Radio Stack Mod

Mektek

Well-Known Member
#1
The original positioning of the radio and hvac controller have miserable ergonomics. The lower row of buttons are behind the shifter and the reach is awkward for a touchscreen. And I disliked having to remove multiple panels and a pile of screws just to access the radio.
So I got to work and moved things around.
First pic is with the stack all lit up.
Second is a bit more finished. Just above the 4wd switch is a switch to turn on the radio without needing a key. Also, if you look to the left you can see the cut, where I made the big one piece instrument and radio plastic into two. It's now much easier to remove and I don't have to have the drivers side disassembled to work on the radio stack.
The third pic shows where to split the plastic panel trim.

The radio stack is also angled upward and to the left to match the radius of a finger moved along the touchscreen. The lower HVAC buttons are completely above the shifter and access is easy.

I'm still working on getting the steering wheel radio controls to work. For now there is an incompatibility - the radio makes the temp go to 90 and pressing the volume down makes the radio volume go to zero. I'll still have to study that problem - the removable radio trim plastic makes frequent removal easy. The radio is positioned so much more conveniently than before that I probably can live without the SWC for it.
 

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LouisTB

Well-Known Member
#2
I did the exact same thing in cutting the panel in 2 pieces only mine follows the curve around the 4wd switch. Never understood why we had to take that whole thing out just to get to the radio. Now one screw and bam! Would of made way more sense if it came in 2 pieces from factory.
 
#4
I thought about doing a similar mod, to make the bezel into 2 pieces and follow the curve around the 4WD switch. My soldering station came with a hot knife tip, would make for thin, smooth and clean cuts. Haven't had to get into the dash much lately, so the idea fell by the wayside.
 
#6
The 9-7x is the easiest. Just pop off the bezel and unplug the switches. Now looking at this mod, I may do something similar the next time I have to go in there but just to separate the radio bezel from the cluster part. But as suggested, I would try to follow the switch curvature for a cleaner look. I'd probably use the saw attachment on the Dremel tool.
 
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Mektek

Well-Known Member
#8
I was after function first - I'll make it nice once I'm sure everything works well. The cut on the panel is specifically done to retain the anchor pin on the radio side. If you cut along the curve of the 4wd switch the pin will be on the IP side and the top left of radio side will have nothing to retain it. This was important for me since there is no longer any plastic on the top going from side to side.
The screws on the instrument panel side hold it down evenly.

I was thinking of going more radical and relocating the radio to the area of the vents and installing different vents beside it. But that's a project for another day.......
 

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