How To Restore a Corvette C3 Center Console

Although a center console swap is not the most difficult swap out there, we'll show you some tips and tricks to make this as painless and easy as can be.

Cam Benty Aug 13, 2006 0 Comment(s)

While exterior upgrades may receive all the compliments, restoring a car's interior is generally the most gratifying upgrade for Corvette owners. After all, where do you spend most of the time?

Corp_0610_01_z Console_installation Old 1/12

With a broken faceplate and soiled covering, this '72 Corvette was in dire need of a new console.

With our '72 Corvette big-block, the interior was intact and in decent shape, but the console, carpeting, and other interior components, were unsightly-especially the gauges in the console.

In addition to a basic restoration of the interior, we decided to upgrade the console using a retrofit stereo kit from Mid America Motorworks (MAM). The bolt-in system incorporates a 230-watt stereo that fits in the exact same place as the original radio. It's already attached to the console when it arrives, allowing you to toss the factory amplifier and other unnecessary wiring, making the installation faster.


Although we already had everything apart, total teardown is not required. This upgrade can be done as a stand-alone changeover.

When dismantling the interior, make certain to collect all interior clips and screws for replacement. MAM offers kits to replace missing screws-a common problem with cars of this vintage, especially if it's been taken apart in the past.

A GM chassis service manual is worth its weight in gold and should be reviewed before taking on this project. It notes screws you may not have noticed when reviewing the project. Diagrams and notes about screw location are also helpful.

Take your time with replacement console parts. These cars vary and require custom fitting so the mounting screw holes have not been drilled. Make certain the console is properly positioned, then make the holes. Placement of the screw mount holes must be accurate for everything to fit.






PARTS USED
PN 618-464 Retrofit in-dash CD Unit
PN 622-635 Shift plate console
PN 602-589 Woodgrain console insert without air
PN 666-509 Carpet set with foil backed padding
PN 602-593 Console data plates
PN 612-610 Reproduction shifter console

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