Posted by: willtblog | April 7, 2010

Update #2: Air-Con Unit Disassembly

In order to fit the unit in the ash tray compartment, brrman removed it from the box and custom mounted it in the ash tray compartment. He said:

“This had to be the most frustrating and difficult aspect of the interior modifications. First I removed the ashtray – it is not hard once the A/C control box is removed. The A/C unit is enclosed in a box, and would not fit in the ash tray area. Hmm. So let’s remove it from the box. Now it consists of a faceplate with a ribbon cable to a circuit board containing the rear connections. Going to be tight, but I think it will go.

Next, build the faceplate that will replace the ashtray and holt the A/C controls. This was insanely difficult for me. I am no master at car modifications or stereo installations so what I did was cut out a square piece of cardboard and shaped it bit by bit as it slowly took on the form that would fit in the ash try position. Finally I got it fairly suitable and then used that as a template for cutting out the ABS plastic version. The plastic version was not perfect so I added bondo to the edges, sanded, etc to fix the defects in the shape.

Don’t forget you have to cut out the rectangle in this plastic piece to accommodate the A/C controls. This is where I lost my cool several times. The cut out is so tight near the bottom corners that there is barely 1/8 an inch left to the faceplate. While putting the finishing touches on the faceplate (ie. sanding) I broke it. After cussing a massive string of expletives (I had worked all evening to get this far) I went to work on a second faceplate. I broke that one too. I nearly exploded. Sat down with a beer and told myself I would do another one tomorrow.

A week later I had the third faceplate done, but I had a slight crack where all the others had broken. I was getting no love from above. It did not matter anyhow. I primed and painted the faceplate and then epoxied the faceplate to the A/C front panel. FINALLY.

Wait – “How does the faceplate stay secure in the ashtray position?” you ask. I used a series of plastic tabs glued on the bottom of the unit so that it would hook into holes I had drilled into the console. Then one more tab on the top (one that was not too tight so that I could remove the unit with a little force). The circuit board containing the plug wiring is simply laid in the back behind the face.”


So armed with this information, I began disassembling the Air-Con Unit.

After undoing the 3 screws on the exterior

Lift the catches (circled) and push the circuit out from behind

The Circuit

The Circuit

Now with that disassembled, I tried it for fitting, and it wasnt too bad!

I have to wait until tomorrow to get some ABS plastic, or plastic that will match the textured plastic on the Center Console.

Test Fitting


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