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My new (repo) chrome AC vents arrived this week, and this morning, I tackled the job.
Somehow, I got the impression it was a fairly easy job. IT'S NOT! But, it would be fairly simple if the dash was removed from the car. The original vents have a round felt pad on the top and bottom and the repos come with a little smaller round soft rubber pad. I re-used the felt from the originals. The passenger side is not to terribly bad to remove/replace-----------------but the driver side side is a pretty good chore. Its done, its all back together and everything works. Even though it took several hours and some verbal self expression, it looks a ton better and the new louvers are no longer floppy. Ya, it was worth it (now that it's over!).
 

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My maplight mirror swap turned out to be "one of those" swaps. I never even gave it a thought of how to run the power wire until it came time to do it


Joe
 

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I need to do that too. Thanks for the info, any other tips would be welcome. Can this be done with reasonable effort by just removing the top dash-pad or are you saying that it's best to totally remove the dash?
 

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Bob,
I did it with the dash in the car and the left side is a real bear to get out/in. With the dash pad removed, you will see 3 places where the metal braces are bolted, one at each end and one in the center. By removing these 3 bolts, you can pull the dash out a LITTLE to facilitate access to the vents. The vents are retained by 3 screws (5/16 head) and you will need a 1/4in drive socket set with long/short extensions and a wiggle joint. The right side comes out (sort of) fairly easy.
BUT, on the left side, I had to drop the steering column, remove the headlight switch and the wiper switch, plus, there is another bolt at the lower left side of the dash which needs to be removed. Once all of this is removed on the left side, and the three screws are removed from the vent (you need long, skinny fingers), then the dash has to be pulled away from the cowl as much as possible (YES, its scarry as heck) to maneuver the vent out from the top.
Once the vent housings are out, you can GENTLY pry the top/bottom alternately to get the chrome vent out of the housing (the housings are 2 halves glued together, but I didn't have to seperate the halves). As I mentioned, I re-used the round felt pads from the original vents and put them on the new ones. The right vent housing has a flex hose that goes to it and it fits snug without an air leak. But, the left vent housing just sticks into a plastic duct. When new, there is a foam seal around the vent to seal it to the opening of the duct. Mine had crumbled to pieces. I bought a roll of 1in x 1/4in foam seal (from NAPA) which has self adhesive on one side to make a new seal for the left vent. Worked great.

YOU NEED TO ALLOW A FULL, RELAXED DAY, WITHOUT ANYTHING ELSE ON YOUR SCHEDULE TO DO THIS.
You also need a helper, to help pull back the dash and hand you tools, parts and screws at the exact moment you need them (because your hands will always be full). On the left side, you will constantly be changing from working at the top to working on your back trying to gain access to the vent. It would be so much easier to do this if the front seat was removed, but I didn't.
TAKE IT SLOW AND EASY.

I got my new repo chrome vents from Ground Up (our sponsor) and they were just like the originals. Once everything is together and back in place, it looks like new.
 

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Barista I just finished mine, and I ended up having to remove the gauge cluster again to make the job much easier. With the gauge cluster out you have a ton more room to maneuver around in the dash. I guess I should have taken some pictures of the process.
 
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