Custom "plug in" radio box | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Custom "plug in" radio box


Go big or go home
Elite Explorer
July 26, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Willow Grove, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
So I was looking for a place to mount my radio when responding to fire calls. throwing it on the seat and having it slide and smash into the door in turns just wasn't cutting it for me. It's a pretty expensive pieces of equipment, and I also wanted easy access to it for (obviously) communicating.

SO I decided to build a box to mount it. The catch here is I didn't want a permanent mount - I wanted something I could easily remove if it was in the way of something or if we upgraded radio models.

The plan was to build a box for the radio to sit in, and then take a mold of the spot in the console to build a "plug" for the bottom of the box. Bolt the box to the plug, and I'd have an easily removable mount. I used the rectangle hole in the console for the mold.

First, cut the 4 sides and bottom of the box:


Test fit!


Nailed and glued together:


Sanded and rounded:


"Plug" mold made out of extra strength plaster. Box has been sprayed here with Rustoleum "Stone Accents" spray to give it texture I was looking for.


Couple more layers of plaster on the plug and a lot of sanding to make it smooth as glass. This was before final sanding. The box has been coated with truck bed liner for durability.


Finished product ready to go in


Plug going in place:




PERFECT fit, radio and box don't move even an millimeter, yet easily removable - both radio from box and box from truck. Highly recommend this setup if you have to build a mount that you don't want to be permanent. Very happy with how it all came out.

Very nice.
But doesn't it block the cup holder a bit?
Maybe if you made the bottom mold a bit off center so the radio would be a bit closer to the passenger side.
But it looks like you use it as an ash tray anyway. :D

Thanks. It blocks the cup holder slightly, but the bolts are a bit skewed to one side, so if I flip it the other way, it doesn't. I rarely use that cup holder anyway- flip lid just for trash scraps.