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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Latest Mod: Finally a LHD armrest

Well I couldn't wait for Lexus Japan to release a LHD armrest for my American CT200h so I went off and made my own. I think it came out sweet, what do you think?

It took some time to receive the upholstery stapler to match the OEM staples used in all the trim (I guess 22ga staples is common in the automotive industry), but it's done and just needs to be permanently mounted. I believe the OEM RHD armrest installation calls for drilling holes and screwing the armrest from underneath the cupholders. I will have to do this as well, since the cushioned armrest needs pressure to keep it flat against the console as the wrap around causes a bit of fatness on the backside. May need to plastic weld a mounting block on the inside so I have someplace for a screw to thread.


I know I could redo the process for people if they wanted to pay me for it, but most people can accomplish this mod with the right tools and a bit of time. But PM me if you are interested in ordering one.

Here's the secret...


The armrest is created from a replacement part for your car's center console lid. You'll notice the curvature is almost exactly what is pictured in the RHD model piece sold by Lexus. I gave it a shot and ordered a replacement part with the same trim from Sewell and modified it to the correct dimensions (or at least what I could get from the pictures of the part from Lexus Japan). I removed the vinyl and cut it to fit around the modified lid. Stapled it back on exactly the way Lexus did and Voila!


I think it came out looking OEM because the materials used was OEM. Exactly what I wanted.

UPDATE:
I tried the 3M tape and it just doesn't hold. I decided to follow the OEM installation method and utilized plastic license plate screws to mount the armrest. (see my post with pics on gluing screws to armrest for mounting)

Check it out:







Thanks for looking,
Peter
 

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Very good work. You bought a pneumatic stapler for this or just a heavy duty staple gun? I did a very small alteration to one of the trim pieces on the drivers side of the counsel. I wanted my back up cam monitor cable to come through on the edge of it with out it looking crushed. Had to remove two staples and decided to just super glue the fabric back down as there was really no other easy option. Very nice to have the stapler made for those very shallow staples. I saw the instructions for mounting the right hand drive arm rest, but unfortunately can't remember where. Might have been on an ebay auction... I do remember the holes need to be drilled for mounting it. Nice work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pneumatic stapler. The oem staples are 3/8 wide x 5/32 long legs. Basically the smallest 22 gauge staple they sell. The gun I bought is made by spot nails.

Peter

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using AutoGuide.Com Free App
 

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One thing I like better about the OP's armrest is he shaped it to match the padded console cover. With the 2013 armrest the front looks rounded, I suppose to resemble some of the other curved shapes in that area. I like the way the OP did it better. The fit might be better with the OEM armrest though and there is still the mounting issue.
 

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Wow, what an excellent job and it looks fantastic. You're very talented to create that arm rest pad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's the part number illustration, if you are interested. I think I will make a bunch of these and see if anyone will buy them, if I can price them for what the LH is going for on ebay it might be worth my while. One last step though is figuring out if there is a way to mount it without drilling into your console and having to remove the cupholders to get from underneath and screwing it. Not sure if a strong double sided adhesive would hold it in place throughout the changing temperatures, which is why they probably screw the OEM one down. For what it's worth, the console lid is screwed down from underneath.

Hope this helps...


Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update info on mounting armrest.

Ultimately I decided to mount the armrest the same way Lexus intended it to be mounted...screwed down. In fact, if you look at the backside of the console where it's mounted there are two holes already marked for location drilling (see photos below).

I went to my local auto parts store and bought some plastic license plate screws which include washers. I then took some sandpaper and a file and flattened out the screw head till it basically look like a washer with a threaded rod sticking out of it. This provided a good mounting service to glue the two screws to the back of the armrest. The armrest would then utilize the nuts from the backside to hold it down. The glue I used was made by Devcon and was called "Plastic Welder". Appears to be strong and can withstand changing temperatures and won't crack or shrink.

Hint: Don't buy the license plate screws that are described as "Nylon". The nuts are too tight and thread is too brittle. Find the ones that are made of softer plastic, like ABS and the nuts go on easily. The plastic looks shiny instead of matte dull.

Installation:
1. Drill pilot holes through marked locations from back side of console
2. Use step drill bit from top side to make holes slightly larger than license plate screws (eases installation if you give yourself a little wiggle room)
3. Clamp armrest temporarily to desired location and mark drilled hole locations with awl from backside of console
4. Glue screws to armrest at newly marked locations
5. Mount armrest *hand tighten nuts* (you can snap plastic if you overtighten)

I have more pictures of the whole armrest process if you guys want me to post it. Good luck with mod!




 
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