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psdenno

Refurbishing the Center Console

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I recently pulled the shift lever on my '71 240Z to replace bushings. While the console was out, I decided to clean it up and repair stress cracks and 38 years of abuse.

I got a new vinyl shift boot from MSA and reupholstered the hinged arm rest that I had installed in about 1972. I fiberglassed the underside of the console below stress cracks that were visible on the top side. Next, I filled the surface cracks with two part epoxy putty. I brushed away excess putty with a tooth brush so it wouldn't fill the grained surface.

I tried a couple brands of paint before finding one that had the correct satin finish - $1.98 at True Value Hardware. The $8 a can name brand I tried first just wasn't right.

Finally, I scrubbed the panel that holds the rear window defogger switch and surrounds the choke cable handle. The silver edging on the panel was long gone and I knew I'd have a difficult time trying to paint it. Instead of paint, I used a silver Sharpie pen. By dragging the edge of the pen along the raised areas of the panel, the silver highlight was easily restored.

Pictures can be seen at :

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/album.php?albumid=177

Dennis

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Great tips! The Sharpie pen leaves a nice crisp clean line. Looks great!

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This looks just awesome! I may have a weekend project soon.

It turned out to be easier than I anticipated. Using the Sharpie for the silver trim works best if you do the inner boxes around the choke handle first and the raised outer edge of the entire panel last.

Dennis

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When you used the silver Sharpie, id it look smooth like paint, or did you see anything that looked like brush marks?

thxZ

Edited by TomoHawk

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When you used the silver Sharpie, id it look smooth like paint, or did you see anything that looked like brush marks?

thxZ

Totally smooth as if it had been pressed on in one stroke with a paint pad.

I used a sharp point, not the wedge point, Sharpie and held it horizontal to the ridge being highlighted. Then it was just a matter of lightly dragging the side of the point along the ridge. I paint model cars about as well as a five year old, so I didn't want to use a color source that could run, drip, or leave brush marks. I think the Sharpie cost about $2.50 at the local craft store. I'm sure they are also available at places like Staples, Office Max, or Walmart.

Dennis

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Wow!!! Looks terrific.

SEM has the best paint for interior pieces IMO. But it is a little expensive

I'm not sure how my $1.98 "plastic lawn furniture" paint will hold up, but with a couple coats it had a very acceptable finish. Thanks for the "Wow!!!". :)

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I would imagine lawn furniture paint will hold up very well. At least it should since it's made for the elements.

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My console was rather grey and other black bits in the interior rather dull from 26 years of storage. Even after several good cleanings they just wern't 'black'. Not wanting to spray anything or use chemicals, there had to be something else.

While at a dollar store I spotted a sale on black "Kiwi" shoe polish, 2fer1. Carnuba wax and pigment. It was worth a shot.

I started with the rocker covers to see if it worked. Applied like you would to shoes. It really made them look like new. Did the original door and hatch seals, welt, seatbelt covers, console, fuse cover, stearing cover, horn pad, everything black except the glove box cover and uncracked dash. :)

I'm pleased with the way it turned out but will see how long it lasts before I do the dash and glove box. I knew I should of taken photos before and after. :stupid:

Bonzi Lon

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Great call on the Sharpie and paint. Looks great. Always nice to get good tips that are so cheap to do. Thanks,

adamr

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Great call on the Sharpie and paint. Looks great. Always nice to get good tips that are so cheap to do. Thanks,

adamr

Sounds familar to me. Been doing that for awhile.

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Guess I'll be stopping by Office Depot soon to pick one of these markers up, thanks for the pictures :)

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The Sharpie results are awesome. Once it's dried, so you clear-coat it or just leave it as is. I'm curious about the durability factor, i.e. do you have to re-coat on a regular basis?

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I was fortunate to have Mr. K himself autograph my 240's glovebox door with a silver Sharpie marker. I then clear coated the door with acrylic spray to preserve the signature. It looks great, is permanent and does not make the door appear any different from the rest of the dash.

The silver Sharpie can also be used in other areas such as the choke plate to restore the factory finish. Be aware that if it is not clear coated, it will eventually wear off.

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The original highlighting lasted about 37 years and my Sharpie redo is at about seven months and holding up well without clearcoat. Time will tell.

Dennis

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I'm pleased with the way it turned out but will see how long it lasts before I do the dash and glove box. I knew I should of taken photos before and after. :stupid:

Bonzi Lon

I'm thinking about doing it as well with shoe polish.

I still have a crack free dash in my Z, but it is dull now. I've tried many stuffs on it without much success.

6 months is not a long period of time but I'll be curious to know how everything looks now.

[Edit]: I've just seen the other post about the same kind of topic and I got my answers :)

Edited by Lazeum

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In the process of replacing the center gauge bulbs, and upgrading to the Honda blower motor, I decided my glove box door could use a little touching up.

I didn't have a silver sharpie on hand, but I did have a silver Testors Enamel Paint Marker that I've used for a lot of other projects.

The first two pictures show the glove box door as it was when I removed it. From the looks of the original, it doesn't seem to have been "chrome" to begin with, but then again, it was pretty beat up.

The last three pictures show the result. I didn't do a perfect job on the first pass. Having used this marker for a lot of other stuff, the tip was a little bit ragged, which led to a little paint going where I didn't want it to. I tried to use a black sharpie to cover up the "overspray," but of course the sharpie didn't make a true black... more like a dark purple.

My fix is easily visible under the right light and at the right angle, but I'm not too worried about my passengers noticing in any lighting condition I've ever seen in my car.

In retrospect, a silver sharpie would have been easier to control, and I'll definitely pick one up to try on other trim jobs I have yet to do. The rest of the glovebox door is pretty faded, and could use a little love, but that can wait for another time. I'm more bothered by the warped shape of the inner and outer door surfaces (from that silly little glove box light plunger - doesn't even work anymore!).

Edit: added an installed picture. Keep in mind this was with the flash, so it really brought out all the weird color fading going on with my glove box door. The radio and wiring are all pulled out because I dropped a bulb down from the center gauges, and had to go looking for it :stupid:. Couldn't stand the thought of a piece of metal floating around back there

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Edited by Inf

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just wanted to add my praise for the silver sharpie. I did a console refresh with new leather boot and used the silver sharpie to redo my striping on the choke panel. Worked wonderfully. The pen is so easy to control and regulate how fast to go. Highly recommend it. I never even thought about doing the glove box.\

Note, I did notice that I installed my shift boot backwards! DOH! the stitching is facing forward instead of backwards...

now it all has to come off again!

Edited by Zedyone_kenobi

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Ten months of desert heat & cold and the silver Sharpie highlighting is still holding up well without any protective coating.

Dennis

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I have been using the silver sharpie trick for many years. I am lucky that my silver Z is a nearly perfect match for the sharpie. I can use it to quickly cover up pebble nicks in the paint.

I also used it to highlight the lettering on the valve cover, after painting the cover a contrasting satin black.

831254940_WQmgU-XL.jpg

Edited by cygnusx1

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it's an old thread but i want to refresh my center console as well. how do i actually remove it? i removed the three screws from the rear, the four holding the center dash, the one holding the cigarette plug and i still cant pull the console out.

i have a '70 Z

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