DIY Console Lock Box Using Ammo Box for Less Than $20




I had been looking for a vault to go in my 2016 Yukon console, but didn't want to pay for something that cost over $250. I had an empty 50 cal ammo box and thought I would try my luck. I bought a 1 3/8" combo cam lock from Amazon for $17.50 and used an old ammo box that came with a purchase. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Remove Remove Rubber Pad at the Bottom and the 2 Screws From the Bottom of the Console

There should be a little tab on one edge of the rubber. Just pull it out and remove the screws

Step 2: Remove Ammo Box Lid

It will make it easier to work with the ammo can if you remove the lid. Open it and slide it to the left (facing the can opening).

Step 3: Remove the Latch From the Ammo Can Lid

Remove the latch from the ammo can lid using an angle grinder or hack saw

Step 4: Step 4: Drill Holes in Ammo Box Bottom

Measure the existing screw holes to know where to drill the holes in the box. My measurements were roughly as follows. 1 5/8" from the side of the long side of the box. 6 5/8" between the two holes. About 2 1/2" from the short side of the box. See pictures below. Note that you will want the ammo can lid to open from the driver's side of the box (hinge on the passenger side). Drill the two holes on the bottom of the ammo box and remove any burrs.

Step 5: Drill Cam Lock Hole

Drill a 3/4” hole in the top of the lid for the cam lock. Make sure it is far enough away that the lock knob misses the lid handle hardware. Install the combo lock cam.

Step 6: Cut Slit for Cam Lock Lever

Use an angle grinder and cut a slit on the inside of the box where the locking cam will lock. this part was trial and error for me. You can see where I used black paint to see where the latch was hitting when trying to lock it. This helped me figure out where to make the cut. Make sure you are tightly holding the lid closed when trying to figure out where to make the cut. You want the lid to close tightly once everything is complete.

Step 7: Shorten Cam Lock Lever

You will need to grind down the end of the locking lever so that it will fit inside where the latch rod was located before you removed the latch.

Step 8: Outside View of Slit Cut Inside Box

The cam lock lever will be hidden by the piece of metal that the lid latch rod goes through on the outside.

Step 9: Mount the Ammo Box

Mount the ammo can with the 2 screws you removed from step 1. Make sure you mount it with the combo lock on the driver’s side.

Step 10: Insulate the Box

Use some old foam (or buy some) cut to shape for the bottom and sides so the contents don't get scratched

Step 11: Optional Organizer Tray Resize

I do have an organizer tray that I purchased from GM. Since one side is deeper than the other, I cut out the bottom so it would still fit on top of the ammo can. I still need to add a new bottom to it once I figure out how to do it. However, the tray will fit with the deeper side cut out.

Step 12: Optionally, Remove Handle and Paint

To remove the handle from the lid, I used an angle grinder to cut the 2 brackets off. I used a flap disk to grind down the brackets that were tac welded to the lid. You will probably want to use a finer flap disk or sand paper to get the lid very smooth. As you can see, mine isn't that smooth. Thanks for the suggestion bojemoi!

I used black engine enamel to paint I had laying around to paint the entire ammo box and lid, but I'd suggest you use a semi-gloss so it isn't as shiny.

Step 13: Final Notes

Note that you will still have a few inches in front of the box where you can keep file folders or other things. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, but I’ll probably paint it black. I am sure if a thief wanted in, they could get in. But, I think a thief could get into one of the $250 vaults too. This is more of a deterrent for a thief, protects for valet, and my kids or their friends aren’t likely to stumble on the contents.



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    8 Discussions


    Reply 6 months ago

    oh, good to know! I had seen some videos on how to use zip ties as fillers, but assumed they were using just a soldering iron with some kind of flat tip.


    Reply 6 months ago

    Whatever you use, pro tool or soldering iron, melt the base material together. Just add filler whenever needed you have to get the two pieces melted together or it’ll break. Look at the recycling symbol and use same material for filler when needed.

    Yankee DoodleR

    6 months ago

    Straight forward, nicely done with simple tools. Need to figure out a place to put it.


    Tip 7 months ago on Step 13

    You can also buy foam inserts for the ammo can that have various configurations to more securely fit and protect specific items. Search Amazon for ammo can foam insert.


    7 months ago

    You can also remove the carry handle and tabs from the lid by grinding off the spot welds. Makes for a smoother lid.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 months ago

    Great idea! I think I'll do that and paint it all black at the same time.