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How to Swap Radio with Gauge Panel

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Old Oct 28, 2004, 11:09 AM   #1
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How to Swap Radio with Gauge Panel

My new MR came with the factory 3-gauge kit installed in the lower console opening with the boost gauge in the far right of the 3 holes. I wanted to relocate the radio to the lower opening, move the gauges to the upper radio opening and move the boost to the left hole. This is a very easy swap and the existing wires/hose are all long enough.



Relocating the radio has been covered lots of times before but I thought I put it together with the gauge swap here in one post.



Tools: Medium and small Phillips screwdrivers

Small pliers

1 small wire zip-tie

Time: about 30 minutes



Step 1: Remove the radio. Remove the 3 HVAC knobs buy pulling them straight off their shafts. Remove the 2 screws under the two outer knobs. Carefully remove the center stack trim cover by reaching in the HVAC knob holes and pulling outward. The edges can be sharp so try using a thin rag to cover your fingers. It may be necessary to pull hard the first time to release the snap clips holding the cover on. Remove the 4 screws holding the radio to the stack and carefully pull the radio straight out. Don’t force it iff the radio hangs up but look under the radio with a flashlight to see if the wiring bundle connector is caught behind the dash structure. If so, slide a long screwdriver or coat hanger in to lift the wires/connector up and over the structure. Unplug the white multi-wire connector by pushing down on the small tab on the top of the connector and pulling straight back. Grab only the connector – not the wires! Unplug the black antenna wire by carefully grasping the knurled connector body with small pliers and pulling straight out while twisting slightly. This is a very long connector and is held in tightly. Remove the now free radio and place it aside.



Step 2: Remove the OEM 3-gauge panel. Remove the 2 screws on the underside of the lower opening trim panel. These are located vertically just above the front of the gauges. Pull the lower trim panel straight off. The panel is held in place by the 2 now removed screws and 2 snap lugs at the lower rear of the panel. Remove the 4 screws and 2 black plastic spacers (1 on each side) holding the gauge panel in place. Remove the wire connectors from the three gauges by pushing down on the small plastic latch tabs on the connectors and pulling straight back from the rear of the gauges. Remember that the connector with the white and blue-white wires goes to the oil temp. gauge. Also carefully remove the black rubber vacuum hose from the rear of the boost gauge by slowly pulling and twisting it back and forth.



Step 3: Swapping the boost and volt gauges. Place the gauge panel face down on a padded surface and remove the knurled nuts and lock washers from the silver retaining brackets on the rear of the 2 gauges. Swap locations and reinstall the brackets, lock washers and nuts being careful to keep the brackets square to the rear panel surface.



Step 4: Relocate all the wiring. Move the radio’s white wire connector and black antenna cable behind the HVAC control unit so it comes out the lower opening. Move the gauge wires and black rubber hose behind the HVAC control unit to come out the upper opening. You may find that gauge wire are extra long and the excess has been coiled and zip-tied to some console structure. Cut the zip-tie, re-coil the excess and zip-tie it to some out-of-the-way support above the HVAC control unit. Keeping the excess wire out of the way will prevent it from interfering with the HVAC control.



Step 5: Reinstall. Reverse the above checking the radio and gauge operation before replacing the center and lower trim panels. The radio in the lower opening now uses the 2 black plastic spaces and long screws that came off the gauge panel and the gauge panel uses the 4 short screws that came off the radio. Note that the gauge panel may have to be pushed slightly left or right to center properly in the upper trim cover opening.



That’s it. I hope this helps and turns out to be an easy and useful mod.

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Old Oct 28, 2004, 02:11 PM   #2
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Nice but pictures would help.
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Old Oct 29, 2004, 12:21 PM   #3
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Great write-up it really made the job quite simple. I really don't think pictures are needed it is really self explanatory once you know the location of the clips/screws.
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Old Oct 30, 2004, 12:08 PM   #4
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Drives: 05 Evo MR; 05 RX-8; 97 Eclipse GS-T

Just an obvious note:
Your radio presets will be reset, so for people like me who have almost every AM/FM slot used, you'll probably want to jot those down before doing this mod.
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 05:45 PM   #5
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Drives: 05 EVO MR

I'm just wondering has anyone try to change the lights in those guages? Is it possible to do so? I'm new to the EVO world as I just got my car yesterday. I would like to change all the dash lights and the guage kit lights to match the speedo and tech. Any help would appreciated.
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 07:37 PM   #6
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nice write up , I followed this and I never did it before quite easy!
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Old Nov 16, 2004, 03:47 PM   #7
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I was wondering how hard it would be to switch out the factory gauges on the MR with some Autometer's. Could you use the existing probes/wiring? I really wanted to do a Craig Hardy cluster and was wondering how much work it would be.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 10:22 PM   #8
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thanks for the write up!!! looks like i have a little weekend project now!
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Old Nov 28, 2004, 08:54 PM   #9
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Finally got around to taking some pictures of the completed installation along with my HKS Turbo Timer Type O.
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How to Swap Radio with Gauge Panel-radio-gauge-swap.jpg  
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 09:20 AM   #10
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Drives: 05 Evo MR; 05 RX-8; 97 Eclipse GS-T

Looks good.

Center out that gauge panel a tad. Got a little bit of a bigger gap on the left.

I ended up w/ the same thing and spent a while to get it centered. But I'm just ****...
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 06:49 PM   #11
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It was a lot worse when 1st fit. As you know from doing yours, I had to rack the aluminium gauge panel's sides to get it to be this close....which is good enough for me.
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Old Dec 8, 2004, 06:52 AM   #12
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Anyone know if this can be done on 03,04,05 EVO as well or is a kit required.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 02:26 PM   #13
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you da man thanx for write up
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Old Jan 9, 2005, 08:15 AM   #14
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Drives: 03 Apex Silver EVO, 92 Black Honda Prelude (SOLD)

OK quick question, I got through most of that write up pretty good but I got stuck when removing the lower opening trim panel. I remvoed the two vertical screws and that thing still seemed like it was really stuck in there. I checked the back of it and didnt see any "snap lugs" (i dont even know what those are). Its pretty hard to get a grip on that thing also, any suggestions?
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Old Jan 13, 2005, 03:16 PM   #15
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Drives: 13 X MR

i have the same problem osiris did you anything about or can someone help me
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