(05-07) HOW-TO: Turn Your Driver Side Vent into a Gauge Pod (05-07)
Here are some of the supplies needed.
phillips screw driver
Hole saw. (2 1/16” for AEM wideband)
Scrap piece of plastic (An old DVD case will work) I used some ABS from another project I had.
Buss Add A Fuse.
Spray Adhesive if you want to cover the plastic in fabric or paint if you’re going to paint the piece.
First off you need to remove the lower panel under the steering wheel, there are 4 8mm screws, one in each corner.
After that panel is out of the way, you can just drop it down to get to next bolt. You need to remove a 7mm bolt holding the gauge surround in place. Once this bolt is removed the gauge surround will pop off, there are about 6-7 clips holding it in place, don’t worry about breaking them, they are fairly strong, just pull all around the piece that goes around the surround and it will pop out. You may need to remove the panel above the steering wheel it also just pops out. The trunk release has a wire attached that you can either pop the trunk release out of the gauge surround, or disconnect the wire via the clip.
After that is removed there is one more Phillips head screw that needs to be taken out to remove the vent and surrounding panel. There is a section of tubing for the ac/heat ducts that needs to be removed in order for the gauge to sit properly, this should come out attached to the vent.
Now that the vent and panel are removed you can take everything off which leaves you with this.
Next lay the panel over a piece of plastic and trace the inside onto the plastic.
Trim the new filler plate, try not to make it too small, there is a tiny lip around the inside of the panel and that the new filler plate will rest onto. Mark the center, and using your hole saw drill out the filler plate.
Looking back, you might be better off drilling the panel before trimming it, it was hard to keep the panel still while drilling.
Now you can either paint the filler or I wrapped the filler in a thin fabric. To do this just spray the filler with all purpose spray adhesive. Then pull the fabric tight and let it dry, trim any excess fabric on the back. The fabric also helps to hide any parts of the filler plate that may have been trimmed too much.
After you finish the filler with paint or fabric, mix up the plastic weld, I used Perma Poxy, it dries in 5 minutes and can withstand pretty extreme temperatures. Place the filler in the vent surround and spread it so that it makes contact with the surround and your new filler plate.
That is also when I cut slits in the fabric to allow the gauge to slide in.
Now that the vent and duct is removed, the surround has nothing to bolt down to; I just used a few small pieces of double-sided tape to hold it in place. It really doesn’t need to because the way the other panels go over top of it keep it pretty secure.
Now you have a straight shot to the fuse panel and that is were I used the add a fuse. I used the sunroof/rear wiper (ignition) I believe it was fuse #43. And grounded the gauge to the bracket that holds the fuse panel to the dash.
One thing to note is that the gauge is blocked by your arm when driving in the 10 and 2 o’clock position, but is in clear sight while driving any other way.
looks good and nice write-up
Nice. Very well thought out.
Another option is to use the defrost vent i installed a custom boost gauge pod there and you dont have to cut anything just remove the grille and duct.Not an option for you though with the location of your tach.
Love it, great idea.
once spring comes I might glass over the vent for a more finished look. I figure that's a good project to start off with fiberglassing, I've messed around with it but never really put in a good effort, this should be pretty straight forward.
what's everyone think, black bezel and black faceplate to match the rest of the car, or silver bezel and white faceplate so it matches the tach.
I'd worry about hot air from the vent possibly causing issues to the gauge.
Otherwise, the install looks sick! And nice writeup too.
I thought about it but i never use those vents it's always on either defrost or defrost/floor. My eyes get real dried out if there is any dry hot air moving around.
Great write up. I wanted to keep my vent so I did this. Not to jack the thread or anything. Heres a pic.
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