Locking console vault

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Hoosier Daddy

Jul 1, 2005
CO Springs
One of my favorite features of the FZJ-80 I just sold was the Fort Knox Pistol Vault I had hidden in the console. It was extremely solid and had an awesome simplex lock.

Unfortunately, the console on the GX470 is much smaller, about 6.5 inches square. I couldn't find any sort of locking container that will fit inside. There is a manufacturer that makes custom-fit vaults for consoles but they don't make one for the GX.

After a bit of searching I found a console vault that could be *modified* to fit a GX.

The Bestop 42643-01 Center Console Lock Box is pretty close when it comes to width and length, but it stands almost 9 inches tall. In order to close the folding doors on the GX console, we are limited to about 5.5 inches of height. The other problem is that this box is made for a late model Jeep, and it has cut-outs on the front for outlets and such inside the Jeep console.

A nice Fort Knox box is almost $200 and cannot be modded to fit the GX. The Bestop box is only $70 and was fairly easy to mod. Figuring it was better than nothing, I decided to try the Bestop box.

The first thing I did was measure out 2.75 inches to remove and marked it with masking tape. The box has a complex tapered shape, so I had to remove the 2.75 inches from the middle, starting an inch up from the bottom. I used a reciprocating saw with a metal-cutting blade and it went fairly quickly. You'll notice that the box is almost 9 inches and I needed it less than 5.5 inches, but I only cut out 2.75 inches. The reason for this is that once I cut out the middle, I needed the top and bottom pieces to overlap so I could re-join them. With the overlap, the box stands just under 5.25 inches. I intend to upgrade the lock, so I left a quarter inch more room to add a combination lock.

Once cut, the top piece is slightly larger than the bottom when measured front to back, and they are the same size in width. I slotted the corners and expanded the bottom slightly so the bottom sides would fit outside the top when put together. Since I don't have a welder, I used rivets to re-attach the pieces.

In the photo above you see the two pieces re-joined with rivets. You also see the large holes in the front where the Jeep console outlets would go. We don't need those holes, so I took some sheet metal and cut it to fit. I attached the metal panel to the front of the box using JB Weld and a few rivets.

I measured out the spacing for the mounting holes, using the stock mounting holes for the console as a template. I bought some new, 1/2" longer bolts at Ace and some washers. You'll see the bolt holes in the bottom photo, and you'll also see that I added a small piece of leather on the lock mechanism to keep the door from clanking when going over bumps.

The next step was to paint it. No need to go nuts here, since the only thing you will see once installed is the very top of the lid.

Once the paint was dry, it could be installed.

I figure the biggest vulnerability of this box would be someone prying the front open where the lock cam is located. Therefore I installed it right up against the cup holder mount to make it harder to pry that part open.

Is this theft-proof? No. With time, tools, and determination, a good thief will be inside within minutes.
Is it perfect? No.
Does it have a cool simplex lock and 10 gauge steel? No.
Is it big enough to store a 1911? No, but you can fit a Ruger LCR in there pretty easily.
The goal is to keep honest people honest and to protect my stuff from smash and grab tweakers.

Note that another option is to not cut the box at all, and just use some sheet metal to close up the holes in the front. You can then drill the holes and install it in your console. It sticks up a few inches and you can't shut the folding doors on the console anymore, but it really doesn't look bad at all. I decided against this, feeling I needed to have it concealed completely inside the console more than I needed the extra space in the box.
Great work and write up!
Pretty slick. I go low tech with mine and just lock it in the glove box or if it's just running in somewhere that I can't take it I leave it in the center console.
Forgot to update this thread - I added a combination lock to the safe, replacing the key lock. Much more convenient.

The combination dial is hard to grip when pulling the lid open, so I JB-Welded a small metal tab toward the front, to grab with my finger.

Please excuse the poor photo quality.


Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom