Customer’s Fabricated 350z Trim Panels w/Speedwire 6 Circuit Panel, Speedwire 6 Switch Panel and OEM 3 Gauge Delete

Posted: August 28, 2012 in Custom Interior Fabrication, Toby Broadfield's Work
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Royal_T from Zilvia, who is building a really nice LS powered 350z drift machine, contacted me about making all of his Speedwire gear look like it belonged. I told him it shouldn’t be a problem. He gave me the go ahead to do it however I wanted. I did it how I would if it was my own 350z drift car… which is a good thing.

Essentially I used the storage compartment opening for the Speedwire 6 circuit panel and the radio opening for the Speedwire 6 switch panel box. Obviously the openings where nowhere close to being the correct size. I wanted to be able to rear mount both Speedwire pieces and have them be framed in by the OEM trim panels. So I made the openings to the size I wanted by using pieces of ABS, gluing them in with Norton Speed Grip, them shaping them with an air sander. The storage compartment opening just happened to be the correct width, but I had to add on the top and bottom. Since the OEM trim has an arch left to right, I had to angle a rectangular piece of ABS in there to keep a straight edge to butt up against the circuit panel. I left it long and glued it in place. I then ground it down to the contour/shape of the OEM piece. I used the same process for the bottom of the opening. As for the radio opening, I had to widen the opening and add ABS to the top of the opening. I also deleted the worthless OEM triple gauge thing that sits atop of the trim. As you can see in the pics below, there is a light grey area between the OEM plastic and the ABS plastic… that is the Norton Speed Grip bonding epoxy. Since I used a flat piece of ABS, the glue has to fill in the corners for when I grind it down to match the OEM contour. Otherwise there would be holes in those corners after grinding. So the Norton Speed Grip acts as a bonding agent and a filler… which is sand-able and paint-able. When I glued the ABS in I purposely left extra glue everywhere to make sure it wouldn’t be below the OEM plastic after grinding.

Here is a backside view of the same pieces. You will also be able to see the mounting system I came up with for both Speedwire units. For the circuit panel I was able to slightly grind down the OEM plastic posts and screw some aluminum “U” channel to them. The circuit panel is very heavy so I wanted this mount to be up to the task. For the switch box I ground out the area on the back of the OEM trim and used Speed Grip to glue in some 1/4″ ABS legs in the appropriate places.

As you can probably tell, the shifter trim will now box in the bottom edge of the Speedwire switch panel. From the factory, the shifter trim has a wide “U” that’s notched into the top of it to go around the bottom portion of the OEM radio. Again I used the same ABS procedure to fill it in. Another shot of the shifter trim which locks into the bottom of the radio trim:

Next I sanded off all of that weird OEM texture down to bare plastic… makes it easier to apply my texture coat for the final finish. Once that was done I made all of the “U” shaped notches so the wires from the circuit panel could escape out of sight:

Once I was assured that all of the contours and everything were correct, I applied the texture coat:

Mounted everything up and this is the outcome:

Rear shot:

Comments
  1. Jacob says:

    Fantastic job again,
    Just wondering what does you use for your texture coat?

    Thanks
    Jacob

  2. Om1kron says:

    suuuuuuuuuuuuuuper legit!

  3. Paul says:

    Great to see you posting again man, it’s been too long.
    I’ve always been curious what the 350Z dash would look like without the stock gauge locations; suffice to say it looks awesome!

    If you don’t mind me asking, did you apply a color coat over the texture coat or is that the natural finish of the SEM chip guard?

    -Paul

    • Broadfield says:

      Hey Paul, the SEM Chip Guard comes in satin black or clear. So the finished product you see is the satin variant. Unlike SEM Texture Coating which requires a top coat.

      • Paul Whelan says:

        Hey, thanks for the reply :).
        That’s good to know as it will save me time on parts that I want to be finished in satin black and also give me the option of giving non-black parts a textured finish.
        I’m re-finishing the rubbing strips on my e36 318is so the SEM chip coat should be perfect.

        Anyway, I look forward to seeing some more updates whenever possible 🙂

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