A-pillar switch pod project

Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Miami
Hey guys,

So i have many switches currently scattered around in the cab of the LX, and many more planned...

  • Air Compressor
  • Rear Locker
  • Fridge
  • Spot Lights
  • 2nd Tank Pump
  • Front Locker (planned)
  • Rear Lights (planned)
  • winch power (planned)
  • Winch controls (planned)
  • Inverter (planned)
  • etc....

At the same time, when getting into it, i broke the 25 year old grab handle on the A-pillar. Rest In Piece handle, you will be missed. When i removed it, i noticed the nice stout mounting it had, and it made me think that would be a cool spot for switches. So i started drafting.

Main hurdles:
1-no space for wires in the back of the stock A-pillar
2-tough to feed a big wire loom between the dash and the A-pillar/windshield interface.

I decided to overlook those issues for now, and just model something to see how it would look. Here are some pics of a pod that would bolt to the stock holes. This design would mean a hole would need to be cut to the A-pillar to feed the wires, which i'm not a fan off. Nonetheless, i will 3D print it and mock it up.

1991023

1991024

1991025


My other idea is to replicate the A-pillar trim, offset into the cab and taper it upwards to allow for wiring to pass behind, and incorporate the switch panel into it. This will probably require a 3D scanner and lots of effort because that little plastic piece is damned complex! here are my 1/10 of the way there attempts lol.

Main hurdles:
1-damned complex structure to model/measure in software with just a caliper on hand
2-my computer can't handle photogrammetry software because it has a crappy graphics card... considering buying one to make this easier.

1991026

1991028


Anyways, i'm pushing through, and just wanted to show you guys how i spend my free time o_O:beer:. Let me know if ya'll have any thoughts or recommendations! i am committed to a pillar switches (or overhead) for the cool factor :) and its something i never see on LC's. Or anything other than a Heep for that matter.
 

SmokingRocks

I bought a Cruiser to keep miles off my Cruiser
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
3,227
Location
Colorado
 
Hey guys,

So i have many switches currently scattered around in the cab of the LX, and many more planned...

  • Air Compressor
  • Rear Locker
  • Fridge
  • Spot Lights
  • 2nd Tank Pump
  • Front Locker (planned)
  • Rear Lights (planned)
  • winch power (planned)
  • Winch controls (planned)
  • Inverter (planned)
  • etc....

At the same time, when getting into it, i broke the 25 year old grab handle on the A-pillar. Rest In Piece handle, you will be missed. When i removed it, i noticed the nice stout mounting it had, and it made me think that would be a cool spot for switches. So i started drafting.

Main hurdles:
1-no space for wires in the back of the stock A-pillar
2-tough to feed a big wire loom between the dash and the A-pillar/windshield interface.

I decided to overlook those issues for now, and just model something to see how it would look. Here are some pics of a pod that would bolt to the stock holes. This design would mean a hole would need to be cut to the A-pillar to feed the wires, which i'm not a fan off. Nonetheless, i will 3D print it and mock it up.



View attachment 1991023
View attachment 1991024
View attachment 1991025

My other idea is to replicate the A-pillar trim, offset into the cab and taper it upwards to allow for wiring to pass behind, and incorporate the switch panel into it. This will probably require a 3D scanner and lots of effort because that little plastic piece is damned complex! here are my 1/10 of the way there attempts lol.

Main hurdles:
1-damned complex structure to model/measure in software with just a caliper on hand
2-my computer can't handle photogrammetry software because it has a crappy graphics card... considering buying one to make this easier.

View attachment 1991026
View attachment 1991028

Anyways, i'm pushing through, and just wanted to show you guys how i spend my free time o_O:beer:. Let me know if ya'll have any thoughts or recommendations! i am committed to a pillar switches (or overhead) for the cool factor :) and its something i never see on LC's. Or anything other than a Heep for that matter.

You either need to use very thin signal wire and run every switch through a relay (ground switching will mean fewer wires) or you may need to have the panel contour fit to the dash, then punch a hole in the dash to run the wire loom. I've got like 5 wires in the driver's side A pillar and that was a struggle.

Also why do you have your Fridge and inverter on the switches? My fridges and inverter all have their own power switches integrated in the units.

My switches are:
Front LED Bar (on dash)Rear
Locker
Front
Locker
IN
Winch
OUT
Rock LightsSide LightsRear LED BarOnboard
Air
Winch Power
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
4,350
Location
Sydney, Australia
 
 
I like the idea, but agree with @SmokingRocks. use signal wire and relays.
You can get some very compact relays if you need to locate them under the dash, or set up a bank of relays under the hood

Also, locate non driving related switches somewhere else. Things like fridge, inverter etc, there's really no need to have them within immediate reach when driving.
Removing them from the pillar would make it less cluttered and allow you to separate switches into groups, such as compressor and lockers, winch power and controls. A little do between groups makes it easier to identify the right switch when you're occupied.
Be nothing worse than hitting winch in when you want front locker NOW!
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Miami
You either need to use very thin signal wire and run every switch through a relay (ground switching will mean fewer wires) or you may need to have the panel contour fit to the dash, then punch a hole in the dash to run the wire loom. I've got like 5 wires in the driver's side A pillar and that was a struggle.

Also why do you have your Fridge and inverter on the switches? My fridges and inverter all have their own power switches integrated in the units.

My switches are:
Front LED Bar (on dash)Rear
Locker
Front
Locker
IN
Winch
OUT
Rock LightsSide LightsRear LED BarOnboard
Air
Winch Power
Just so I can turn them on or off from the driver seat for any given reason. Definetly not a necessity, more of a thought that it may come in handy at some point. You have pics of your setup?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Miami
Weekend progress. This design takes into account leaving the grab handle in place. 6 switches fit this way. I could get a seventh in there, but the straight angle would not flow very well with the interior.

1993078


Quick render with a similar tan fabric, to match the interior

1993082


Still need to model the OEM mounting points. I will also model up a version that goes all the way to the top for 12 switches lol cause why not! :beer::bounce2:

As mentioned above, the best bet for wiring here will be to use signal wire. Plenty easy, considering several companies sell those pre-made relay banks that can be mounted under the hood. The wires can be fed through the actual a-pillar.

Thoughts??

8.JPG
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Miami
How many would fit if you delete the handle, and had a vertical row of switches (turn switches 90 degrees)
top of my head, id say around 8. switch faces for your average Carling type switches are taller than the hole you see in the pics.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Miami
That's fantastic. I need something like this with 1 Gauge pod. I have a 3D printer but not good at the modeling. Great work!
I can make a model for the gauges also. What size print bed do you have?
 

SmokingRocks

I bought a Cruiser to keep miles off my Cruiser
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
3,227
Location
Colorado
 
I would consider using a ribbon wire for the signal wires, at least where space is tight. Or you may be able to use an ethernet wire as your signal wire (it has 8 conductors so this one wire could handle all of your switch signals). Your signal current for the relays should be roughly 150mA so if you mount your relay/fuse block combo above the dead pedal that should be enough gauge of wire for that far of a run.

However, you wire this all of the wires on the switch pod side need to be joined in connectors so you can easily install and remove the pod. If you use an ethernet cable for signal wire this makes it easy as you can just put an ethernet port on the switch pod and retain the factory end on the ethernet cable. Then you would only need to supply 12v to the switches for power and a ground return to the rheostat for switch dimming.

Additionally, my panels power comes from an ignition switched 12v supply, so it's off when the truck is off. But I wanted to be able to override that and power up the switch panel whenever I wanted (and I use this pretty often). So I mounted a switch out of sight in the driver's footwell and has constant power to it, when switched on it powers up the panel. If you want this functionality you need to wire your relay/fuse block with constant power.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Miami
That would be rad. I have a 220 x 220 bed.
I think 1 gauge with like 3 or 4 switches would be amazing to have.
this is the gauge I have,
Amazon product
So the design is for a complete A-pillar replacement, that wont fit your print bed. If what your looking for is a plastic overlay for the stock A-pillar, i think people use Acura gauges or something like that.
 

SmokingRocks

I bought a Cruiser to keep miles off my Cruiser
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
3,227
Location
Colorado
 
If I were to do it again I'd go with their new style switches:
1993482
1993483



Or one of the programmable switch controllers.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
87
Location
Miami
If I were to do it again I'd go with their new style switches:
View attachment 1993482View attachment 1993483


Or one of the programmable switch controllers.
OH MAN those look so nice!
 

SmokingRocks

I bought a Cruiser to keep miles off my Cruiser
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
3,227
Location
Colorado
 
I would think the CKP would need a relay controller to interpret the signal from the switch panel though. Not sure if there is a standard device that does this? I would think there is.
 
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