It’s winter, I’m cold, and I want to be in my car with the heaters on maximum melting the ice on the road ahead from fifty feet away. I got a little step closer to this by finally getting the Alcantara dash installed this weekend. And it was a piece of cake, which made a nice change. I was going to wait until I had the airbag cover back from Plush, but they’re really busy and I think I can crack on without it.
To start off I had to reshape the folding flap of the airbag housing which had got a little bent in the process of removing it from the dash. I removed the foam and vinyl from the piece of dash I had cut out and reattached it to the housing (two part adhesive and plastic weld). The whole lot was then bolted back into the dash, along with the airbag.
Manoeuvring the dash back into place is much easier if you remember to adjust the steering wheel to give you maximum room. I’d forgotten, but the steering column doesn’t just go up and down, it can be extended really far forward too. Once I’d done this the dash slotted into place pretty easy.
Bolting it back in was just the reverse of taking it out; 8mm bolts at either end and a couple on the front, then the airbag housing and various brackets are bolted back onto the bulkhead.
The trick to getting the instrument cluster around the wheel is again, have it extended as far out and low down as it will go, then kind of roll it in from the top. This is secured in place with a couple of 8mm bolts too (like most of the interior).
The central speaker vent is a pain in the ass to screw into place as you can only use a stubby little screwdriver and can’t see what you’re doing. I propped up the old rear view mirror so I could get a better look.
The rest of the vents just push into place, just don’t forget to reconnect the plugs so the dials light up.
The double din cage bolted in without any issues (previously being a single DIN setup). I knew I’d have to take it all out again, but I was excited and wanted to see everything in place. I dropped the centre console into place, very pleased to find my cut down single DIN climate unit fit perfectly.
I’m not too sure what I want to do about the gap at the bottom yet. The OEM double DIN setup has a small piece of plastic that seems to fold up out of the way when the ashtray lid is opened. I’ll figure something out later.
As cool as it looked, the centre console had to come back out so I could remove the carpet for cleaning next weekend, really happy with it all so far though.