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Gear Shift Bezel repair & strengthening (1987 Spider)
Over the years the bezel becomes brittle and brakes.
The bezel is very thin especialy on the gearshift side.
I tried to glue the bezel with several different glues and epoxies but I did not have any luck until...

REMOVAL of BEZEL
remove the two knobs from the temperature sliders. (they pry off)
remove the inner and outer knob from the AC fan control (they pry off)
unscrew the nut from the AC fan control
using a plastic knife or screwdriver CAREFULLY pry out the bezel, the bezel is fixated to the console with plastic tabs.
slide out both back lights
disconnect the cable from the fan-switch
disconnect the cable from the clock
separate carefully the top thin sheet (with the lettering) from the bezel (this thin sheet is affixed by some sticky stuff)

Repair & strengthening
A) clean the backside of the bezel with paint thinner or grease remover
B) roughen the back surface with 80 grid sand paper or Dremel tool
C) lay the bezel upside down on a flat surface (glass)
put a sheet of computer paper in-between the bezel and the glass. (it’s easier the sand of the paper than to pry of the glass)

If the bezel is warped you might have to clamp the bezel or put weights on it

D)glue the broken pieces together with Superglue gel
This will not hold but it is good enough for a temporary fix and to align the parts for the next steps (if you glued your fingers to the bezel, use your other hand to dial 911)
E) Take a soldering iron (25W ~ 60W) and in a back and forth movement blend the crack together. ONLY ON THE BACK SIDE!
blending should exceed at least 1/4" on each side of the crack or joint
F) if you have some pieces missing, see notes below.
F) take some finishing nails and cut of the head. (Make sure the nails are not thicker than the bezel rim height)(mine wire about 1.5" long)
G) prepare enough nails to cover the rim.
H) mix some JB Weld and fill the rim.
I) push immediately the finishing nails into place (against the rim)(this will strengthen the bezel)
K) put another layer of JB Weld on top of the nails

Let the JB Weld sit for at least 24 Hours !!!!

L) sand if necessary (I used a flat file) and make sure the JB weld does not stick out above the rim
M) paint the sides and the back of the bezel with Dupli-color trim paint
N) when dry and hardened affix the thin sheet (with the lettering) to the bezel with very thin double sided tape ( I used 3M Scotch permanent double sided tape 021200171031)
O) use an xacto knife to trim off the excess tape

Notes:
My bezel was missing 3 of the plastic tabs so I used tiny pieces of double sided tape to affix the bezel to the console (do not use large pieces or you'll have a hard time getting the bezel of again if needed) (I used Loctite double sided power grab 075353041789)

If the bezel has pieces or sections missing ...
Buy some aluminum foil tape (the stuff that is used around Home AC units)
Bridge the "missing piece" area with the tape and form a little tub (mold)
Fill the area with JB Weld and let sit for at least 24 Hours!!!
Proceed to step L

Pictures:
Bezel1 JB Weld is drying
Bezel2 excess JB weld is filed off
Bezel3 side view
Bezel4 finished product


HAVE FUN,

Marc
 

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Thanks for the write up and pictures. Mine is still in one piece, but warped bad.
 

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Marc, thank you for taking the time to present an excellent step by step fix for our gear shift bezel. Truth is, I had forgotten that the bezel was one of the things I needed to address on my Alfa before the console is reinstalled. Your post is much appreciated as well as all the other posts that I have read from the other do it yourselfers here on the forum. ARDEN
 
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