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Old 04-10-2006, 05:36 PM   #1
Focus Rookie
Join Date: Jan 2006
Fan#: 31543
Location: Alabama, AL
What I Drive: 2003 ZX3 PZEV

Posts: 18
FF Reputation: 1 zxdubya Good Standing Member
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Removing Glued Inst. Cover/Cust. Bezel Install

I bought a brushed aluminum instrument panel bezel, but I couldn’t install it because the plastic lens covering the gauges was glued to the shroud or housing (I used both terms interchangeably). The instructions said I would have to cut it off with a Dremel and cutting disc. I didn’t want to go there, but I couldn’t find any details on the Forum on how to remove the lens when it’s glued or install a custom bezel over the stock one. [I corrected the pictures] Here’s my adventure:

Tools I needed for this job: scissors, an old dental tool, and a bottle of De-Solv-It:

With the nozzle set to “stream, “ spray only the bottom section of the shroud, inside and out, all the way across, and let it sit for a minute or two.

Using your fingers, grab the center of the bottom of the shroud and GENTLY rock the black part (not the clear lens) back and forth. It will start to creak and crack as it works loose.

Then move to one side, gently rocking the black part as you go, until it breaks loose. When you get to the section where the mounting tabs are, and on into the corners, use your finger to press it into the seam where the lens meets the black frame—from the inside—until it breaks loose. (I don’t recommend using the bolt tabs to rock this section as you did in the thin center section; I developed cracks in the lens near the sides of the tab. They were small and were covered up when I installed the assembly. Hopefully they won’t continue to grow)

I removed the icon film (for lack of a better description) from each side of the housing and washed and dried them.

Then I washed and dried the entire assembly because I sprayed all of the seams before I figured out I could slip the bezel in from the bottom and everything got coated. If you do wash yours, use a LINT FREE soft cloth to try it. A small paintbrush can be used to clean up any lint inside the assembly.

Once you’ve opened up the bottom, slide the bezel in by, again, gently pulling the black frame away from the lens. Be careful to not scratch the interior of the housing or the lens.

Once you have it inside, check the fitment.

If it looks good, turn the assembly over so you’re looking at it from the back.

Let the bezel lay on the lens (you might want to put a piece of paper between the lens and to bezel to avoid scratching the lens), and cut the double-sided tape to fit on various locations on the bezel (I put most of mine on the top and sides). Pull the backing strip off the tape (I used the scissors to put the tape into place) and press the pieces of tape in place on the bezel. Again, be careful not to scratch the lens when you do this. Make sure all parts of the tape are secured to the bezel or it will try to peel off when you remove the other backing strip.

Now, remove the second backing strip. This one was difficult because of the tight space and because there was nowhere to grab this backer. This is where I used the dental tool:

The long handle and pointed tip made it easier to pull the flimsy, invisible, second backing strip off. If the tape hangs over where it can be seen from the front, just use your finger to roll that part out of the way; the tape sticks to itself really well. Carefully turn the entire housing back so you can see it from the front. Line everything up and press it into place. Tada!

I didn’t bother reattaching the bottom seam. I hope this won’t cause a moisture/fogging problem later.

Here’s how it looks:

Mildly Modded '03 PZEV

Last edited by zxdubya; 04-10-2006 at 08:36 PM.
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