As cherry as we'd like to keep them-or as modified as we're willing to make them-some parts on any shark are going to wear out. The plastic in our early vintage cars just doesn't stand the test of time and eventually falls prey to the ravages of wear. One such spot is on our subject '72's shifter-console housing. As the tabs retaining the shifter-console plate dried and became brittle, vibrations from daily use cracked these small pieces of plastic and caused the whole assembly to become loose and rattle around as the Vette rolled down the Interstate. If this sounds familiar, read on.
With the problem and cause identified, it's time to move on to a solution. If you're looking for a replacement, look no further than Corvette America, (800) 458-3475, www.corvetteamerica.com. The company has made a name for itself in the Corvette-interior market, and the '68-'76 shifter console is no exception. If, on the other hand, you're unwilling to part with your OEM piece (or you're cheap like us), this quick repair can have you driving rattle-free in no time. All it takes is some sheetmetal, tin snips, and a little time. You're looking at 30 minutes of work, tops, and you get to retain your original piece. Follow along as Corvettes By Dreamworks shows us how this repair is accomplished.
Removing the console plate is easy if the plastic tabs that were once part of the console housing are missing. We set out to remedy this problem.
In two opposite corners, you can see where the tabs were in our subject '72. Nothing out of the ordinary happened here-these pieces simply dried out over time and became extremely brittle.
Our next order of business was to make a template using a piece of paper.
A few snips...
...and we had a template to use for some thin-gauge sheetmetal.
A quick trip to the workbench with some tin snips, and here's what we traded our slip of paper for.
We checked for fitment, and the new piece seemed to work correctly...
...so we added some auto-grade adhesive to help strengthen the bond.
Using pop rivets to hold the sheetmetal in place, we moved on to the final steps.
With the console plate in position, we drilled a couple of guide holes in the sheetmetal.
After replacing the screws, everything should hold just like new. If you're not set on keeping your OEM piece, keep in mind companies like Corvette America stock new repro pieces that should match your interior code.