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Steering Column Trim Panels


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I'm confident that some members here will know when the metal lower trim panel for the steering column was superseded by the plastic lower trim panel (PN 32311110912, generally marked 1.108.581.1). The padded and vinylized upper trim panel similarly underwent a transformation: it grew a "center hump," the small VIN tag was rotated 90 degrees from a left-right orientation to a fore-aft orientation, and the four M6 x 55mm fillister-head screws securing it changed from machine screws to sheet metal screws. I can't say for certain that all of these changes happened simultaneously!

I'm trying to determine which trim panels are appropriate for an October '72 car (VIN 2762757). A July '72 tii (VIN 2762204) that I parted 40 years ago had the metal lower trim panel, with a rubbery insert for the ignition key surround. It had the left-right oriented VIN tag and the "hump-less" upper trim panel. My April '76 car has the plastic lower trim panel, a fore-aft oriented VIN tag, and a "hump" on its upper trim panel. I believe an October '72 car would have had the "earlier-style" trim panels like the totaled tii. But one thing bothers me: the plastic lower trim panels (generally marked 1.108.581.1) are often dated (19)72. So when were the lower and upper trim panel changes put into effect?

(I'd post photos but I've not been able to post a photo to this forum since I "upgraded" to iOS 8.0 last week!)

EDIT: An upgrade to the iOS 8.0 "upgrade" fixed my photo issue. The first photo below is of a plastic lower trim panel. The second photo below compares the earlier style upper trim panel (left) with the later style upper trim panel (right).

Thanks and regards,




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Despite being obsessed with manufacturing dates on parts, I believe I will follow the idea that U.S. '73 model year cars continued to use the metal lower trim panel, left-right VIN tag, and hump-less upper trim panel!

(I've tried to discredit the "72" on the plastic lower trim panels as a date, but it's even got the surrounding edges of its circle divided into 4 quadrants, like so many German date castings. But I intend to forget that...at least for now!)

Thank you for your input,


EDIT: Based on Mike's entry below, a '73 would not have had the later style upper trim panel but probably would have had the plastic lower trim panel -- with exceptions, of course!

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