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Old 07-22-2014, 07:05 PM   #1
GVA 45TH 2SS's Avatar
Drives: 2012 2SS 45th edition
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: (Near) Charlotte, NC
Posts: 682
Dash and door ABL install DIY

This is going to be a quick write up on how to install full Dash ABL.
I know there are several threads on this, I read them all. (some over 40 pages) here is the main one
So my intent is to give all the important info within a short post.
but for reference these come in handy

Thanks goes out to:
Joe and everyone at NightOwl LEDs
Tony at SJM
Ofer at GEN 5 DIY

I am starting with the Dash ABL
Parts used
1) SJM ABL dash pipe kit
1) NightOwl LP module
1) PNP 4pack harness
The LEDs and 4pack were made for me by a friend but can be purchased at GEN 5 DIY or SJM.

Prep the light pipes:
The ends of the pipes were slightly opaque, and since I wanted as much light to pass through as possible I polished the ends of the light pipes. This may or not be needed but I wanted the extra clarity.
I had some plast-x laying around so I put a q-tip in my cordless drill with some Plast-x on it and started polishing.
You can probably use other methods but this is what I had at the time



Remove side covers:
Next you will remove the side covers on both ends of the dash. If you have never done this it is very easy. Just pull on the bottom of the panel and then work your finger around the edge and it will pop right out.

Remove steering column trim:
lower steering wheel and pull out with telescoping feature.
There are four 7mm screws on bottom of the cover. Unscrew these then pull down on left side where tilt lever opening is.
remove 2 bottom pieces of trim

Remove speedometer bezel:
Grasp the very top of the bezel (the part over each gauge).
Pull top part out by about 1/4 inch.
Next pull out on sides about 1/4 inch.
Last pull up and out on the top of bezel gently, this will remove the bezel and top of steering column trim

Remove speedometer cluster:
Remove the 4 t-15 torx screws, then pull out bottom of cluster and allow it to pop off of locator pins.
Next lift center part of dash up and pull cluster forward, pull out and rotate it then set on top of dash.

Remove appliques:
The small one is easy to remove while everything is out. There are 2 tabs holding it in place reach around the back and push these 2 tabs and it will pop right out.(push on both at the same time I couldn't because of holding the camera )

The larger one you can access the 2 end tabs but requires a trim removal tool for the rest of the tabs. here is link to TAG UR IT's video on removing

(mine was not this easy so I used a trim tool for the rest, be careful pulling off the dash applique it is held to the clips with a double sided tape)

Last edited by GVA 45TH 2SS; 08-04-2014 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:06 PM   #2
GVA 45TH 2SS's Avatar
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Remove shifter bezel:
Put in 2nd gear if you have a manual transmission(be sure to set parking brake)
Insert trim tool under the back of the shifter trim
then using your fingers gently lift it up till it unclips
work around each side of the trim until you get to the 4 pack gauges, then pull trim towards the shifter.
Unplug the harness

4 pack plug swap:
Plug in the plug and play harness.
Run cable up behind dash to speedo area and test connection by plugging in LEDs or modules, then replace the shifter trim.

Mount NightOwl LP module (if used):
I zip tied to harness behind speedo.
Make sure if using NightOwl to find the module and test LEDs with your smartphone app before putting dash back together.

Drill three holes 2012 and up:
refer to GEN 5 PDF for specifics.
I used 5/16 drill bit for my dash

drivers side

passenger side

Run LED cable to end of dash:
From the passenger side using a coat hanger feed it through the dash, aiming toward the center dash speaker. The magnet on the speaker will attract it, and hold it till you can get to the other side. Tape the LED wire to the coat hanger and pull back to the passenger side. Insert the LED through the hole.

Put LEDs on pipes:
Slide LEDs into clear tubing then push through each hole that was drilled
Slide tube onto light pipe (white line on pipe should be on bottom)
Heat shrink LEDs to the tubing so they cant fall out.

Blackout the backs of the appliques:
The appliques can show shadows if they are not properly blacked out.
I used some duct tape on the entire back of the appliques

Install weatherstriping on appliques:
The weather stripping should be set about 1/4 inch from the top of the applique

you will want the pipe to rest around this part of the applique so shift the weather stripping almost flush with the grey part (not where it is in this pic)you will have to experiment.

You will have to grind down the plastic tab on the small dash applique, where the light protrudes from the dash.

I don't really have a good picture and the amount of grinding depends on how well you locate and drill the hole. but you can see in the above picture how it has been sanded a bit on the right sides clip.
and the picture below shows a slight step.

Rotate pipes to project light correctly:
since the white line should be on the bottom already, hold the pipe against the dash.
it should project a thin light beam up onto the dashboard. you may have to rotate the pipe slightly to get it to shine correctly.

Last edited by GVA 45TH 2SS; 08-04-2014 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:07 PM   #3
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install appliques
Set the applique tabs into the slots of the dash
be sure to rest the light pipe on the topside of the weather stripping.
press the applique into the dash, it will not seat completely (this is the purpose of the weather stripping it will help project the light up and onto the dash)
Check to make sure the light pattern is a smooth line and there are no other areas of the applique that needs to be blacked out
Notice how bright the light is around the LED. This will show behind the applique like in the 2nd pic below unless you cover it with the shrink tube.

Be prepared to take the appliques in and out several times to adjust the weather stripping, grinding the tabs and rotating the light pipe.

install speedo
Once everything looks good reinstall the speedo in reverse of the way it was removed.

Install speedo bezel/ steering trim:
Set the top steering cover into place and set the speedo bezel over the speedo but keep it about 1/4 inch away from fully seated
all the way around

the tabs on the bezel are angled and need to be pushed in a certain way otherwise you will have a gap around it.

align the 4 tabs on top (2 each gauge) by slide it down and in at the same time. Look to make sure they are going int the slots properly

push in and down on the very top of the bezel (both sides) till is is almost seated flush.

push in and down (on both sides) near the middle of the bezel till it is almost flush.

Push straight in on the bottom of the bezel.

Repeat all 3 steps till bezel is flush. if it doesn't sit flush then there is a tab that is not seated properly

Install side covers:
Work cover behind the door weatherstripping and then line it up with the dah trim and snap in place working from the top down

Last edited by GVA 45TH 2SS; 08-03-2014 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
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Parts used:
2 NightOwl LP modules (with plug in harness)

The PDF should help with the door panel removal, you can stop at step 10 for this DIY the rest of the steps are if you are replacing the ABL panel insert as well

Pop up tweeter on top of the door using a suitable trim tool

Remove speaker plug by pushing in on clip and pulling out.

There are 5 screws that need to be removed, 2 on bottom 1 on hinge side and 1 in the door pull. These 4 use a 8mm nut driver
Remove the 3 screws on the outside of the panel

Remove the cover for door pull, there is a small notch in the top where you can get the tip of the trim tool started.

Under the rubber pad of the armrest is the 5th screw. Remove the pad and use a t-30 torx bit to remove

Pull off the door panel, a trim tool will help get you started.
Pull from bottom of door to start, and keep pulling around sides then lift up over door lock post

reinstall the metal window gasket clips if they pop out, they tend to fling across the room

Remove the plugs:
It is good to have a helper for this to help support the door while you are unplugging the cables. As well as a towel to set the door panel on instead of the ground.
Remove plugs from the following,
the window switch
the door lock/mirror switch
You at this point can flip the door over and set it on the ground to remove the next 2 items.

unplug the trunk switch plug

Remove the door pull cable
flip the green tab off the retainer, then grasp the bottom of the green clamp and pull straight out from the retainer. You can then rotate the cable up and slide the cable barrel out of the door pull.

Bring the door panel inside, grab a beer and get ready for the tedious part.
The next steps are only for adding the second LED to each door, or changing to a new color or RGB. There will be more steps if installing new light pipe or panels.

There is a black felt that needs to be removed and the groove that the light pipe sits in sanded.
there are 2 screws that need to be removed from the top of the door (the plastic cover that the window seal retaining clips clip into.) this should be enough to gain access to the area.

Now loosen the screws on light pipe retainer clamps with a t10 torx screwdriver and remove light pipe (or gently hold out of the way.)
Then remove the blank LED/ light pipe holder (mine in picture has LED in it already) and remove LED/ light pipe holder from other end (if needed)
Remove the felt and sand the area up to where it bends about 1 inch of paint needs to be removed. (you wont see the rest)
I used 150-220-320 grit. Be careful not to scratch the panel anywhere or light may show through where you don't want it.

Next polish the panel. Again I used PlastX and a Q-tip, it's the perfect size to fit in the groove.

Install light pipe

Install the LEDs on both ends of the light pipes then reattach all the Pipe clamps.
After its all secure reattach the top part of the door and the 2 screws removed earlier.

Install splitter or LP module and tie or plug into harness.
Run the wires under the clips at the bottom of the ABL panel and secure.

Bring out to car and plug in to the ABL cable and test LEDs and or find module then test.

If everything works then install the panel opposite from the way it was removed, and be sure you secure the module (if used) to the existing harness using zip ties.

Last edited by GVA 45TH 2SS; 08-25-2014 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:09 PM   #5
GVA 45TH 2SS's Avatar
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Please bear with me while I upload all the pics and instructions.

Last edited by GVA 45TH 2SS; 08-02-2014 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:26 AM   #6
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Location: Alberta, Canada
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Could you tell me what it ended up Costing in parts?
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Old 08-02-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
GVA 45TH 2SS's Avatar
Drives: 2012 2SS 45th edition
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Location: (Near) Charlotte, NC
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Just for Dash single color will run between $75 and $150.
It really depends on how you hook it up.
T-Tap is cheaper than a plug and play harness.
RGB adds to the cost Etc.
I went full out RGB/ NightOwl/ PNP connection.
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