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Old 10-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
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Lightbulb TJ CB Radio Installation Suggestion

I have a Uniden Bearcat 880 and the mount provided fits perfectly when attached to the CB unit and the tray at the top of the center console on my 2004 TJ. I'm sure there's other mounts provided with other CB units that will work with these steps.

This set-up reinforces the plastic tray with a metal strip. Using self-drilling screws will allow you to remove the CB when you don't need it. The rubber tray liner can be put back into the tray and hide the screw heads and holes. Adding or removing the CB unit isn't lightning fast, but it's quick enough for a guy like me who uses his CB every so often.

All of the pictures I took were after I finished the installation because I wasn't sure if my plan would work. Fortunately, it did.

I used a drill, a Dremel, and few pieces of hardware from Home Depot for this specific installation:

• Metal strip, roughly the same size and width as the mount hardware that came with the CB.
• #8-32 machine screw nuts
• #8-32 machine screws: the flatter the head, the better, any length, you'll trim it later.
• #10x3/4" self-drilling screws, any length, again -- you'll trim it later.
• Washers as close to the depth of the machine screw heads as possible.

Adjust the hardware based on your mount's style.



1. Pull enough of the CB antenna cable and the power cable to have some slack hanging off the back of the CB unit. Both cords fit well between the windshield and the plastic console cover and can be easily hidden from view when the CB is not installed.



2. Remove the rubber liner from the tray and set it aside. Slide a thin flat head screwdriver or even your driver's license between the tray and the liner to help pop it out (you can do it by hand, but trust me: it can be frustrating).



3. Pull off the plastic cover between the console and the windshield. There are five metal tab connections: two on each side and one in the middle. They take a little bit of effort to pull out of their slots. Start from the ends and work towards the middle. Be careful: since the middle is a grid shape with very little plastic, it's easy to crack.

4. After you remove the cover, you can access two screws that fasten the center console to the top of the dash (you can see them in the top right quarter of this picture). Remove both screws.

5. Four metal tabs (the same kind as the plastic cover listed in step 3) connect the center console to the dash: two on each side near the middle and two on each side near the bottom. Pull off the center console. Again, with some effort, the metal tabs will pop right out.


This is a shot from underneath the top of the center console you just removed.

6. Cut a strip of metal the same length as the CB mount. This metal strip will serve as a better, stronger support for the CB mount instead of relying solely on the plastic tray and will install on the underside of the tray. Trace all of the holes from the mount onto the strip of metal.

7. You'll have to hold the console upside-down to do this next part, but it's not as hard as it sounds. Use your best judgement and decide where you want your support screws to be. I used three screws: two on both ends and one in the middle. Make sure your metal support is straight along the underside of the tray. There are a few notations under the tray that have straight lines; I used those as a guide for the edge of my metal support. Drill your holes through the metal and the tray. As you add holes, you can add the screws to help keep the metal and tray lined up. Tighten all the bolts and screws.



8. Use the self-drilling screws to create the holes you traced from the CB mount in the underside metal strip. Remember to support the tray from the underside so you don't end up cracking it while you try to drill! Remove the screws and set them aside for now. Using self-drilling screws will allow you to install and remove the CB radio from the tray whenever you want without having to pull the center console off. Remove any residual plastic waste from the holes you drilled.



Remember when I said, "You'll trim it later?" Here's why.

9. There isn't much space between the bottom of the tray and the vents that are hidden by the console. Using a Dremel and the nuts as guides, trim off the excess length of the screws.



10. Use washers between the mount and the tray on the self-drilling screws to compensate for the size of the machine screw heads.

11. Flip over the console and trim the excess self-drilling screw length. To keep it easy, make it even with the machine screw length (including the bolts) you've already installed.



That's pretty much it! Like I said, the self-drilling screws create their own thread in the metal support. That allows you to add or remove the CB mount whenever you want without having to pull it all apart again. The tray liner will cover up the machine screw heads and holes when the CB mount is not installed. The CB is out of my field of view, but I'm about 6' 5", so that may not hold true for everyone.

When you replace the plastic cover between the dash and windshield, make sure you hold the cables up and out of the way so they don't get pinched. In order to compensate for the somewhat limited space behind my Bearcat, I bought a right angle connector.

Anyway, I was tired of looking for a spot to mount my CB and thought this was a viable solution. I hope this helps! If you've got suggestions of your own, add them!

Good luck!

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