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Old 01-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
Seahawk
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w/ 03 WRX Swap

Default How To: "Fix" an armrest extension for about $2 and some glue

I was at the bone yard yesterday picking up some parts for my ImprezaS and came across a bugeye 2.5RS with an armrest extension. Of course the upper latch was broken but I've always wanted one of these in my car. I'm a tall guy and because of my tall torso my elbow doesn't hang low enough to use the arm rest. This use to bother me a lot when I went on long trips but now I have a big comfy gas guzzling SUV for that

So, I was planning to try and go to Home Depot and find something to rig up to work as a replacement latch. Then I remembered seeing some rare earth magnets for sale at Harbor Freight and thought those would work just fine.

What you need:

- Your armrest extension - Mine was already out but it is probably easier to do this with it out of the car. If you need to take it out you will need a Phillips screwdriver.
- A pack of these rare earth magnets, the ones on the left. I bought both kinds just in case. The rare earth ones are normally $2.99 but on sale this month for $0.99.
- Some glue. I used hot glue but halfway through decided it would be better to use super glue or something else. Unfortunately every tube of super glue around my house was hard and crusty, so I just stuck (no pun intended) with the hot glue.


A close up of the magnets. You want the ones on the left.


With the console open, take a look at the screws on the upper lid part. The hole is exactly the same size as these little magnets.


So perfect in fact that if you put one of the magnets in there it sticks to the screw and is a little tough to get out.

So the idea is your are going to glue one magnet in that little hole and one on the other side to match up.

Of course you don't want to have one magnet glued on upside down otherwise your console lid will magically float about 1/4 inch above the console.


So, take two of the magnets and then mark a little black dot on each side; this will be the side you want to glue "down".


Dotted, and unamused.

Now back to the glue:


Like I said, the hot glue works fine and can be undone if need be. Dab a bead in there and place a magnet in there black dot side down.


I'm good with that.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #2
Seahawk
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w/ 03 WRX Swap

Default

Now close the console lid and eyeball where the other magnet should go.


Mark it with something and get ready to glue the other one down. I also wiped the area with an alcohol pad prior to marking the dot.



Put another dab of glue on the dot and press it in. I wiped the excess glue of before it cooled down.






The magnets hold strong enough that I could hold the console by the lid and shake it a bit and it would stay shut.


Here's a side shot so you can see that even though the lid now sits a little higher the gap is about dead even.


In the car. That button is a custom garage door opener.


And...the lid stays shut when the whole thing is open.


From the driver's side. Yes, there is a little paint mark or something and a tiny cut in the vinyl but for $15, not too bad.

Thanks and hope this can help some people!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
Legend STI
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Good job. I need to do mine soon.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
jimbosv650
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You know what, that's pretty cool. I love it when people take something and re-engineer it to work after it breaks. That's what I do too. Nice job
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:30 PM   #5
emericareaper2
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Haha funny part about my situation. All 3 of the Subaru's I've owned all had armrest extensions. They also all had broken tabs. I've done this method on all 3 of them! Works great & you don't have to pay the money to get a whole new armrest extension. Good write-up!
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
Seahawk
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Thanks!

I was originally going to try and make it a little cleaner looking by gluing the magnets on the underside of the bottom part but it's just a one-piece molded part so there's no way to get in there.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:12 AM   #7
bangbang
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awesome! i just did this with some neodymium magnets off ebay. i had some trouble with them being stronger than the glue (and they naturally stuck to the metal piece in the center), so i just ended up with two magnets on bottom, no glue, and glued a steel tire valve cap to the top part. your install is cleaner!
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:47 PM   #8
arco
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nice job. I have a broken one too. I guess I know what I'm going to be doing soon. Thanks
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:47 PM   #9
itstony
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Lol i always thought about using maybe velcro or something but i'm definetly going to try this out this weekend. thanks for the diy!
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
KHunter25
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Nice DIY. I am going to do this to mine. Thanks
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:45 PM   #11
Seahawk
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Glad I could help. I'd recommend the super glue, or maybe even Elmer's glue instead of the hot glue. The bottom magnet came off and I need to reglue it. I just got back in town but when I get a chance to take it out again I'm going to see if there is a way to put the magnets on the latch itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bangbang View Post
awesome! i just did this with some neodymium magnets off ebay. i had some trouble with them being stronger than the glue (and they naturally stuck to the metal piece in the center), so i just ended up with two magnets on bottom, no glue, and glued a steel tire valve cap to the top part. your install is cleaner!
Interesting. Where did you glue the valve cap? Any pictures? These magnets are strong!
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:31 PM   #12
iNfEk
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it costs more to ship the magnets from harbor freight to me than the product price... LOL.. what's the size of the magnets?
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:38 PM   #13
Seahawk
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The magnets are exactly the same size of the "hole" if that helps. I didn't measure them. You might be able to find some on Ebay or something, I think they are pretty common. I don't have the car or armrest any more but I do still have some of the magnets and I can measure them when I get home.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
iNfEk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seahawk View Post
The magnets are exactly the same size of the "hole" if that helps. I didn't measure them. You might be able to find some on Ebay or something, I think they are pretty common. I don't have the car or armrest any more but I do still have some of the magnets and I can measure them when I get home.
Thanks. That was the plan to go to ebay so I just need the size. I'm also thinking of a way to repair this since I still have the latch. Thinking of putting a price of metal and spacer that'll hold the latch in place. The magnet would be the alternative.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:03 AM   #15
Uncle Scotty
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i have used RTV to hold magnets to various surfaces....and YES....it is hard to 'glue' them as they are quite strong.....using something like RTV over/between them to keep them from actually touching either other magnets or ferrous parts that you are working with can make them less of a hassle and makes their 'engagement' and 'disengagement' a lot 'softer' and less abrupt

old hard drives have great magnets in them for lots of projects
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:22 AM   #16
VTSubieRS
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nice DIY. However the replacement latch can be had from Subaru for less than 5 bucks.

Part# 92184SA010OE
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #17
iNfEk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTSubieRS View Post
nice DIY. However the replacement latch can be had from Subaru for less than 5 bucks.

Part# 92184SA010OE
Thanks for the PN. the latch for me anyway isn't what had broken. The ones I've also seen also have the same issue. It's where the latch connects to the upper side of the arm rest that breaks.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:20 AM   #18
Seahawk
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The magnets are approx 8mm in diameter
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