The console (RPO D55) was optional from 1970 to 1979. In 1980 it became standard equipment.
The 1970 - 1972 console is a hard plastic, multi-piece unit with integrated seatbelt holders. It was available only in black. It is retained to the transmission tunnel via 3 unique stamped steel brackets. When a car was ordered with an automatic transmission and no console - the shifter will be on the steering column. This is one way to figure out if your car came with a console or not. The other way to tell is there will be threaded inserts for the console brackets installed in the floor.
The console shell is the same regardless of which transmission was be used.
The 1973 and newer console is a 1 piece ABS plastic unit covered in vinyl. A manual transmission console differs from an automatic transmission console. The manual transmission console has the shifter hole forward on the console whereas the automatic transmission has the shifter opening closer to the storage bin. The console was color-keyed to the interior color. The console is supported in the back under the arm-rest storage bin by a pair of brackets spot welded to the floor.
If a customer requested power windows, the console was required because the power window switch was mounted in the console.
The 1981 console is unique in that the "change/shades storage cubby-hole" under the radio is blocked off in order to cover the ECM. Click here to see a closeup of the reshaped console.
If you put your mind to it - you can install early consoles in newer cars, and newer consoles in older cars - if you include the bracketry and the correct shifter.
A rear console was only available in the Firebird. Occasionally, you'll see these in Camaros.
Console Parts - Exploded Diagrams
1970 - 72 Console
1973 - 81 Console
Removing the shifter handle
On an automatic car 1973 - 81, there is a button on the top of the shifter. This is a slip fit onto the shifter stalk. Place a small screw driver under a slot in the button and the shift knob and lever the button off.
Now, the shift knob is retained onto the stalk with a snap ring. You need a pair of snap ring pliers to remove this. Or, the lowbuck approach, a pair of needle nose pliers and a small screw driver will remove the ring. Once the ring is off, the shift knob can be removed.
Removing the console.
Remove the shift knob as mentioned above.
Remove the shift cover plate using allen keys.
Open the console box lid, and remove the 5/16" bolts that secure the box to the console.
With the lid open, you can remove the box.
Removing the console box exposes the screws that secure the console to the floor console brackets. Remove these bolts. The console is supposed to have 2 tabs up front that secure the front of the console to the dashboard support bracket. Remove these bolts. Set the parking brake, shift the car into neutral, or drive, to get the shifter pointed straight up. Now, you can remove the console.
Console Arm rest latch button.
power window switch
Exploded diagram of 1973 console shifter
Exploded diagram of A/T shift cable
Author: MadMike Maciolek
North Georgia Classic Camaro
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