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Thread: Glovebox latch fix

  1. #1

    Glovebox latch fix

    I've lived with my Glovebox latch problem since I bought the car 3 years ago. The car came with a new latch and I never got around to replacing it.

    So, two weeks ago in preparation for the Woodward Dream Cruise I decided to replace the latch - 5 minute job... To my surprise, the new latch did exactly the same thing - pulls about half way then you hear a snap and the glovebox stays closed.

    Off to the Forum - Many people have had this problem in the past. Andrew had investigated this some and wanted to make some metal parts to replace the two plastic pieces that seemed to deform under load. I started investigating and then had my determination level tweaked by my wife who was wondering why I was still working on the Glovebox at 10pm. "You were a professional Glovebox engineer - what is taking so long..." She said. She was lovingly referring to my 7 years spent as an engineer at Saturn/GM where I was indeed a "Professional Glovebox engineer"

    So, enough of the background. Over the next three days I investigated every potential failure mode for the latch. i knew I was getting close when I determined that the handle and latch assembled outside of the car worked flawlessly. However, once assembled in the car and on the Glovebox it would not work. Ah Ha! The thickness of the glovebox was separating the pieces by just enough that when the were assembled they could jump past each other.

    Now, I just had to confirm that theory and come up with a solution. I used a little playdoh to see how far the parts were separated when assembled and then duplicated that outside the Glovebox. Sure enough the separation was about .75 to 1mm and with that gap the latch exhibited the same problem. All I needed was something to make the post on the handle .75mm to 1mm taller. I evaluated several items I could cobble to come up with something. Some of which required modifying the handle permanently - which I wanted to avoid if I could. I finally sacrificed a bic pen to get a small thin tube that would fit over the post and allow me the ability to adjust the length of the post. The tube had to be thin enough to not interfere with any other operations of the latch.

    Once I got the modified handle installed and adjusted the length of the post so it was not too tall, I've had flawless operation of the latch. I've tested the latch 40-50 times without any issues. The final step in the process is to permanently attach the tube to the handle utilizing Acetone to "weld" the ABS plastic.

    Here are some pictures of the modified post and the assembly of the latch and handle. The first picture shows the interaction between the post on the handle and the slider on the latch. The two parts overlap by almost 2mm when assembled outside of the car. Once assembled on the glovebox, the overlap decreases to around 1mm - not enough to stay in contact once it starts to flex under load. When loaded the post just jumps over the top of the mating latch piece.

    Hope this helps!

    Andy
                       
    _________
    Andy Lytle
    2002 Z8 Silver/Black 23k
    Performance Package
    CDV Removed
    www.golytle.com

  2. #2
    Amazing, fancy making up some kits for us, I'll take one!! I don't believe I've once used the glove box latch on my current car because of this issue, but it would be nice to know I could if need be.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    Thats great work and imagination on the pen tube. Also fascinating background. Its like the person who is a rocket scientist when someone says- what? You some kind of rocket scientist?

  4. #4

    Imagination? How about Crown Royal!

    Quote Originally Posted by Z8Mania View Post
    Thats great work and imagination on the pen tube. Also fascinating background. Its like the person who is a rocket scientist when someone says- what? You some kind of rocket scientist?
    Jerry,

    Very funny, but that is exactly how I felt. After my wife's comment, I was going to fix it even if I had to buy a CNC machine to do it!

    Andy
    _________
    Andy Lytle
    2002 Z8 Silver/Black 23k
    Performance Package
    CDV Removed
    www.golytle.com

  5. #5
    Z8Mania
    Guest
    I know exactly how you feel!

  6. #6
    Z8 Ate My Homework! Norcal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,471
    Great fix, thanks! Next time (and I know there will be) this will do the trick.