NTPOG 5th Gen Air/Fuel Controller - Dash Mounting the V-AFC

Author: Todd Marcucci
 


Why?
After looking around the interior I decided to mount the AFC in the dash. I looked at the mounting bracket it came with for all of about 30 seconds before I decided it (and the provided double-stick tape) wouldn't last and would (IMHO) be ugly. By dash mounting it the silver color would stand out even worse, prompting me to figure out how to paint it.

In this install you'll notice that the radio is on the bottom and the pocket (was) on top. I had done this with my aftermarket unit for accessibility- it's much easier to operate the radio (to me) from the bottom, especially with my shortened shift lever. You can do this, too, by simply moving the head unit down, or just mount the V-AFC under the radio. The dimensions and mounting holes are the same.

What You Need
- At least 15" of 1-1/2" wide by 1-1/8" thick aluminum (called aluminum "flat," or "stock")
- 3M Trim Adhesive
- ABS Sheet (see below)
- 4 number 8 phillips head screws, 1/2" long
- 4 number 8 "keps nuts" or 4 nuts and 4 lock washers
- Dremel (and cutting wheel) or a hacksaw
- Bench vise, or another way to bend thin aluminum

DIN Plates
The 5th gen Prelude has a non-quite-DIN sized opening below the factory radio. You can easily remove the pocket below the radio to accommodate the V-AFC. The big problem is how to fit this not-quite-DIN wide V-AFC into the opening. The height is right, the width is all wrong. To fix this we need to make some plates or "covers" for the dead space that will surround the AFC.

I happened to have ABS sheet laying around from a previous car stereo install I did years ago. You can get this material from Parts Express (part number 265-945) or even a local stereo store. It's relatively stiff, sturdy, "textured" like a dash panel, and easy to work with. It usually has a non-textured side as well, if you want to have a smooth appearance. The piece I had was 3/32" thick which worked great- the 1/16" may be a bit thin and I think the 1/8" thick material may be unnecessarily thick.

This part is pretty simple- using a hacksaw, I just cut out two pieces according to the following drawing:

One of the things I also had to do was trim the radio bezel. Not much, and not where you can see it, but it was necessary to clear the AFC. I had to remove material at the top approximately 1-3/16" over from the edge, where the AFC sits in the middle. Essentially, the material on the top lip between the plates you just made will have to be removed:

   

After making the plates and cutting everything for the AFC, I also rounded the corners of the new plates a bit, then test-fitted them and the AFC in the cage that the radio and it will sit in. Eventually these will be held in place with the 3M Trim Adhesive (which, by the way, is awesome stuff- holds hard but can be removed with little or no residue left behind). Before gluing anything in place or doing anything else, we need to make a bracket to hold the AFC in place.

DIN Support Bracket

Now that we have the face of the AFC covered, we need a way to secure the AFC so it stays where it should, preferably strongly enough that mashing buttons while you're cruising down the highway doesn't dislodge it. To accomplish this, I took a piece of aluminum flat (available at your local hardware/home improvement store), 1.5" wide x .125" thick, and bent a u-shaped bracket to fit behind the AFC:

Note the holes (centered across the 1.5" width) that will be used to mount the bracket to the radio cage. The number 8 screws are slightly small for the holes in the cage, allowing you to adjust the bracket to the exact size. Using those screws you can mount the bracket- use the AFC to test-fit and see exactly where you need the bracket, then tighten down the screws.

   

Mounting
Once you've made the plates and the bracket, and have aligned the bracket with the AFC, you're ready to mount it up. I did this in the car (with the cage installed) just to make it easier to apply pressure to the AFC. You don't need to make any electrical connections before installing in the dash, though you will need to route the cable. I routed mine around the bracket and the radio cage back into the dash (where I could get to it later.

The way I glued in the AFC was very unscientific- I applied a fair amount of 3M Trim Adhesive to the bracket where the AFC would go, then fitted the AFC against it (lining it up *just right*) and then held it for about 30 seconds. The 3M adhesive takes a while to set (I think 24 hours) but it's best to use a lot of pressure and a little time when initially aligning something. It should hold well enough from there to install the plates.

I did the plates next, test-fitting them on either side of the AFC. I then used the adhesive to glue them to the sides of the AFC, not the radio cage or the trim bezel. This will allow you to remove the AFC from the radio cage later if there are problems. By lining up the plates on either side and using enough adhesive to glue them to the AFC you can get them to stay in place properly. It works, trust me.

Now you should have a finished product that looks something like this:

On to Wiring the V-AFC to the ECU.



This page last updated 2/26/03.