cutting interior plastics

Discussion in 'Interior/Electronics' started by salabim, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. salabim

    salabim Newbie

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    I have an 88 22re auto. The plastics around the column shifter are really brittle and cracked from spending all its time in the southern CA sun and smog. I want to replace them but so far have only found parts for the manual trans.
    I need advice on if its possible and how to cut the plastic. It would require cutting an opening in front of the ign switch for the shifter to fit on both half's of the cover. Doesn't look like a big deal unless I crack the plastic.
    I am thinking a dremel tool and warming up the plastic with a heat gun might help. And maybe a couple layers of tape on both sides where it needs to be cut.
     
  2. fred heath

    fred heath Enthusiast

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    Depending on your finances, a call to your local Toyota dealer will get you replacement parts. I'm sure it won't be cheap, but at least you'll know the finished product will look good.
     
  3. salabim

    salabim Newbie

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    I will give that a try first. One online Toyota parts seller listed them as no longer available. But it cant hurt to check at my local dealer.
    Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. Justin Danger

    Justin Danger Enthusiast

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    I have used many things to cut interior plastics like dremels, hacksaws, once I even cut some tabs out with wire cutters (they were the only thing within reach). Dremels throw bits of melted plastic all over the place because they spin very fast, hacksaw could only cut a straight line (albeit a quite clean cut), and the wire cutters pretty much just snapped. Now I get by using a jigsaw with a plastic cutting blade, and a slow hand.
     
  5. salabim

    salabim Newbie

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    Thanks I never thought about a jig saw.
    I think I have found online a lower cover in blue and an upper cover in gray. If I can find out from the parts person that I have the correct numbers I will go that route. They are 65 bucks for the pair plus shipping. That way I cant screw them up trying to cut them. But then I will have to try and match the color and paint.
     
  6. fred heath

    fred heath Enthusiast

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    If you go the dealer route, an old trick I've always used is to go to something like Vista Print and get some cheap business cards made up in your name with something like "Toyota Repairs" or "(your name) Garage".
    Most dealerships offer anywhere from 5-10% trade discount. Not alot of money, but still something. Ask if they offer a trade discount, then give them your card.
     
  7. salabim

    salabim Newbie

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    The covers are NLA from Toyota, says two local dealers ( Hollywood and Hamer Toyota). I did find a gray set on epay that should be here Saturday. Should give me something to do over the Thanks Giving weekend.

    Next stop harbor freight to get a jig saw and some fine tooth blades for plastic.
    Thanks too all for the suggestions.
     
  8. Perkolator

    Perkolator Veteran

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    Personally I wouldn't use a jigsaw since it's kind of oversize tool for the job and the base won't sit flat on most interior plastic surfaces = asking for a snag and broken plastic...and maybe a need for bandaids :)

    A better power tool for this situation would be an oscillating tool with one of the fine blades. Don't get the Harbor Freight one, go on Amazon and pickup the Porter Cable kit - it's the highest rated "cheaper" oscillating tool and the kit comes stocked with more goodies than most of the other brands...and it fits the other brands consumables.
     
  9. TRUCK ACTION

    TRUCK ACTION Grand Toyotaholic

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    Use of a Zip cutter in a air tool will cut what you want easily!!
     
  10. first80toyota

    first80toyota Addict

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    If you need/want a rounded end you could use a big drill bit the right radius to drill a hole and cut in to it with a hacksaw or similar. Then do fine clean up and be just like new! :waytogo:
     
  11. jetas

    jetas Grand Toyotaholic

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    Cut a slit with a razor blade from the shifter to the nearest seam. Just keep scoring the plastic and itl split. Honestly shouldnt take long, i did this to mine
     

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