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Essential Steps to Installing a Console

If you're the type of driver who simply needs a (non-alcoholic) drink or loose change placed beside him, then you're the type of driver who needs a durable console on a car. So if you need one today, save on money and time by installing the replacement console by yourself. Here's detailed DIY installation guide to installing a new console.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Wrench
  • Replacement console
  • Removing detachable parts from the console

    Your car's console may be filled with fitments that are separately attached to the console. So before you start replacing the old console, be sure to remove them first. Some examples of these attachments include storage compartments, coin trays or ashtrays, and cup holders. If these parts aren't snapped on attachments that can be pried off, remove them by using a flathead screwdriver and separate them from the console's housing.

    Removing the console from the car's interior

    The console is held in place by a number of screws or bolts. Although different console designs may vary across makes and models, the console is almost always bolted on the car's interior frame. So to remove the console, simply unscrew the bolts using a screwdriver or wrench. Once the screws are removed, carefully lift the old console and dispose of it accordingly.

    Removing the boot

    Aside from the console itself, you should also remove the boot found around the shift lever. Again, the boot's removal will depend on its design and the car's make and model. It can either be unfastened by unclipping the clips or unscrewing the bolts from the underside of the console. Once these fasteners or screws are removed, you can now begin with installing the new console.

    Installing the new console

    Replace the old console by fitting the replacement part to the car's interior frame. Fasten the screws to firmly hold the new console to the interior.

    Securing the console to the car's interior

    When the console is snugly fitted onto the frame, bolt on or clip on the boot around the shift lever. This will ensure that the new console doesn't move around and that the shift lever is protected from vibrations and motions.

    Refit the detachable attachments to the new console

    Now that you're done with installing the console all that is left is to do is to reassemble the rest of the parts that were removed during installation. Reinstall the cup holders, trays, and storage compartments the same way it was taken out.

    Tips and warnings

    • On some makes, the shift lever comes with a solid plastic cover around it rather than a boot. For these models, simply remove the plastic cover after removing the console from its interior.

    Console Articles

    • Rampage vs. Rugged Ridge: Battle for the Best Off-Road Console 11 January 2013

      Are you on the lookout for a console for your off-road vehicle? Don't know which one to buy? Then read on and find out which of the two leading console manufacturers-Rampage and Rugged Ridge-wins the battle for product supremacy.

      Storage and functionality

      The main purpose of a console is to provide accessible storage while driving. The more functional and accessible the console, the better it is for the driver. For this category, Rampage consoles win over the ones from Rugged Ridge. Rampage has a wider product range with its six styles as opposed to Rugged Ridge's three. Rampage consoles are also available with more varied options than Rugged Ridge consoles. While the standard six-can cooler, locking function, and cup holders are useful, Rampage allows you to choose which kind of function you want to have on your vehicle's console. If you could give up the six-pack cooler function to add more space for your music CDs, then you can opt for a Deluxe Locking Center Console rather than its standard paddle console. Although the Rugged Ridge console has an impressive storage space as compared to other brands, it simply doesn't have the same flexible storage as Rampage does.

      WINNER: Rampage


      Durability

      Especially since both Rampage and Rugged Ridge are specialized manufacturers of accessories for off-road vehicles, another important factor to consider is the durability of the console's construction. When it comes to which brand offers the most durable console, it's a tough battle between Rampage and Rugged Edge, with both having their own additional features that help prolong the life of their consoles. Rampage chose to focus on protecting the inside of the console with its fully lined storage areas. However, we think that Rugged Ridge's plastic coated hardwood and handmade stitching play an important role in protecting the console from outside environmental elements. The plastic coating ensures protection from moisture, while the tight stitching keeps it out. This eventually prevents premature wear and tear from the console's core.

      WINNER: Rugged Ridge


      Fit and ease of installation

      After installing both Rampage and Rugged Ridge consoles on different Jeep models, we can conclude that both are fairly easy to install. Their direct-fit constructions made installation a slide-and-drill kind of job, with just minimal drilling to secure both consoles in place. Instructions for both Rampage and Rugged Ridge consoles were readily available on their websites. Both brands also provided all the mounting hardware needed to ensure a hassle-free installation.

      WINNER: Rugged Ridge and Rampage


      Price

      With their interior matching vinyl and handmade finish, Rugged Ridge consoles are relatively more expensive than Rampage consoles. However, if you have the budget to splurge on this accessory, a Rampage console would perfectly match your Jeep's interior.

      WINNER: Rugged Ridge


      The verdict

      Both Rampage and Rugged Rage specialize in Jeep aftermarket accessories that are of high caliber. Rugged Ridge is an industry favorite because of its products' unique features and sturdy construction. However, we believe that a considerable difference of more than $30 is a little too much for an interior car accessory such as a console. So unless you're really set on splurging, go for a Rugged Ridge console instead.