NTPOG 5th Gen Air/Fuel Controller - Painting the V-AFC|
Author: Todd Marcucci
When I got my V-AFC I was very disappointed in the silver color- what in the hell
is silver in any Honda? Nothing I've seen. I was glad the buttons at least lit up
amber, they would match something. I also didn't want the AFC to stand out; I have
no idea how often these things get stolen, but I wanted to make sure mine didn't
become a statistic.
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.
If you proceed with this, you will be risking damage to your V-AFC as well as voiding
any warranty. I'm sure A'pexi and your distributor will NOT take this unit back for
ANY reason after seeing that it has been painted, let alone that it has been opened!
Please keep this in mind- if you aren't experienced at or comfortable with taking
things apart and putting them back together, this mod is NOT for you!!! NTPOG and
the author claim no responsibility or liability for your ability or lack thereof.
What You Need
- A cool, dry place to paint
- Testors Model Spraypaint (what I used) or another good, quality spraypaint
- Semi-gloss clearcoat *unless* you get a semi-gloss paint
- Masking tape
- Jeweler's or other small philips screwdriver
Being an anal sort of guy, I wanted this to look nice. I immediately discarded the
idea of simply masking off the buttons and faceplate and doing a Maaco paint job.
Also, being an electronics nut by nature, I wanted to crack it open. It was very
easy, just 4 screws in back:
Remove these and then you can remove the back panel. VERY CAREFULLY remove
the daughtercard that has the cable attached by lifting up (like the back cover):
Set this piece aside VERY carefully. Be sure not to lose the plastic spacer that
supports it and remember where it goes:
Now (again, carefully) lift out and set aside the main board with the display
attached to it:
Now, remove the buttons from the front panel and set them aside. There is a cluster
of 4 and then of two- be careful not to break them, they're delicate.
Now comes the tough part. Look at the blueish/silver translucent piece for the
display. Looking inside the empty case, with the button holes on the right, you'll
see two tabs at the top where the translucent panel snaps in. Looking at the picture
on the left, you can see where you need to press these tabs in to release it, and in
the right picture, how it will swing out. I found the best way to do this was to pry
each of the tabs inward while pressing out on the transluscent piece. It doesn't
take much pressure to remove it (in fact, very little) once you release the tabs:
Once you have that piece out you are almost ready to paint. You'll need to mask off
the area around the translucent piece (where it meets the housing) and the area the
buttons sit in. Failure to do so may result in the buttons sticking. If the paint
goes on a little too thick, not only do the buttons not have enough room to move
freely, but the translucent piece will also be moved, exerting pressure on the
buttons where they pass through it. Trust me, I found this out the hard way! I had
to go back and scrape away the paint around the translucent piece and the holes
the buttons sit in.
Once you mask it off, you're ready to paint. I recommend 3-5 thin (I stress thin!)
coats with the second-to-last coat actually covering up all the silver (and one last
coat for good measure). If you didn't use a semi-gloss paint, I recommend a semi-
gloss coat over flat black to give it a more durable and glossier finish.
Once the paint dries, you're done! Reassemble the unit the way it came apart-
carefully install the translucent piece, insert the buttons, insert the mainboard,
put in the spacer for the daughtercard, install the daughtercard/cable, and then the
back cover and screws. Be very careful with the daughtercard- it "snaps" onto the
mainboard via a delicate connector. Be very careful, it should go back together
just like it came apart.
For final (painted) pics, you'll have to skip to the next section, Dash Mounting the V-AFC.
Or you don't want to dash mount, you can skip on to Wiring the V-AFC to the ECU.
This page last updated 2/26/03.