The 1967-1976 Mopar A-bodies were, by sheer volume, the most successful of all the A-body productions. The decade-long run produced many Darts, Dusters, Valiants, Demons, and Dart Sports equipped with the automatic selector located on the column, but a select few were constructed with a console between the seats and a shifter handle extending upward within reach of the driver.
We are lucky to have a factory console in our 1967 Dart; however, our console did not fare well over the last 50-plus years. It seems that one (or more) of the previous six owners decided that the console would make a great mounting point for several now-unknown components. Though the components were removed long ago, they left four unsightly mounting holes in the console-housing frame and three holes in the metal automatic transmission (A/T) console top plate forward of the shifter. The factory carpet that had been glued along the parameter of the console frame was missing, and the chrome on the shifter handle and button had worn through or was peeling off in several places.
Our plan is to restore the console appearance with quality reproduction parts rather than break the bank with the use of new-old-stock (NOS) parts if we could even find them. To update our console, we plan to fill the drilled holes in the housing frame and restore the texture on the frame. For the hard parts, we contacted YearOne to pick up the reproduction parts necessary to replace the damaged or missing pieces.
To remove the console, just a few basic hand tools are required. First, we placed the shifter handle into the low-gear position, and the shifter handle and knob were unthreaded and removed. To detach the console frame, we removed two screws, one on each side, at the front of the frame, and we removed two additional screws, which we accessed at the bottom of the console under the rear console top plate. With all four screws removed, we tilted the console frame rearward to gain access to the 12-volt wire for the cigar lighter. The retaining nut on the lighter was unthreaded, and the wire eyelet was removed and then taped so that if it contacted a ground it would not short. While the frame was tilted, the console selector light bulb socket was twisted and pulled from the console bezel. With everything disconnected, the console assembly was lifted upward and rearward toward the back seat, slipped over the knobless shifter handle, and wrestled around the passenger seat and out of the Dart.
With the console out of the Dart, the entire assembly was taken apart. It quickly became evident that the previous owners had attempted several repairs. The console’s factory retaining nuts had been replaced with nonfactory fasteners, and the ashtray cover’s plastic slides were damaged but mended. While the repair was functional, it was not aesthetically pleasing. Looking at the repairs, we found a fourth hole in the A/T console top plate where a screw had been used to retain one of the ashtray slides. The selector bezel had previously been disassembled, and the black shifter slider was cracked in several places. To make the repair, someone simply wrapped the slider with brown packing tape. Examining the A/T shifter lens, several of the mounting pins were missing or snapped off, and one corner of the plastic lens was broken. The rear console top plate piano hinge was not damaged, but the plate was misaligned and poorly fitted.
YearOne provided us with the necessary hard parts to return our console to the factory-fresh look of 1967. The shiny parts we required for the rebuild include the A/T console top plate (PN CP668), the rear console top plate (PN CD668), the console ashtray door (PN EH67), and the shifter button and knob (PN SK669). Additional parts to round out the console repair include the shifter plate seal/ slider (PN ACR670), the A/T shifter lens (PN SL66), and the console carpet (PN 6676CBLK). Lastly, the YearOne reps suggested we install a new carpet (PN 6676ABLK10) in the Dart. This would guarantee the console and floor carpet would match. Although we thought we could get by with the current carpet in the car, we heeded their suggestion and picked up the new carpet, and we were glad we did.
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