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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2014, 11:18 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Just to start by defining terms as I know them, the "doghouse" is the heavy, in-cab, insulated cover "hump" over the engine. The "console" is the part that fits over that and contains cup holders, glove boxes, etc.

My 1999 Concourse came with the "special" Beverage Mate console. This was a supposedly desirable feature, and its special thing is that it has two cupholders that can either heat or cool beverages. This does sound nifty, but I was not a fan, for these reasons:

1) The cup holders are very small in diameter. They basically either hold something the size of a 12 oz. can for cold use, or, for hot beverages, there were special hot mugs with small bases. Problem for me is that I drink out of larger, insulated stainless flasks and or mugs, water bottles, or other things that I choose (size varies).

2) Due to the heating element's exhaust, where you would normally have additional cubbies, the Beverage mate has cutouts with slits to exhaust the fan/heat of the Beverage Mate element, and so you cannot stow things in them. They look like stowage niches but are not (and the instructions specifically forbid blocking the vents there). Thus there is really no place to put anything but the two cup places.

3) There is a "glove box" below, but it is very small.

So in a nutshell, very little storage in the whole thing, and cupholders that didn't work for me. Here are a few photos of the Beverage Mate, then I'll continue in another post (limit of three photos per post from what I can tell):

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Beverage Mate 1.jpg
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Beverage mate top.jpg
Beverage mate top.jpg [ 150.58 KiB | Viewed 2082 times ]

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Beverage mate rear.jpg
Beverage mate rear.jpg [ 133.32 KiB | Viewed 2082 times ]

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Last edited by Blue~Go on August 3rd, 2014, 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2014, 11:39 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Luckily, the underlying doghouse on the 1997-2008 (and I believe 2009-present but not 100% positive), has standard console attachment points, so any of the various consoles that have been supplied can be substituted (if someone loves the Beverage Mate, they can even put one in on purpose :D). This is not my rig (so those spills and dirt ... not mine!), but his photo shows a generic 1997+ Ford van doghouse. This is what is under the console. Note the three "knobs" in an upside-down triangle shape -- the console hangs on those. The clippy thing you see just below the lower knob locks them in place (so they can't lift up).

Attachment:
Doghouse console attachments on generic Ford van.jpg
Doghouse console attachments on generic Ford van.jpg [ 62.43 KiB | Viewed 2081 times ]


Before removing the Beverage Mate, I read the installation instructions just to get an idea of the procedure. I noted that one of the instructions was something like, "Drill out rivet, remove console hold down clip from doghouse, and throw it away. Then use plain old screws to affix Beverage Mate to doghouse." Oh great! I popped into a Ford dealer to try to buy one of the hold down clips, but it turns out they are not something you can buy separately. I figured I could get one from a junkyard or etc. at some point (I was in a small town so nothing there), and proceeded anyway. Removing the Beverage Mate was a matter of taking out the fuse for the power wires (it was in the extra added Chinook fuse block that is ahead of the driver's left shin. In my case it was the third one down on the right-hand row, but yours may be different. Easy enough to remove those fuses one at a time and see if the Beverage Mate turns on or not.

I can't remember if mine actually had the screws they said to put in or not. If it did, they were so simple to remove that I can't even remember it. Buh-bye Beverage Mate.

For a new console, I turned to eBay. They usually have plenty of them available (sometimes called "cup holders"). The most common one (and typically the least expensive) seemed to be the one I think is on the newest vans (this makes sense). It seemed to run around $40. Some are cheaper and have huge shipping costs; others are a bit more but with "free" shipping. That style looks like this:

Attachment:
Common new style console.jpg
Common new style console.jpg [ 26.19 KiB | Viewed 2081 times ]


This style does not go all the way down to the floor (although it does go further down than the very short Beverage Mate), so if extra floor room is important to you, you might like this one.

There is also an even smaller one, with more foot space although it does have Ford's "self launching" cup holders. :roll: I believe this is late-90's vintage. The swooped part at the bottom is the actual doghouse; the console is just the part above that. Pardon the clumsy editing, but it should give you the idea, anyway.

Attachment:
90's console.jpg
90's console.jpg [ 149.85 KiB | Viewed 2081 times ]

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2014, 11:50 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I decided I wanted the "big" console I had seen on 2003 (maybe up to 2006 or so?) E-Series vehicles. This one comes all the way down to the floor (covers up part of the floor just behind the doghouse), and has plenty of cup holders and cubbies, plus a lower open cubby, and a good-sized "glove box" drawer below that. I wondered if it would get in my way when I wanted to shift from the cab to the coach, but it hasn't bothered me at all and I am very happy with the function of the console itself. Here it is in place. Note that it does not really look like a scary, over-enthusiastic clown face in actual use :D

Attachment:
New console.jpg
New console.jpg [ 210.99 KiB | Viewed 2080 times ]


And the back. You can see where it rests on the three doghouse "knobs" and also where the clip (would) go. I meant to mention, that most of the consoles have some sort of (possibly hidden) door or opening that you get to from inside the glove box or cubby - you reach in and can undo the hold down clip.

Attachment:
rear of new 2003-ish console.jpg
rear of new 2003-ish console.jpg [ 95.21 KiB | Viewed 2080 times ]


As I mentioned, the original Beverage Mate installation instructions had the folks at Trail Wagons drill out the rivet, remove the hold down clip, and throw it away. So it was missing from the doghouse on my rig. In practice, I found that the console stays in place just fine without it. I think the Chinook "upholstery flaps" on either side help because they make the console fit very tightly. That said, I imagine one could find any number of these clips in junkyards. One of the other style consoles might need it more (the one I have fits right down to the floor, pretty much).

No photo of this last note, but I have had a couple of Ford E-Series rigs (vans or cutaways), and they have all let in a thin, horizontal "line" of hot air just above the console (from engine heat). This heated up my cold beverages... boo! What I have done on all my E-Series rigs is to get a piece of dark grey foam pipe insulation (Home Depot, etc.), cut it to length, and then press down on it to turn the circle profile into a sort of "infinity" shape. Then I press it into place in that gap. Result is no more hot air coming into the cab there, and just a smooth "bullnose" of dark grey foam showing (one of the infinity "halves"; the other one is trapped inside the gap). Almost looks stock :)

While everyone might not have my same taste in consoles, I figured this post might help people who want to change from one to another. I have not had a pre-1997 Ford van, however from what I understand these consoles will not fit the doghouse in the 1996 and older rigs (barring custom mods).

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PostPosted: August 7th, 2014, 10:34 am 
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Blue, I wished I would have saw your post before I purchased my console replacement. Where did you get/order yours from?


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PostPosted: August 7th, 2014, 12:41 pm 
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Hey there '98. I got mine from eBay, which had a selection of all the known consoles, at least when I was looking. The style you chose seemed to be the most common/least expensive - I think because it's the newest (at least of the ones I showed). Mine was a bit more and there were fewer of them, but I only needed one, and the cost was still reasonable vs. the function.

I also saw a few on Craigslist, but since they were not local it seemed easier to go through eBay, where people were expecting to ship. Mine arrived nicely packed and in like-new condition, so no complaints. After the tiny Beverage Mate it's like I gained a desk and pantry combined :D

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PostPosted: August 8th, 2014, 1:36 am 
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Out of curiosity, since it had been awhile, I popped onto e-Bay to see what they had in the way of consoles. In doing so, I noticed a style that wasn't represented here, and decided to add it for completeness (one-stop shopping :D). This looks to be 2008 (or so) vintage, and thus should fit the 1997-and-up Ford van/cutaway doghouse. I guess it's a good one if you tend to be really thirsty ;)

Attachment:
08 style 2.jpg
08 style 2.jpg [ 96.58 KiB | Viewed 2053 times ]

Attachment:
08 style.jpg
08 style.jpg [ 82.52 KiB | Viewed 2053 times ]

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 6:14 am 
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Location: Southern CA
The beverage mate does not work even after I replaced the blown fuse. So I took it apart, and found that it was not connected to anything :roll: I probably want to go with replace the console with something else, and maybe put in a few USB outlets on it. But first, I need to figure out where the beverage mate suppose to plug into. Anyone have a pic that illustrate where I can find it, or describe the location? Maybe it is obvious, but I can't find anything last night.

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 5:20 pm 
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On my '99 Concourse, the Beverage Mate power originated in the Chinook add-on fuse block that was just between the Ford fuse block and my left shin when driving. I'll look up which position it was and edit this post.

Then a wire from there went over (tucked up) and attached to the Beverage Mate. It's been a couple of years since I removed it, but I don't remember anything fancy or complicated.

Everyone is different, but I haven't once (for even a second) regretted removing mine. I started out with the 2005-era console (and really liked it), but then last winter I had a chance to get a different one (2009-2014 or thereabouts) and I like it too - maybe even better. Both of them have HEAPS more stowage than the Beverage Mate, and multiple sizes and types of cups and insulated flasks fit in. Plus room for phone, glasses, bubble level, chapstick.... you-name-it.

Also, although I did try to order that lower clip (that's removed to install the Beverage Mate :x ) from a Ford dealer (not available separately, they said), I have found it's not really necessary. If I ever find one in a junkyard or etc. I might grab it, but with the padded cloth thingie that Chinook put on the doghouse the console pretty much friction jams in place.

Edited to add: Okay, so here is the diagram from the 2000 Chinook manual. I have the block on the left (Concourse); the one on the right is the Premier one. (Although mine is a '99, I haven't digitized that manual yet, but this matches). The second photo is the actual block in my Chinook - as you can see I have removed the Beverage Mate fuse. I left the wire in place (unpowered since no fuse) in case I wanted to re-use it for something.

Clicking on them should make them larger and hopefully more legible.

Attachment:
2000 manual fuse block diagrams.png
2000 manual fuse block diagrams.png [ 92.82 KiB | Viewed 252 times ]


Attachment:
Auxilliary fuse block annotated.png
Auxilliary fuse block annotated.png [ 639.18 KiB | Viewed 252 times ]

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PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 9:34 pm 
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Do I need to remove the doghouse to see the connectors which the BM connects to, or it is under the padding cloth? It was dark again when I got home, so it is very difficult to see how the wiring goes. I assume the connectors are not anchored, and just loose somewhere.

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PostPosted: August 31st, 2017, 12:41 pm 
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Mine wasn't under the doghouse - and it shouldn't be, to my mind. Reason I say that is first of all, that relies on a rubber seal to keep fumes etc. out of the cab. Also, it's very hot under there! I can't remember the exact details, but pretty sure mine was just tucked slightly in somewhere. I'll see if I took any photos and if so, will come back and post them. I understand how things can be a bit hard to see in there - especially if you have navy blue carpet like I do!

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