Repair and Maintenance Of Your Imperial's Glovebox

Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Interior -> Glovebox

Question from Laurie (1959):

Short of removing the dash, is there a way to pop open the glovebox without a key?


From Joe:

You can try cutting a piece off of a one gallon milk container about the size of a women's comb, then slide it through the top of the glove box above the lock.. just work it back and fourth and it may open up for you....

From Paul:

I would call a lock smith. He can make a key for you right at your home, and then it will also fit the trunk, unless that lock has been changed. Sounds like you would need the key anyway.

If the glove box isn't in good condition, you may be able to slip your fingers into it from up under the dash. Taking the dash out would be a little extreme. However, the glove box door would need to be open in order to actually remove the glove box from the dash correctly.

If you find a good replacement ahead of time, you could cut into it from up under the dash, remove the contents, and even open the door from the inside, allowing you to take the lock out and bring it to the lock smith to have a key made.

Again, if the trunk lock is original, and the trunk is open, you could remove the lock from it and have a key made. It should be the same lock as the glove box.

In case you didn't notice, "been there, done that".

From Russell:

Any local locksmith should be able to pick the lock in a matter of seconds if you were to take it to one. Then he could even make you a key to fit it.

From Leo:

A good locksmith can cut a lock with a little work to replace your trunk/Glove box key. I lost the trunk key for my 59 Fury (different from the glove box, it had been replaced) and the locksmith took the time to file and fit it to the existing lock, Only charged me $13.00 too!!! Some older locksmiths still have a large ring of trial keys also.

From Marty:

I think you can unscrew the hinges from underneath.

Question from David (1960):

Any suggestions on how to replace the bottom of the glove box? Insert, rebuild one, or old one for sale.

Reply from Steve:

I'm not familiar with the '60 glovebox, but I suspect it's made of similar material to those used in the later cars. Stop by your local art supply store and tell them you're looking for a heavy black cardboard... seems like it had a special name of some sort, but I can't remember it right now.

I take my old glovebox liners apart by removing the staples, and make a pattern of lighter posterboard. Then transfer the pattern to the new black board. Use a heavy duty pizza cutter (the cheap ones break!) to make the creases so the liner folds in the correct places. You can try to re-use the original tin nuts, or just use a standard U-nut from the local auto supply. The trickiest part is probably the stapling. If you have a heavy duty staple gun, you can buy staples that look similar to the originals, and shoot them into the joints where the originals were - you'll just have to close them inside by hand using needle nose pliers.

It takes a little time, but the results are nice.

Question from George (1966):

Looking for the cardboard material to remake my glove box. I can tape mine together to make a template. Any sources?


From Teresa:

Most of those glove boxes were made of chipboard, which you should be able to get from any upholstery shop that does custom work, ie: custom headliners, which are fabricated entirely from chipboard. This is also the same material that you will find on the back of most cheap tablets that you buy downtown.

From Dietmar:

I made mine of ALUMINUM looks great but a bit noisy with keys or something of metal inside.

From Matt:

Gary Goers has what you need. He does great work, but sometimes can take a while. I emailed him and got my glovebox right away.

From Ernie:

Restoration Specialties sells a product called cowl board which is the right weight. Only drawback is it isn't flocked, just plain board.

From Don:

A great source for quality fiber board is Your nearest wholesale house that carries supplies for frame shops. Matt board works great and comes in both black or gray, just make sure that the fiber board you choose will bend without cracking. Make a good score line with a blunt tool and straight edge on a sample piece (they have samples of all the matt boards they carry) and bend 90 degrees. The board should not crack. I did my whole trunk in my '67 using matt board and it looks great.

Question from Robin (1972):

My glove box on a 1972 Imperial will only open with the key inserted. Is this normal? I am thinking not but-------. And how does one release the knob from the lock cylinder/latch on the glove box so that the lock cylinder/latch can be removed?Other than that rebushed the rear springs last week(eight shackle bushings push fit and two forward bushings press fit) and put new ubolts in (cost me $100.00 Canadian for parts). Found the drivers side rear shock upper mount was not tightened properly and this was causing a lot of noise.


From Kerry:

I THINK, the knob can be set to work that way or without the key. Seems like you put the key in and turn while holding in?? Can't recall. Do you have an owner's manual? It should tell you how to repair this problem?

From Elijah:

If you have to put the key in the lock to open the glove box door, the lock is indeed broken.

These are incredibly common items, so should be easy to replace. Finding one in a junkyard would be easy, but finding the key to go with it might be a challenge. If you go this route, get the trunk lock as well, since the key to the glove box door also operates the trunk lock (and the trunk lock is easy to replace as well).

This page last updated October 12, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club.