View Full Version : Ash Tray Switch Plates

01-04-2009, 02:42 PM
Ash Tray Switch Plates for 89-93 Thunderbirds

What is Available?

$6.00ea - Switch Plate Blank (Stainless or Paintable galvanized Steel)
NO Holes Cut, NO final fit performed. Just as it comes off the machine. File it to fit yourself and cut your own holes (or drill).

$11.00ea - Switch Plate w/Custom Holes (Stainless or Paintable galvanized Steel)
Holes cut to order, Final fit performed. NO hardware included. (Get your own bolts/nuts)

$13.00ea - Switch Plate w/Custom Holes and Hardware (Stainless or Paintable galvanized Steel)
Holes cut to order, Final fit performed. Hardware included. (Choose your bolt style)

Mounting Holes for the fasteners are punched at .320" perfect for a M5 sized fastener.
Paintable Galvanized is just that, it is a galvanized steel with a coating designed to promote paint adhesion. This allows you to paint the panel after simply washing it, no priming required. 18gauge
Stainless Steel is a industrial stainless steel sheet. This means it is not polished. You will need to polish it yourself if you want it shiney. It is approx 18gauge.
How to Order

To place an order e-mail me what you want to mike8675309 at gmail dot com including your shipping address and hole dimensions, and options you want(material, number of holes, fasteners or not, which fasteners).
Lead time is variable (1 day to 2 weeks), thus I don't require payment until part is available to ship. E-mail me your order to mike8675309 at gmail dot com. Once I have the order I will will contact you when they are ready to ship. Payments will be via paypal. Once I have payment, I'll then ship. Shipments will be via U.S. Postal Service, 1st Class Mail.
Shipping Details

Prices include shipping and handling for Continental USA Locations and Canada
Shipping for Mexico, or overseas will need to be calculated after you order.
I will be sending these via US Postal Service.
Required Ordering Information

I need to know if you want Stainless or Paintable Steel

If you order the pre-cut holes, you must give me the hole dimensions you want, otherwise I will be cutting the holes:

Rectangular #1 - .830" x 1.45" (21.08mm x 36.83mm) also published as 13/16 x 1-7/16".
Rectangular #2 - .550" x 1.125" .
Round - 20mm

Round rockers are fairly standard at 20mm.

Rectangular Rocker Switches do not seem to have any particular standard or perhaps they have many standards. I am standardizing on a very common rectangular hole for a full size rocker switch. This is the size of the rockers from Painless Wiring, as well as rockers found in Jeep and Toyota vehicles.
Generic Rockers, like those found at Autozone or Napa are often slim, or mini rockers. These are thinner, and often smaller. It is important that if you already have switches that you check their dimensions, or you'll be buying new ones.

vvv These do not fit without modifying your ash tray lid vvv
A good source of Rectangular rockers in my default size is Painless Performance. They sell OEM quality switches made by Carling Technologies which fit not only their switch panels, but stock locations in many vehicles. These can be purchased direct or through other resellers like Summit Racing. Here is the page in their catalog for these switches.
^^^ These do not fit without modifying your ash tray lid ^^^

A good source of Round Rockers and those in a .55 x 1.125 rectangular can be found here:

If requesting the switch plate with the hardware included, please choose the bolt design shown below. Hardware included will be two stainless steel bolts, and two stainless steel nylock nuts.
Here is a stainless steel one.

Here is a paintable one painted black.

Here is the paintable one before paint

Any questions, post in this thread.

The original thread with the evolution of this is here:

01-04-2009, 02:49 PM
I was looking at some nice switches to recommend here, but found they don't fit with the ash tray cover on. I may still try to use these myself as I like them quite a bit, but I'll have to do some fiberglass work to cover the hole left where the ash tray cover used to be. Here is what the switches look like in a stainless steel plate.

These are the Carling Tech V-series Contura II switches. They are available with various images and words on the lens. They are just too tall to leave the cover on there.

http://media.motortopia.com/files/3211/album_switch_plates/495ff5301ca92/tn_full_contura2Switches.jpg (http://www.motortopia.com/photos/363841)

I purchased this switches from these guys, decent price, and rated at 20amps.
I have some of the painless wiring switches on order to see how they look and fit. I'll have a picture later this week.

01-07-2009, 12:15 AM
I've run into a woops issue with the switch plates and my proposed dimensions for switches. It turns out that the switches of the size that fit such a hole, are simply too big physically to sit below the ash tray cover without modifying the ash tray cover.

What this means is that if you want to stick with the switches at a .830 x 1.45 size, you will need to remove the metal piece at the top of the ash tray cover to have it close. Otherwise you will need to go with a smaller switch, in the .55 x 1.125 size or smaller or the round switch.

Here are pictures of the issue, as well as what the painless wiring switches look like. Not bad switches at all.

http://media.motortopia.com/files/cars/album_switch_plates/496426bc3d797/tn_full_DSCF2685_smjpg_Thumbnail1.jpg (http://www.motortopia.com/photos/365199)
http://media.motortopia.com/files/cars/album_switch_plates/496426c75eec2/tn_full_DSCF2686_smjpg_Thumbnail1.jpg (http://www.motortopia.com/photos/365200)
http://media.motortopia.com/files/cars/album_switch_plates/496426d4723ab/tn_full_DSCF2689_smjpg_Thumbnail1.jpg (http://www.motortopia.com/photos/365201)

01-07-2009, 12:33 AM
i think removing the metal piece is a small compromise to get the switches in there. id imagain metal is there just to not melt plastic with the cigs ? looks good.

01-07-2009, 09:53 PM
Here is a better picture of the Painless Wiring switches. Quite nice switches and for folks that want to keep their ash tray cover, I recommend them if you are willing to remove the metal lining of the cover. (just a dull knife to remove the 3 melted plastic and it will carefully pop off.. that's assuming yours are not already broke off like 3 of mine where)

These are a high quality 20amp @ 12v switch with a light when on.

http://media.motortopia.com/files/cars/album_switch_plates/49655b5511175/tn_full_DSCF2691JPG_Thumbnail1.jpg (http://www.motortopia.com/photos/365661)

I received my fasteners today, and should be able to send the plates soon. I'll be e-mailing the people who have ordered so far this weekend with totals and the paypal account to send the money too.


01-11-2009, 04:28 PM
First set of plates is ready to be sent out. If you ordered plates, you should have received an e-mail from me with the payment details. If you haven't already given me your address, you should include that with your payment.

I have plates in stainless and paintable with both 4 rectangular holes and blanks available immediately if folks want to order.

01-11-2009, 05:36 PM

01-14-2009, 12:06 AM
First set are in the mail for those that paid.

working on some more orders and hope to be ready to ship by the end of the weekend.

Looks like no extra charges for shipping into Canada as long as I can use 1st class international mail rates. woohoo.

01-21-2009, 12:14 PM
Thanks mike I received the switch panel yesterday and installed it today. Works great. John.

01-21-2009, 07:22 PM
recd. mine the other day, thanks! Tom

01-21-2009, 10:25 PM
good to hear. One suggestion for stainless steel guys. Before trying to polish you can try and do some other types of surface finishes. You might try different types of media blasting, or mechanical scuffing.

01-26-2009, 10:03 PM
No extra cost for shipping to Canada... US Postal Service to Canada is crazy reasonable compared to UPS or Fedex

01-26-2009, 10:11 PM
It sure suprised me, and it got here in less than a week :).

Nice work Mike, look forward to installing this into the car once things warm up (if it ever does :rolleyes:)


04-13-2009, 09:40 PM
I still have some of these available if anyone is interested.

04-14-2009, 12:50 PM
Just Installed mine too, with the same switches that you show from painless. Do you know how to install the switch so that when it is pushed forwards, towards the light on the switch, that it activates.

I didnt receive a diagram for the switch, do you have one?

The plate looks great, and I polished mine too.

Great work Mike!


04-14-2009, 07:10 PM
I think I'll have to get one of these. Email order sent.

04-14-2009, 09:22 PM
Just Installed mine too, with the same switches that you show from painless. Do you know how to install the switch so that when it is pushed forwards, towards the light on the switch, that it activates.

The only wiring diagram I got was a picture of the back of the switch with the 3 terminals having arrows pointed to them. There are two leads on one side of the switch, right next to them. The one near the corner is Power Out. The one in the center is Power In. The one by itself in the corner is the ground.

So, you put the ground on the ground. Then put the 12+ on the center pin. Then put the lead to your device that needs power on the corner pin right next to the center pin. Then if you push the switch down (light panel pushed flat) the circuit between the center and the corner next to it will close, allowing power to flow through it. I believe the ground on the switch is for the light, as the ground is tied to the top corner power line, but there will only be power there when the switch shuts power there from the center tap.

Not sure if I explained that clear enough, but I bet you can figure it out. I just took one with my continuity tester, and figured out which pin does what and when.

04-15-2009, 01:09 AM
Hmmm these look pretty cool but what are you guys wiring them to?

04-15-2009, 10:45 PM
Hmmm these look pretty cool but what are you guys wiring them to?

On off switch for line locks (basically an interrupter so if I accidentally hit the button, it won't work if the switch is off). Snow Methanol injection system, off/armed. Switch for intercooler pump. Some use it for nitros arming, or various cooling fans. Overdrive lock out. Anything you want to switch.

11-17-2009, 06:36 PM
Are these still available mike?

11-17-2009, 10:15 PM
Yes they are. I was gonna bring this to the top this weekend. With my car put away for the winter I can pull the center console out to do fittings. Prices are the same, as there really hasn't been any significant change.

11-18-2009, 03:00 PM
Order placed. This will go good for my OD LO, SPAL Fan override, Nitrous and SCT switch selection. :cool:

11-18-2009, 05:43 PM
Mike, just a thought, but have you considered making a switch plate for the 94+ ashtray?

I know since the physical space of the ashtray is much smaller you would have to use much smaller switches, but they can be found. I had a switch panel there on my old 94 that I made from hard plastic and hot-glued there (I was experimenting and didnt want to ruin a late model 5 speed console :D) but i wouldnt mind a cleaner more permanent solution for my current rides.

You could always use any 94+ console to test fit and try as they are the ashtray should be the same through out.

just a thought.

11-19-2009, 10:26 AM
Mike, just a thought, but have you considered making a switch plate for the 94+ ashtray?

You could always use any 94+ console to test fit and try as they are the ashtray should be the same through out.

It's been considered. Once I get a console to test fit with it would probably take about a month to get a final design figured out. The machine that cuts these is a computer controlled punch that usually works with pretty big things. My friend that operates it can do some pretty fine work, but it takes trial and error to get it the right size for the tolerance of the machine. I leave about 1/16" extra for slop, then I use my bench grinder to make the final fit.

I just haven't had the time or drive to track down a 94+ console to figure out where it could go. this was off my radar this summer, if the weather is nice Saturday I might try the local U-pull yard and see if they have even pieces of one I could use.

For switches for that type of plate, you would probably want to go with the round ones, as those seem to give you the most surface area for the switch while not taking up a ton of space.

I've got some updates to do with the instructions and some pictures to take on things to consider when installing switches and wiring based on some challenges I faced with my 93. The plate worked fine, but some switches can be awful deep and depending on what you want to switch, sticking all them wires in there for 4 switches means you should really consider the gauge of the wire.

11-19-2009, 10:48 AM
You mentioned two good points:

with the early style console besides running into the issue of modifying the lid to clear the switches, I also ran into the problem with the wires reaching down too low to clear the carpet/trans tunnel. Ofcourse, this depends on what kind of switches you use. In my case i had 4 toggle switches and 1 round switch, but neither went thaaaat far in so I was able to squeese the wires in even when I used the average straight spade connectors for the wires. However, you can also use the spade connectors that kind of angle the wire 90 degrees and instead of being straight shoots the wire 90* to the side.

this clearance issue i dont think should be a problem on the 94+ console because the ashtray is higher. The problem I ran into here was fitting the piece around the cigarrete lighter bracket thingy. Like I said, when i tried this i didnt want to bolt or make holes in the console, but you may find a different way. I'll have to dig pix of what I used and show ya.

Good luck with it and I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with! If its anythign like the early style plate it shoudl be good!

02-11-2010, 03:32 PM
Got these a couple weeks ago. They look fantastic. Thanks for offering these Mike.