Introduction: Chevy Blazer Switch Console
I just replaced my 1986 S10 with a 1998 S10. I always add Driving and fog lights as well as a nice stereo to my cars. I live in a pretty rural area and often end up driving through farmland at night. Good long range lights are a must as well as wide beam lights to cover the side of the road.
My Blazer had a cassette/cd holder that would never get used. I decided to replace it with an aluminum plate to hold switches for these lights as well as the amplifier and a set of train horns and air compressor.
Step 1: Making the Plate
First step was to make the place the same size as the rim of the cd holder. That was as easy as tracing it out with a sharpie and taking it to the bandsaw.
I cut all the switch holes at this time. I also bent the plate slightly across the middle. this will help later in making hte plate sit flush in the opening.
Then I got some Carbon Fiber look contact paper to make it pretty. I used a razor to slit each switch hole with an X and folded the paper around the back.
Step 2: Switches
I decided to use 2 different sizes of switches. Three larger switches on top for the driving lights, fog lights, and Amber Grill strobes. Four lower switches for the air horns, trailer work light, amplifier power, and one spare I'll find a use for soon.
The air horn switch is wired like the old fashioned Highway/City horn switches. When its off the standard horn works as it used to but when the switch is on it connects the stock horn relay to the train horns.
Step 3: Wiring
I used some white 18 gauge wire to daisy chain all the lamp grounds together.
I used the same wire to make a pigtail for each switches power lead. You could daisy chain these too if your going to use relays.
I then used a 16 gauge red/black pair to run up to the cigarette lighter in the dash. The red wire should be 12Ga if you don't plan on using relays. the black wire can be 18 ga and that's still overkill for 7 small lamps.
Each switch output gets run separately to a relay under the hood except for the amplifier. I just ran that one to the remote power on terminal on the amp. If you're running smaller loads or interior devices you can power them directly from the switch terminals. Just make sure your main power feed is capable of the total load with all devices on.
Step 4: Relays
Even though the switches are rated at 10A each I still like to use relays. that keeps the high current wiring under the hood and closer the the lights and battery.
Some cars have a junction block on the firewall for the main 12V power. If you're lucky you can tap off here. Use a fuse holder with an automotive fuse or a fusible link. I used the link since I had spares and it looks cleaner. if you dont have this option you can always tap off the battery itself or the positive stud on the alternator.
Find a clean spot on the firewall or inner fender to mount your relays. I sometimes use the radiator support, especially when tapping off the battery.
Step 5: Mounting
I used two small torx screws and nuts to make studs to attach a cross bar to. That just pinches the console to keep the panel in place.
This is where the slight bend I made in the beginning into play. It helps ensure the top and bottom are in good contact with the console when the cross bar is tightened up.
You could make it out of Plexiglas if you want something easier to work with when cutting all those holes.
So far only 2 lights on the front but these are being replaced with 4 -120W Dick Cepek Super Off Roaders I pulled from my last truck.