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Thread: Steering Wheel Clamshell Screws

  1. #1
    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Default Steering Wheel Clamshell Screws

    I took my steering wheel clamshell trim off a while ago, and now I can't find the four screws that hold the two halves of the clamshell together. The stupidest part is that I have the two machine screws that hold the lower clam to the underside of the ignition switch and steering column, but the four that hold the two plastic parts together are MIA.

    I've got a container of assorted Z hardware and might have something in there that might work, but I've tried a few and I'm worried about stripping out the weak plastic threads with too much trial and error.

    Anyone have a picture of the four screws in question so I at least know what I'm hunting for? Are the threads more like a machine screw, or a wood screw?

  2. #2
    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    My clamshell has a sense of humor and likes to hide the screws in the lower clamshell half, are they stuck there?
    I am willing to take a picture of the screws that came out of mine (they have wood screw threads -edit they look like self tapping) since I have the clamshell apart but although they work I don't know that they are the ones that are supposed to be there. They are taped to the clamshell right next to each hole they came out of outside in the 17 degrees that we have here now as I have the clamshell apart. Plastic usually uses wood screw threads right? My screws are trying to strip out too and I went to a lot of trouble with glue and a heat gun (to correct warping maybe from heat?) to salvage the clamshell I have. A coupe of posts the screws screw into were broken off.
    Captain Obvious with your part making skills I imagine you will have a whole box of those screws manufactured by morning using nothing more than a bench grinder. heh heh
    Last edited by Mikes Z car; 01-01-2013 at 09:52 PM.

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    They are self-cutting, or -tapping, and cut their own threads in the plastic when first used, I believe. Very coarse thread. Similar in pitch to the self-tapping screw shown in this link - http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebit...intsrev2.shtml
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Registered User tlorber's Avatar
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    If your bosses strip out or break, abs glue and fiberglass fabric are a quick, easy and permanent fix.
    As far as the screws, from what I remember there are either 3 or 4 different types of screws for the clamshell. I always thought that odd.

  5. #5
    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I've been all over the shop looking for my clamshell screws. I think aliens took them.

    It bugs the crap out of me because I know how easy stuff like that is to misplace, so I'm pretty careful. I've got the other two machine screws in a little zip-top baggie just like they are supposed to be, but the other four longer ones are not with them. That's what makes this even more difficult... I know where they're SUPPOSED to be, and they're not there.

    Mike, If you get a chance to take a pic, I'd be much obliged. I'm not in any hurry so don't risk frostbite for the pics, but when you get a chance. Haha! I really don't want to have to hog those things out with a bench grinder!

    I've found people on ebay selling clamshells, but it seems really stupid to buy a whole clamshell just for the four screws. And beyond that, it's unclear if the screws are even included...

  6. #6
    Rust Free'ish zKars's Avatar
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    Dang screw steeling aliens. They've been to my shop to....

    I have used #6 x 1 inch wood screws as replacements. They are virtually the same diameter as the stock screws and will not blow out the fragile posts when inserted. Some light oil on them will help as well. Tighten them very evenly and slowly and no more than necessary.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
    69 510 PL510 77603

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Items 11 and 12 here. No details, only part numbers for the tapping screws: http://www.carpartsmanual.com/datsun...8/Default.aspx
    Last edited by Blue; 01-02-2013 at 10:23 AM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    FWIW here are the screws used now on my clamshell that work. The 4 screws that are all the same size may well be a #6 size I don't know. Sorry for the blurry photo Captain Obvious, if you want close up pictures of the 6 screws let me know.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Mikes Z car; 01-02-2013 at 07:45 PM.

    70 240Z HLS30-00907, 1/70, wiper motor 97 Accord, Dave's harness mods, turn signal relay mod, quartz movement in clock, map light fixed, connectors cleaned/greased, 60A alt w/ NOS voltage regulator, weatherstrip replaced, defroster grid replaced, undergoing rust prevention. Previous owner of 71 240Z, 8/71, HLS30-41545, last seen in Sacramento painted blue (originally orange) has anyone seen it?

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    Thanks much Mike. Now I've got some kind of idea what it is that I'm looking for.

    I was cleaning up a little in the workshop this afternoon (oh, the horror), and found a plastic baggie with seven screws. Thought I might be on to something, but there were too many of them, they were black plated, and a little too long. So they aren't the right ones, but they were important enough for me to put them in a baggie. Now if I could just remember what THEY were for.



    OK... Here's an idea. What do the screws that hold the aluminum dooe sill plates on look like? Maybe I got all the hardware, but in the wrong locations? Are the ones that hold the door sill plates flat heads, or pan heads? Are they supposed to be black plated?

    Darn aliens... Came down from Canada to escape the winter cold.

  10. #10
    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    And BTW, that's an awesome pic with your annotations on it. Very helpful!

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    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    Thanks I was hoping the picture would help.
    My door sills came from a JY, I don't think I have the right screws on the sills, they look okay to me though.
    When the aliens get there give them milk and cookies and they will stop swiping stuff.

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Last edited by Blue; 01-03-2013 at 07:48 AM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

    http://ZSportCanada.com


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    The clamshell screws shown in the US/Canada Parts Catalog 1970-1973 as well as the microfiche show a machine screw used up to July '73 (M3.5 X 16).
    Aug '73 is when the revision is found, changing to a self tapping screw. Not that critical, so just use what you have that is a good fit and does the job or if you want the part number, it can be found below in the 'fiche if you want to check for availability.

    EDIT: Kind of a crappy pic, the part number is 08513-41623
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by geezer; 01-03-2013 at 11:52 AM. Reason: added part number

  14. #14
    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    Thanks Geezer,
    I wonder if the M3.5 X 16 would be easier on the plastic? I will try that size in place of the wood screws and see how they fit.
    Mike

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    If my memory is correct, long M3's are used in 240z front turn lights to screw into the orange plastic. They may bite into the clam shell plastic.

    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

    http://ZSportCanada.com


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    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    Ha Ha Blue that is hilarious. Here is a similar poster from the X Files that was behind Mulder's desk:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ace hardware here doesn't have half sizes such as 3.5 mm screws, off to another store they say does have them.

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    Thanks again guys. The car in question is a 77, and I'm pretty sure that I remember they were the self tapping variety. I've got the other two screws (the machine screw style) and I remember thinking to myself that it seemed really stupid (and expensive) for Datsun to have used three different styles of screws to hold that clamshell in place.

    I think I'm going to unscrew one or two of my door sill screws and see if I can't figure out if that's what happened.

    Thanks for the saucer pic Blue. I knew it...

  18. #18
    Registered User Sean240Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikes Z car View Post
    FWIW here are the screws used now on my clamshell that work. The 4 screws that are all the same size may well be a #6 size I don't know. Sorry for the blurry photo Captain Obvious, if you want close up pictures of the 6 screws let me know.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Clamshell screws sizes.jpg 
Views:	183 
Size:	84.4 KB 
ID:	59363 how to verify.
    Mike - Thank you so much for the picture you provided above. I was missing the 0.7 pitch, 4mm screw and could not figure out the size. Your pic was just what I was looking for!!!
    Cheers,

  19. #19
    Z Club of San Diego Montezuma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    If my memory is correct, long M3's are used in 240z front turn lights to screw into the orange plastic. They may bite into the clam shell plastic.

    Good to know; I order 100 in stainless for my lense restorations.

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