Corvette C5 Dash Removal and HUD Installation

For those not familiar with heads up display, You get 9 different ways to project critical info on your windshield, like speed, Tach, gas level, oil pressure, coolant temp, turn signals, high beam indicator, shift light indicator (6 Speeds) and check gages. You can control which are displayed, adjust the height of the projection on the windshield, and the intensity. Some are shown here:

Heads up display wasn’t even offered until late 99, but for those who were not fortunate enough to get this way cool option here’s the directions to install it yourself. It can even be retrofitted in a 97,98, Early 99, and 01 Z06 Corvette when it wasn’t even an option. Its plug and play. Any confident installer can install it within an afternoon. The factory HUD cars have a special HUD windshield that is not necessary as the projections shown above are taken on my non-HUD glass in direct sunlight. Also all 97+ C5’s have the pocket for the projector, and the outline for the dash to be cut.

The following are the necessary components needed HUD to work

• HUD projector – 10279814 – (GM LIST: $1,118.82) You will have to drill 2 small holes in the dash to mount it. Even the 97,’s and 98’s have the seat for the projector
• HUD Projector Bezel – 10425223 – (GM LIST: $25.52) You will have to cut a hole in the dash and the bezel is there to cover the hole. Its very easy to do though because even the 97 and 98’s have the cut marked out under the dash pad. The bezel simply covers the hole.
• HUD Enabled Cluster – This is a must for a 97-99 owner that currently doesn’t have a HUD enabled cluster. The cluster may be HUD ready or it could have come from a HUD equipped car. If it is only HUD ready you will need a HUD switch and 11 pin wiring harness.
• HUD Switch – Part # 12198648 (GM LIST: $124.04)
• The very important 11 Pin wiring harness which is not available from GM, you will have to find a harness, or you will have to build your own using your existing harness.

There are 2 different HUD install scenario’s.

97, 98, or early 99 C5’s without the HUD enabled cluster – You will need to get a late 99+ Cluster. The only way to tell whether you have the HUD enabled cluster is to remove the one you have and look for the white connector in the very back. If it doesn’t already have the HUD Switch you will have to install one and find a 11 pin harness. If you need a HUD enabled cluster you will have to have it programmed with your existing mileage. I’ve heard ~$50 to do this, but contact your dealer. You will have to drill 3 holes to mount the projector, 2 in the plastic dash support, 1 in the aluminum column support. If you use a late 99-04 cluster you will also have to move the airbag warning light located next to the fuel gauge to the location on the Tach or else the light will remain lit al the time.
Late 99-04 C5’s with a HUD enabled cluster – You will need the projector, dash bezel, switch and 11 Pin from the switch to cluster. You will have to drill only 2 holes in the plastic dash support, the third is already notched out.

Tools Necessary:

• A small assortment of flat headed screw drivers.
• Very sharp razor Blades
• Something to cut the plastic under the dash pad (Dremel tool, utility knife, angle grinder etc…)
• Something to drill mounting holes (I used a right angle electric screw driver with a 1/8″ conical grinding bit)
• Torx T15 driver, or bit with compatible holder to use with 1/4″ ratchet.
• 7mm socket and driver
• 10mm Socket with swivel and various extensions
• 1/4 ratchet for the 7mm socket
• Needle nose pliers
• 2 #10 rubber expansion nuts available from home improvement store (Lowe’s, Home depot, Ace, Etc….)
• 2 Allen Screws for the expansion nuts. With proper Allen wrench.
• JB Quick Weld or similar to affix the bezel
• Clamps or similar to hold bezel
The install is pretty basic. If you have a roadster or coupe now is a great time to open the car up. This is also a great time to move both seats all the way back to allow your self plenty of room to work. I myself just completed this modification on my own 2000 Corvette on 8/5/03 and the pictures seen here are from my own install. These instructions are for a 2000 six speed coupe

Removing the Center Console:

1)Remove the center console. To do this you will need to open the console remove the little covers in the rear of the console to access the 2,10mm nuts. Remove these.

2) Move up towards the front of the console bin. Insert a flat headed screw driver or similar to pop off the panel with the Traction Control / Active Handling.
3) Disconnect all wiring.
4) Remove the 2, 10mm nuts under the cover, at this point you need to disconnect the fuel door switch and the rear center console is ready to be removed.
5) To remove the front half you will need to remove the shifter knob, and pull out the ash tray.
5a.) To remove the shifter knob, first pry the black shift pattern diagram. Then you will need a pair of needle nose pliers or similar to pull the key out of the shaft before being able to spin the knob off. I’m assuming the A4 has a clip in the front of the knob that has to be pulled straight out before pulling off the knob.
6) There are 3, Torx 15 screws holding the front of the console in. These are located
• 1. Under the temperature sensor panel, located to the right of the steering wheel. Pop off the bezel with a flat headed screw driver. Disconnect the air temperature sensor (If equipped with the dual climate)
• 2. to the Left of the cigarette lighter
• 3. behind the ash tray

7) At this point the center console pulls straight off. There are a few clips that still hold it in around the radio and climate control. Don’t forget to disconnect the cigarette lighter by reaching around the back and pulling the connector off. With the center console completely removed, you are now ready to work on the panel under the steering column.

Preparing for Dash Pad Removal

8) Start by removing the Trunk release/fog light switch bezel, with a flat headed screw driver, disconnect wires. Remove the Torx 15 screw. Remove the 2, T15 screws located up top of the instrument panel directly above the steering wheel

9) Look under the dash, towards the rear and remove the 2 T15 screws. At this point you’re ready to remove the lower steering column cover. Simply pull evenly towards the steering wheel; there are 2 clips that hold near the left hand upper corner.
10) You will need to remove the radio to help reach the hazard switch to disconnect when you start to remove the dash pad. Remove the 2, 7mm screws on each side of the radio and slide it out disconnecting all connectors from the back of the radio.
11) Take a flat headed screw driver and gently pry the defroster vent grill, Disconnect the sensor on the left side and twist the sensor loose on the right, now take your 7mm 1/4 ratchet and remove the 2 screws to the outsides of the defroster

12) Remove the side pillars. To do this start from the top and pull towards the rear/center of the vehicle. Move down the pillar, there are 3 clips to completely disengage the pillars.
13) You are now ready to remove the rest of the dash pad 7mm screws. There are 2 on the top on the sides of the dash pad that were covered by the pillars. There is one on the passenger side of the dash near the hinge of the door, (look at the side of the dash with the door fully open) one near where the cluster resides on the drivers side, and the rest are visible around the stereo was

15) Once all the screws are removed from the dash pad, gently pull the dash pad away from the window. Once moved enough disconnect the hazard switch connector. This is where you’re going to probably want a helper. Finish pulling the dash out of the car.

Preparing for HUD installation

16) Its now time to drill the holes for the rubber expansion nuts or whatever you decided to use. I’m sure you could also use self tapping bolts if you can managed to get space between the window and ratchet. Place the projector in into its seat pushing it all the way towards the front of the car. Mark the 2 holes with a marker or whatever you can manage to get between the window. Also mark the column support on the pre 99 cars for the 3rd mount. The 99+ cars should already have the cutout for the screw to reside in. Remove the projector and drill. Once drilled, mount the projector with whatever method you chose.

17) Once the dash pad is out, you can flip it over and see where you’re supposed to cut. Cut to the very edge of the sides, and about a 1/4″ from the bottom (Front of dash closest to steering wheel) to provide a step for the bezel to grip the dash pad. Cut slowly, KEEP cutting device perpendicular to cut while watching where the bezel rests. This is the most time consuming part of the install. Cut little by little constantly fitting bezel until snug. Cut the foam and pad with a sharp razor blade. TAKE YOUR TIME, you don’t want to know what a replacement dash pad costs!!! (My diagram is for illustration purposes only)

18) Once you have the hole trimmed to fit the bezel, fit the bezel in place and hold it with some clamps. Make sure the bezel is flush with the rear edge of the dash (side under/closest to windshield) You can choose your own method to secure it to the dash pad. I mixed up a batch of JB Quick Weld filled the holes, glued the front tabs of the bezel, removed the clamps and was done. One of my customers cut the legs by enough to use screws into the legs.

19) While your waiting for your bezel to set you can use swap your stock 97-99 non-HUD cluster with the reprogrammed HUD enabled cluster, or to add the HUD switch and wiring harness to your HUD enabled cluster. To remove the cluster from the car with the dash pad already removed you need to remove 2, 7mm screws located just below the cluster and reach behind the cluster and pinch the large grey connector while pulling, rocking or whatever else it take to get it loose.

• 19a.) If your cluster came from a car with HUD already installed, install your new cluster and move to step 20
• 19b.) If you have a HUD enabled cluster that came from a car without HUD you will have to purchase a HUD switch from the dealer and swap it with your existing dimmer switch. If you can find a factory wiring harness, just plug it in, install and move to step 20

Putting your Vette back together

20) Congratulations take a step back and look at the mess you’ve created. Maybe have a drink or two, because reinstalling it all is the easiest and fastest part.
21) Plug in the main cluster harness, and now the HUD projector harness to the back of the cluster. Key the ignition on and make sure everything works. All the gauges should do they’re full sweep as well as the projection on the windshield should do similar.
• Play with the intensity, make sure it gets bright, dims, disappears…
• Cycle through the page button, to switch displayed fuel level, coolant temperature, oil pressure, also hold it briefly to switch Tach on/off cycling through the different views.
• Also move the display up and down the window to make sure everything is hooked up correctly.
• If everything appears to work correctly move on to step 22. (make sure you firmly plugged in the fuel buttons on the right if you installed the HUD switch)
22) Re-install the 2, 7mm screws holding the lower cluster in.
23) Don’t forget the sensor, and wire harness you disconnected from the defroster grill. Tape them up to the defroster so they will be accessible when you reinstall the pad
24) Get your helper grab the now “HUD enabled” dash pad and move it back into place. Before pushing it all the way back toward the window, make sure to hook up the hazard switch. (Forget to do this and your turn signals will not work)
25) Re-install the various 7mm screws you removed throughout, not forgetting:
• 2 under the defroster vent,
• 2 off to the side/under the pillars,
• the one on the side near the passenger hinge area.
26) Re-install the 2, T15 screws above the cluster to dash pad
27) Re-install the side pillars by starting in the bottom, and working to the top
28) Re-install the stereo with 2, 7mm screws
29) Re-install the glove box, get all the 7mm screws, and 2, 10mm bolts in loosely before tightening everything down
30) Re-install the center console not forgetting to hook up all electrical connections
31) Re-install the shift knob/selector
32) Sit back and take a look at a job well done, hopefully there will be no mysterious screws left over.

5 responses to “Corvette C5 Dash Removal and HUD Installation”

  1. engineer says:

    I used the instructions today to remove my dash to replace a falling HUD. 2002 C5 A4. On the A4 model, no need to remove the shift knob for a center console removal. Insert a key (no fob attached due to clearance), turn to ON position, shift to neutral, and the center console lifts straight off. Of course, make sure the ebrake is set first.

  2. blair metz says:

    It appears the DIC is separate from the console dash unit with all the guages? Is that true? My DIC stopped working and I need to replace it, and your pictures seem to indicate it is a stand alone unit. True?

  3. Randy says:

    Am trying to decide how to replace the cracked bezel ring on my factory-installed HUD. As one other owner commented, it appears heat and a combination of other things has cracked the plastic bezel at the 10 0’clock corner. Heat stress,(poor quality material)and age have played their part. Anyway, it appears I may have to remove HUD (ugh!). If I thought I could pry the bezel up and shear the connecting points, then replace with a new bezel by cement (JB Weld,liquid nail, etc), and it would hold without damaging the dash board, I’d do it. Amazingly unfortunate that the simple bezel which should be expected to fail from heat and UV exposure, could not have been designed to be replaced more easily. I’ll continue with more research before deciding. Very nice install instructions by the way!!

  4. Mike says:

    Randy – I have the same problem as you on a 2002. Did you ever find a way to direct attach ?

  5. My question is do you have to take out the whole dashboard to change the HUD switch ?

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