So the girlfriend has a Ford Five Hundred. Her center console’s latch is broken so the console just opens up and stays open. It is annoying and really detracts from the look of the car’s interior. I looked around for a replacement latch (it’s just a piece of plastic) and could not find one. Contacted a dealership and they will only sell you the entire console (bastards). I tried to take the broken piece and “plastic weld” it, which didn’t work because the weld doesn’t do well with parts that flex. And you guessed it… the break was right on the part that flexed.
Many people online seemingly had the same problem so I decided the other day to get hillbilly with it and just fix it with some Velcro. Below is how I did it.
STEP 1: Take off the broken piece.
STEP 2: Take some thin wood and make a bracket. I used some 3-layer plywood that was 6mm thick and I made the piece to be 82mm x 48mm (I’m American, but using metric dimensions on a small piece like this makes much more sense [TBH, metric makes more sense for a lot of things]).
The holes have to be 60mm apart so I marked 2 holes 11mm from the sides (main thing is the holes are 60mm apart. If your piece is not exactly 82mm wide then you just need to space out your 60mm holes to be equal to each side). The holes are 17mm from the bottom of my project.
I then countersunk each hole half way into the plywood and then drilled a hole through each countersunk part. I countersunk then drilled instead of drilled and then countersunk because when I do it in the latter manner the countersinking does not turn out round. I think this is due to the fact that I do not have a drill press – if you have a drill press you should be able to do it in whatever order you want.
If you so desire, you may sand the edges ad the top – I did.
STEP 3: Attach your wood piece to the console using the same mounting screws that were holding the old piece on place (sorry, no picture of just this step).
STEP 4: Get your Velcro and cut to length (i.e. the 82mm). I used the Velcro Extreme Indoor/Outdoor Rough Surface Fasteners, 1 inch x 4 inches version. I figured that sealing to a wood surface and a faux leather surface… and sitting in the hot car in Arizona would need something that adheres well to rough surfaces and is extra sticky.
STEP 5: Place Velcro to each corresponding side.
Step 6: Enjoy your new console that closes.
The two pieces of Velcro don’t seal real hard. Since I used a 6mm thick piece of wood there is still a minor gap between the two pieces of Velcro (still enough for some of the fibers to latch). This is good because the harder you push Velcro together the harder it is to pull apart. I don’t know how much stress this wood can take or the Velcro since it sits in the hot car all day so the “half Velcro seal” is probably a good thing. As it is, it still latches and that is the main thing – to have the center console latch. If you wanted a more positive seal you could do things like make the bracket out of metal, use a thicker piece of plywood/wood, and/or have a more positive way of sealing the Velcro to the wood (so it doesn’t lift off).