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How to replace stupid broken cup holder on 03 350Z

2 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Hi Blokes,

I've been putting off replacing my cup holder for a while now after it became jammed in the dashboard. After heaps of googling and checking and rechecking photos, I've just finished the job and thought some of you might find this guide handy.

Parts and tools required:

Philips head screwdriver

10mm socket

Replacement cup holder (including metal frame/carrier if required, I found it easier to buy the whole thing)

If your cup holder is jammed fully in the dash panel, you can slip a credit card or a thin (soft plastic) pry bar in there to pop it out slightly. If you can get it out enough, there's a long slot at the top/rear of the plastic cup holder insert that you can insert a screwdriver into, depress the tab and pop the entire insert out. You'll find 90% of the time that the reason it's jammed is because of a malfunctioning spring right at the back which is inaccessible unless you can remove the insert. If you can't get it to come out enough, keep reading and I will explain how to remove it.

 Looking up from underneath the front of the cup holder, you will see a philips head screw holding on the fascia/cover plate. Once you've popped that off it should look something like this:


Now comes the painful part. Just inside the cavity at the top is a 10mm bolt that needs to come out, but the cup holder insert is in the way (or was in my case). If you can see the bolt and gain access to it, then go ahead and undo it. Otherwise you will have to force the plastic cup holder insert out towards you, which will probably break the insert. If you're lucky like I was, it might pop out intact with a bit of force. The only other resort is to break enough of the plastic insert until you can see this 10mm bolt:


Once you've undone that bolt, move down to the passenger scuff panel along the door frame and pull it out firmly but carefully, starting at the main clip at the front end and working your way half way along it (no need to remove the whole thing unless you want to):


Once that's loosened/off then you can start removing the kick panel in the passenger footwell. Right at the back of the footwell there is a plastic screw that undoes by hand (mine was missing) that needs to be removed. After that you need to gently work your way towards the front of the panel, pulling outwards carefully with firm pressure to pop it out of its clips. Be careful because the edges of this panel can be SHARP. You can see the holes for the clips once the panel is removed:


Just above the kick panel is the last screw holding the lower dash panel on, the black one pictured here:


Remove that and GENTLY begin pulling the whole dash panel towards yourself, starting at the area closest to the cup holder. There's one clip holding the panel at the bottom (below the cup holder) and a series of clips at the top. Once you've popped a few of them the panel should drop away like this:


You can see a few of the clips along the top of the panel.Remove the whole panel and on the reverse, you will see the cup holder frame is attached to the inside of the panel with 2 black screws, one is shown here and the other is on the reverse side:


From here it's just a matter of swapping over the old frame/insert with the new one, reclipping the panel to the dashboard and bolting/clipping/screwing it all back in in reverse order.


Hopefully this one will last a little longer, it's a different design to the one that was in the car (which had also been replaced previously). You can see the difference in the inserts here (note the new cup holder is in the carrier frame and the old one isn't):


Hope this helps anyone looking to do the same, I put the job off for ages cos it looked like a pain but it wasn't really that difficult in the end. All up it should take around an hour or less if you know what you're doing.




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Posted · Report post

Thank you very very much for this thread.  After almost 10 years I finally have a functional cup holder by purchasing an assembly from Japan and installing it today.  The large spring at the rear had popped over the stop and was preventing the assembly from sliding out.  This guide was a great help.






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