What is the purpose for the empty compartment under the steering wheel in my 2010 JK? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:52 PM
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What is the purpose for the empty compartment under the steering wheel in my 2010 JK?

Some JKs dont have it (from what I've heard), but my 2010 does. At the very bottom of the dash under the steering wheel there is a rubber-ish plastic rectangular panel that can be easily pulled off (has little rubber-ish tabs that keep it in place).

located here...



And once removed... there is a small space in there.

This is a pic of the compartment but with an aftermarket amp someone put in there...



What is the purpose of this removable panel and small compartment. There HAS to be one. Other JKs dont have it. And it cannot be just to install the stock alpine amp because other jeeps have the stock amp but no panel. AND... you can pretty easily remove the other panel around the steering wheel and the steel plate behind it to fully have access to the stock amp.

There HAS to be a reason why the dash was designed for the easily removable panel. There doesnt seem to be anything back there to access. So why is it there?

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Old 03-23-2015, 03:02 PM   #2
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Seems like an amp would be prone to overheating in there.

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Old 03-23-2015, 04:43 PM   #3
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It's a common place to install audio gear, since there is much space elsewhere. Otherwise you can use it for your private stash.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:23 PM   #4
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On a 2010, underneath that panel is a metal knee bolster in a stock set up. In your case it was removed and there was enough space to put the aftermarket amp. The knee bolster is supposed to assist to keep you in place in the event of a collision. It's supposed to keep you from sliding under the dash when buckled in and when/if the air bags activate. There are some who use the space for other purposes as yours is.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:22 PM   #5
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I just have an open hole if I take that cover off. No way to store anything in there.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kik View Post
On a 2010, underneath that panel is a metal knee bolster in a stock set up. In your case it was removed and there was enough space to put the aftermarket amp. The knee bolster is supposed to assist to keep you in place in the event of a collision. It's supposed to keep you from sliding under the dash when buckled in and when/if the air bags activate. There are some who use the space for other purposes as yours is.
I didnt make it clear in my original post. SOrry about that. The pic with the amp in it is a pic I got off the net. It isnt in my jeep. I have the stock alpine amp that is located directly under the steering wheel. It cannot be seen in the compartment. It is much higher up. Mine has the metal shield. Which can be seen in this other pic I got off the net (where a person has installed an amp in the compartment)...

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Old 03-23-2015, 07:22 PM   #7
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Ok. It's the knee bolster area which is supposed to provide some protection to the knees and assist in keeping an individual in place during a crash. According to the book, nothing is supposed to be placed in that space. The passenger side has it also.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:10 PM   #8
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That's where put my remote start Evo and Fortin unit!
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:20 PM
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According to the book, nothing is supposed to be placed in that space. The passenger side has it also.
So what is it for? The panel is made of a rubbery-plastic material unlike the rest of the dash panels (which are hard plastic) and is made to be removed easily (by hand.. no tools, no screws to keep it in place... just tabs).... why? What is its purpose? On my 2010 there is not another panel with that space on the passenger side.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:36 PM   #10
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So what is it for. It is made of a rubbery-plastic material unlike the rest of the dash panels (hard plastic) and is made to be removed easily (by hand.. no tools).... why? What is its purpose?
As I mentioned, it's designed so that during a crash when someone moves forward and is kept somewhat in place by the seat belt and air bag, the knees will hit that area and knee injuries are supposed to be not as severe due to the design of the "bolster". That's why it's made from a softer material. It's one aspect of the staged air bag system; air bags, seat belts and knee bolsters. Why it can be easily removed, I guess it's part of the design. If something like an amp unit is installed in the space behind the bolster and the bar is removed I would think that would defeat the purpose of knee protection since you would now hit the amp. Your owner's manual also explains it. Chrysler indicates that nothing should be in that space. I guess some install equipment there. Anytime someone make an alteration to a safety system there could be a side effect. In that case, maybe a broken knee. It's up to the owner to make a decision whether or not it should be done.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:39 AM
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According to the book, nothing is supposed to be placed in that space. The passenger side has it also.
Hey, you were right. I had no idea there was one on the passenger side despite working in that area recently (I placed a Harman Kardon "drive and play" module and an old Ipod in there through the glove compartment). At the time it just seemed like a kind of recessed area under the glove compartment. But I checked last night after seeing this pic on the internet during a search about installing a radar alarm module (DEI 508d) ... and puleld the panel off.

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