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Thread: Center Gauge Pod removal without taking the dash out !!!

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    Member Feedback Score 0 Lugnut's Avatar
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    Center Gauge Pod removal without taking the dash out !!!

    First off I wanna say this was a true pita !!! I used the stealth 316 as a guide and I feel I can explain what other steps I did in these few pictures .. Between that guide and these photos I think you should be able to get through it much easier than I did .. Hit 316 up for the glovebox removal Stealth 316 - Instrument Panel Removal steps 3 and 4 and the airbag is really self explanatory .. Just a couple screws ..
    First to get the vents out .. Use a screwdriver on the left side of each vent to gently pop them out of their clipped position .. They will be fairly easy to remove



    Then you will see two little clips sticking up in the vent .. Just use a pick, pull them straight up, and they will lock in place


    Now reach in and pull the vent housing out .. Disconnect your hazard light clip and set this aside ..





    When you get to this point



    That is where this post will begin to help you !!!! Here is the gear wrench I used



    The small socket wrench we had here onscene wouldnt fit, as the head of it ended up way too far in the curve of the dash to be able to get at the screws .. The gear wrench was a one to two clicks at a time procedure that seemed to take forever .. This is the view from the passenger side where the airbag mounts



    The four posts that protrude towards the windshield are what you need to deal with here .. The two you see with the screws in them .. And the two above them ..



    First thing first you need to move the large metal bracket in the foreground ..
    Disconnect it from the vent and from the interior side or the dash (radio side) and push it straight back out of the way .. It is very sharp and I suffered several nice nicks and cuts before it was disconnected .. And in the end I found it will have to be out of the way to get the gauges out through the airbag space .. Now the two largest posts will retain a screw with this tab

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    Member Feedback Score 0 Lugnut's Avatar
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    which has the gauge cluster wiring as well as some others taped to them .. There is one on each side and unfortunately the tabs hang down in front of the shorter posts that moor the gauge cluster housing ..Bottom line they have to be removed to get to the shorter post screws .. The passenger side is easy to get off as it is right by the opening .. The drivers side screw is not whatsoever .. So what i did was grabbed a 9 inch fillet knife and went through the glovebox opening and slit the tape.. I then moved the wires out of the way and then went through the dash opening and cut both sides of the tab off .. I then reached in from the airbag side with a long screwdriver and pushed what piece of the tab was still attached to the post around so that it faced out of the way of the shorter post beneath it



    You can see what remains of that tab on the long post in this picture .. The two upper, longer posts have nothing else to do with this from here on out .. At this point you should be able to reach the shorter posts with your wrench .. Once the screws are out .. And the four along the top of the dash vent



    (The one in the middle and the one on the right .. Remember there is also two more directly across from them on the inside of the dash)



    Once those screws are out push the bottom of your gauge cluster back and pull the top towards you to loosen the gauge cluster and then remove your mounting brackets


    Notice how the brackets mount to the top of the cluster housing .. Now with those out of the way and the top off your gauge cluster facing slightlyforward .. FOrce it over and out the side of the glovebox



    This picture was actually taken as we took it out .. Notice the angle ..





    As for the gauges themselves the new AEM's were secured in place by a piece of plexiglass moored to the back with screws as you can see above .. And although I didnt take pictures I just used a dremel to shave away the upper and lower back edges of this setup so it would fit back in the dash easier .. The stock housing has a ton of useless plastic on it and this setup fit back in the dash on the first try ..

    If I missed something or if you have any other questions just let me know !!! I also replaced every screw that was in a hard to reach area with a hex head for better grip !!!
    Last edited by Lugnut; 01-21-2011 at 03:27 AM.

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  4. #3
    Now with more poop-smear Not Verified Feedback Score 8 (100%) IPD's Avatar
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    nicely done!

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    Forum User Feedback Score 0 reallyxxxxxxloud's Avatar
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    Good job...

    I used this and it made it quite a lot easier...
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    Good writeup. I got mine out without taking out the dash but after a few minutes I decided it'd be easier to just break them out.

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    Good write up! But just for other people, I haven't tried yet, but this supposedly cant be done if you have a 1st gen with out the air bag. Not enough room.

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    Member Feedback Score 0 Lugnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvanH View Post
    Good write up! But just for other people, I haven't tried yet, but this supposedly cant be done if you have a 1st gen with out the air bag. Not enough room.
    Ya know that never even occurred to me .. What year did the airbags arrive .. 94+

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    Forum User Feedback Score 13 (100%) Austin@STM's Avatar
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    I looked at it when i still had a dash in my car and it didnt look easy, if you spent enough time you might get it out on a 1st gen but by then you are probably better off just pulling the dash, or at least loosening it up to get more room in there.

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    I don't bite Feedback Score 0 familyMAN's Avatar
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    I tried on a first gen. No luck. The airbag hole looks VERY helpful.
    1992 Kilder Green VR4 - First 4G swap in a 3S. 2.0, auto, awd. 9.65 at 143mph. Now LS swapped. 8.52 at 162.

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    I heard of 1st gen guys breaking the a section from behind the main gauge to make a hole and pulled it out that way. You wouldn't know the hole was there because it gets covered back up.

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