Z3 Glove box Ė The final fix
By: Warren Campbell
As much as we love our Z3ís, the flimsy, rattling glove box has been a source of irritation for at least 100,000 of my 125,000 miles. Drivers have proposed quite a number of fixes over the years, but in my opinion, they ignore the basic problem.
As you can see in this photo, the door of the glove box remains straight while the frame sags in the middle. See that smiley face above the door? Itís not original OEM! This leaves the glove box loose. The bad boy causing this is
a very light piece of sheet metal that canít support the weight of the glove box along, much less should you put anything in it!
Some of the old fixes for this problem had you adding washers to make the latch fit tighter, but all this did was to cause this bow in the frame to grow more. Not a good solution.
I knew the solution would be to either replace this sheet metal with something more substantial or add a heaver piece of metal in this area. I choose to add a piece of 1x1x11guage angle (11 gauge is about 0.100" or 3/32"). The above photo shows the light sheet metal (in red) as it comes from Spartanburg as well as the 4 bolts (in green) used to hold the new heavy metal.
Even though I used an angle to fix my glove box, Iím convinced that flat bar would be better. Youíre wondering why I went ahead with the angle. Keep in mind that this project required me to not only make several trips to the hardware store, but to get this all to fit in the very tight space above the glove box, I had to install and remove the box probably six times as I continued to trim the angle so that it would fit. By the end of the day, I wasnít going back to the hardware store and starting over with the flat bar! Mine has angle but the 1"x11ga flat bar would be much better. Also, you might be tempted to use something heaver than the 11 gauge metal. Donít do it! There just isnít room in there.
FredR has checked some of the various Z3 boxes and found that they are all the US glove boxes are the same. This should work on all models in the US.
Hereís what you do:
Visit your local hardware store and get:
- 1 each of 1" X 11 gauge flat bar
- 4 each No 6 x 2" machine bolts
- 12 each No 6 flat washers
- 4 each No 6 lock washers
- 4 each No 6 nuts
Total cost will be about $10.00.
- Drill with a few small bits
- Dremel tool
- A small vice is most helpful but not required
Time to go to work:
- Remove the glove box using Robert Leidyís instructions at: http://www.mz3.net/articles/170.html
- Cut the flat bar to 10-1/4" long
- Drill 6 holes as shown in the above drawing. I started by drilling a small dia. hole then opening them up so that the No 6 bolts are a very snug fit.
- Using the Dremel tool, cut the slots in the flat bar for both the bolts as well as the clearance required for the latch.
- Use the Dremel tool and file to remove all the sharp edges that might cause you to cut some upholstery!
- Bolt the flat bar to the glove box frame (see below). I left the OEM sheet metal in place. Be aware of the placement of all those washers. They are required to make your bowed glove box frame straight. It will take some experimenting to get the correct number of washers to straighten the frame.
- Cut off the 4 machine bolts with the Dremel tool. Get them as short as you can. Donít skip this step, it wonít fit if you donít.
- Before installing the glove box assembly, get a shop light and check to see that all wires are correctly tied up. Iíd suggest reading Robertís article all the way through. He has several really good suggestions for this area.
- Install the box again using Robertís instruction.
- Smile. Thatís to replace the Ďsmileí that used to be on the glove box frame.