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Old 02-10-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
Twenty
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How to: Outer dash vent swap (SE to ST and ST to SE)

Having an SE, the outer vents on my dash are plain black. I liked the look of those from the higher models, which feature a silver accent ring. Looking up the parts showed it'd cost a decent bit to order new ones and swap them out.

As it turns out, a friend recently bought an ST which has the vents I was after. He mentioned one day how we wanted the all-black pieces from the lower model Focuses since his interior was almost blacked out from the factory.

Bingo.

Today we met and got to work swapping the vents between the two cars, once we figured out how.

STEP ONE: Acquire an SE and ST.

*If an ST cannot be found, a Titanium will work as well. Similarily an S can substitute for an SE.



STEP TWO: Remove the cover on the end of the dash board. Pry from the pointed edge (facing the driver's seat) and it'll pop off.



STEP THREE: Remove the Torx screw, shown by the arrow.



STEP FOUR: This is a bit tricky. The vents clip into place so be prepared to pull around the edges and wiggle to get them to come free. With the driver's side vent, you FIRST MUST REMOVE THE WIRING FROM THE HEADLIGHT SWITCH. Reach in through the end of the dash and unclip the connector.

(This is the connector. Sorry for the bad photo, it was all I had.)





STEP FIVE: Now the headlight switches had to be removed. Since mine is a 2012 and his a 2013, they were different pieces. For 2013 Ford added a trunk-release button. Knowing someone would ask, we plugged his into mine to see if said button would work as a plug-and-play update for a 2012. It does not.

The vents come apart into two pieces, and the headlight switch attaches at the bottom, sandwiched between the two.




STEP SIX: Now the parts are swapped and vents reassembled. On the left is the ST vent with the 2012 headlight switch, and on the right is the SE vent with the 2013 switch.



STEP SEVEN: Now it's time to reverse the steps above. The vents are carefully fitted back in place (take your time, this is tricky!) and the torx screw reattached. When refitting, watch carefully the duct that the vent lines up with. It needs to be realigned properly so that air will be fed to the vent as it was before. If misaligned it can also prevent the piece from sitting properly on the dash. Remember to plug the headlight switch back in and test to make sure all lights work. The cover on the end of the dash can be reattached.

For the passenger side, it's the same process with the exception of the headlight switch.

Finished product:






And bonus ST photo just because.



We hope that helps! Personally, we're both happier with the swapped parts as they match the interiors of our cars better.


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Old 02-10-2013, 06:45 PM   #2
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Thanks Bill! That was a fun afternoon project. Thanks for doing the DIY writeup!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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My pleasure Mario, thanks for coming over!
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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Nice write up. Thanks
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:39 PM   #5
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Nice write up. Thanks
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:55 AM   #6
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Glad you liked it, thank you!
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:33 AM   #7
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I'm not a fan of the outcome, but nice write up nonetheless.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:16 PM   #8
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I'm not a fan of the outcome, but nice write up nonetheless.
Fair enough. Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:57 AM   #9
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do you happen to know the part numbers for the bezels with the silver trim ?
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:16 AM   #10
Twenty
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do you happen to know the part numbers for the bezels with the silver trim ?
I actually don't, sorry. D'oh.
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