Legendary armrests

Old May 4th, 2019, 02:53 PM
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Legendary armrests

I ordered the armrest bases in white (the color they list that matches Pearl) to match the Legendary Pearl white interior that I did on my 1971 Cutlass Supreme Convertible. They do match the interior, but it is apparent that they are not designed for the chrome backing plates on Supremes. The plugs are two short and even the wrong shape. Legendary does not make these, but they appeared to come from OER (Original Equipment Reproductions). Does any one know of any suppliers or manufacturers with the correct fitting arm rest bases ?

Thanks, Pat
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Old May 4th, 2019, 08:50 PM
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I can't answer your question 100% but I do know that the repro bases are notorious for not fitting correctly.......I've had ill-fitting bases from other vendors so my bet is that they all have this problem.
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Old May 5th, 2019, 05:20 AM
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Patton, Thank you for your reply.

What is a bit interesting, is that around 10 years ago I did the interior in Pearl White in PUI and got Pearl White arm rest bases from OPG. Those actually fitted pretty well and had the right configuration for the backing plates. Sad thing is that they are a bit too dark for the Legendary Pearl While. So it looks like there may be more than one manufacturer. The Legendary bases are marked white, so I am wondering if they are intended for cars without the backing plate.
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Old May 5th, 2019, 08:07 PM
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I just looked at 9 different original GM door armrest bases laying around here. Some I know came from cars that use the chrome plates. The "sleeves" that the screws go through only extend past the surrounding base approx 1/8" or so. I'll check a bunch of others and see if there's any differences.

The problem we had on a set from The Parts Place about 15 years ago was the ANGLE of the holes from what I recall. Also, I've had to file down and or file the OD of the protruding sleeves on a repro set from what I remember on another car.
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Old May 6th, 2019, 09:10 PM
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QUESTION: Are you using repro chrome backing plates as well???
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Old May 7th, 2019, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 70Post View Post
QUESTION: Are you using repro chrome backing plates as well???
Yes, but the same repo chrome plate from 10 years ago, about the same age of the first repo armrests (which did not fit too bad at all). That is why I was wondering if there were multiple manufacturers of the repo armrests. These new ones have the holes at the wrong angle and will need a ton of trimming.

Thanks for the response !
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Old May 7th, 2019, 10:01 PM
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The reason I asked is I just got in a new set of repro chrome armrest backing plates and when I try to put an ORIGINAL armrest up against it, the armrest won't fit flush. The holes in these chrome backing plates are out of position or not large enough. Will have to either trim the screw hole "sleeves"/protrusions on the original armrests slightly or elongate the holes in the repro chrome backer plates.
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Old May 8th, 2019, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by 70Post View Post
The reason I asked is I just got in a new set of repro chrome armrest backing plates and when I try to put an ORIGINAL armrest up against it, the armrest won't fit flush. The holes in these chrome backing plates are out of position or not large enough. Will have to either trim the screw hole "sleeves"/protrusions on the original armrests slightly or elongate the holes in the repro chrome backer plates.
Patton, that is an interesting point. My chrome backing plates are reproductions from 10 years ago and I wish now I kept the old ones to compare. That may be part of the problem.

Thanks !
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Old May 8th, 2019, 09:58 AM
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I'm thinking the same thing BUT I still suspect the repro bases have the screw holes at the wrong angle. I distinctly remember having to drill out and clearance the repro base screw holes on a car at least 10 years ago.....it was a PITA.

Next thing to do here is a side-by-side comparison of these chrome plates with some originals to see what's up with the holes in them. I'll post what I find.

The chrome plates are from The Parts Place but I suspect they are all the same. I have a few other sets of repro chrome plates here and I'll compare them to each other as well.
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Old May 14th, 2019, 05:37 AM
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Patton,

You're correct on the repop chrome bases from TPP. On my blue car, I had to "hog" them out quite a bit to allow the screws to go in at the right angle. It's really frustrating. It can't possibly be any harder to make them correctly.
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Old May 14th, 2019, 05:46 PM
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It is not that it is harder to make them correctly, the issue is that they already have paid for a mold. Molds can be very expensive, I have paid thousands of dollars for a mold, a plastic mold like this can be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Once the mold is made you are stuck with it, so to "fix it" usually takes investing in a new mold. Since this is not a very expensive product, and people make it work, they just keep using the same mold and making a part that almost fits. I believe that this part was not made for the Cutlass with the chrome bases, it is probably a Chevelle part and may fit very well for that application (they do not use the chrome behind the bases). The Cutlass market may not be big enough to invest the money necessary to make a correct mold...
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Old May 14th, 2019, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 72442conv View Post
It is not that it is harder to make them correctly, the issue is that they already have paid for a mold. Molds can be very expensive, I have paid thousands of dollars for a mold, a plastic mold like this can be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Once the mold is made you are stuck with it, so to "fix it" usually takes investing in a new mold. Since this is not a very expensive product, and people make it work, they just keep using the same mold and making a part that almost fits. I believe that this part was not made for the Cutlass with the chrome bases, it is probably a Chevelle part and may fit very well for that application (they do not use the chrome behind the bases). The Cutlass market may not be big enough to invest the money necessary to make a correct mold...
Thanks !.

What is interesting to me is that the 10 year old reproductions fit generally pretty well, while this new reproductions are very difficult, even with the plugs a different shape than the 10 yr old repros. All leading me to believe there are multiple producers or at least multiple molds.
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Old May 14th, 2019, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 72442conv View Post
It is not that it is harder to make them correctly, the issue is that they already have paid for a mold. Molds can be very expensive, I have paid thousands of dollars for a mold, a plastic mold like this can be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Once the mold is made you are stuck with it, so to "fix it" usually takes investing in a new mold. Since this is not a very expensive product, and people make it work, they just keep using the same mold and making a part that almost fits. I believe that this part was not made for the Cutlass with the chrome bases, it is probably a Chevelle part and may fit very well for that application (they do not use the chrome behind the bases). The Cutlass market may not be big enough to invest the money necessary to make a correct mold...
There isn't any size/dimensional/etc difference b/n any of the '70-2 2 door Abody armrests or chrome bases...Buick, Pontiac, etc. I agree, however, that once they've paid for tooling/mold that is pretty much it....they just go with it.
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