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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, gang..

I'll be attempting to cut into the dash to install the waterproof USB Power Socket I linked to earlier (see below):

BurnsMoto - Motorcycle USB Weatherproof Power Socket - USB Charger with optional SAE to USB

I was thinking of housing it on the left side dash and doing so would require three holes to be cut. Two of them for the actual bracket and the third for a rubber grommet. This third hole would allow the wiring to run under the dash and to the battery. I would then cover the unsightly red & black wires with a loom or something..

What's the simplest and cleanest way to make these cuts? I'm thinking a Dremel with a some kind of a router bit or something similar.

Alternatively, given the kind of bracket, what other alternative solutions can you think of? I'm not the creative type when it comes to mounting locations and I would like to go for a cleaner look...
 

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I think it would make a difference what you were going to use the USB for and when you'd be using it. That square cut is probably going to be difficult to make and have it neat. I think I'd look at some 3M products first. There's a lot of different adhesive anchors now that work really well and you could completely hide that plug under the cowling vs cutting your dash.
 

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The black plastic dash material is very easy to drill or cut. I used spade bits designed for wood for larger round holes. If I had to cut a square hole I would heat up the blade on a razor knife and melt the cut.
 

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I'm not clear on what your plan is here. The bracket pictured appears designed for a surface mount application, so at most, you'd only need to drill (not cut) three holes: two for the bolts to mount the bracket, and one for the wires. Did I misunderstand something?

I concur with the earlier suggestions, though. 3M auto body tape (readily available at auto parts stores) is more than strong enough for this application and will save you from drilling and cutting; and why not just mount it under the instrument fairing, save yourself from cutting anything, and have it all out of sight and protected from weather and dust?
 

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The black plastic dash material is very easy to drill or cut. I used spade bits designed for wood for larger round holes.
I don't think that's the best choice for plastic, but whatever works for you. I'd prefer a stepping bit; much easier to work with because it takes off small slices at a time.
 

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dtalk is right about drilling vs. cutting -- there's no need for a dremel or knives. And these are holes for small bolts, so standard drill bits will do the job just fine.

A possible location is below the instruments, along the inner edge of the dash. If you orient the wings of the bracket parallel to the inner edge of the fairing, with the socket pointing up, then you can tuck the wires under the edge. That saves you drilling the third hole (possibly bigger than the wires if you have to pass a connector through) and you don't have the wires showing on top of your dash. There should be enough clearance directly below the speedo or tach, or a bit further out just past the bend where the dash angles back.

Or you could use some aluminum flat bar or angle stock to make a simple bracket that attaches to the front of the top triple tree with one of the bolts that hold the cable guides. Attach the socket mount to the bracket, then you can just zip tie the wires to the bundle that comes out the bottom of the ignition. And if you remove the socket later, there are no holes left in your dash.
 

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The Precious Primate is right. There is lots of room on the lip around the black plastic. The toggle for my old heated grips is mounted there.
 

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...and my previous link was picking up on 10-95's "square cut" comment and doesn't seem relevant for this case. I'll leave it for general reference, though. For small holes, I've used standard drill bits. For my cig. lighter, I used a hole saw. Practiced on a plastic lid first to make sure technique and hole size were correct.
 

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The black plastic dash material is very easy to drill or cut. I used spade bits designed for wood for larger round holes. If I had to cut a square hole I would heat up the blade on a razor knife and melt the cut.
Now that I'm awake, I did use a hole saw not a spade bit for the larger holes and twist bits for screw holes, etc. Duh.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks, guys! And now that I'm awake, I completely meant drilling the holes instead of cutting them. It was a rough day yesterday.. Phew!

Anyway, my initial intent was to drill three holes (two for the actual plastic bracket and a third for the wiring. Still, it seems as if simply going with some kind of a 3M product may work out better. Since I'm sitting here at work, I'll have to look at some pics to see where I could mount it...


Anyway, after a little more searching based off your ideas, I was able to find the following dash shelves.. I think I may go with one of these, which would be awesome for any future enhancements!

http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,12988.0.html

I think Greywolf had linked it on another thread and it'll work perfectly!
 

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I used a spade bit of 1-1/8 for the lighter sockets and it worked perfectly. The key to drilling plastic is slow bit speed. Make sure you are cutting it and not melting it.
 

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dirt simple, but make sure the handlebars and whatever is attched to them clears BEFORE you drill
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That's exactly the problem I was running into with my initial mounting location!

I think I'm going to make it simple and just get some 3M auto tape and stick it to the understand of the instrument cluster. I'll just need to determine the route of the wiring...
 

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After some problems on my 04 FJR with the black plastic panel fracturing, I always epoxy (could use Plastex) a plastic sheet behind the panel. Got mine from a hobby shop, it's used to make miniature houses. Don't push too hard on the drill. Ian, Iowa
 

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Now that I'm awake, I did use a hole saw not a spade bit for the larger holes
It's still awfully hard to get that right with very thin material, though. You only get one chance to locate it when you start that large, and if it breaks through unevenly, you can have a very difficult time cleaning it up. For large holes in very thin stock such as fairing plastic, I prefer to graduate the cut with a stepping bit.

Sometimes, though, you cross your fingers and use what you have ... :thumbup:
 
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