Well, the project has commenced! I'd like the ability to have both my kids go with me in the truck every now and then and quite frankly, I've never been a fan of the console. It's bulky, wide and a pretty good waste of space. Now in a QC or CC, it really doesn't matter. But in a regular cab, it eats up precious room in my opinion. So, since the R/T's only come in bucket seat configuration, I've set out to create my own three passenger R/T.
You never know what you'll find when you start digging in to projects so I was pleasantly surprised to find beautiful carpet underneath the console. Also, the three mount point are all present and accounted for. Even better, the rear panel has the provisions for the retractable seat belt as well. I've managed to source a 2012 brand new black leather center seat, the new radio bezel, cupholder assembly and trim panels in black to match. All of these parts should arrive within the next ten days.
The one part I'll need to solve for though is where to place the shift assembly. It's a HUGE piece that eats up about a 1/3 of the floor space opened up by removing the console. Further, it won't allow for the cupholder to function while in place. The easy thing to do would be to spend $1K and get all the parts to convert over to a column shift. But then I'd lose the feel/ability to change gears myself with a proper shift knob instead of buttons. So after some careful measuring and research, I believe I may have found a replacement shift assembly that will allow me to relocate the shifter into the dashboard. With this unit, I have a few location options that I was hoping you guys would vote on:
- Replace Left Middle Vent (custom panel insert) **Easy**
- Remove Tray Under Left Middle Vent (an additional 3" would need to be cut)
- Mount Shifter Horizontal Under Temp Controls **Easy**
- In Place of Cupholder (lose the cupholder, flush shift panel instead)
The last two options pretty much kill off any notion of shifting manually. To be honest, I'm really leaning towards the removal of the vent. First, I never use them. Second, the cutout of the vent assembly in the bezel is a pretty good match for the shift cutout without much work. Third, the air duct can be dismounted and plugged without damaging the vehicle. Basically, it's the least amount of surgery and has the highest chance of looking factory.
Let me know what you think guys. Any and all advice is appreciated! Generic dash panel and new shifter pics below as well as mine with console removed.