Tuffy® Samurai Security Console
with Bill Johnston
I like to be able to park anywhere and be sure that my valuables are safely locked away in the rig. My convertible Samurai has a canvas top and a plastic glove box that a good Buck knife could open in a heartbeat... See a problem?
Tuffy® Security Products debuted their Samurai Security Console in Moab earlier this year making us all run for our checkbooks! It was a perfect fit for an installation between the stock seats... oops...
Many of us had already replaced our stock seats with the popular (wider) racing seats that you see in many of the vehicles at IZook and in print magazines. This posed a problem. Tuffy® listened to our need and responded with a security console identical in just about every way - except skinnier! This console measures a scant 5.125" across and fits easily between the larger seats. The heavy duty padded armrest, pry-proof door and dual cup holder with choice of two mounting positions are the same as in the original unit.
|Although the console has been redesigned with the larger seats in mind it doesn't mean that you are out of luck if you still have comfortable stockers. As you can see on the right, it fits nicely there too!
You can see the mounting holes that allow you to secure this unit to the floor in the picture to the left. You can also see the removable 'storage cup' that can be used for keys, change or just about anything else that you don't want lost in the bottom of the unit. No matter how much we clean out the car, there is always 'important stuff' that ends up getting stashed in the console so you don't lose track of it. Now that wheel lock socket won't get lost in the shuffle! The key lock is shown on the right. This is not your common 'everybody's gas cap key fits it' kind of lock. It is a heavy duty cylindrical lock and it comes with two keys. Store one in a safe place (not inside the unit...) because if you lose the other you will have a nice armrest and nothing more. Remember this is called a Security Console...
The console comes with neoprene weatherproofing strips that will make the unit more water resistant. Following the directions that come with the console will lead you through short, step by step instructions that describe exactly where to put the strips. The photo on the left shows my eight year old daughter helping with the cutting and placement chores. Pardon the cliché, but 'even a child can do it'! This also gives the door a solid feel when shutting and locking the unit.
|To the left you can see the final seal being applied. You can also see the unique locking mechanism. With the door shut and locked, it makes the lid virtually pry-proof. If a thief really wanted to get into the console, any lock would only serve to slow him down, but this lock would make him revert to using a torch because there is no easy way to get in with a pry bar.
Here you can see the two mounting positions for the dual cup holder. In front it sits right next to the emergency brake, in back the drinks sit side by side across the rear of the unit. You also have the option to purchase a second dual cup holder if you are really thirsty, or have kids in the optional Suzuki backseat.
|Here you see the dual cup holders mounted to the front of the console. These cup holders can handle anything from a one liter cola bottle to your favorite 'koozy' filled with your choice of beverage. They are also of a steel construction so they are just as 'tuff' as the console itself.
|As you can see by the stock seat belt placement between the racing seats, there is very little room for much of anything. If you rotate the seatbelts forward they will give the needed space for the security console and still be accessible. Many people have completed the race ensemble by adding a set of racing belts that include a shoulder harness. You may notice the slots in the seats where they are designed to come through. Be sure to check your state laws covering such an upgrade though, because it may be illegal in your state to remove the stock belts. Since this is a daily driver and it needs to pass annual safety inspections the stock belts have been retained.
|As you can see the fit is very close. If your emergency brake raises above a 45 degree angle it needs to be adjusted to snug up a little sooner. The unit fits up against the raised rear section in the transmission tunnel where it meets the rear cargo area. This gives about 1/4" of space extra space up front for those of you that pull the brake handle a little too hard. The light bristles that hide the handle mechanism didn't stay on very well, but after talking with the folks at Tuffy®, it seems that they are looking for alternative adhesives that will fix this problem.
|With the stock seats, the position is identical because the emergency brake handle is in the same position in both applications. The difference is that there is more room for the stock seat belts. Also notice that there is very little clearance between the emergency brake handle and the cup holder (if you choose to install it up front). You must be careful not to hit the steel cup holder with your hand. Steel is not very forgiving.
After finding and marking the mounting holes in the bottom of the unit, we used a punch to pass through the carpeting for a more visible mark in the sheet metal below. The separation point for the carpeting is only inches away from the drilling points, so we just lifted the carpet to drill the holes. If you elect to go through the carpet without moving it, cut away the area where the drill could catch in the material. This is a safer method than getting all twisted up in the weave of the carpet.
The two holes to the rear of the box are easy to drill and only require slight pressure on the drill for completion. The two holes toward the front of the box will be passing through the thicker steel plate that crosses from one side of the transmission tunnel to the other to form a stronger mounting point for the seatbelts. This will require a sharp drill bit and some patience. It also gives a more solid mounting point that will withstand lots of abuse.
Also notice (in the photo to the right) that we inserted the bolts from under the vehicle. Tuffy® recommends that at least one of the bolts should be installed from underneath because after the nylock (self locking) nuts are installed from inside - it is next to impossible to remove it from underneath. This is where a helper comes in handy to hold one of the wrenches. Be sure not to torque the bolts too tight. The transmission tunnel has two raised ridges for strength and they make a 'less than perfect' platform for mounting a flat console. If the lid does not close quietly and completely, loosen the bolts and try again. This is a fairly new console, so I imagine there will be small design upgrades as time goes on.
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Tuffy® Security Products