Today the weather warmed up into the 40’s and I was anxious to try out my idea for modifying the defroster vents. Since I had already installed them into the dash I started by removing them. I used a 3/8″ deep socket and had them both out in just a couple of minutes.
As a start in cutting out the inserts from the grate material I laid one of the defroster vents over the material and cut around it using a pair of side cutters. Once the piece was cut out a spent some time trimming and trial fitting it. This took a fair bit of back and forth but I finally ended up with a piece of grate that fit fairly well. After the final trim I ended up with the picture below.
To attach the grate I had a couple of choices. I had some two part epoxy glue I could use. Or I could use some black RTV. I couldn’t see a compelling reason to choose one over the other and the tube of RTV was handy. So I used the RTV to secure the grates inside the defroster vents. I used some spring loaded clamps to hold the grates in place while I initially applied the RTV.
Later I removed the clamps and applied RTV all the way around the outer edges to make sure nothing could come loose and rattle. I also trimmed out the holes where the vents are installed. It isn’t the most beautiful job, but after I install them the edges with the RTV don’t show when looking at the vents through the windshield.
Here’s what they look like installed, looking through the windshield.
Looking over the documentation again I realized that the defroster vents have a right and left side. I hadn’t been able to see any markings or differences when I looked at them before but I removed them and looked at them more closely. A closer comparison revealed that they were slightly different. Eventually I was able to find the part numbers marked on the vents and reinstalled them in their correct places. Sorry for the poor photography