The floor console in 1968 is unique from the prior years' consoles due to the padded top, the seat belt cups in the center, the smaller ash tray at the rear, and the larger, rounded "garage door" handle. There was one other difference for convertibles that mine didn't have and that was cut-outs for the convertible seat platform. Coupes and fastbacks don't need to have this done and my console was evidently from one of those. It turns out that a template for these cut-outs is sold at NPD and various other Mustang parts houses but it turns out that they are for 1966. Now, I'm not sure whether or not the 66 template would work for 68. They look like very similar seat platforms after all. So, I posted a question on the VMF and was offered the loan of a template from a fellow VMFer (thanks Gary!). I received the template in the mail a couple days later and used it to cut my console after masking the area with tape first so that I wouldn't scrape or otherwise maul the plastic around the cut line. I then used my Harbor Freight body air saw to make the cut.
My console also had a feature not found on other consoles... mildew, so the whole thing got completely disassembled and washed with soap and water and then rubbed down with lacquer thinner. The padded vinyl portions were first repaired with vinyl cement and a stitch of thread and then dyed with 68 parchment dye from CJ Pony (which looks way too white to me).
The hard plastic parts were cleaned thoroughly and painted with the same 68 Parchment interior lacquer used for the dash and metal parts.
|Here's what I started with in all of its mildewy glory|
|Template laid out over masking tape|
|Cut line is marked out and ready to cut.|
|Freshly painted top pad.|
During one of the past big spring swap meets, I picked up some console shifter parts. A shifter cup and a pretty weathered shifter lever. The shifter cup was media blasted and painted and rebuilt using the parts from my other, standard, shifter cup. My standard shifter lever still had fairly nice chrome and the only real difference between the standard and console shifter levers is a small tab welded to the front side with a hold drilled in it. The purpose of this tab is to align the gear indicator light with the correct gear "jewel" in the console shift plate. So, I cut the tab off of the console lever and welded it to my standard lever and reassembled it.
|Welded the shift indicator tab onto my original shift lever.|
|Assembled "console" shifter.|
There was yet another problem with my console. Somebody had cut the end off of the radio knob cup on the right side of the bezel, presumably for an after-market radio so how the heck was I going to fix that?! Well, I ran through several options in my head, and the cheapest option was to figure out how much end was missing from the cup and cut the necessary length of end off of my original standard bezel which was pretty badly pitted anyway. They aren't an exact fit but similar enough to work. I "Frankensteined" my old bezel end to the console bezel using a strip of sheet metal wrapped around both and glued them with JB Weld. The ugliness couldn't be seen from the outside and it worked to support the radio in the end so I'm not losing any sleep over the solution.
|Somebody cut off one of the bezel cup ends.|
|The end off of the old bezel and roughed-up console bezel.|
|"Fixed".. ugly, but it'll do.|
|Assembled top pad with freshly painted top plate.|
|Base and shifter plate installed.|
There's a light inside the "garage door" compartment and two small lights on the back edge of the console that come on when you open the door or turn on the convenience lights with the headlight knob. It didn't turn out too shabby if I may say so myself.