I would like to start off by saying that this must be the most sought after mod to any 96-98 Hatch owner and has been something that i wanted to do since day 1. as i did more and more research i was discoured to find out that in order to have this done i would need to change the interior harness to 99+ as well as the ecu, engine harness while swapping the heater core and blower to 99+. way too much work involved to make this a worthful mod...
Until now more light was shed on this anticipated conversion, a recent thread started having to do with this conversion is what encouraged me to try this, when HT member "Pho Real" said "everything plugs up and bolts on" thats when i said ***** it, im gonna do it once and for all and finally show everyone the truth !!
Enuff blabber.. let get this show on the road!!
Notes: This "how to" is meant for anyone that will take a risk, i do not garantee anything or shall be responsible for any damage caused by attempting this conv. took me a total of 3 days to do this conversion since i took my time and was also taking pictures and had to wait a day to get the right blower, if you have removed ur dash before and have everything from the beginning it should not take long. just be prepared in case.
1) Socket Wrench
2) Sockets 14mm, 12mm, 10mm
3) Open Wrench 12mm
4) Socket Wrench Extension (at least 10in)
5) Extended Sockets 14mm, 12mm, 10mm
6) Philips Screwdriver
7) Pin/Hook Screwdriver
8) Pliers (to remove clamps)
9) A Friend.
1) 99+ Climate Control console with Climate harness (goes from console to heater core main plug)
2) 99+ Complete heater core Box
3) 99+ Complete Blower Box
4) 99+ Heater core harness (should be attached to the Heater core)
5) 99+ Center Dash vent (is contoured to position the vents to the right where the console has them)
- Removing the Unnecassary.
Disconnect the Battery (we dont want no surprises)
Start off by removing the Glove box. Open it and there are two rubber holders on each side, move them in and the box comes down. then just screws the 2 bolts on each side (4 total) and tape the screws the the GB and put it aside.
Next remove the armrest, so you can get to the shifter console so you can get to the cupholder area. i wont get into detail since this should be the least of worries. removing the cigarette console is 4 screws on each end. visible when the box box is out and the under steering wheel cover is removed.
Once the cig console is out remove the climate console. there is a cable that goes from the climate to the heater core bottom, trace is and remove it from the pin and holder. find the two screws in the front bottom of the climate metal shell and remove those. remove the hazard and defroster buttons carefully using a pin screw driver and there is a screw behind each button. remove the radio and unplug everything from the climate control. find any screws left and by now you should be able to carefully pop off the climate bezel.
The cluster is as simple as removing the 2 top cover screws and the 2 top and 2 sided cluster screws. unplug the cluster plugs and remove.
The Steering wheel rack can be removed from the top since its attached to the dash, there are two screws that hold it by the top and 2 that hold it near the middle. and can be seen after removing the top and bottom ignition covers. leave the rack attached to the steering knuckle (you can remove for more space but remember it will need aligning afterwards)
- Removing the Dash
there are total 10 screws that hold the dash in. if you study the above pic of everything removed you will see where i marked off their locations.
The 1st one is at the center top of the dash by the windshield, remove the cover and its there. 2 and 3 are visible once the glove box is removed they are between the main relay. (unplug that) 4 + 5 are in the middle where the cup holder normally is, they are a bit tough but can be gotten out, while there remove the extra 2 screws on the sides, will make things easier. 6 + 7 are under by the fuse box (unbolt that which are 2 mini 10mm screws on each side and keep it to the side, anything that maybe need to be unplugged will need to be pulled off) they are kinda hidden. 8 is in the door jam in the driver side u will see it when u pull that panel.
make sure that everything is unplugged from the dash!! double check everything u dont want to start pulling off the dash and something still be stuck. if all is good then yank that bish out !!
- The Pain in da rear.
This is were it gets bloody, really. you have to pull the clamps off the 2 heater core hoses the run into the firewall, they are next to the cable for the temp control lever. and there is also a 12mm nut that has to be removed in order for the heater core box to come out. taking the clamps off must be the hardest part of this entire conversion because you are very space limited. depending the hybrid. not only that but once the clamps are off removing those set in hoses is another mission which i have the cuts and scrapes to prove it. NOTE: be warned that coolant fluid will leak everywhere when the hoses are removed, you can try and drain your coolant to help this step but i just let it drain out.
- Removing the Main components
once you have the space to work with its much easier, disconnect the harness off the Heater core and the A/c box (if applicable) and the blower motor. there are a few metal screws and plastic screws that hold everything in, all 3 boxes connect with a lego effect but removing all the screws around all the boxes they will all come off very easily, if they dont come off easily double check for screws they are all over.
This is a shot of the MAIN Dash harness, this is what everyone thought would have to be changed to 99+
but in reality the 99+ heater core harness plugs right into it, no difference what so ever! see the proof..?
here you can see the differences between the 98 Heater core (left) and the 99 heater core (right) and as you can tell they are the same crap, except the 99+ has all the motorized stuff on the bottom for the temp control vs the pull and push cable ****. u can see also the 99+ harness attached to the core as it should be found.
the A/c core is the same in all the years and its the connecting piece it can be reused, nothing needs to be altered on it. Th Blower box is another story as i found out trying to rewire my 98 i blew about 7 fuses (same one) because the 98 is a power wire core and the 99+ is a power resistor core so they work the same but are controlled differently so i ended up getting the right one and things went a whole lot smoother. in the pic you will notice the plug differences, from a 4wire plug (98 - right) to a 3 wire plug (99 - left).
this is what everything will look like once everything is put back and harness is connected. ignore the blower plug since that pic shows my 98 blower in place before i exchanged it with the 99.
- Changing the Dash center vent
this is something that has to be done in order for the 99 climate console to have the propper vent location, the two sides one are the exact same i matched them up but in order to change the middle one you have to remove the metal exoskeleton from the dash, basically remove every bolt that holds it on, carefull around the airbag area they are some there also. once that is removed there are maybe 4-5 bolts that hold the center vent in place.
replace that and put everything back in place.
this is what the acomplished goal should look like..
- DOuble checking
This is where it gets exciting, you can connect the fuse box plugs, connect the ignition plugs and take the climate console and plug in its harness to the heater core. if everything else is disconneted (i.e. SRS plugs) then u shouldnt have a problem of anything going off but you might get an SRS light which i can show you how to reset which is very easy. but once you connect the battery stick your key in the ignition and turn to the on position. the fan should start working if its on in the climate. play will all the options and listen to the little motors in the heater core and blower start working. check every fan speed, every vent location and the temp control which is that little cable that comes out on the engine firewall. all the way to cold the cable will be extended, hot it will be retracted all the way in. or vise versa. when you hit the button on the bottom of the climate console next to the a/c and defroster the blower front plate should open and close, test that also. once you check that everything works properly you then are ready to start the opposite or removal process.
I gave my inspiration credit, if you decide to try this conversion at least mention my name chameleon
anything i have left out i will add in when i remember or you can pm with questions.
EDIT: defroster fix added below..
"i just installed an entire 99 dash into my friends 97 ek hatch, when i say complete its complete with vents climate and 99 harness in it. now weather you use your own 96-98 dash harness or the 99 it dont matter BUT to get the rear defroster working you need to tap a wire (baby blue with a yellow stripe) from the big plug that sits in front of the heater core and tap that into the baby blue with yellow stripe wire on the big green plug thats in front of the fuse box, the wire is at the end of the plug next to a green wire. once u do that you will see your relay click."
Modified by chameleon at 3:08 PM 4/13/2008