For more comfort and a better look, people often change the center console, and Jeep owners are no different.
In this article, I am going to describe how to upgrade center console on Jeep XJ including total cost estimation.
Finding the right center console upgrade is not straightforward. Read the article till the end, you will know what to do.
Can You Upgrade Center Console on Jeep XJ?
Yes, you definitely can upgrade the center console on your Jeep XJ. And, there is no need for hiring a mechanic.
With the help of a few different-size screwdrivers, you can easily take off the existing one.
Thus, you understand how easy it is to install the new center console without any advanced skillset.
When Should You Upgrade Center Console on Jeep XJ?
Usually, center consoles last a lifetime. And, it has nothing that can go bad.
I have discussed a few points below that explain when one considers replacing the stock one.
In case some part of the center console gets broken, you may feel the urgency to replace it. It doesn’t affect the car because the console is just a frame.
When someone wishes to design or remodel their Jeep XJ’s interior, it can create the reason to upgrade the center console.
In this scenario, owners often tend to replace the old one with another Jeep’s center console.
2W drive to 4W drive
Lastly, upgrading your car from a 2-wheel drive to a 4-wheel drive is another reason for changing the console.
As it introduces some additional items, the old console may not be suitable anymore.
For a locked and reinforced strong compartment, you must change the center console. I have included some products in the recommendation section below.
How Much Does It Cost to Upgrade Center Console on Jeep XJ?
Assuming it takes almost 2 hours to replace everything regarding the center console, you have to calculate the labor cost accordingly.
Depending on where you live, a car mechanic may charge you $80-$130.
Now, let’s calculate the cost of purchasing the necessary parts. First of all, the center console bracket won’t be more than $40.
And, the plastic console frame may be around $150 or slightly more. The price will vary greatly based on where you can collect it from.
Furthermore, an upgrade to a security console can cost you around $300 or more.
In total, the cost of upgrading the center console on Jeep XJ should be done within 500 dollars.
My Top Recommendation on Jeep XJ Center Console Upgrade:
Here, I am going to suggest the support bracket in the first product, and the other two products are going to be the replacement of the whole console.
This one from BBBOX fits the Jeep Cherokee XJ models built between 1997 and 2001. I particularly like it because it is built from 10-gauge steel which is not the case for competitor models. And, it is the reason for the bracket’s slightly higher price. Also, it has a powder-coated black finish for preventing corrosion. Inside the package, it has everything you need for installation.
For Jeep XJ built between 1984 and 1996, you can choose this almost new center console. Or, it would be better to search for an upgrade in the junkyard or dealer’s shop. It is hard to find the right product for older model cars.
If you don’t like the stock part, you can upgrade it with this security console. As it features a universal fit, you won’t have to worry about compatibility. Still, make sure the dimensions fit your Jeep XJ before ordering it.
How to Upgrade Center Console on Jeep XJ?
There are two parts to this section. The first one involves strengthening the existing center console’s wobbly plastic bracket by replacing it.
And, the second one is swapping the existing center control with a better-looking one. Let’s begin.
1. Upgrading the Center Console Bracket
The first product in my recommendation list above is the support bracket you should buy.
After that start removing the center console step by step. All you need are a few Phillip-head screwdrivers.
Firstly, you have to make sure that the car is parked on the flat ground level, and the parking brake is active.
At the same time, shift the transmission into the neutral position, and set the transfer case at low for easier removal of the center console.
Now, depress the shift lever button and pull it up for removing it. Next, take off the shift indicator bezel, and disconnect the light.
After that, remove the transfer case shift lever bezel as well as remove the light. Look at the shift indicator bezel for screws; remove them.
Then, one has to loosen two hidden Phillip screws under the center console. Removing the center console, you will see the old plastic bracket which may or may not be broken.
In either case, it is ideal to replace the stock one with a stronger steel-built bracket. Here, you can do the upgrade only using the screwdriver.
Make sure that the short leg of the bracket is towards the front of the Jeep XJ. Finally, put everything back as they were before by reversing the steps.
Tip: Be careful about placing the rear air vent duct. Otherwise, the center console won’t fit properly. Here’s the video for doing the whole replacement.
2. Upgrading the Whole Center Console
Most probably your old Jeep XJ is a 2W drive, and now you want to upgrade it to a 4W drive. Hence, a new center console is required.
While swapping the old center console with a new one, you should also replace the bracket as described above.
Removing the console is easy and you can follow the steps I have described in the previous section.
Starting from the shifter, take off every little piece one by one. Those of you who are replacing the old ones with the exact same model, won’t have to make any adjustments.
Otherwise, the handbrake may need some adjustments. Because the newer center console models have it slightly on the left instead of in the middle.
During the research, I have found the upgrade video of an owner. You can see it to get some ideas.
He got a 97+ center console from a junkyard for his 96 model which is a nice upgrade.
You now know both low-budget and expensive ways on how to upgrade center console on your Jeep XJ. But let me warn you. Changing the old console can decrease the resell value of your car. Also, improper installation can make it more uncomfortable.