Time to cut some holes in the body work

At the weekend, once I’d mounted the cameras, I set to work cutting some holes in the bodywork through to the boot. Behind the drivers seat, the bulkhead that is between the main cabin and the boot is asymmetrical due to the fact that the near side is recessed at the top to give clearance for the seat belt. On the offside, you have a relatively clean and flat panel on which things can be mounted. Of course, this panel is potentially open to the elements, but I decided it would be a good place to mount some basic controls. Nothing too major, just switches to control basic electronics for lighting such as the flashing warning light, fans and bulkhead lights so you can actually see in the boot.  For most of the boot and the bulkhead is just a twin wall semi rigid plastic which is not structural, it’s easily cut with a jig saw. So I cut some appropriately sized holes for some switch panels I bought off Amazon. They were preassembled on a mounting panel and marketed for marine use and therefore waterproof. Not sure how much this is true, but I have no reason not to believe the description, yet….

In the figure you can see me cutting the holes and the final mounted panels (below). I chose these because they were waterproof and as when the switches are active, they have inbuilt blue LEDs which lights up the switch. As you will see, there’s a bit of a colour scheme evolving. 

Then on Tuesday I decided to stay late after work and get the fans mounted into the bulkhead. I decided we needed some ventilation as we have leisure batteries in there. They are sealed but still vent, so some ventilation is a good idea, just in case they gas. More importantly, we’re going to have computers in there (a px2 plus more possibly) running discrete gpu’s in anger, and these are going to get hot, so the boot needs cooling. I’ve got a digital thermometer that also needs mounting at some point.

Cutting the holes into the bulkhead was easy enough and fairly neat, but to cover the jagged edges I used some brake line tube I’d bought previously for a different purpose. I cut it open with a Stanley knife to line the edge of the cut and create a neat finish.

Mounting the fans was a pain in the arse, mainly due to the space/access, the size of the bolts and my fingers and some slightly off drilling. It took two of us, Oscar helped with the first and then late at night Cihan, who was working late, got roped in.

The rubber tube made a huge difference to the appearance and we are very pleased with our efforts.

Again, blue lights because they are cool. Although Cihan did point out I’d gone for style over function and the fans I’d chosen weren’t very efficient (or even the right kind!!).

Still, they looked good and they did move air through the boot and I can always change them if they overheat.

The view from the boot is below. The bottom fan is intake with a filter, the top fan is exhaust. The filter is on the inside, which isn’t ideal as the dust will collect on the side against the fan blades, but it was better aesthetically. Even if I’d put it on the outside I’d need to remove the grill to clean it so I attached it on the inside using short bolts to one side only so it could be removed without having to remove the bolts that hold the fan and grill to the bodywork.

The next day I found some time to add the thermometer and monitor. I’ll talk about the monitor when we install the px2. The thermometer was a cheap ebay purchase designed to be put in a PC as panel mount. I cut another small hole in the bulkhead and hey presto.

It has an inbuilt thermometer and external thermometer, which will be mounted high in the boot, roughly level with the top extraction fan.

2 thoughts on “Time to cut some holes in the body work”

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