Since we have introduced the MK2 version of the 350Z kit with the magnetic face plate, we’ve had a bunch of requests from customers on ways to make the MK1 version of our kits “transform” to use a magnetic face plate option. While our other vehicle kits aren’t really suited to this conversion, the 350Z kit can be converted.
This article will step you through how to convert your MK1 350Z kit over to a magnetic face plate using our conversion kit (still working on pricing and shipping details).
Step 1) Take Inventory
First thing when you receive your kit, do a quick inventory on the things that you’re going to need to complete the conversion process. You will need a 5/16″ drill bit to widen the holes on the tablet cradle holder.
You will also find 6 clamps/clips that come with the kit. These will be used to hold the magnet cups in place on the rear tablet cradle while the glue for the magnets dries. I personally suggest using some of the clear Gorilla Glue that has a working/set time of about 2 hours. This makes it so that you don’t super glue your fingers to anything and still have a good strong bond.
The remaining items in the kit are going to be a set of 6 screws and also a set of 6 magnetic cups/disks. The screws will be used as adjustable “feet” for the MK1 face plate, and also serve as the metal touch points to the cups/disks on the rear tablet cradle. You’ll notice that the disks/cups have more of a flange on one side than they do the other. This is because we tried to create as much surface area as possible for gluing, but also needed to fit into tight circular locations. This design allows you to push the disk/cup into the right location but still have a bit of extra material for more gluing grip.
Step 2) Fasten the Screws
In this step you’re going to take the 6 provided screws and thread them all the way into the legs/bosses of the front face plate. You want them to go all the way in. Afterwards, if you need to adjust the catch points, you can unscrew them a bit almost like adjustable feet on a table to get the best contact point with the magnets after installation.
Step 3) Drill Your Holes
Now you’re going to line up your face plate with the rear tablet cradle. Each tablet cradle hole that lines up with the feet on the face plate will need to be slightly drilled out. For this you will need a 5/16″ drill bit. You might need to wiggle the drill bit around a bit to get the head of the screw to pass through.
Essentially you want the hole big enough for the screw head to pass through, but for the leg/boss holding the screw to not pass through, resulting in having the screw head flush with the back surface of the tablet cradle. Basically the head of the screw will poke through just enough to touch the magnetic disk that will be placed behind the tablet cradle.
Step 4) Position Your Magnets
Now that you have the screw heads just slightly poking through (should be flush with the back surface of the tablet cradle) you can start to position the magnetic cups/disks behind each of the screw heads for a test fit. While doing this you’ll find which side of the disk needs to be pushed into any of the concave areas of the tablet cradle.
When all the cups/disks are in place you’ll find that you can essentially pick up the entire unit from the back of the tablet cradle upside down without the face plate falling off.
Step 5) Glue and Clamp Your Magnets
Now you’ll want to put a good layer of glue around the outer flanges of the magnet cups/disks and clamp them in place with the provided clips. Make sure not to “gob” on the glue over the magnet itself as you want a good contact point with the screw and also don’t want to build up material that will push the face plate forward in your dash install. In the case of using the longer setting Gorilla glue, let this sit clamped for 24 hours.
Step 6) Final Install and Adjustments
Once your glue is cured you can re-install the kit back in your dashboard following the same installation steps as you would have before. Only this time you are just securing the rear tablet cradle to the center waterfall as the face plate will be put in last with the magnetic catches.
The reason we wanted to set the screw heads down into the plastic of the tablet cradle is so that it will hold the face plate from moving Up/Down/Left/Right. If the screws just touched the magnets on a flush mounting surface they would simply “float” around. We discovered this when doing the MK2 design so we wanted to make sure that the conversion kit also took this into account.
If your screw heads don’t quite touch the magnet cups/disks after installation, you can simply back-out the affected screws like you would leveling a table with adjustable feet until everything has a good contact point.
And there you have it… your face plate is now magnetic with easy access to the tablet and the power button 🙂