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New dash cap install and interchaneability -- A510 specific


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Hello all, wanted to post my recent findings that may help other A10 owners, as I've noticed there isn't much info out there...

Keep in mind this is my first write up... ever.


I own a '79 HLA10; Sedan, 4-door, L20B, 4 speed with the "round cluster gauges"


I went to the local wrecking yard and found a '80 WHLA10; Wagon, 4-door, Z20, A/T with the "square cluster gauges" that i needed the dash cap out of... at first everything seemed to be a perfect fit and looked like it would bolt in to my sedan... and it does after a simple mod.


NOTE: The A10 Dash caps are the same, EXCEPT that the size / dimensions of the area that hold dash panel / instrument panel. I am unsure if this varies with Sedan / Coupe / Wagon models.... But I think the easiest way to determine if it fits perfectly is if you have Square or Round gauge cluster... if that makes sense?


BUT! You can still make it fit, as I did!




Philips screw driver

VERY short, stubby philips driver (for those tough screws near the gauge cluster)



2; Very easy.



1.5 hrs



First of all, to remove the dash cap you must.....


1) Remove glove box. 


2) Remove center console.


3) Remove instrument panel.

    a) Remove HVAC control face plate.

    B) Remove ash tray.

    c) Remove radio, if equipped.

NOTE: Before pulling the panel out, be careful! Remember this plastic is old! It's brittle! It really helps to remove the two bolts 

holding in the steering column, x2 12mm bolts. It allows the column to be pushed do slightly to allow the panel to come out easier. Be sure to unplug all connectors on reverse side of panel. The "SIDE DEFROST" plunger can be irritating... If you look at the circular metal thing that appears to hold the plunger to the dash panel there are 2 holes. Take a very small metal tool... i used a paper clip... place the tip into the holes and turn counter-clock wise to loosen it. Then remove the "Side Defrost" cap. Slide through dash panel.




4) Remove the 4 bolts holding in the cluster. NOT necessary to remove cluster, just have to fidget it out of the way.


At this point you should be having a pretty bare looking dash. Great!

Now, run your finger along the back side of the dash cap and you will begin to feel those philip head screws. I believe there were 5 or 6? holding the cap on -- One in each corner near the heater vents.


5) Remove dash cap.


Now that you've removed your dash cap, good job! Take this time to remove the clear plastic gauge covers and give them a good scrubbin! Remove all dust from the cluster gauges before installing the covers. That dust will surely annoy the hell out of you!


Now let's put it all back together!


6) Place new dash cap and put all the screws in.


Now... the moment of the "simple mod" ... After you screw the cluster back in and begin to place the instrument panel back in you'll notice that the corners (top left and right of gauge cluster) of the panel do NOT match up to new dash cap. What you will now need to do is now make some relief cuts in the dash cap. cut the inner corners where the gauge cluster sits. SEE PIC




7) Install in reverse order.


8) Have a beer to celebrate new dash cap.


Good Luck! Hope this helps.
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Check the build date on that goon. The chang over to square headlights and Z20 motor from round and L20B was for the '80 model year which begins June of '79. If the build date tag, likely on the driver's door jam, is after June it's a 1980 model.


Did not know about the round/square gage clusters though it makes sense. Good stuff.

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