Replacing the Breadbox on a C4 Corvette

This page describes the replacement of the passenger side “breadbox” on a
1987 Corvette Coupe. The breadbox is being replaced with a kit from Mid-America Designs. There are several
other kits that I have seen. One has a map pocket in the front. Another
has what looks like the breadbox but has a small glovebox inside a door
that flips open. I have also seen carbon fiber and wood grain filler
panels. To each their own.
Note: Each of these pictures have a
larger version available. Just click on the photo to see the larger
one.

Here is the standard breadbox on a C4. I was in
the process of replacing all the carpet in the car so I thought I would
pull the breadbox at the same time.

Here is a shot from the passenger
side. The kit from Mid-America had a set of instructions that were pretty
easy to follow.

First, you
have to remove the center console, the fuse box panel, and the dash. There
are only about 6 screws holding the dash and it pulls right out. At least
it did in my case. This view is looking down through the windshield. The
dash has been removed. The next step is to remove the two upper screws
holding the breadbox (see red circles).

Now comes the difficult part. The
breadbox also has two lower screws that have to come off. I couldn’t get
to the lower screw heads due to the cushioned knee pad under the dash. The
instructions here were not to clear. I was able to get a pair of
vice-grips on the end of the screw and slowly back it out part
way.

This gave
me enough play to get a flat bladed hacksaw in between the breadbox
bracket and the dash support. I was then able to saw the screw in half. My
hacksaw blade is in a small handle. It only took a few strokes to cut
through the screw. Now there are probably easier ways to do this. I have
heard of some people just pulling the breadbox down and pulling the
bracket out of the breadbox. I wanted to keep in intact as much as
possible.

Ok, now
we have the breadbox out.

On the left is the breadbox and air conditioning
vent removed. On the right is the three piece kit from
Mid-America.>

I test
fit the air conditioning vent and it was binding in the corners. I opened
up the corners slightly with a grinding bit in my motor tool.

The back side of the new faceplate
has four pieces of double-sided tape to hold the air conditioning vent in
place. Be sure you orient the vent correctly before putting it on. Check
your driver’s side vent for correct orientation.

The vent has been
installed.

Next, you
have to install the small plastic piece that holds the face plate in
place. I have this setting up on my workbench with the fuse box panel
standing up (the orientation it would be in the car).

The small plastic piece is now in
place (see red circle). It attaches to the fuse box panel and is designed
to just keep the replacement panel in place.

The air conditioning vent hose
supplied with the kit is not very flexible. I went to Home Depot and
picked up a piece of 3″ diameter flexible aluminum duct and used it in its
place. The new duct will be a couple of inches shorter than the old. I
just eyeballed the length (leaving it a bit long) and then test fit and
trimmed it until I had a good length.

Here is a top view with the new
duct in place.

Here is the
view with the dash pad back on. I have seen one person that put the silver
letters that you can buy for the rear of the Corvette on this panel. It
looked really good.

The
Finished Product! The breadbox-less passenger panel.

The original picture
w/breadbox.

By
Roger Aylstock, Ph.D.
Email: roger@aylstock.com