GREAT PHOTOS COURTESY OF Cal from Calgary (CLICK THEM TO ENLARGE)
Cal from Calgary has installed the Mopar coloured (that’s his spelling 😉 ) vent bezel replacements accessory items (# 68307700AA for gloss red, or 68307699AA for gloss black) that replaces the OEM vent bezels, and has sent me some photos and comments to share:
All I have to say regarding this is that they’re bloody hard to remove from the dash, and that with 20/20 hindsight, I would strongly suggest people have this done by their dealer. That way if anything gets broken, they pay for it, not you. If you do install these yourself, you’ll note a small notch in the centre finger grip that you use to open and close the vent. With the vent in its open position, you will install the vent bezel with that notch facing straight up (12 o’clock position).
I’m also incorporating a Defi boost gauge in the center vent, which requires an aluminum pod mount ring (Cravenspeed # CS-AA259), both available at Eurocompulsion, in the empty dash vent hole first, before adding the [new] vent bezel onto that.
A few considerations with the installation:
- The Defi gauge is a snug fit inside the pod mount, so the two included pads can’t be used to hold it in place.
- The Defi gauge has the screws located on an angle (8 o’clock and 2 o’clock position, rather than 9 and 3), so the included black plastic back cover can’t be screwed on, as it would block the two input jacks on the back of the gauge
- Solution I used was to use 5 minute epoxy, and apply a dab at three locations inside the pod to affix the back of the gauge to the inside of the pod housing, I then used a few dabs to apply the black plastic cover to the back of the pod housing
One key install consideration. The replacement bezel to the right of the steering wheel fits inside the larger pod mount ring, and the pod mount ring fits inside the opening in the dash. I assembled the bezel and pod mount together first, and then inserted the pod mount into the dash. Not a good scenario because it’s a REALLY tight fit. Since the large pod mount ring is split, with a gap at the bottom, if I were to do this again, I would recommend a different sequence.
By squeezing the sides of the pod mount ring, you can much more easily fit it inside the opening in the dash. Then, once in place, you insert the bezel component in the pod mount ring. As you can see by these two photos, they fit together really well. If a person used their existing silver bezel assembly, you’d still see a black gloss pod mount ring next to the flatter black dash. This is the case with my red bezel covers as well. BUT, if a person installed the black gloss bezel covers, that black would match exactly with the black gloss pod mount ring.
⇓ OK, more pictures from Cal, who has finished his boost gauge install, and is now working on upgrading his manual tranny on his other Abarth by upping the gears from 16-speed to 24 😉
If the illumination wire (white) is connected to +12 volts, your gauge may prove to be too bright at night time, but since the illumination circuit of the vehicle is controlled via the ground circuit, as shown in the schematic below, you’ll probably need to provide your own dimmer control for the gauge, along the lines of this item.