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Questioning my life choices...
Sep 27, 2012
Sweetwater, TN (East of Knoxville)
I have accomplished a monumental feat in my LX450 previsously thought impossible by mere Mudders. Was it an incredible boulder climb? Nope! Was it an ambitious canyon run? Nope!

It was installing 4...count em...FOUR cup holders! I can hold everything now from Coffee Cups to 32oz Nalgenes! I am a very happy boy. :cheers:

If there's no pictures then it didn't happen right? I wanted to post a detailed listing with pictures in line so it's nice and pretty but I'm in a hurry and have to get to an appointment so all the pics are here at my Dropbox link. I may rearrange this post later when I have more time. Here's the link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1647mxd7oyq4px1/-G1K1iYWAG

The Black Disc
The black disc in all the pictures is a RAM mount 3" suction cup mount. I stuck this on the grill when I first got the truck and mounted my iPhone to it. I have a writeup posted about this. It was temporary but so far has been pretty permanent in it's temporaryness. The phone still works with the cup holders in place. I think it's permanent now. :clap:

Front Discovery Cup Holders
I had purchased 2 Discovery cup holders last year and managed to install one up on the center console above the woofer grill. The other went onto the "normal" location on the passenger side of the shifter surround console. I had posted a writeup of this and was pretty happy with myself. A few months later I had a custom aluminum switch dashboard made (also posted writeup) based on another gentleman's post. This ejected my passenger cup holder. Afterward, a window tint shop removed my drivers cup holder (for some reason) and then reinstalled it like a drunken monkey. These combined events had rendered all my cup holders useless.

I decided to design some custom bent brackets based on 6" metal straps I bought at Home Depot. The vision was to build a bridge across the console and mount the Disco cup holders to the bridge. The problem is that nothing on the Disco cup holders is square, everything is curved at some wacky angle. This presented a challenge. I bent one of my brackets to accommodate the angle of the bottom of the cup holder and the 80 degree angle to the mounting hole. With some trial and error, I managed to find the right angles. I then drilled a hole in the bracket and the cup holder to mount a single 3mm screw, holding the 2 pieces together to make it easier to work with. Once I found the optimal location with MUCH trial and error. I drilled the side holes and mounted it. The goal was to have the holder level from the side and not interfere with the lid. You'll see some "oops!" holes on the drivers side. This is when I learned about the fine line between clearing the console lid and the Low gear shifter position. The rest of the bracket protruding across the center of the console needed to be trimmed down to clear the other Disco cup holder. I repeated the process on the other side and miraculously everything matched! The only thing I wasn't pleased with was the two overlapping brackets in the middle didn't overlap perfectly. There's another set of compound angles in the console shape itself. I mounted both holders and drilled a single hole, then 2 more once I saw it would swivel a bit. Finally, 3 holes and 3 screws later and that bridge is SOLID!.

The brackets mount to each Disco holder with a small 3mm screw in the inside and then form a bridge which is secured together with 3 screws. Needed at least 2 to keep it from skewing but I started with one so now I have 3.

The hardware used includes 2 x 1/4" button head hex screws with rubber washers on either side. The inside has a 2" square metal brace. I used Nylon locking nuts on all fasteners. One holds the metal bracket bridge and the other holds the bridge and the Disco cup holder.

NOTE: I found out after owning these cup holders for a year that the tops unscrew. :whoops: I didn't know that before...good to know. It made it much easier to install this time.

There is plenty of clearance to reach your hand down to open the console lid. I can just get 3 fingers in there but only use 2 to pop the latch. The clearance on the lid to Disco cup holder is tight, about 1/8" to 3/16" but it works just fine. The clearance for the shift lever is another story. To get the shifter into Low gear, it just touches the drivers cup holder. I've popped the top of the holder and found the play in the shift lever accommodates the extra 3/16" it needs to come to a full rest. Bottom line is that the shifter and the console lid both clear just fine.

On to the bottle holders!
I use a Camelback or Nalgene or Glass or Stainless Steel water bottle constantly and the impetus for this project was to prevent chasing my bottle all over the car and trying to find a home for it when a butt was occupying the passenger seat where it usually lived. I have been avoiding building the bridged cup holder mentioned above for months so I decided to improve the original cup holder instead. The original cup holder is like an enigma wrapped in a paradox. It's over-engineered to the billionth degree but only holds a Dixie cup of coffee. Go figure. I removed the original and reused the bracket inside that keeps the console sides from pushing in and provide a mount for the original holder. I took 2 4" L brackets from Home Depot and mounted them so they just rest on the bump jutting out below the original holder. I spaced them so that the 2 cup holders would clear the Emergency Brake lever. I sought high and low for a suitable cup holder and came up with the perfect solution. I used a pair of 32oz Nalgene bottles in dark grey. I cut them off at the 20oz mark using a fine tooth kerf saw and sanded the edges with 220 grit sandpaper. I drilled 2 holes to match the L brackets and then cut down the other end of the bracket to tuck under the bottom of the bottle. I rounded the end too but it's not necessary. The 1/2 bottle rests on the bracket and is held securely to the bracket again with 1/4" button head hex screws. I'd recommend placing some felt strips on the bracket that contacts the bottom of the holder. I have some slight rattle coming from the front one. I drilled into the console and managed to just tag the original spacer bracket mentioned earlier which is OK as I had intended to use it to keep the side integrity. I managed to get one bolt through the corner. I flattened the corner with a hammer to accommodate the nut. Otherwise, all screws go right through the conosle wall. I used 6" metal straps from Home Depot using the original bolt pattern to space the L brackets and provide reinforcement in the back. Again, Rubber Washers and Nylon Lock nuts were used. I intended to use rubber washers where they contact the bottles and metal on the other screw heads up front but I couldn't find black washers so I used rubber. Once day I may paint some up and replace the front ones.

Prep and Paint
I sanded the metal brackets and 1/2 bottles (outside only) with 220 grit sandpaper and then blew them off with the compressor and rinsed them with a shot of Electronics Cleaner safe for plastic. I masked the inside of the 1/2 bottles and only left a 1/16-1/32-1/16 lip around the inside. It's very hard to mask, hence the varying thickness. :doh: I wanted to paint the cut lip but not the inside to keep them from getting scratched up and ease cleaning. I primed the brackets with 2 coats of primer and shot everything with the wonderful Rust-Oleum 7226 Bronze Textured spray paint which I had used previously for the other items in my truck (see other write ups). For the record, that paint is awesome in that's a erfect color match for the dark brown interior. If you don't have some, go buy some now. I got mine from Amazon.com! I shot everything with 2 coats of bronze paint and let them dry for about 6 hours.

Reinstalling the Console

This proved to be a bit of a puzzle. Initially, the sub-woofer was in the way of the protruding bolts so I took the woofer out. I was intending to remove it anyway. If you want to keep it, use shorter bolts, smaller diameter nuts and a Dremel tool for the woofer. ;)
I managed to figure it out fairly quickly by partially inserting the console and shifting it back about 4 inches. I then installed the front console shift surround by tucking it under the dashboard, over the shift lever and then resting the rear in place. I then lifted the rear of the surround console about an inch and moved the big console forward a few inches until it fell into place. I secured the big console (except for the passenger side front screw) and then lowered the surround console once more and reinstalled it's screws.

Final Thoughts
As you can see from the pictures, the front Disco cup holders look like they could have come with the truck. The rear bottle holders look fantastic, I do wish they were brown on the inside too. I think I'd have gone with clear bottles instead but I think they look pretty sweet. :bounce::bounce2::bounce::bounce2: Go forth and reproduce this if you wish. I'm looking forward to our trip tonight just to try out the new cup holders....is that sad or what? :grinpimp:
Man that's a lot of typing/reading for cupholders- phew . Think I need a drink :)
I like what you did. I thought about putting Disco cup holders in the same position but ended up going a different direction. Don't let any of these other clowns discourage you. You can never have too many cup holders!!!
WOW! EPIC and Cupholder in the same title!
Very nice job.

Started reading but then went straight to the pics. :)

Thanks for the positive feedback guys. The wordiness has to do with the fact that I usually get a lot of questions about what I used and how it went together so I figured I'd save some time and spew it out in the front rather than piece it together over multiple postings. I don't mind the naysayers, I know they want cup holders like the rest of us, they're just scared to admit it! :p
Now all you need is a bladder upgrade to deal with all those liquids once the cup holders are empty.

Or this... damn, the Chinese beat us to it...

Built in car seat toilet!

Read the last line of the second paragraph in the linked story above for a good laugh... :lol:
Ohhhhh myyyyyyy!

Sent from my iPhone using IH8MUD

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