26 October 2016

The "Mattaligner" Console Switch Retainer and Protector

The Mattaligner, available from PJ Grady
Last Spring, Rob Grady, of PJ Grady, introduced the "Mattaligner" to the DeLorean Community.  This Console Switch Retainer and Protector was named after the original designer, Matt (I was unable to find his full name).   What does it do?  From the product description, via pjgrady.com:

The Mattaligner improves console switch appearance and function in three ways:
1 – Retains switches more securely and precisely.
2 – The thicker bottom plate improves fit and retention of taller after market window switches.
3 – The thinner padded sidebar prevents accidental switch operation while keeping switches accessible.
I have an obsession of getting my console switches to line up, so obviously, I was interested in this.  Unfortunately, the Mattaligner did not go on sale until late 2015.  By that time my car was in the shop for most of 2016.

Well, the car is back and running, so I ordered one.  Installation was a breeze.  I did it in about ten minutes, which means a four year old can do it in under five.  In my defense, there were no instructions, but you really do not need them.  Anyway, I am about to show you how I installed mine...which can be your instructions.

Pre-install, wonky alignment of switches
First step, take a photo of how wonky your switches are before installation.  It will be fun (and tragic) to look back at this moment...much like your Junior High School photos showing you how jacked up your teeth were before you suffered through half your High School years in braces.

Pop out the switches, like a dentist/orthodontist pulling your teeth to prep for your braces.  If the teeth...uh, switches...are hard to pull out, try removing the ash try and pushing the switches from behind.  You will also need to disconnect the switches from their plugs.

Normally, I would tell you to mark and remember where the switches were.  But come on, there are only five switches.  Two are dummy switches, two are (the same) window switch, and one is for the rear defrost that you never use.  Heck, I do not think anyone has ever used the rear window defrost...the engine (heat) is right there.

Removal of switches and test fitting
The Mattaligner was designed to fit all versions of switches.  Whether you have original or DMCH reproduction switches, it should fit.  But, I seem to have a rear defrost switch from DMCH that need to be filed down to fit.  I do have current DMC reproduction window switches and they pop in just fine.  Not sure which version of the dummy switched I have, but they fit fine.

Drill bit and self tapping screws
After making sure your switches fit in the holes, the plate needs to be secured to the center console.  Luckily, it the plate is pre-drilled and countersunk and comes with self tapping screws...and it comes with a drill bit.

Kicking it old school with a hand powered drill
I mentioned that it took me about ten minutes to install this.  Well, it it because the batteries on my power still were totally drained.  So, I had to use my hand powered drill like the one pictured above. You only need to drill through a thin sheet of metal (brass?) that is below the vinyl.  This thin and flexible sheet of metal might be part of the cause of wonkily aligned switches.

Almost done.
When placed, the two dummy switches will hide the screw tops.

Black and grey armrest pads
Included in the kit are two armrest pads to match your interior colour.  Or, you can be a real rebel and not match your interior colour.  Some of you have two tone interiors...you are already a rebel.  The pad slips on and prevents your elbow from accidentally tripping the switches.  It also protects your arms from being gouged by the exposed sharp steel corners...I recommend slipping those on.

Ah, look how beautiful that looks.
There you go.  Done.  My teeth are finally straight

I went for the stainless steel finish (111177GS) as I wanted to 'bring' some stainless into the interior...plus, it was the cheaper option. The Mattaligner is also available in black oxide stainless finish (111177GB) for a little more than the naked version..

The thicker gauge steel (2.3mm) allows the switches to sit straight and aligned.  I noticed that my switches were sticking, pre-install, due to the switch rubbing against the sidewalls of the trench.  Because of the thin metal (default base) the base of the switches are allowed to shift and move whether through settling or operation.  With the Mattaligner in place, bases do not move and switches are free to click on and off.

I would highly recommend the Mattaligner for any DeLorean owner experiencing console switch issues.  This plate solves everything non-electrical with your switches.  You can get these exclusively at pjgrady.com

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