Boeing 737 Panel Dimensions

5/2016 completed Pedestal Lighting, Rudder Trim
12/2016 completed Cargo Fire Panel
1/2017 completed Anti-Ice Panel
2/2017 completed Window Heat Panel
2/2017 completed Stall Warning Panel
2/2017 completed Cabin Pressure Panel
4/2017 completed Bus Transfer/APU Panel
6/2017 completed Fuel Panel
8/2017 completed Center Fwd Panel
8/2017 completed Bottom Lighting Panel
9/2017 completed Instrument Transfer Panel
9/2017 completed Hydraulic Panel
9/2017 completed Door Annunciators
9/2017 completed Standby Power Panel
9/2017 completed Cockpit Voice Recorder Switch
9/2017 completed Flight Control Panel
10/2017 completed Pneumatics Panel

I keep seeing the question
"What are the dimensions of the panels in the 737 overhead"
I haven't found an easy summary of measurements of each of the Boeing 737 modules, so I put together the best information I've been able to find.

One starting point discusses the DZUS spacing and is found at - focusedondimensions.pdf

The vertical dimensions are based on the DZUS-rails that mount these modules. The centers of the holes in the Dzus rails are 3/8" separated from each other, therefore the panel heights are mutiples of 3/8".

The width of the backplate is 5.75" (5-3/4" or approx 146.05 mm).

The center-center distance between the mounting holes is 5.375" (5-3/8" or 136.5 mm)

The aluminum backplate thickness is 1/16".

All plates need to be trimmed a little (say 1/64") to allow easier fitting.

The clearance opening between rails seems to be 5.07" based on DFCI (was DZUS) documentation. CPFlight modules use a 4.92" (125 mm) width for equipment behind the front of the panel.

The DZUS document did provide 3 specific panel heights:
COMM Panel - 7 times 3/8" or approx 66.675 mm
ADF Panel - 7 times 3/8" or approx 66.675 mm
Audio Selector Panel - 12 times 3/8" or approx 114,3 mm

To confirm the measurements, I purchased a Collins ADF module (the cheapest module I could find on ebay).

This module is:
  • The width measures 5-3/4" minus maybe 1/64"
  • The height measures 2-5/8" with no noticable trim (2.625 / .375 = 7 DZUS units)
  • The horizontal spacing of the mounting bolts is 5-3/8".
  • The vertical spacing of the mounting bolts is 1-1/2" (1.5 / .375 = 4 DZUS units).
  • The width of the box behind the panel is about 4-31/32". This fits within the 5.07" panel opening documented above.
  • The height of the box behind the panel is about 2-15/32".

    The design I will use for the mounting rails is shown below and consists of 1/16" x 1" aluminum flat bars and 1/4" x 1/4" square aluminum bars.

    This design provides the correct overall spacing, the correct mounting hole spacing, and the correct opening to fit the modules.
    PC Flights sells 8-32 screws that look like the DZUS mounting bolts and will fit this design nicely EXCEPT they are a little large. Therefore I had to add 1 third piece or 1/16" aluminum between sections to compensate.

    The overall panel height for the Forward Overhead, Aft Overhead and Pedestal panels is based on counting the mounting holes in actual frames sold on ebay.
  • Forward Overhead - 60 holes plus space for 2 more holes gives a 23.25" opening (approx 590.55 mm)
  • Aft Overhead - 25 holes plus space for 2 more holes gives a 10.125" opening (approx 257.175 mm)
  • Pedestal - 49 holes gives a 18.375" opening (approx 466.725 mm)

    Details of panels on Forward Overhead
    Details of panels on Aft Overhead
    Details of panels on Pedestal
    Construction Status

    Use of any of the simulator equipment suppliers panels will provide a good looking overhead and pedestal area in your simulator. I used PC Flights for the Forward Overhead panel since they seemed more accurate and were in the USA. I used HISPA for the rest since they seemed to be the least expensive and had the items PC Flights lacked.

    I'm curious to know if I can modify the modules I have to more closely match the original designs, and the following describes my results.

    Now some notes about simulator part suppliers:
  • Sismo Solutiones and PC Flights seem to have the most accurate sizes. The total Forward Overhead module height is 590 mm which agrees with the measured frame. A few modules do not meet the DZUS standard but most do. I don't know about the mounting hole dimensions.
    They also dropped some of their prices.
  • Sismo, Hispa, and Open Cockpits provide systems, meaning they also supply hardware and software to connect the panels to the flight simulator software (primarily FSX, little support for X-Plane) as well as the MIP, MCP and EFIS panels.
    PC Flights also has the interface hardware and software (Supplied by Sismo) but is missing the Aft Overhead as well as the MIP, MCP and EFIS panels.
    CockpitSimParts has the MIP, MCP and EFIS panels, but not the interface electronics.
  • Hispa primarily uses the smaller toggle switches for its panels, the other suppliers use the larger toggle switches for all their panels.
  • Hispa Panels only uses 564 mm for the Forward Overhead height. This requires distorting some of the module heights. They are also constrained by their meter designs.
  • CockpitSimParts.UK and FlightSimulatorParts seem to be the same since their module sizes are identical and are both missing the Cabin Pressure and Voice Recorder modules. They both use 150 mm as the module width (not 146). They also both misspell the Bleed Air Panel "Neumatic".
  • OpenCockpits does sell modules but nothing seems to be published about sizes.
  • PC Flights is new and still adding panels to their product line (as of 2017).

    Kitbashing Details

    Mounting Plates
    All mounting plates will be 1/16" aluminum (or 1/8" acrylic). One advantage is that the plates can be tapped for mounting the acrylic front plates without interfering with the mounting rails.

    Box Fabrication
    The enclosing box uses 4- or 6- 1/4" square aluminum rod drilled and tapped at either end for 4/40 screws. The back plate bolts onto these rods. Side plates are cut out of 1/32" aluminum and bolted to these rods using 4/40 flat-head screws.

    Rear Connectors
    Each design will include the artwork for pcb backplates using headers for connecting the controls/annunciators to the outside electronics.
    However, initially I will use an aluminum back plate with 2 circular connectors to more realistically model each actual module. This is pricey, so I may change my mind.
    The cheapest circular connectors that I found with Mouser or Digi-key are made by TE Connectivity. The housings are listed below:
    These housings need pins, which is where most of the expense is.
    Pin contact 1-66103-8 (24-20 ga) or 66591-1 (22-18 ga)
    Socket contact 1-66105-9 (24-20 ga) or 66592-1 (22-18 ga)