90-97 Miata Glovebox Repair

by Kent McLean


I went to open my glove box the other day and it dropped to the floor, hanging from the right side. The plastic post that holds the screw had broken, letting the whole box drop. Before paying a dealer for a new glovebox, I decided to try and fix what I had. On a scale of 1 (unscrew a light bulb easy) to 10 (engine rebuild difficult), I'd rate this a 3 due to the use of epoxy.

The Tools

It doesn't get much simplier than this:

Removing the Glovebox

The glove box is a one-piece affair. There are a pair of metal hinges that are attached to each side the glove box. The hinges in turn are attached to a metal cross-bar that spans the dash opening. Each side of the hinge is attached with just one screw. (See Figure 1.)

[Note to nitpickers: The screw on the right-side hinge is temporarily in place so I don't loose it. It actually goes through the hinge from the other side.]

To remove the glovebox, reach under the bottom edge of the dash and find the retaining screws. (See Figure 4.) Using a #2 Philips screwdriver, remove them and the glovebox should drop out of the opening with the hinges still attached to it.

In my case, the glove box only had one screw left holding it in place. I unscrewed it from the glovebox and the glove box came right out. I then removed the hinges from the metal cross-bar.

Figure 1. Hinges

First Try

There is a post on each side of the back of the glove box, into which the hinge retaining screw is secured. In my case, the post on one side was broken. (See Figure 2.)

The post had broken cleanly into two parts, which simlified the repair. First, clean the mating edges of the broken post with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Let it dry. I used a two-part epoxy that cures in one-minute. Following the directions, I mixed the epoxy on a folded up piece of aluminum foil using a toothpick, and applied it sparingly to the mating surfaces of the post. I then pressed the surfaces together and let the epoxy cure for an hour. I mixed some more expoxy and liberally coated the outside of the post and it's reinforcing braces. I let that cure overnight.

The next day I positioned the hinge on the posts (there is a second post that aligns the hinge) and screwed it in place. I wasn't real surprised when the screw forced the post apart again at the break. I suspect some of the epoxy seeped into the hole in the post, which interfered with the screw and forced the issue.

Time for Plan B.

Figure 2. The Post

Second Try

For my second attempt, I decided to use the epoxy to hold it all together, with the screw just acting as a locating pin. I mixed up another batch of the quick setting epoxy and liberally applied it to the posts (without the broken pieces), filling the remainder of the screw hole with epoxy. I then set the hinge in place, settling it into the epoxy. I "screwed" the screw into it's hole, and applied more epoxy to the screw and locating post. I let it dry overnight. (See Figure 3.)

The next morning, I gingerly tested the strength of the repair by trying to twist and move the hinge. It seemed secure, so I proceeded to put the glovebox back in it's place.

Figure 3. Epoxied Fix

Securing the Glovebox

With the glovebox hinge back in it's place, it was time to put it back in the car. First, secure the hinges to the glove box using the Phillips head screws. The hinges are left and right sided, but go on only one way.

In side the car, put the glove box into position. Slide the box up into it's opening, making sure the lip on the back of the glovebox is behind the latch at the top of the dash opening. Close the glove box, and position it so that the guide pins on the hinge fit into their respective holes on the dash cross-bar. Once the glovebox is in position, secure it with the two Phillips head screws. (See Figure 4.)


Figure 4. Bottom View

Back to the Garage

27 October, 2002