Acura mini-itx project reborn

Published by Andrew Hreschak in Acura ITX Car Computer, general information, installation overview
Published on 11/18/05 @ 10:36:00 am using 3279 words, and has 59494 views

Next, we'll remove the driver's side knee panel...

Removing the knee panelsRemoving the knee panels: Passenger's side - easy. Driver's side - not so much. (photo #18)

The image shown here (photo #18) displays the two remaining (visible) screws on the driver's side, which need to be removed before we can disconnect the driver's side knee panel. I realized later that the lower screw in the image isn't really visible, but by that point I had the panel removed and it was too late. I'm sure you get the idea as it's the only remaining screw in that general area.

Now, here's where the previously mentioned convolution comes in. You would think that after removing the two remaining screws on the driver's side panel, it would just slide out... Well, not so! There's one more screw to remove and, guess what... You can't see it! So, in order to remove that one remaining screw, we have to remove yet another screw, the hard way.

Removing the knee panels

Driver's side knee panel: Taking the long way. (photo #19)

Start by popping out the cover over the auxiliary fusebox (photo #19). Grip the bottom of it, and pop it out. It will come apart a few inches at a time. This reveals a wiring harness and a plastic mount-point that secures the housing underneath the steering column.

Removing the knee panels

Driver's side knee panel: Taking the long way. (photo #20)

The next step is, you guessed it! Remove the screw that secures the housing under the steering column. It's at kind of an awkward angle for us right handed folk, (photo #20), but isn't very difficult to remove. That screw will begin to loosen the steering column housing. Oddly enough, that's the only screw holding the steering column housing in place, but be very careful! Don't tug at it prematurely, as there is a power block that needs to be disconnected.

Removing the knee panelsDriver's side knee panel: Removing the steering column housing. (photo #23)

Begin by gently separating the top left corner of the housing. Again, don't be too aggressive with it, as there isn't very much play in the wiring to the power block. (The power block in question powers the controls for dimming the dashboard backlighting). The blue power block pictured here (photo #23) can be disconnected fairly easily. Once the power block is disconnected, the housing can be eased apart from the underside of the dashboard. It took a little maneuvering but was pretty easy to separate the whole thing.

Removing the knee panelsDriver's side knee panel: The last remaining screw. (photo #24)

And voila! Now we have access to the screw we need to remove to free the driver's side knee panel. It sits in the corner to the right of the steering column, and should be very easy to locate given the photo shown here (photo #24). However, this screw will prove to be the most difficult to remove, not only for the fact that we had to make a complete circle just to reach it, but also because its threads are secured from behind by another metal pressure clip. I had to climb completely under the steering wheel and use the Leatherman to apply pressure from the back while I unscrewed it from the front. In the process, the screw was stripped. Upon close examination after I had the screw out, I believe stripping that screw was unavoidable as the pressure clip behind it was certainly living up to its name. It's a pretty standard screw, and shouldn't cost more than a few cents at any foreign auto shop. (I'll find out in the next day or two).

Removing the knee panelsDriver's side knee panel: One tough pressure clip. (photo #25)

Now, finally, at long last, we're ready to remove the driver's side knee panel. However, if you recall, I did say that removing the driver's side panel wasn't going to be easy, and the difficulty isn't over yet. The photo shown here (photo #25) displays yet another pressure clip holding the panel to the center console area. This pressure clip, too, proved to be very securely mounted, and it took a good amount of force to pop it out.

Removing the knee panelsDriver's side knee panel: Driver's side console revealed! (photo #26)

Now we have a clear view of the dashboard / console interior from the driver's side (photo #26). We can see the power block that connects the rocker switch for the driver's side seat heater (it's the black and grey box beneath and to the left of the gearshift). We're also given a better view of the internals of the stock headunit and its mounting bracket. I debated removing the bracket today, but knew that this was still just a preliminary excursion to get some exact measurements, and I can't be without music between now and the time I have everything together so, for now, the stock headunit stays.

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12/22/05 @ 14:45
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09/28/07 @ 15:45