The Hyundai Santa Fe Armrest Modification
Detailed and Professional look version

Original idea: Ted
Author of procedures: Ted
Enhancements: Ted
Installer / Testers: Ted
Parts Supplier: Any Home improvement store, hardware store.
Images provided by: Ted

Introduction / History

The armrest assembly within the center console of the Santa Fe is quite lower than most others I've been in. It is set at that height so the driver can have a unobtrusive reach for the Shiftronic. There are some that would rather have this assembly much higher. This modification addresses that need by elevating the rest area for their arms, both driver and passenger.

Unlike the easy and quick version, this detailed guide shows how to extend the armrest while making it look OEM and professional.


  Please Read the disclaimer before proceeding

Difficulty level / scale: On a scale of 1 - 10

Easy   Difficult
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Tools and materials needed:

Philips screwdriver
8 mm socket wrench
12 5/16 washers
#8 (Long) counter sunk screws
speed clips
gutter screen / wire mesh
metal shears (to cut the gutter screen / mesh)
Styrofoam packing material
Hot glue and glue gun
Short hair fiberglass and hardener
Masking tape
Bondo (no glass type)
80 grit sand paper
200 grit sand paper
600 grit wet/dry sand paper
Liquid Metal
Sandable primer (with sprayer)
Clear acrylic

Step 1: Removing the console.

Locate the the rear ash tray and cup holder.
Click on image to expand it in a new window)

Open the Rear Ash Tray and Cup Holder.
Remove the mat in the bottom of the holder..
Remove the two black screws.




Pull out the entire Bezel-Floor console assembly away from the Console starting at the bottom.

Put the Bezel aside.



Remove the armrest assembly from the console, by opening both lids and removing the two 8mm nuts from above where the ash tray was.

The entire top armrest assembly comes right off.

Step 2: Disassembling the armrest console.

You will need to spilt the top portion of the armrest assembly.
Open the top section of the assembly and remove all the Philip screws.

This give you access to the hinge.

Step 3: Remounting the hinge..

Remove the hinge from the top portion of the armrest assembly.
Close the hinge.
Lay the black inner cover over the hinge and mark it for new holes.



Use 12 5/16 washers for spacers, 4 on each screw.
Using #8 longer counter sunk screws and speed clips, attach the black cover to the hinge.



Re-mount the metal for the catch, but putting the top section on using the original screws and speed clips.

Step 4: Making the form..

Decide on the amount of height you want to raise the console.
I used gutter screen and folded it to the right height.
These pictures are of mine at 2" in height.

Use hot glue to hold it in place.



To stiffen the assembly, you can use any old Styrofoam packing material.



Mount the armrest top section by laying the armrest top in place and use hot glue to hold it to the gutter screen.
Use #8 counter sunk wood screws, 1/4" longer than the amount you are raising the top.




Screw the two pieces together. (Do not over tighten).
The console should look like this.



Now to apply the fiberglass.

Put some masking tape around the original top section.
Mix up some chopped or short hair fiberglass and hardener.
Apply a thick coat and shape it as close to the original top as possible.



Allow to dry and sand the high spots with about 80 grit sand paper.



Next mix up some Bondo (no glass) and hardener.
Fill in all the low spots.



When dry, shape this form with 80 grit sand paper.
Then sand with about 200 grit sand paper for a smoother finish.



Now, fill in all the small spots and holes that may be left with Liquid Metal.



Sand with 200 grit sand paper to the desired shape.
Spray with sandable primer.

Note: I sprayed the top as well.



Sand with 200 grit sand paper and primer it again.
Repeat this step.

Now sand with 600 grit wet/dry sand paper.
Use wet and sand to the desired smoothness.
Spray 2-3 coats of desired color.

Optional: I sprayed 2 coats of clear acrylic.

Step 5: Clean up..

Clean the console.



A different view of the finished console.

Step 6: Re-install the console..

Re-install the console and enjoy the more comfortable height.

Additional information:

Ted N.'s Armrest mod guide.

A concise version of the above steps in a printable Adobe PDF file.

You will need both Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file and Winzip to extract the file.



Console part numbers.











This site was last updated 03/02/06