How To: Removing/Restoring "Shorty" Consoles - Discussion thread

Discussion in 'How-To Submissions' started by Fordzilla80, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Fordzilla80

    Fordzilla80 Eat Bacon, Drive Rangers.

    This is a How-To on removing and restoring factory short (or shorty) center consoles commonly found in Ford Rangers and Explorers with bucket seats.

    Neither I nor assume any responsibility for any mistakes you make while disassembling or restoring your center console.

    Tools Needed:

    -Phillips Screwdriver
    -T20 Torx Bit or Wrench
    -8mm socket and ratchet
    -T40 Torx Bit or Wrench

    Supplies needed for Restoration:

    -Light duty Scotch pad to remove burrs from plastic parts
    -Soapy solution to clean parts.
    -Old brush to clean dust out of tight areas.
    -Rags to dry parts, wipe away dust, etc.
    -Paint. Color is your choice, but if you want a factory "Fx4" appearance, go with Satin Black.
    -Masking Tape
    -Sand paper (Grit depends on severity of rust on the metal parts of your console).

    To remove the console from your truck or the junkyard truck:

    1. Remove the 4 bolts that hold the armrest to the rear bracket. To gain access to these bolts, move your seats forward or backward so that you have room to pull the oval shaped covers off the rear of the console on each side. Once the covers are removed, get your 8mm socket and ratchet and remove the bolts. There are two on each side. When you have all 4 bolts removed, lift the armrest assembly out of the console and set it aside.


    2. Next you will need to remove the small T20 screw that retains the console to the armrest support. Grab your T20 bit or wrench and loosen the screw.


    3. Now move to the front of the console. You will need to remove the cup holder assembly to gain access to the two console retaining screws. Pull up on the front of the cup holder section. When the clips release, pull the cup holder assembly towards the dash and out of the console. Set it aside with the armrest. You will now have access to the front console Phillips head retaining screws. There will be 6 visible screws. 4 keep the console together, the other two hold the console to the floor. You need to remove the two screws shown below in the "plus" sign. Once these are removed, you should be able to pull the console up and off of the armrest mount and set it aside with the cup holder and arm rest.


    4. If you are adding a shorty console to your truck, or would like to clean your current arm rest bracket up, you will need to remove the arm rest support bracket. It is held down by four T40 Torx head screws. Loosen them up with your Torx bit or wrench. Once these are removed, you will be able to remove the support bracket and set it aside.


    5. If you are adding a shorty console to your truck and would like to do it the factory way, you will need to pull these two plastic clips from the floor. These clips are just like the wall anchors you use at home to insert screws into drywall for pictures and the like. Remember the two console retaining screws you removed in Step 3? When those front console screws are inserted through these two plastic pieces, the two plastic pieces expand and grip the floor, keeping the console in place. There are no worries if your truck did not originally come with a shorty console, the holes for these clips are already in the floor of your truck. To remove the clips, simply wiggle them out of the two holes in the floor.


    You have now removed the shorty console from the truck, and can now proceed to disassembling the console for clean up, paint prep, and paint.

    To disassemble your shorty console:

    6. Your shorty console should already have the cup holder and arm rest assembly removed, so now we will move on to the storage compartment lid, hinge, and the storage compartment liner. First we'll remove the console lid. You can remove either the console lid hinge screws, or the storage compartment hinge screws, both will allow removal of the console lid. Once the console lid is removed, remove the remaining screws from the console lid or console compartment and set the hinge and console lid aside. Next move on to the storage compartment liner. There are six screws holding the liner in, two of which you will have already removed if you removed the console lid and hinge first. The remaining four screws are situated on both sides of the console, with two on each side. Be careful when removing the liner and it's screws since it is quite fragile. Once the screws are removed, the liner should fall free to the bottom of the console.


    7. Next we'll remove the four screws holding the upper and lower front sections of the console together. Moving to the front of the console, in any order, remove the four Phillips screws shown below.


    8. Once those screws are removed, move to either side of the console. Follow the bottom half of the console until you find the single screw on the side. Both sides will have just one screw to remove. Use caution when removing these screws as the clips are very fragile and will easily break off if forced. Once the screws are removed, you will be able to separate the remaining pieces of the console.


    The console itself should now be fully disassembled with exception to the console lid and the arm rest assembly.

    9. If you are not changing the color of your console, then the following two steps do not apply. However if you are changing the color of your console, and you are a perfectionist like I am and would like to cover every square inch of the console with the new color, you will need to disassemble both the console lid, as well as the arm rest assembly. The console lid has 5 screws holding the two halves together. If you have been following this How-To, you should have already removed three of them which doubled as hinge to console lid attachment screws. This leaves just two screws to remove at the front of the console lid. Remove these two screws, and the console lid halves should come apart. Once they are apart, remove the handle and it's associated pieces from the upper half of the console lid and set them aside.

    10. Once the console lid has been disassembled, you can now move on to the arm rest assembly. To separate the arm rest from the pivot point, flip the armrest over and remove the T20 Torx screws. Once these are removed, the pivot point and the arm rest should separate. Set the arm rest aside and check your arm rest support plate for any cracks or signs of stress. See * at the end of this How-To for information on a guaranteed fix-it. The final step of dis-assembly is completely up to you. The pivot point has a plastic shroud around it that is color matched to the console. You will need to paint this as well on a color change. You have two choices. You can either remove the shroud, or you can simply paint the shroud and the arm rest support as an assembly. To remove the shroud, cut the rivets from the pivot point, and then remove the pivot pin from the pivot point. (If you are doing the RockAuto fix, this is a necessary step anyway). Once the pin is removed, the pivot point and arm rest support plate should be free of each other, and you should now be able to remove the shroud. To re-install the shroud, simply rivet the shroud back into place, or use two small nuts and bolts.

    Cleaning, Prepping, and Painting your Console:

    11. Spend some time carefully cleaning every last part you plan to paint, and even the parts you don't. Make sure all grease, food, and mysterious substances are removed from the surface of all pieces to be painted. Take the aforementioned brush and clean all the crevices you can not reach with a rag, especially the under side of the console and under the arm rest. Once everything is free of all debris, you can now proceed to prepping each piece.

    12. The preparation for paint process is pretty straight forward. Make sure there is nothing on each piece that will interfere with the painting process. NO oils, no lint, no hairs, etc. Use a light duty Scotch pad to remove any foreign burrs you find on the console.

    13. Set each piece you are painting on to a clean, dry surface. Try and do your painting at eye level so that you can see exactly how the paint is laying down. Make sure you paint in a well ventilated area. Read the can. You know the drill. Apply light coats and spray in a left to right "sweeping" manner. Do not hold the can closer than 6" from the item you are painting or else the paint will start to gather and run. After each coat, check for any spots you may have missed.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2012
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  3. OP

    Fordzilla80 Eat Bacon, Drive Rangers.

    Here's a small tip when you go to paint the cup holder. I highly suggest taping off the cup holder assembly and painting the cup holder inserts first. Tape off everything except for the cup holder inserts, and the crevice to the right of the lower cup holder. Spray these areas first to keep the extra paint from ganging up on the outer surfaces of the cup holder assembly. This should provide for better coverage inside the cup holder inserts without having to worry about the paint ganging up on the outsides of the inserts.

    Allow plenty of time for each piece to dry before you reapply coats, and do not re-assemble the console until the paint has fully dried. Once each piece has fully dried, installation of the console is the reverse of removal. Refrain from installing the cup holder assembly and the armrest assembly until you have the console mounted in the truck. This is so you can have access to the retaining screw holes without having to damage your paint trying to remove the cup holder piece again.

    Installing the Rear Support Bracket and Front Clips:

    If your truck was not originally equipped with a shorty console, you will need to make a few modifications to install the console the factory way. If you do not want to install the console the factory way, simply use self tapping screws to retain the console. To install the console the factory way, you will need to drill 4 holes for the rear armrest support bracket, as well as insert the front plastic retaining clips into the pre-supplied holes in the cab floor. To find the location where the front two clip holes are, measure on a donor truck the distance between the holes and the front cup holder console under the airbag shutoff switch. Write down the measurements and then transfer them to your truck and cut right above where the holes should be. If you measured right, you should be looking right down at the long, thin rectangular clip holes.

    To gain access to the cab floor for the rear support bracket, you can simply cut a small section out of your carpet about where the rear bracket goes and feel around for the four indentations Ford provided in the cab floor. These indentations are where the holes will need to be drilled. Or, you can measure the distance between the front clip holes and the rear bracket holes, write them down, and then transfer them to your truck. Once you know where the indentations are, cut the carpet or vinyl floor around these indentations, and then drill through the center of the hole. Drill slightly smaller than the bolts you will use to allow a secure fit. From factory, Ford did not use a nut on the bottom side of the T40 screws, but I personally will be using nuts and bolts through the floor to better secure the rear bracket. If you choose this way as well, be careful not to get bolts that are too long as you do run the risk of contacting your drive shaft with the bolts. Once you have the rear bracket installed and tightened down, and your front clips inserted into the floor, you are now ready to install your restored center console.

    Concerning the RockAuto repair kit:

    *If your support plate is cracked, this is where the RockAuto fix comes in to play. RockAuto sells a replacement console pivot armrest support plate that replaces your cracked plastic piece. The replacement support is made out of metal, so it is a lifetime fix and will bring your arm rest back to it's factory position with no worries of future breakage. If you would like to purchase the replacement plate, simply visit their site and search for part number ARM-100.
  4. Hooligan

    Hooligan Rangerholic!!

    Great writeup dude!! Thanks for contributing!
  5. OP

    Fordzilla80 Eat Bacon, Drive Rangers.

    No problem Clinton! Thanks for making it a done deal. :)
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  6. BisketFx4

    BisketFx4 New Member

    Good Job Shaun!!!!
  7. OP

    Fordzilla80 Eat Bacon, Drive Rangers.

    Thanks Richard! :)

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