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View Full Version : Removing manual A/C control panel to change dash panels???



Crossfirecat
04-03-2013, 09:45 AM
Has anyone removed the manual a/c controls to swap dash panels? I ordered Nero panels to replace the Bianco ones in my Abarth. I just prefer a darker interior look and the white is really reflective in the daytime.
I've tried working around the edges with some plastic pry tools "feeling" for any type of clip, but that sucker won't budge! I can't find a assembly manual anywhere for these cars yet. So I'm hoping someone on the forums knows. My studio was no help. They didn't even want to order the dash panels for me.

Corrnaus
04-03-2013, 10:18 AM
i have not done this personally but if you go to some of the vendor sites, some offer a carbon replacement dash.. If you search around they might have a DIY instructions to help you take off your dash section

Crossfirecat
04-03-2013, 10:55 AM
i have not done this personally but if you go to some of the vendor sites, some offer a carbon replacement dash.. If you search around they might have a DIY instructions to help you take off your dash section

Thanks. I've found several threads on forums on doing this but, they all refer to the automatic climate controls. I have the manual controls.
I'm thinking about removing the console around the shifter to try to get a look up under there to see what's holding it in.

Haring
04-03-2013, 10:58 AM
ChrisNova500 made this video. Seeing him pull out a screwdriver and taking it to his dash scares me. He mentioned it was more difficult than the autocontrols:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz_O-wu4SsE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

redred
04-03-2013, 11:14 AM
When I installed the Neu-F short shifter I noticed a couple of torx T25 screws just below the manual controls. The top part of the shifter housing just pops up. Grab it at the seam just below the shift stalk and pull up. You can check the Neu-F site for instructions and images for assistance.

Curious to see how this works out for you. I have the manual controls and had planned to install a carbon dash kit sometime in the distant future.

Fiat500USA
04-03-2013, 01:24 PM
I just checked the repair guide and it is done the same way as the Auto controls. Use something plastic like a trim stick or old credit card that won't gouge the trim. You may have to use two cards, etc. to get the proper leverage: Fiat 500 Abarth Carbon Fiber Dash Install (http://www.fiat500usa.com/2012/10/fiat-500-abarth-carbon-fiber-dash.html)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-KAnPYXOFNEQ/UImj3Wm3jiI/AAAAAAAAN9g/-QtrISqoTdE/s400/Fiat500USA.com-Fiat_500_Abarth-modifications%2520001.JPG

Crossfirecat
04-03-2013, 06:23 PM
ChrisNova500 made this video. Seeing him pull out a screwdriver and taking it to his dash scares me. He mentioned it was more difficult than the autocontrols:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz_O-wu4SsE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

That was scary to watch! On the other hand, now I have to go look and see if "trip" is printed on my wiper stalk as well,lol. I've never sat in the passenger seat, So I've never noticed before!

Crossfirecat
04-03-2013, 06:38 PM
Thanks, Can you share where you found a repair guide? I've been trying to track down a real factory assembly manual vs the Haynes or Chiltons books. My next project is going to require wiring diagrams with color coding. Integrating remote start with factory keyless entry, using the factory key fob.


I just checked the repair guide and it is done the same way as the Auto controls. Use something plastic like a trim stick or old credit card that won't gouge the trim. You may have to use two cards, etc. to get the proper leverage: Fiat 500 Abarth Carbon Fiber Dash Install (http://www.fiat500usa.com/2012/10/fiat-500-abarth-carbon-fiber-dash.html)

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-KAnPYXOFNEQ/UImj3Wm3jiI/AAAAAAAAN9g/-QtrISqoTdE/s400/Fiat500USA.com-Fiat_500_Abarth-modifications%2520001.JPG

Fiat500USA
04-03-2013, 09:13 PM
Up until recently, the only service guide was via an online subscription through TechAuthority. That's what I use. However, there is a CD that just became available: 2013 Fiat 500 Service Information CD (https://www.techauthority.com/en-US/Pages/ItemDetail.aspx?itemID=61268) It does not contain a wiring diagram. Last I looked, you should be able to just purchase a wiring diagram and use the online manual from TechAuthority on a three day pass for $35.

Crossfirecat
04-03-2013, 10:06 PM
Thanks Chris! I'll have to look into this. I'm a bit old school and would prefer a physical manual but this will work until I can locate one. Thanks again.


Up until recently, the only service guide was via an online subscription through TechAuthority. That's what I use. However, there is a CD that just became available: 2013 Fiat 500 Service Information CD (https://www.techauthority.com/en-US/Pages/ItemDetail.aspx?itemID=61268) It does not contain a wiring diagram. Last I looked, you should be able to just purchase a wiring diagram and use the online manual from TechAuthority on a three day pass for $35.

Fiat500USA
04-03-2013, 11:17 PM
Thanks Chris! I'll have to look into this. I'm a bit old school and would prefer a physical manual but this will work until I can locate one. Thanks again.

I'm also a paper manual guy, but I'm getting used to it. A little Fiat500USA.com trivia is I asked one of my contacts at Fiat SpA back in early 2009 for some information from the European 500 Service Manual and they subsequently introduced me to contacts at Chrysler LLC, which began my personal relationship with the team there. So you could kind of say the service manual started it all!

cmj912
04-04-2013, 10:57 AM
I want it to be known that I attempted to remove the manual climate panels in my Pop when the lights in it started flickering. I bought a set of plastic pry tools and NO amount of elbow grease would get that thing to budge. I thought rather than break it, I'd let the dealer do it. That sucker was ON there. Lots of plastic on plastic creaking noises as the thing struggled with me.
And yet - matter of fact when I got the car back after the lights had been replaced inside the unit, the black panels on either side were gouged and the white piece had the coating scraped off of it.

So no, they are not all easy to remove. With them manual controls you are not only pulling off the trim panel but the knobs themselves, which is why if you watch a European vid I saw it tells you to put some tape on them to remember their position. Some of them could be jammed on there quite firmly. Be careful.

DJ Sueno
04-05-2013, 12:43 AM
Since many have been removing or intend to remove the dash panel, is there a harness back there somewhere for the tom tom for non-nav cars ?

Crossfirecat
04-07-2013, 02:51 PM
Since many have been removing or intend to remove the dash panel, is there a harness back there somewhere for the tom tom for non-nav cars ?

Mine is NAV equipped, so I honestly could not tell you if a non NAV car would be pre wired.
On another note, if the sound of creaking, omg it's about to break plastic makes you squeamish, pulling out the manual controls is better left to the dealer! I was certain I was going to break something. I worked very slowly with a set of plastic pry tools. It's takes quite a bit of force to get it to release. There are five metal clips that it locks into. If they pop out and fall, you'll be taking the rest of the shifter console out to find them. Don't ask how I know this!
This is what's behind the control panel.
5655

Here's a shot of the plastic pins on the back of the panel. Pry evenly all the way around or you may break these off!
5656

While I was in there I installed the Craven short shifter. Here's a shot from the day I picker her up at the dealer
5657

And what she looks like now! I think the black dash looks awesome in a Bianco! Wish that fiat would let you choose dash colors when you order the car!
5658

Thanks to everyone for all the helpful tips and blogs that I read over and over to make sure I didn't screw this up!

chrisnov500
05-20-2013, 04:01 PM
LOL,

I too had same issue when I made that video clip.. one of the control module/tip fell into the back of the panel and I had to open everything except the whole dash (end to end)
not a fun experience.. lololol

glad you liked my clip and Nero panel looks great in Bianco!!



Mine is NAV equipped, so I honestly could not tell you if a non NAV car would be pre wired.
On another note, if the sound of creaking, omg it's about to break plastic makes you squeamish, pulling out the manual controls is better left to the dealer! I was certain I was going to break something. I worked very slowly with a set of plastic pry tools. It's takes quite a bit of force to get it to release. There are five metal clips that it locks into. If they pop out and fall, you'll be taking the rest of the shifter console out to find them. Don't ask how I know this!
This is what's behind the control panel.
5655

Here's a shot of the plastic pins on the back of the panel. Pry evenly all the way around or you may break these off!
5656

While I was in there I installed the Craven short shifter. Here's a shot from the day I picker her up at the dealer
5657

And what she looks like now! I think the black dash looks awesome in a Bianco! Wish that fiat would let you choose dash colors when you order the car!
5658

Thanks to everyone for all the helpful tips and blogs that I read over and over to make sure I didn't screw this up!

Haring
06-27-2013, 11:28 AM
And what she looks like now! I think the black dash looks awesome in a Bianco! Wish that fiat would let you choose dash colors when you order the car!
5658


Quick question...any tips on removing the left side? On the sport is was as easy as prying up and it popping off. With the Abarth there's the little turbo boost pod. Also thought I read somewhere that you have to trim the dash panel to fit around the turbo guage. Is that true?

Haring
06-27-2013, 01:32 PM
Figured it out. Just pulls off and then slides out from behind the turbo pod since it's been trimmed. Shocked to see it looks like they manually cut them to fit Abarths.
6836

500ways
06-27-2013, 04:03 PM
Figured it out. Just pulls off and then slides out from behind the turbo pod since it's been trimmed. Shocked to see it looks like they manually cut them to fit Abarths.
6836

The modding has already begun! Enjoy!

Haring
06-30-2013, 07:52 PM
Update to this.
My new Abarth has the manual knobs like Chris' old Sport in his video. His use of a screw driver scared me. Also heard stories of creaking plastic and pieces falling off trying to remove the manual AC panel.

I thought it couldn't be that hard and this was a project I was going to do for mine. My old Sport had the climate control which that panel comes off easily. I ran up to my AutoZone and picked up a Titan plastic trim pry/wedge kit. I noticed on his video, and there's another on Utube, that there are about 6 areas that the manual panel snaps onto the dash. I'll try to redo the picture to show exact locations but it started raining so the goal was to finish.

The kit came with 6 wedges. I used two of the straighter ones and pushed them in where the color panel meets the black dash by the key and on the right by the glovebox. Then angled them and pushed them up toward the radio. That loosened the top. Put a third wedge in the top and then a fourth wedge up the bottom center and it popped right out. No creaking or plastic breaking sounds made. I was shocked how easy it was which is why of course it rained so I had to rush and close the window, hatch and sunroof.

Here's a pic of the inside of the panel when its removed and what the wedges look like:
6873

And the Rame dash is now in to match the mirrors
6874

Crossfirecat
06-30-2013, 10:57 PM
Looks great Haring! I wish the Abarth came in Rame with black stripes, black wheels and Rame mirrors! You have a most unique color combo there.