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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I love my Element (2005, bought from a friend this spring- only had 33K miles!), but it drove me crazy that it had all this interior space but nowhere to put anything. Tiny glovebox. Tiny, shallow tray behind handbrake. Door pockets with slots in them so stuff falls out. And why are the cupholders on the floor? Who thought that was a good idea?

So after adding a GM cupholder to the dash (detailed in a previous post), I decided to put a real console in.

I found a new take-out minivan console for $40 on ebay that was about exactly the right width, and modified it to mount onto the existing tray between the seats. It was a huge PITA to make it fit around the handbrake, but it came out pretty good.

I can provide more details if anyone cares.
 

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excellent work well done, especially the cut around the handbrake.That is the part that has always prevented myself from doing something similar but you seem to have overcome this with the minivan part.
 

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Details Please

"I can provide more details if anyone cares."

Would love details. Since it's getting very hard to find a SC console nowadays, this seems to be the next best thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
OK, here goes. The plastic of the console is very easy to cut, I used a hacksaw blade holder, then after cutting the plastic console, filed the cuts smooth where necessary. The fasteners I used were about fifteen 10-24 x 1/2" button head black allen-head machine screws, and fifteen 10-24 nylock nuts (so they wouldn't vibrate loose over time). I got all those from a local hardware store in the section with the little drawers of speciallized fasteners.

If I were doing this again I might mount the console another inch or two rearward, since that would need a smaller handbrake handle clearance inside.

The existing tray has two snaps at the front, you lift on the front of the tray to release them from the floor, then slide the tray forward an inch or so and it will lift off.

Then I cut the existing tray as shown so the new console would fit down into it.

I cut an access slot for the handbrake handle in the console by first cutting a 1.5" diameter hole at the top with a hole saw, then cutting both sides with the hacksaw.

Also had to cut the bottom front edge of the console so it would fit down over the existing tray.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Then I cut the opening inside to clear the handbrake. (It turns out that I made this larger than necessary, it could be smaller.)

Then I needed to close off that opening so stuff in the console wouldn't fall down through that opening.

I had a small black plastic storage box lying around in the garage, I cut a section of that and screwed it into place.

The console comes with two cupholders, they just snap into place. I just used one that I'll use for holding sunglasses, change, pen, etc. (Note, I added cupholders to my dashboard and love them, see my other thread.)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Then I had to make a cover for the half cupholder that was showing from the original tray. I cut a rectangular piece of black plastic and attached with two screws.

I slipped the console over the original tray and attached with four of the screws.

I originally was looking for a console that had a hinged lid, but then realized that would probably interfere with the existing armrests.

The console is really quite roomy. The whole project probably cost $60 plus an entire Sunday afternoon.

Note- the cupholders are not great at holding cups, and are too far back to be convenient. Dash mounting new cupholders is the way to go- I'll do a detailed write up for that also.
 

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... A splash of led's would make it perfect!

Excellent Mod!
 

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Yes it will. Do a search and you will find extensive instructions. I found one on eBay ($400+ shipping) and had it installed by a shop. Installation was costly but worth it to me.
 

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Center Console Mod

Thanks to the info on here and the pics I gave it a shot and thought I would post to here what I managed to get done as well...thanks to the info here!

Picked the console up for $45 on eBay...was not the correct color but used the gunmetal grey plasti-dip to change it after ti was all assembled...

Darren
 

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How does the console sit? (What's holding it in place?)

Thanks to the info on here and the pics I gave it a shot and thought I would post to here what I managed to get done as well...thanks to the info here!

Picked the console up for $45 on eBay...was not the correct color but used the gunmetal grey plasti-dip to change it after ti was all assembled...

Darren
Is your console slightly different? It looks flush on the front (where E brake is) compared to center punch's version.

I am tempted to try this but weary about hacking into console!
 
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