Help! - center console / "file box" removal...

sarl_cagan

2006 118" SHC
Hello!

After a loooong search, I found a 2006 T1n cargo van and I'm in the process of cleaning it. One of the "features" in this van's previous life was a center console / "file cabinet" / "clip board". I'd like to remove it but I simply cannot figure out how it's attached to van. If anyone has experience installing, or removing a box like this, I'd love to learn how it's done.

I figured the box was aftermarket (like THIS)... but I cannot find any screw heads, or mounting flanges anywhere. Its just STUCK to the floor. The thought crossed my mind that somehow it was a "factory" upgrade... and therefore maybe more "integrated" in some way.

Theories:
A) it has welded on threaded studs that protrude from the bottom and go through holes in the floor. I'd suspect to find nuts somewhere beneath the van.
B) it was attached using a fatty sheet of VHB... and is simply "stuck" to the floor.
C) there is an imperceivable false bottom to the box.. under which I'd find some screw heads to unscrew and free the box.

Other food for thought:
FFT1: I did find some sheet metal screws protruding beneath the van. Does anyone else have these screws? (GREEN arrows in photo) Admittedly, I need to do some more reference/measurement making to see where the box should be when I'm beneath the van.
FFT2: The rubber floor does not want to move either. Maybe its really really stuck down itself... or its being sandwiched by the box and the floor.
FFT3: On the inside of the box, the only visible features on the floor of the box are two small holes towards the rear. No fasteners. (In the photo, there's a random loose screw in with the dirt and grime)
FFT4: The van had a Weatherguard partition... so I suppose in theory, maybe this box could be Weatherguard as well. I found THIS example (installation manual HERE)... but you can see that it is attached using bolts (to blind fasteners).

I was able to wedge some tire levers beneath the box with a hammer. I do not hear anything like unsticking adhesive... It is *really* difficult to wedge them in. This makes me think it actually is hard mounted... and I'm about to destroy something if I push forward.

Regards!

(edits - grammar, and added more food for thought)
 

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BrennWagon

He’s just this guy, you know?
I’d imagine that @Cheyenne is correct and releasing the bottom latch will allow you to remove the box from its base, giving access to the mounting screws. I don’t recall seeing any sheet metal screws in that area of the underside, so those are probably for the box. If all else fails, remove all visible fasteners and drill out the rivets, if that doesn’t get the top to separate there’s always angle grinders and sawzalls
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Just squinting at your photos, are those two screw heads (perhaps welded to the floor)?
IS that the front or rear end of the box?

1615748953575.png

But i agree: what does releasing the latch do?

--dick
 

sarl_cagan

2006 118" SHC
First off... I feel like I failed the idiot test here. On my first real forum post too. I'm off to a great start right?

@Cheyenne @BrennWagon, you nailed it. I simply must have had the latch latched every time I tried to pull up! Thanks for getting me to re-investigate it. Unlatched it, opened the door, and used the door to push side to side. It went "crack" and the bottom of the box unstuck from (newly discovered) base. It was wet and rusty under there. Who knows how long that liquid was there... I looked at that latch and thought it was latched to iself.... and was used for some entirely other reason. I was wrong.

@autostaretx ,thank you! Those are just two holes. I figured they were for mounting the thing... I was off. Maybe they are drain holes. You nailed it too though.

Mystery solved. Ego shrunken. Box removed. Thanks everyone.

Now I just need to fill in those holes to the ground with something... Will likely be investigating taking the whole floor mat out. There is a lot of hidden dirt and mouse remnants everywhere.

Photos to conclude this post.
 

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autostaretx

Erratic Member
I'd look at those holes as an opportunity (you might want to mount something there in the future).
T'were me, i'd dab galvanizing paint into the holes (self-healing rust preventative) and then either
(a) put a dab of polyurethane (not acidic silicone) sealant in them
or
(b) run stainless screws through them for said "future use"

If you can reach the underside easily, then you can ignore the "placekeeper" screws and just poke a needle up through them to locate them in the future.

--dick (who has had a 1/4 inch "locator" hole drilled in the rear floor for 12 years. It's where the rear hold-down bolt for my bed goes.
For the first 8 years, the bed was in only on trips, otherwise it was removed for "full cargo" mode. The last 4 years the bed has usually been in place. Bed not-in-place photo:

2016bnwRear.jpg
 

errkkrrkk

🚐2004 Dodge Sprinter 3500 158"WB
Ha, I had the same exact issue. The previous owners had installed a safe in the same spot and drilled it into the floor. For a lot of reasons probably not worth getting into, I had to angle grind the damn safe out. Like cut the safe open to access the bolts from the top because they were placed directly over the driveshaft with long bolts so it was extremely difficult to finagle under the van. Sometimes brute force is the way to go.
 

billintomahawk

'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
Ha, I had the same exact issue. The previous owners had installed a safe in the same spot and drilled it into the floor. For a lot of reasons probably not worth getting into, I had to angle grind the damn safe out. Like cut the safe open to access the bolts from the top because they were placed directly over the driveshaft with long bolts so it was extremely difficult to finagle under the van. Sometimes brute force is the way to go.
Had the same experience with my '02. Angle grinder removal because everything was rusted tight. Fiberglass patched and epoxyed the holes which had enlarged themselves. Still have the nasty holes in the floor mat but oh well. I'm all dry under the mat now. In a Wisconsin rain even a small hole sucked a bucket of water under the mat at any significant speed.

bill in tomahawk
 

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