Repairing glovebox opening, adding glovebox, and adding trunk release on a 1964 Wildcat

For anyone who has owned a full sized LeSabre, Wildcat, or Electra made in 1964 (and those applicable in 1963), the vast majority have something in common: the dash area that supports the glovebox ends up broken in some way, causing difficulty opening the door, usually causing more damage. Read on below, and this was happening when these cars were new back in 1964.

Examples (source eBay)

SEPTEMBER 15, 1964


SUBJECT: Broke Right Center Instrument Panels at Glove Box Hinge Mounting 1963 and 1964 Upper Series Carts

Recently a problem has developed where the glove box hinge area of the right center instrument panel is breaking. In order to eliminate the replacement of complete sections of the instrument panel, a reinforcement should be installed as shown in Figure 2. The reinforcement is made form Group 10.260, Part #1368989, as shown in Figure 1. Following is the procedure for installing this reinforcement:

    1. Remove glove box and hinge mounting screws. Discard small hinge plate.

    2. Make reinforcement from Group 10.260, Part #136989 See figure 1.

NOTE: Make certain burrs are removed from reinforcement so that it will slip over edge of instrument panel after drilling is completed. All holes of the reinforcement that are on the glove box side are 3/16 holes. This is done so that the screws will slip through the inside and thread tightly into the other side, thereby sandwiching the broken section of the instrument panel into the channel section of the reinforcement.  

    3.  Install reinforcement using bottom screw to locate the reinforcing mark location of hole for center screw and drill 3/16 hole through plastic.

4   4.  Install reinforcement with center screw. Use flat headed screw. See Figure 2.

    5.  Attach hinge to reinforcement with original screws. See Figure 2.

    6.  Reinstall glove box.

Flat rate time for this operation is .4 hrs.


This very issue has occurred on my car. The right side of the hinge mount is non-existent.

Found this as I fixed up the car. Don't know if this was the original part, as there is no mention about it in the Buick sanctioned repair. Probably a fix at some other time.

Left side was also damaged, but it was in the form of a crack between the light switch and the upper mount. When the door would put pressure on this area, it would widen the crack.

What the back side looks like. No reinforcement on the plastic that was taking quite the stress.

My solution went right along with the factory recommendation. I added strips of home-improvement store aluminum stock to each side of the dash, bolted and nutted to the plastic in two places.

Repair before the install of the glovebox. I could not add the lightswitch back in. It would interfere with the correct operation of the glovebox. The glovebox will now "pop" with pushing in the lock as it was made to, however it doesn't have enough travel to get a hand under it. I push the lock and then gently push the center top of the door to open it.

Next it was time to install the vacuum operated remote trunk release. I got a phenomenal deal on this from someone local. I believe the vacuum end that mounts in the glovebox is technically correct for a 1963, but it mounted and works fine.

Showing the trunk actuator.

Here is the manual setup. A rod comes from the lock mechanism that is on the outside and through the trunk latch. Turning the rod releases the latch.

Here is the canister mounted. The hose will loop around and come down the passenger side of the trunk.

When the opener is installed in the trunk, it makes the rod from the lock need to be shorter, as that rod hooks to the vacuum actuator now, and the vacuum actuator then mounts to the latch. You can buy these on eBay, but I made a shorter one out of the same piece of aluminum I had for the glovebox repair. Below, the longer one is for the factory non-actuator mount.


Factory service manual description of mounting and vacuum hose routing.

Mounting the trunk release was straight forward in the car. The screw for the left was existing, while the one on the right had to have a speed nut added. The glovebox liner was also purchased from another car. My original was in very poor condition. Do you notice the bar at the top of the liner that used to hold it up? Turns out the glovebox liner collapsing was also a common occurrence for 1964. Read below.

Wildcat trunk release
In fall of 2015, I found a phenominal deal on eBay for the year correct trunk release. Here it is mounted.

Glovebox repair all buttoned up.

The factory's solution to a sagging glovebox. Notice they use the same part to fix the sides of the glovebox opening.

JANUARY 8, 1964


SUBJECT: Malformed Glove Boxes 1964-44-46-47-4800 Series

If a condition is encountered where the top of the glove box sags downward, a metal rib reinforcement, Gr. 10.260, Part 1368989, is available. See illustrations. To install reinforcement rib, simply slip into place as shown. Removal of the glove box or supporting screws is not required. No hardware is required to hold the rib to the glove box.

A flat rate time of 0.2 hour is allowable for the field fix.