Because I have a crappy phone, it looks better to you in the rain than it does in the sun, since it’s not blowing out the sensor

One of my goals with this car is being completely transparent about what ownership is like, the ups and the downs. Well, recently some of the downside risk of buying a Volvo that’s well over a decade old struck, and I had to make a repair.

Fortunately the only thing that was broken was a piece of interior trim, specifically the shift boot:

You can really see the stain on the shift boot on this side. Thanks kids!

Before committing to Project RAUX Box, I had to make sure as I could be that my stereo was the same (-ish) as what the SwedeSpeed posters used. I know my car has the base stereo, but apparently somewhere in 2005 or so — different people give different dates — Volvo switched from a separate amp in the back of the car to an integrated amp in the dash along with the head unit and CD player. I looked under the cargo area paneling where there’s the access hole for replacing the taillight bulb and was pretty sure there was no amp there, but I wanted to compare model numbers with some photos on the thread.

In order to do that, I had to take the whole dang center stack apart:

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One of the things you have to do before you take the center stack fascia off is pop the shift boot out of it. I did this poorly, and ended up snapping one corner of the plastic frame, as you can see in the second pic above. This would cause the boot to pop back out after a few shifts, which just looks janky as all heck:

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It would go back in when I fiddled with out (only to pop out again a bit later), so I think a little encouragement to hold its shape will go a long way here.

I took it up to my tiny work table in my office, and after a few short minutes with a little duct tape, it’s ready to test.

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I took it out for about an hour’s drive of a few errands into a bit of fun on some calmer local twisties. Many shifts later, the boot is still in:

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Success! The total cost of this repair was whatever few cents the bit of duct tape I used was worth.