Home : Features : Feature Articles : Project Buckshot Interior Upgrades

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrades

 Project Buckshot Interior Upgrades

 

There comes a point in time with every restoration project where it rounds a corner. You see the light at the end of the tunnel and you’re sure it’s no longer a train headed at you. Things start to go more smoothly, you don’t find yourself returning the wrong parts as much, and the end is near. It’s a great feeling actually. This is where Project Buckshot, our 1974 Ford Bronco Sport is and we can’t wait to get it out on the road. This project has been 2 years in the making, and it’s frame-off, complete resto-mod is getting close to being done. 


With most of Buckshot’s big work complete, it was time to move towards the living quarters of our truck – that place where our owner’s keester would be parked for hours on end while on the road or on the trail. After spending countless hours with the owner mapping out his needs, we landed on a design that balanced form and functionality pretty well. From stereo to storage, switches to selectors, seats to safety – all was laid out in a plan to help us complete the interior.

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrades…

BC Broncos Dashboard

We started our interior upgrades with a new, custom dashboard from BC Bronco’s. If the drivetrain is the heart and lungs of the truck, the dashboard would be the brains and senses as it would house our gauges, wiring harness, switches and controls for the truck. The BCBronco’s dash is made from thick steel and has hidden ground points and a built-in defrost duct too.

We started by mapping out how we wanted our dashboard to look and function, which meant that we would dump every one of the original switches, gauges, knobs and selectors and go with something completely custom and unique. With our measurements for the switch bank and gauges set, we grabbed our trust Miller plasma cutter and went to town.

We then set the gauges in place and laid in our wiring harness, making modifications along the way to support the change in switch layout from the stock configuration to our modified layout. With wiring largely complete, we mounted our Carling Contura II switches into the switch bank, Frenched in two LED’s for our turn signal and a larger blue LED for our high-beam indicator. We also set a BC Bronco’s billet aluminum steering column cover in place too.

With the dash components and wiring complete, we tore it all back down again and set it to Midlife Classics for a bit of bodywork and a paint job, then reinstalled everything once again. Installation, while easy to do, was very time consuming. Once installed though, it looks great – and, in our opinion is the Pièce De Résistance for the entire truck.

 

Here you can see the Carling Contura II switches (yet to be labeled), Ididit steering column, Auto Meter gauges, Tuffy security glove box and a few custom touches like under-dash LED lighting, a hidden feet/defroster cable knob, hidden and illuminated cigarette lighter and so on.

Project Buckshot Interior Updrades  Project Buckshot Interior Updrades  Project Buckshot Interior Updrades

Project Buckshot Interior Updrades  Project Buckshot Interior Updrades

IDIDIT Steering Column

We knew that the original steering column, no matter how much clean-up and paint we put on it, just wouldn’t cut it in our new truck so we put a call into our friends from IDIDIT. We landed on a Ford-style floor shift model that was pre-powder coated black and offered tilt steering too (part # 1170755051). Our IDIDIT steering column is 100% American made, has an 8-position tilt, and bolts / plugs right in.

Installation for our steering column was a snap as it’s mostly a bolt-in product. We needed to do a small amount of wiring, but the supplied instructions and parts made everything come together in a few hours.

Project Buckshot Interior Updrades  Project Buckshot Interior Updrades

Auto Meter Gauges

One of our goals for our dash was to keep it as clean and simple as possible. After considering multiple gauges and varying layouts, we landed on a 2-gauge unit from Auto Meter which gives us the monitoring we need with a really great look. From here we can monitor RPM’s and speed in the first gauge, and fuel, oil pressure, volts and water temperature on the other.

With the dashboard already cut, mounting was pretty straightforward, using Auto Meter’s brackets and nuts.  Our Painless Performance wiring harness was already modified so we simply plugged in all of the connectors to the back of the gauges.

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrades Project Buckshot Interior Upgrades

Tuff Security Glove Box and Center Console

Thievery sucks – plain and simple so we called the security specialists at Tuffy to set us up with a secure glove box and center console for our Bronco. Our Tuffy console and glove box sport ¼” thick steel latches and their patented Pro-Guard II locking systems, along with a 10-tumbler double-bitted security key. You can see the entire review here.

We mounted the Tuffy Glove Box (part # 108) into the dash opening in our BC Broncos dash and secured it using the supplied screws and brackets. After that, we mounted the wiring harness fuse box into the hole (we had to modify it slightly) and secured it in place.

The Tuffy Center Console (part # 013) required a bit of assembly, but it came together within 15 minutes or so. Mounting the center console was even easier for us as we had already built the seat and center console mounts into our custom roll cage, so it was a matter of putting four bolts into place and wiring up the Alpine head unit.

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

 

B&M and Twin-Stick shifters

In front of our Tuffy center console, we prepared the transmission tunnel to take our B&M Truck shifter and Tom’s Bronco Part’s J-Style twin-stick transfer case shifter. The Tom’s twin-stick shifter is made of stainless steel and comes with mounting hardware, although one of the bolts wasn’t long enough. The B&M Truck Shifter is a cable-actuated, gated shifter replete with back-up switch, neutral safety switch, lighting and great, positive shifting. 

To install our Tom’s Bronco Parts twin-stick shifter, we needed to open the hole on the trans tunnel slightly to make sure there was adequate clearance left-to-right and front-to-back. While you can install everything with the transfer case in the truck, it will save a lot of time if you take it out and install the bracketry while it’s on a work bench. We also had to modify the transfer case’s shift levers slightly. 

With the Tom’s Twin-Stick installed, we can now shift our transfer case independently into high or low range, front or rear while drive. 

Installing the B&M truck shifter was also easy enough to do, but took the better part of 5 or 6 hours to get everything just right as the position, mounting height, cable and electrical routing all come into play when installing this shifter. With the shifter bolted into place, the cable mounted to the transmission and the wiring complete, the shifter makes smooth, tight shifts.

 

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Alpine & Kicker Stereo System

To keep tunes flowing, we headed over to Best Buy and picked out a complete 5-speaker Alpine stereo system which consisted of two 4” bi-axial speakers mounted directly behind the front seat, two 6” X 9” bi-axial rear speakers, a 10” low-profile Kicker subwoofer, an Alpine 400 watt amplifier, and an Alpine head unit mounted inside the secure Tuffy center console.

We started by mounting and wiring in the head unit, into the Tuffy center console – sending power, lighting, antenna and speaker wires to the back of the head unit. We then flush-mounted the 4 main speakers into the Tom’s Bronco Parts quarter panel inserts (part # 1010).

With the speakers wired up to the head unit, it was now time to mount the amplifier and subwoofer. We had already built a custom rear seat cradle / bracket, and made it in such a way that the subwoofer and amplifier could be mounted underneath and stay mostly hidden – well, except for the massive subwoofer.

After having bolted the sub and amp underneath the rear bench seat, we wired in the power, speaker sires, signal wires and ground wires to complete the installation. The stereo system sounds great with the top off, providing clear, loud music as well as some thumping bass too.

 

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Smittybilt Seats

After spying a set of ultra-cool Smittybilt XRC at the SEMA show a few years ago, we instantly knew that those were the ones for project Buckshot. The Smitybilt XRC seats are built on the world-famous Kodiak seat frames, have a nice billet aluminum reclining lever, have provisions for 5-point harnesses and are, in our opinion, some of the most comfortable off-road seats we’ve ever parked our rumps in. We also ordered up a standard Smittybilt rear bench seat which also has a steel tubular frame and has good padding for a comfortable ride. 

Installation of our Smittybilt XRC front seats was pretty straightforward as we had already built the seat mounts into our roll cage, so it was a matter of modifying the mounting tabs on the seats slightly, and then bolting them into place. 

The rear bench seat, while designed to be mounted directly to the floor, was modified (slightly) so that we could build our own frame / cradle. It’s designed to be a tumble (not fold) bench seat, but with our Subwoofer and amplifier setup, we decided to ditch that feature all together.

 

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Interior Lighting

Since Buckshot won’t have a hard top and we liked the clean look of an open roll cage design, we knew the interior lighting would be a challenge. After several weeks of debates, we decided to install 9 self-adhesive LED lights strips that would be hidden in several key places. The first set of LED lights included two long LED strips under the dashboard and one LED pod cluster inside the glove box. We then installed two more 2’ long LED strips underneath the roll cage next to the front seats. Finally, we installed four more 1’ long LED strips underneath the rear bench seat and tied it all together into one switch on the dashboard.  

The result is a soft glow that’s bright enough to light up the interior of the truck, but not so bright that it would kill your night vision. The only drawback so far is that all of the light is splashed onto the floor of the truck, which means reading a map will be difficult. In the future we’ll probably install an overhead LED pod to shine light down on the driver’s compartment. 

 

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade  Project Buckshot Interior Upgrade

Misc. Interior Goods

To round out our interior upgrades, we laid down sound deadening matting, a firewall pad and insulation, carpet padding in key areas, and a full carpet kit from Tom’s Bronco Parts. We also installed a set of quarter panel inserts from Tom’s Bronco parts, but they required heavy modification to work in our truck (cutting off the top 3” or so of the insert). Lastly, we replaced some of the old, original interior parts like the door armrests, door limiting straps and hardware and a few other items to keep the new truck clean and functional. 

 

BC Broncos
110 Business Drive PO Box 69
Ingram, TX 78025
Phone: (888) 304-2945
Web: www.bcbroncos.com
Tom’s Bronco Parts
2294 Sage Road
Medford, Oregon 97501
Phone: 800-749-5028
Email: info@tomsbroncoparts.com
Web: www.tomsbroncoparts.com
IDIDIT Inc.
610 S. Maumee St.
Tecumseh, Mi 49286
Phone: (517) 424-0577
Fax: (517) 424-7293
Web: www.ididitinc.com
Auto Meter
413 West Elm Street
Sycamore, IL 60178
Phone: 866.248.6356
Fax 815.895.6786
Web: www.autometer.com
Smittybilt
400 W. Artesia Blvd.
Compton, CA 90220
Phone: 888-717-5797
Fax: 310-762-2297
Web: www.smittybilt.com
Tuffy Products
25733 Road H
Cortez, CO 81321
Phone: 970-564-1762
Fax: 970-564-1783
Email: sales@tuffyproducts.com
Web: www.tuffyproducts.com
B&M Racing
9142 Independence Ave
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Phone: 818-882-6422
Web: www.bmracing.com
Alpine Electronics
19145 Gramercy Place
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone: (310) 326-8000
Web: www.alpine-usa.com

About Rick Webster

Check Also

Project Buckshot – Power Steering Conversion / Upgrade

Once we shod Buckshot with 35” tall tires, we knew that the aging, stock power …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *