Installing Interior Plastic Knobs
By Stephen Kassis
Putting new knobs on your car or truck is a quick and easy way to make a huge difference in the appearance of the interior of your vehicle. Old, broken, missing or faded knobs can detract from the beauty of the interior. Reproduction knobs for early Chevrolet cars & trucks are made by several different suppliers. However, the installation is basically the same for all knobs.
The following instructions are for mounting a new window crank knob onto a window handle. The hood, windshield wiper and gearshift knobs are to be mounted in the same way. Perfect alignment and heating in water is mandatory BEFORE you push the knob on. Do not turn the knob once it is in place.
NOTE: Choke, throttle, spark, accessory and light switch knobs do not require heating in hot water for installation. Simply secure cable or shaft in a vise. Cover knob with a cloth and pound the knob on gently with a rubber mallet. On dash knobs, note the top orientation of the knob to the shaft so it reads correctly when installed.
- First compare your original knob to the new knob to be sure they match. To remove the old knob on a window crank, put the plastic knob in a vise and crush it. An alternative method would be to put the handle in a vise and drill the pivot pin from the back side. Use a 1/4″ drill and drill down 1/8″. Then remove the old knob.
- Heat a pan of water to 180 degrees (NOT BOILING) and put knob in hot water for 5-7 minutes. This will soften the knob so it will push onto the shaft without being damaged. Remove the knob from the water and shake out excess water. Insert the pin from the rear side of the crank handle. Place the handle on a firm surface, put the knob in place and push it on the pivot pin. If the water was not hot enough, the pin may stop before it is in place. Don’t panic! Just pound the knob gently with a rubber mallet, and the knob is on to stay.
- For Clock knob, it is suggested that you put a drop of good glue in the hole. Hold the stem with a long-nose pliers and screw the knob on until it is tight. Always turn clockwise.
- If a knob should be loose after installation, remove it and put in a drop or two of good glue and let set.
Note: Most knobs are also available pre-assembled with cables and shafts, ready to install.