May. 19th, 2016

cabcat: (pleasant)
All of you who've worked on cars will know this pain, normally trim clips pop off when you pull or lever them in the correct manner.  But some refuse to and of course snap in some unpleasant way.

Well working on "Seb" on Sunday I thought I'd polish the plastic that covers the gauge cluster, it's just one big piece of plastic that I replaced when I bought the car because there was a huge crack in it.  Now there's  this trim garnish you'll find in most cars that goes over this usually it has one or two screws in the top affixing it to the dash and usually two plastic prongs with metal grip clips at the bottom.  Now on most cars this just requires a firm pull straight backwards then the metal clips compress, slide over notches in the mounting points and the trim panel slips free.
But ohno Toyota in their wisdom made these metal clips much less flexible and with a design that nearly makes it impossible to pull it backwards again.

I found this out when I replaced the clear plastic oh so many years ago, in removing this trim I snapped one of the bottom plastic prongs but managed to wrangle the other one out.  Once replacing  the clear plastic I glued the prong back with that excellent glue that comes with a power substance to reinforce the plastic.  I put the piece back on with a firm click and put the screws back.  Flash forward to Sunday, I knew it was likely that one would break again so pulling firmly straight back and crack, yup it broke again and it took ages to pull the remainder of the plastic prong and the metal clip from it's hidy hole which can't be reached from round the back.  So I clean the clear plastic and inside the cluster and glue the prong back on taking time to file off excess glue so it will fit back in.  I push it back in with a firm click and I think "phew" that's over.  But I've forgotten to put two screws back that go in thedash cluster.  Much swearing ensues and I pull the trim garnish off again although this time both prongs break and twice the amount of time passes while I try to get remainder of prongs and clips out.  I'm about to glue these back on again but realise what's the point, each time I or anyone else tries to pull this off again the prongs will simply break again.  So putting some insulation tape around where the trim sits to avoid rattles and the use of body moulding tape on where the back of the bottom of the trim piece meets the dash and putting back the two original screws that affix the piece to the inside of the dash I call it a night.  It doesn't rattle or move at all so that's a plus but cripes that annoyed me.  My perfectionism, or OCD, to do with cars was screaming at me to replace it with the original, but the part is no longer available from Toyota and really would just have the same issues again any time it had to be removed.


(Addendum:  I came across a beaten up corolla at an auction house and gave the bottom portion of this piece a tug and it popped straight out so maybe the holes weren't moulded properly hmmm)
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