I had to make this a two part How-To cause of the number of picks. See part two after reading this section.
FIBERGLASSING SCREEN AND GRAPHING IT INTO THE 98+ S10 DASH
This How-To is for those with minimal to above average experience with fiber glassing and or composite or two part chemical mixes and materials. Performing this mod will remove the center ac vents, the oem headunit position moving it to the ac controls position, and the ac controls going into the glove box.
The following How-To was generated by the buzz and interest in doing something of this nature but didn’t know where to begin. You take full responsibility of your own project and factory parts in performing this How-To and hold me not responsible. There are many way to perform this. This is how I did it.
Take good note of the photos, as they will reveal what the step explanation is. You’ll also begin to realize that the mod is an adaptation to other How-To’s found in the Sound forum with regards to fiberglass enclosure design. If you can do those mods, you can do this one.
If after reviewing this you want this done but feel its outside your capabilities or time, PM me and we’ll discuss me doing it for you for a minimal fee or parts trade to cover the material cost and some of the labor involved as it is a time consuming endeavor.
Step One: Where to begin? Purchase the screen you desire and take good measurements of the actual screen itself and not the screen and housing. You are only concentrating on the part of the unit that is visible.
Step Two: Sand the surface of the dash bezel as smooth as possible using 180 grit at first, and then transitioning to 220 and 400 grit. Grits lower than 180 are too rough and gouge the crap out of the plastic creating a greater headache. Scuff the area of the bezel around the center ac vents, controls and original head unit position with 40 grit paper. These areas need to be rough to make a porous surface for the adhesives to be used. Note, if you are doing this mod the ac controls will be mounted into the glove box. The second picture of this step shows the ac controls mounted in the glove box. After sanding as specified, use a dremel tool with router bit to cut the areas out as shown in the picture. Use a dremel tool drum sander to smooth up the edges of the cuts you make. Rough sand the backside of the bezel in this area as well using 40 grit paper.
Step 3: Go to a local Hobby Shop for RC airplanes. There, get the following items:
1/8” x 12” x 12” plywood
2 part 5 minutes epoxy
Micro-balloons (epoxy addative to make it pasty for filling or gusseting)
30” long half round stock (for framing the screen, picture will be further in the How-To)
Small saw blade and plenty of throwaway brushes
½, ¾ & 2oz fiberglass weave (NOT MAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never use mat unless you have a super flat piece you are fiber glassing or you have a boat hull.
Foam Electronic Wrap
1/8” x 1/8” x 20” balsa wood stock
Step 4: Make a template of the holes to be filled in the dash bezel and cut them out on the 1/8” plywood using a band saw or equivalent. Do not use a jigsaw as the blade of this tool will shred the piss out of the wood. Remember the wood is only for filling the hole with minimal structure properties. The fiber glassing will add the strength to the structure.
Step 5: Because there is a slight curve to the dash that a flat piece of plywood will have to conform to, epoxy the edges of the plywood to the plastic starting at the top left and working your way around it in three-inch segments. The plywood will curve to this and this is why a thin plywood is used.
Step 6: From behind the plywood, use a ½ oz fiberglass. ½ oz fiberglass is very thin like silk and will conform to curves extremely well. It can be found at the Hobby Shop. Lay down epoxy and the fiberglass using a stabbing motion to tuck the fiberglass into the nooks and crannies of the junction between the wood and the plastic. Do this all the way around like when gluing the wood in in the first place.
Step 7: Do the same to the front using 2” wide fiberglass tape found at the hobby shop. This now makes the wood very secure to the plastic by having made a fiberglass gusset on both sides of the wood.
Step 8: Epoxy in the cd player’s mounting bracket into the ac controls oem position. If it doesn’t fit, you might need to use a dremel tool drum sander to begin shaving away portions of the plastic cross piece of the dash that separates the oem ac position from the oem radio position.
Step 9: Like before when taping and gusseting the wood to the plastic, do the same with the head unit mount with stabbing motions, tucking the glass into the nooks and crannies of the junction from the front and back. Using micro-balloons to the epoxy mix, mix up a second batch after laying the fiberglass to partially fill in this junction. This will allow the gusset to properly support the weight of the cd player.
Step 10: Using the ½ round stock, make an exact picture frame of just the screen itself. Use the epoxy to join the parts together and micro-balloon mix to fill in gussets.
Step 11: Make an aluminum frame with the opening the exact size of the screen. Fold the flanges to a 90 degree angle. This will perfectly frame the screen and provide clearance on the other side for any buttons or adjusting knobs of the front of the screen that you want hidden. A picture later will demonstrate the clearance provided by this frame. Glue the frame to a hole cut in the plywood that’s the exact size of the frame. Then glue the wood frame made in the last step over the aluminum bracket. The next series of pics will show this. Note, use epoxy for all of this. Resin won’t be touched for a while. The flanges of the aluminum will be ¼” wide which will make roughly a 1/8” protrusion through the plywood.
Using a micro balloon epoxy mix, fill in any portions of the frame not meeting the slightly curved plywood base. This is obviously caused by the slight curve.
This picture demonstrates the aluminum flanges coming through the plywood base making a 1/8” protrusion to provide clearance for the screen’s adjusting knobs.