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Old 07-24-2003, 09:49 PM   #1
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HOW TO - install aluminum gauge trim

i recently purchased an aluminum gauge surround from ebay. it cost me a mere $6.00 + shipping. it arrived via priority mail in good shape, but with no instructions. luckily i have experience installing LED indicators for K40 undetectable radar/laser systems in guage assemblies, so i was somewhat aware of how to go about moving the clear plastic to install the gauge surround. following are the steps i took to install the gauge surround.



remove your headlight switch. in most mustangs there is a friction-type clip which you will need to access by pulling the switch to the full on position & pressing the clip out of the way with a small screwdriver or a pick tool. on my steeda polished alum knob i needed to loosen a small allen set screw.


remove the two 9/32" screws from the top of the instrument cluster bezel. be careful not to scratch the clear plastic cover - IT'S DELICATE !


remove the four 9/32" screws holding the gauge assembly in place. be careful not to drop them behind the panels.


there are two plugs connected to the back of the gauge assembly. slide the assembly towards the steering wheel (which should be in the fully tilted down position). there is a locking tab on the top center of each long plug. press the tab and gently pull the connector towards the front of the vehicle.


in my car it was easiest to tilt the top of the gauge assembly out of the opening to remove it. experiment with your to find the best/least damaging way to remove yours... take your time with this step.


this is where it gets VERY DELICATE !!!!

you will need to remove the eight small screws from around the perimeter of the gauge assembly. once this is done, you can separate the clear plastic cover portion and the actual gauges. THIS SHOULD BE IN A DUST FREE ENVIRONMENT IF POSSIBLE ! set the gauges aside.


the clear plastic will crack with excess pressure. it will scratch easily. fingerprints and dust are easily visible and unless you buff them out with a microfiber cloth, there will be visible scratches. that said, watch where your hands go and listen to the plastic as you flex it. you may be able to tell when it is under undue tension.

either side of the clear plastic cover is a good place to begin pulling the piece from the black plastic gauge trim. look around the edge where the clear meets the black. you will notice several areas that make contact with adhesive. these are the zones you'll need to work on.

i used a small straight pick tool for this part. i placed the point of the pick between the clear and the black plastic parts. gently - GENTLY - use the pick as a lever to break the adhesive bond. i spent a long 20 minutes on this part and decided rather than risk breaking my clear plastic i would stop after separating the top half. at this point i could slide the aluminum gauge surround in between the two halves. you will need to clear the trip odometer reset button. i pressed it all the way in and was able to hold it in position from behind as i slid the aluminum piece into place.

the aluminum piece has adhesive on the back. with the clear plastic facing down to access the piece through the cutouts for speedo, tach, etc. use your pic tool to begin peeling the adhesive's backing from the aluminum piece. make your way around the piece and pull the backing out through one of the larger holes.

now you are ready to align the aluminum piece and adhere it to the black plastic. use your cleaned fingertips to gently work from the center outwards, pressing the aluminum to the black plastic.


installation is the reverse of removal. enjoy your updated look!


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Old 07-24-2003, 11:13 PM   #2
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sexy. Thanks for the write up.

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CAI (99+), 17" 01' GT rims, Hankook hrII tires, interior switch pony, dressed up engine (blue), other numerous appearance mods
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Old 04-17-2004, 04:35 AM   #3
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Lovely. Now do you plan on doing all aluminum trim now, soon?
My car got killed.
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:38 AM   #4
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Looks a lot like the 35th anniversary dash, without the 35th anniversary written on it, lol. Oh, the dash screws are actually 7mm or t15 will also work. The smaller ones that hold the clear cover on are t 20, or I could have the t sizes backwards.
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