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Help! Center A/C Vent Detached from Dash - Broken Threaded Connectors

ameribrit

Member
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
18
Location
atlanta
Corvette
96 LT4 CE
Amazing what can happen to all plastic car. I have a 34000 mile 96 CE LT4 Corvette, never had accident, perfect condition, garaged undercover most of the time. I noticed that the center vent was loose and discovered that the vent had come out of the threaded connectors -they had completely broken up! The threaded inserts are integrated into more plastic that makes of a large chunk of the dash.

1. How can I repair/replace these cheap threaded connectors to I can reattach the vent? Plastic breaks and there must be a way to do this, rather than replacing the entire dash substructure of an automobile. There must be some repair method for this.
2. How can this happen, cheap/bad ABS plastic? The center vent appears to have warped outwards to some extent, but not sure since I don't know what they look like new, never had it out. I would think the engineers would use material that would not warp in the stream of cold and hot air.

I will put up a photo as soon as I can so you can see what the problem is, I am not sure if I described properly.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated because dealer is no help and this insane problem is making me want to sell the darn thing. :rotfl

Thanks!
 

Wegone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
516
Location
Atlanta GA.
Corvette
82,91 ZR-1,
JB weld works great to repair plastic parts.
 

Wegone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
516
Location
Atlanta GA.
Corvette
82,91 ZR-1,
I think I know what you are referring to but could you post a pic? it will help.
 

ameribrit

Member
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
18
Location
atlanta
Corvette
96 LT4 CE
Center A/C Vent Pics

I think I know what you are referring to but could you post a pic? it will help.

The threaded plastic studs (2) are broken off - I wonder if this is a part that can be purchased somewhere as threaded plastic inserts may bust for any number of reasons and could need replacing. In this case, no accident, no nothing as far as I can tell and they have only been off once when the climate control was cleaned. I tried filling the gap with epoxy resin, did not work of course. I could always have someone replace the entire substructure dash for only a few thousand dollars. Not.

I will try to get a better picture/closeup.

SAM_4507.jpgSAM_4501.jpg SAM_4506.jpg
 
Last edited:

Wegone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
516
Location
Atlanta GA.
Corvette
82,91 ZR-1,
Have you tried to find a piece of round plastic stock from a hobby shop glue it in than drill new hole? or use the plastic round stock as a spacer and use a longer screw?
 

ameribrit

Member
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
18
Location
atlanta
Corvette
96 LT4 CE
Have you tried to find a piece of round plastic stock from a hobby shop glue it in than drill new hole? or use the plastic round stock as a spacer and use a longer screw?

Actually, we are on same track. If I cannot already find some sort of threaded stud that can be glued to plastic, I could get a plastic bushing cut to the proper spacing (another problem to deal with as each side is different) and drill into it to make a thread for the screws. I am afraid if I screw vent into a solid piece it might crack the piece of plastic. I might be able to screw all the way in with a longer screw but need some sort of spacer. I don't know how/why this happened. I am thinking that the plactic vent warped on one side and put pressure on it, but how come the other broke too? I tried to screw it in (was loose) and maybe it was out of position when I screwed it back in and I busted it up. :rotfl
 

Wegone

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2002
Messages
516
Location
Atlanta GA.
Corvette
82,91 ZR-1,
That's the bad thing about plastic, you have to pre-drill and when the screw stops don't keep turning it. I also wonder if the parts that broke are behind the center dash. Good Luck
 

ameribrit

Member
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
18
Location
atlanta
Corvette
96 LT4 CE
the broken pieces are on the face of the dash. the substrate is fine. odd that this has not been common problem, my car is in perfect condition and only 34k miles!
 

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