The carpet is back out again

Ferrari 308 center console

This week much of the carpet is back out of the car. The problem is the front part of the center console (above). It fills the gap between the gear lever/ashtray part of the main center console and the bulkhead at the front of the passenger compartment. It’s held by four screws and I was not expecting any trouble putting it back in but I was wrong.

Screw one. Not a problem.

Screw two and the problems began. The second screw stripped the thread  and dropped all the way down to the floor.

Crap.

I stopped the driver’s side of the console and switched to the passenger’s side. I noticed the screws for the passenger’s side were larger than the ones on the driver’s side… Uh-huh… someone has been here before me… stripping screws as well.

The first screw on the passenger side would not line up with the hole so I had to remove the carpet on the front bulkhead. Grrrr… a simple four screw job was rapidly becoming a royal pain in the arse. Luckily had I fitted this with Velcro since the panel underneath contains the electronics for the slow down lights and the warning buzzer for the seatbelts. Yes, electronics in a 1970s Ferrari! They scared the crap out of me when I found them hiding in the passenger footwell… just another thing to go wrong!

Ferrari 308 basic electronics

I checked the parts manual… yes the boxes of Italian electronics were supposed to be there! Thankfully they had all long since stopped working but I decided to keep it there for posterity.

Then things went from bad to worse. The screws on the passenger side also stripped out their (even larger) holes. The time had come to, in the words of my 3-year old watching his Blues Clues TV show to,”sit down in yer thinking chair and think, think, thi-i-i-i-i-i-ink” Actually it was time to remove the console and fix things the right way.

The console screws are threaded straight into the fiberglass floor panel which is why they had stripped so easily. I filled the holes with new fiberglass. I also took the time to strengthen the fiberglass of the console itself which was showing some stress cracks around the tabs. Once the resin had cured, I screwed the console back in without issue.

 

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