Overhead Console Fit

Overhead Console Fit

Postby ghettoBAGO [OP] » February 24th 2016, 4:32pm

Hey gang, tried to search for this question to see if it's been answered already but came up empty... I'm trying to hunt down an overhead console, the long ones... trying to fit my 03 astro with it... I've found a few, one is from a 98 & the best bargain... can anyone answer if the contour or anything has been modified in those years in between? I learned the very hard way that in 03 they switched to 6 lug axles & now anything I look to modify on this rig I get nervous about using other year parts for! I'm not concerned about connecting anything but the lights, the information screen I plan to gut out to install a few rocker toggles for off road lights so i know wiring in 12v for just the map/courtesy lamps will be easy enough. Thanks in advance if you can answer this!
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby astroracer » February 24th 2016, 4:54pm

Any of the OEM consoles will work just fine. There weren't any significant changes to the roof structure over the run of the van so you'll be alright with anything you can get. To make the install easier try to get the brackets that mount the console as well. If you have any local junkyards that is where I would look. A drill with a 3/8 inch bit will drill out the rivets that hold the brackets in.
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby gavio » February 24th 2016, 6:06pm

There was a change in the headliner around 2000 or something, but it doesn't affect the console shape... Your 03 (if it's a passenger van) most likely has all the wiring already present - even if all you need is the lights, they use a separate plug (4 wires) with the console, different from the plug used without it (3 wires) - it should be there already... You do need the rear bracket, which is screwed into the roof bow... You'll enlarge the opening in your headliner to fit around the bracket.... The front attachment point is built in, but again you have to cut your headliner to open it up - easiest to make a quick pattern while yer messing around with the donor van.......
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby ghettoBAGO [OP] » February 25th 2016, 5:23am

Thanks guys! My local bone yard has one hammered mid 90's astro with the older style compartments & it's hacked to hell.. so time to travel to find another one!

Brilliant idea on using the donor to make a template.. I think I'll bring a blade & just score the donor headliner, unscrew the console then take that headliner bit right along with me.. along with the brackets.. hoping it's not already picked!
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby The Drummer » February 25th 2016, 6:24am

Dont forget the outside temp sensor , its right on the front of the rad mount , in case you want to plug in the display , still plenty of room for switches and what not anyway .
''USE THE TORQUE LUKE ''




and beware of trees ,them nasty wooden things are evil .
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby ghettoBAGO [OP] » March 11th 2016, 5:03pm

All right gang... so I SCORED a PERFECT console out of a 2001 last week.. that, plus a few other plastic interior trim pieces that were missing from the handicap lift that was in the rig... the gal at the junk yard counter said when I came in with my arms loaded "how much is it worth to you".. I meekly replied I dunno, $50? Sold she said, I smiled :) Got the rear bracket & all... and to my surprise, I discovered that instead of the little computer screen, this one had the plastic cover plate which is PERFECT since I was not going to connect the computer, but was going to drill 3 holes in it to place 3 mini rocker switches for rear facing auxillary lights, so this is going to make them look almost factory at this point!


But I have one last question... What to do absolutey FIRST! I want to cut/trim as little as possible, and want to ensure the wiring is in place before cutting anything, can anyone guide me as to where the wires may be? as in is it the same harness that I will find on the small map light that is currently there? Or am I going to have to fish into the headliner to find it? I assume the mounting bracket I got is going to go right around the existing light, so I'm hoping the rest will be in close proximity as well... I don't know why, but I'm sort of not looking forward to this project.. the end result, absolutely, but working overhead, trying to not cut too much, connect/solder wire, get the courtesy lamps working right.. seems like such a chore! but hey, I'll have a place for my sunglasses finally!!!

Cheers gang!
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby gavio » March 11th 2016, 5:58pm

Take out the dome light, pull down on the headliner a bit and you can fit your hand up there and feel around... The wiring (assuming it's there) will be taped in a bundle to the metal roof bow above the headliner, a little fiddling and you ca get the end freed up.... You can easily cut the holes for the console using a steak knife or similar... Hold the console in position and you can see where it needs to be cut.... I did mine in an hour without removing the headliner... If needed, removing the screws on the inner edges of the visors will allow you tug the headliner down more to make access easier for cutting....

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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby markmitch » March 11th 2016, 7:22pm

you may want to put a dust mask on before doing anything the headliner gives off some fiberglass dust and it tastes horrible. Wish I did this when I worked on my headliner.
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby ghettoBAGO [OP] » March 11th 2016, 9:08pm

Well, everything just came to a screeching halt actually.. sadly... and I would REALLY appreciate anyone who may be able to help walk me through this...

I went to tackle this project today, and was bummed to not find anything that looked like it would match up... wire wise as well as hardware wise.... I removed the small little factory map/dome light (just behind & in between front seats) to discover the only wiring harness is a three wire connector (black/white/orange) the harness on the new overhead is a cluster of 11... which then splits off into a connector consisting of 1 black, 1 white, 2 orange. The other cluster of 7 I presume is for the computer functions...

But this leaves me wondering...

Do I take the 3 wire connector from my original/small lamp & put it on the full size console to install? So that the connector in the van stays & I toss out the 11 wire one? If so, how do I tie in the extra orange?

THere is also a a much larger gauge red wire on the new full size console, has it's own connection point.. I assume that is a power feed but can't seem to figure where to tie it in?

But almost more alarming, is on my van, there seems to be no actual place for the front screw that holds the console up to actually screw into.. on the big console, there is a plastic stem, as well as a 4 cross plastic stem sticking up, but in the metal of the van, there doesn't seem to be a place for them to set into....

Any help would be HUGELY appreciated... I can always jimmy with the wires, but I really need to figure out how I'll be able to physcially mount the unit first....

I was expecting to find an 11 wire harness in the headliner, as well as ready to receive hardware towards the front to mount, and don't see either!
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby gavio » March 11th 2016, 10:01pm

Well, what's in there already does vary a bit from van to van, but in all the posts I've read on this, I think your's may be the first 03-05 passenger van that didn't have the wiring.... Anyway, since you don't want the computer, it's no problem, just connect both orange wires in the console to the orange in your dome light wiring, match the black and white wires together, ignore the computer connector and you're good to go...

Now about that front bracket, or lack of it, I seem to recall it being just a portion of the header rail that frames above the windshield.... IIRC, there is a little cage-nut insert that fits into a square hole in the metal right there... ANd the hole for the plastic positioning pin was just right there, too....Have you cut far enough forward to see the header? If not, you may just need to do that ... If the holes really aren't there, then I suppose you'll have to measure and drill for them...
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby ghettoBAGO [OP] » March 11th 2016, 10:15pm

Thank you Gaio for the input! I so value that there are so many willing to help on this site & it doesn't take days to get responses!!

I actually lept in with that last long comment way ahead of when I should have I think! I did actually locate the 11 prong blue connector, after having spent 20 minutes with my longest chef knife trying to slit the tape to fish it out (dodging removing the headliner at all cost)! Low & behold, the perfect fitting 4 prong connector that runs the courtesy lamp! Plugged right in, lit right up! Since no running the computer, just tucked back the blue connector for now as I assume that is all for computer stuff....

I went to turn on the map lights, with no juice.. so I assumed the larger gauge red wire with the smaller sidekick red wire was likely the power & ground for all the map lights.. and assumed the maps were all run on the black ground in the 4 way connector.. so I ran a jumper from my battery to feed the map lights after plugging the 4 way in, and bingo I have map lights! I just need to run a constant power up there now, which is no biggie as I was planning on it to wire up the 3 toggle switches being placed where the computer knock out is....

After reading your response, I went back to look at the mounting hardware, there are indeed a few knock outs in the rail, I think I was missing the fact there are spring clips the screws screw into.. which I failed to grab from the donor.. I got the big rearward metal mount, but didn't think to grab the spring clips.. back to the boneyard I suppose! But at least I know the end result will be a working console so no biggie, and I'm pretty sure I'm safe to not have to pull the whole headliner our as I can fish my power wires up the door frame & use a coat hanger to feed them from there.

One last silly little question.. I've seen several mentions of needing to "cut out" the headliner... this is only to allow for the install of the metal rear mount & to open a hole big enough for the front plastic positioning pins? There is no need to cut out the length of the headliner I can't imagine? Just the spots for the hardware? Thanks again for the speedy help on this!
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby chevymaher » March 11th 2016, 10:23pm

I have a 2003 console in my 94. So it can be done. The dome light has all the wires you need unless you just have to have the computer functioning.

Ceiling has a constant hot a switched ground to the door jam and ground. Mine has a control box which switches off the map lights and switches on the dome light when the doors are open. Just got to get e electrical tester and see what you got, I bench tested the console before I put it in. Makes it easier.

Front mount I simply drilled into the brace around the windshield. Got to be careful so you don't go through the roofskin. One screw there again it got to be perfect length or your gonna get a dent in the roof tightening it down. I went right through the headliner. But it is covered and would be much easier to just cut a hole in it. Make a mounting point. Hold the console where it is going and just stick a marker in the screw hole and mark the headliner.

Rear was cake I used the bracket I took from the van the console came from. And drilled a few holes it goes right where the dome light was. Hole in the head liner is there already. It did over hang the headliner on the edges.

If you have the garage door opener type. Hot needs spliced to the constant hot and a ground made I just put a eyelet and screwed it to the ceiling brace.

On mine the computer would never work they are on a literal different wavelength and ceiling computer can not communicate with the OBD1 type computer.

But I have map lights which shut off when the doors open and the dome light turns on. Garage door opener works. To set that there is a program switch on the garage door opener. Hit that till the light blinks. You got a couple minutes to get it done from there. Just get in the van and hold the button you choose. There are 3 of them. For the time the garage door opener is in program.

It works and it is alot easier than the van manuals 3rd moon on the equinox, which sacrificing a virgin method of setting it.
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby Lumpy » March 11th 2016, 10:41pm

BLK, WHI and ONG wires -

BLK = Constant Ground
WHI = Switched ground from door pins (for dome light when door is opened)
ONG = Always Hot +12vdc

The overhead lights are the one place where the color codes are pretty reliable. I guess it's just not a place where they run out of wire and have to grab another color to finish the job.


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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby ghettoBAGO [OP] » March 11th 2016, 11:08pm

So Lump, first off thanks for that!

That leads me to another question though.. that may save me a few hours labor.... I'm putting in 3 mini rocker switches to operate 3 different 35 watt work lamps off the back of the van, switches being placed where the computer screen knock out is.... I had planned on running a new constant power to the switches (unlit so no ground at switch needed) but since there is a constant ground & live already in the console, would you think it would overload it to add the juice to those three switches from that orange feed?
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Re: Overhead Console Fit

Postby gavio » March 11th 2016, 11:24pm

would you think it would overload it to add the juice to those three switches from that orange feed?


Yes, if you wire directly through the switches... Each one of those 35 watt lights will draw about 3 amps, combined that's 9, added to the existing dome lights, it's too much for the 18 ga wire in that dome light circuit...Best way would be to pull power from that dome light circuit, run it through the switches to relays which would control the lights, then run wire to the lights of sufficient size to safely power them... You can google up a chart that shows what gauge wire you need given amperage draw and length of wire run....
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