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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Console Tech

Subject: Early '77 280Z.

Today's Query is a multi-parter...

- Any opinions about whether the console and it's armrest/lid shell are of a Styrene plastic?

- Has anyone ever felt the need, by necessity ("stripped" screws no longer holding the bottom finisher (a not-Styrene) to the top (Styrene) shell) or OCD urge, to disassemble the console armrest/lid?

- Were you crestfallen to discover that most (especially those for the lid hinges) of the top shell's (Styrene) cast-in screw socket posts, were broken/shattered hulks of their former configuration?

- Has anyone attempted repair/replacement? That worked?

- If so, would anyone in this narrow class of dedicated self-abusers, care to share the secrets of their success? Please be specific regarding technique and adhesives.

I thank you for your attention.


PS:
An Observation/Rumination: There may well be an object lesson here, about why attending to cars older than the '70s, is more often a more rewarding experience, non-Pro fiddle-wise, than those of more difficult materials and technologies that followed.

Bonus Bore:
Are future Cars-of-Our-Youth geeks doomed to embracing what few Overpriced, Not-Front-Drivers, Not-Station-Wagons, that remain? Will there be a surge of appreciation for the very many fine Pre-(personal)Historic crocks that will have become Estate fodder? Will a Journeyman coder be able to afford anything worth driving/saving?

Wondering/Wandering minds want to know....



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Last edited by ensys; 08-19-2019 at 12:35 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 02:11 AM
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A few comments in no particular order.

I've owned / dealt with about 4 late '70s consoles. One had some sort of aftermarket foam/vinyl armrest on it which hinged from the back and was comfortable but Fugly. The other three all had damage of some sort to the bottom finisher, as you are calling it. I had ONE that was uncracked until my wife used it to lean on getting into the car and promptly broke that one too. Granted, it only survived, oh...30yrs before me, then lasted one week in my possession. No biggie..

All had some level of cracked/stripped screws. I sleeved a few of the posts one of them with a plastic hose I had and poured jb weld in to 'fix' the missing pieces, and that worked ok from what I could tell. One of the big stressers to those screw bosses IMO is the spring hinge. The one I've got in the car now, I actually gutted the hinge to remove the spring action, and I haven't had any screws come loose on it in years of daily driving.

As far as being a self abusive automotive enthusiast, I'd say there are worse vices out there. I spent years getting all of those little fiddly interior bits (rubber left foot rest, 'jacket hangers' and what-not yet I've never waxed the silly thing. Even hooked up my '78 only Hitachi stereo up as dedicated MP3 style 'pre-amp' if you will call it that for no other reason other than it was a fun little side project. Make the car as stock looking as possible while spending a little as possible, cause, well...it's a Datsun.

And hey, whatcha got against station wagons??

78 280z w/ 5sp
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ensys View Post
Subject: Early '77 280Z.

Today's Query is a multi-parter...

- Any opinions about whether the console and it's armrest/lid shell are of a Styrene plastic?

- Has anyone ever felt the need, by necessity ("stripped" screws no longer holding the bottom finisher (a not-Styrene) to the top (Styrene) shell) or OCD urge, to disassemble the console armrest/lid?

- Were you crestfallen to discover that most (especially those for the lid hinges) of the top shell's (Styrene) cast-in screw socket posts, were broken/shattered hulks of their former configuration?

- Has anyone attempted repair/replacement? That worked?

- If so, would anyone in this narrow class of dedicated self-abusers, care to share the secrets of their success? Please be specific regarding technique and adhesives.



I thank you for your attention.


PS:
An Observation/Rumination: There may well be an object lesson here, about why attending to cars older than the '70s, is more often a more rewarding experience, non-Pro fiddle-wise, than those of more difficult materials and technologies that followed.

Bonus Bore:
Are future Cars-of-Our-Youth geeks doomed to embracing what few Overpriced, Not-Front-Drivers, Not-Station-Wagons, that remain? Will there be a surge of appreciation for the very many fine Pre-(personal)Historic crocks that will have become Estate fodder? Will a Journeyman coder be able to afford anything worth driving/saving?

Wondering/Wandering minds want to know....

The problem with the stock console lids for the 77-78 is that there is no support or bumper on the hinge side so it puts all the weight of someone leaning on it, on the short little screws that hold the lid to the hinges. An easy fix that I came up with years ago is to use a little bit larger diameter Phillips screw with a built in flat washer and a bulb like head. They're used elsewhere in the z's which I have a lot of. The larger diameter bites into the lid, just don't go crazy on the diameter. You need to use a fairly short version of that screw so you don't go anywhere near the outer skin. The bulb like head on the screw is going to be about 3 or 4mm tall, and that barely rests on the console itself giving the lid a bumper that will transfer the leaning weight to the console instead of to the threads that hold it in place. Hopefully I explained this well enough so you can grasp what I'm talking about. I've only fixed a hundred or so of them through the years and I don't remember ever having a problem with them after that. Another option is to remove the lid and put on one of our padded console lids with built in cupholders. It's taller than the stock lid, very comfortable, and also very strong. If you need to see what they look like just send me a request to my e-mail.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Mr.Opus:

"whatcha got against station wagons??"

Absolutely nothing... before they morphed into tall, ungainly, butched-up, front-driver Mommy wagons.

Seriously, I appreciate your observations.

In my case, the finisher (bottom panel of the lid) is fine; it's the pesky screw posts that have disintegrated beyond salvation. This is particularly frustrating as its not like I cranked on the bleeding screws regularly. I think I've only taken it apart twice in almost 40yrs.


My problem is that I like the original lid just fine, with the exception of the engineering. I'm on the trail of a solution (think BIC Stick barrels), but the priority of the pursuit is not terribly high. The object here is to get the Trusty Z back on the road and working on the second 200K mi. above all else, so I've time to try a few things later.

As for the referenced personality quirk, I think I was clear about being a "self abusive automotive enthusiast" myself. And yes, there are certainly more unseemly habits, like paying $69K for a questionable Z on BAT, for example. Besides, "busy hands are happy hands", the philosophical adjunct to "no problem left un-fiddled".

I too, try to be a good custodian of worthy old crocks. My personal metaphorical Golden Rule is "drill no holes", a philosophy I feel is being responsible in a larger sense, but which also leaves a fair sized window of opportunity to "personalize" my rides. I sense you understand this; laudable, as this subject doesn't seem to have struck a responsive chord hereabouts.

Thanks for your input.


Mr.ZMOW:

Maybe I'm working with a different kind of lid, as mine sits square and distributes its load evenly around the perimeter.

Its a personal thing I suppose, but it baffles me why anyone would spend the time and money to produce clumsy emulations, when it would cost little/no more to fab a better version of what is a very simple casting. A 3-D printer could crank out a mold in an hour or two, and a hidden ABS casting could be butt-ugly and functional at the same time. And in the end, one would have a very marketable and honest repro.

Yeah, I know. The demand is not great for a 2 year item, but Z production was peaking at this point, and its a cinch there aren't many usable survivors.

As for other aftermarket options, I can only note my belief that cupholders just get in the way and encourage bad habits.

But thanks for taking the time to write. Your patronage is appreciated.



--------------------------
Keep 'em flying...

S.J.Szabo
-------------------------






Last edited by ensys; 08-23-2019 at 11:01 PM.
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