How to change the color of your radio/hvac controls - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
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post #1 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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How to change the color of your radio/hvac controls

DUN DUN DUH!!!!! It's back, the all important, super cool, OMG I can't believe it's not butter sharpie mod!!!!!!!!!

TOOLS NEEDED:
small socket
sharpie
your hands
a buddy to help (optional)
a stage lighting gel (found at most music stores for about a dollar)

First off my apologies because when the original write up was lost I the size of the socket you need to remove the radio and HVAC. I will try and get some time this weekend to pull everything apart see what size that is again. No guarantees though.

Step One:

You are going to have to remove the trim panels that surround the cluster. There is a specific order to this because some of them overlap. In picture one you can see that you have to pull down on the underside of the dash to get that piece off and then you have to remove the panel where the DIC controls are.



If you are going to change the colors of the DIC controls this is a good time to do that. Pictured here is the tap you need to very gently pry back to remove the panel from the harness. It can be stubborn.



Before we get ahead of our self coloring the buttons here is the location and order of the other two trim pieces you will have to remove in order to remove the radio. As with the other panels, they are stubborn. Pull straight out if at all possible to keep from bending the clips. The long piece over the glove box will come out easier if you have a friend pulling on one side and you on the other.



The next step is to remove the radio. With the trim panels removed you can easily see the hex screws that hold it in place. They are easily removed with a socket.



With the radio out simply unplug the harness from the back.



The last part that needs removed is the face of the radio. There are four tabs (two on the top, two on the bottom) that you can pry up with your hands or a screw driver to remove it.



The last part is to remove the circuit board from the radio. It is removed by removing these small hex screws. You will need either a REALLY small socket which I didn't have or some needle nose pliers. BE CAREFUL, if you scratch the board you may ruin the radio.



This concludes the breakdown portion of the DIY. In the next post we will start coloring. Get your sharpies out!

Last edited by IMADreamer; 01-04-2008 at 09:10 AM.
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post #2 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Class let's all get out your sharpies because it's time to color!

In order for this mod to work you are going to have to color the back of the buttons as well as alot of the plastic pieces that are attached to the rear of the buttons. In this picture I have already colored the plastic part that is on the back of the DIC buttons



Here is a picture of both DIC controls colored. I suggested holding them up to the light in order to make sure you have sufficiently darkened the area so that you get the color you are looking for.



Next we are moving onto the HVAC controls. I have left them uncolored for the picture so you can see the plastic inner workings that you have to color in order to get this to work out. You need to color these as well as the back of the buttons. Also if you are coloring red don't color the blue cool air line because it will turn purple.



You need to do the same thing with the radio controls. The buttons on the side are hard to get into with the sharpie, but it can be done. Again you will need to hold these up to the light to make sure you get good coverage. Trust me you don't want to button all this back up to your car and have to take it all off again. TRUST ME. lol



In order to change the radio display you need to use something else other then a sharpie. Coloring it wont' look right. So what you do is get a stage lighting gel and cut it to the size of the display. Then remove the old display cover by pushing it out with your finger. Then to install the stage lighting gel simply place it up where the old display cover went and tape or glue the stage lighting gel in place. If you cut it correctly it will fit perfectly and look factory.

The end result looks something like this.





I apologize for the bad pictures but my camera does not do well at night and it does not do this mod justice. This is a cheap simple way to get great results. I know many did this mod using the first tutorial so if they have good pictures of their results I invite them to please post them up for all to see.

Thanks for reading and look for more insanely cheap and easy mods in the future.

Last edited by IMADreamer; 01-04-2008 at 09:23 AM.
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post #3 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 09:55 AM
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Hhmmm... Now that I've been reminded I might actually try this one this weekend...
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post #4 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 01:48 PM
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i still havnt done this yet...i think im gonna do green
 
post #5 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 04:07 PM
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AHH the good ol' sharpie! Nice write up....again

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post #6 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 04:25 PM
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I wanna do Blue, but i cant decide if i wanna do the LED method or the sharpie, maybe ill do both, i dunno. Im just waiting for when i do my whole interior.
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post #7 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 05:55 PM
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Here is one of the HVAC controls.



Here is the whole center dash



Here is my interior at night.


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post #8 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerpro357 View Post
I wanna do Blue, but i cant decide if i wanna do the LED method or the sharpie, maybe ill do both, i dunno. Im just waiting for when i do my whole interior.
If you do the leds you should't need the sharpie. just my opinion. If you do the led route let us know how it goes.

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post #9 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 06:10 PM
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Be careful with the LED's, if you go too deep while de-soldering, it can ruin the board.

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post #10 of 59 (permalink) Old 01-04-2008, 06:14 PM
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Yeah I messed up my tac! Got the new one on it's way from ebay. That won't happen again. Get a desoldering gun it'll save you a lot of hassle and less chance of messing it up like me also make sure you get a fine tip solder gun when putting them back in.

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