notice how I am just holding the bezel against the dash and everything lines up. This is what we are trying to achieve by making precise cuts so that no extra shimming or additional reinforcement is required.

I installed the center dash bezel over the new bezel not attached to anything. See how well it fits? I tell you it took me a good 2 hours to get to this point. Take your time making good, precise cuts. We are NOT done YET!

10. I attached 2 bezel pieces together using machine screws and locking washers. I drilled the proper sized holes for the machine screws that were 0.5" long.

Line it up and hold it together.

Drill a hole.

Used these to hold things together.

Notice another screw on the bottom. I also left a plastic support (top arrow) when I was cutting. That can help with the structural rigidity.

11. Cut about 2.5" aluminum angle stock from Lowes and drill a hole about in the middle. In fact you can drill as many holes as you feel like and use them to attach it to bezel. Use it as a guide line and drill a hole on the bezel. *I found this particular aluminum stock much easier to work with than steel version. Besides, it is much lighter and won't rust.

12. Drill another hole on the other side of the angle stock. Use it as a guide and drill on the dash. This hole will be used to attach the whole assembly on the dash.

13. We will use what they call Speed Nut to hold the bezel assembly in place on the dash.

In order to insert the speed nut, you need to make a linear hole to clear the speed nut to line up with the hole you drilled in Step 12.

It looks like this once installed in place. You will be left with 2 screws from Step 2. You can use that for this particular Speed Nut I got from Lowes.

*Don't worry too much about the cosmetics here. You won't see it once the center bezel is in place.

14. Attach the bezel assembly using the screws from Step 2.

15. Install the center dash bezel and the top vent cover including any electrical connectors you have undone previously. You are done!


I tried my best to document as much as possible along with pictures. I hope you find them useful. However, do use the information provided here "as-is". or the author does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, or process disclosed. Use the information at your own risk.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 09 Apr 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Medina, OH

Looks great! I did the same thing to my TJ.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 319
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Great MOD Mike!!!

Looks Good!!!

Like I need more Switches!!!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 22 Oct 2007
Posts: 99
Location: Mesa, Arizona

Looks good, I should do a write up for my relay bank, I run all my lights and accessories off relay and use small gage wire from the dash switches
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Site Founder
Site Founder

Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 1769

I would love to see your relay bank setup. I am currently running a custom fuse panel I made to get powers from the battery (switched and non-switched). I will be adding some lighting and accessories off of relay. I would like to make them tidy as they can be for the future.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 22 May 2007
Posts: 319
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

AZLugz wrote:
Looks good, I should do a write up for my relay bank, I run all my lights and accessories off relay and use small gage wire from the dash switches

Thats what I'm going to do!!! and have done already!!!
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