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3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
#756233 January 27th 2020 10:23 am
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Hello all, I have had this idea in my head for a few years now, but have recently gained access to a 3D printer and some design software (along with someone who knows how to use it), so I'm considering trying to to make this a reality..

Basically, the issue is that the dash in my 1985 G20 is designed for a single DIN stereo as is almost every 1980ish and newer facelift dash I have come across. There are some later versions that fit a 1.5 din, but that isn't what I'm after. All of the aftermarket units that I like are full double DIN. I see where a handful of folks have shoe-horned double DIN stereos between the vents and the bottom of the dash pocket. I'm not saying that doesn't work, The radio position doesn't seem to look ideal, and in my mock-ups, the angle/view isn't great.

What I would like to do is design a bezel that would replace the whole plastic section where the radio and vents mount. I would then re-arrange the vents and place them vertically like the vents on the outer ends of the dash, This would leave a space in the center large enough to mount a double DIN stereo in a perfect spot. I could even incorporate in a small visor above the radio spot to reduce glare..

The only issue that I'm running into mentally is the ducting between the new vent position, and the plumbing that is already under the dash. To avoid pulling my dash back out again until necessary. I want to find a dash in the junkyard. Can anyone verify what years are the same as far as the center vent plumbing? I would imagine they are all the same, but I want to verify.

Anyways. Once I have a spare dash to mock this up, I'll update this thread with more details.

Here is roughly what I'm thinking:


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]
Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
tuner4life #756241 January 27th 2020 5:22 pm
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That would be awesome.....never thought about 3D printing to create some of these parts. Can't wait to see what you come up with


Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
tuner4life #756255 January 27th 2020 11:12 pm
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I'm definitely following this one too. I have no idea which years were the same, and I'm planning on staying with old school stereos that fit the stock radio hole, but I'm very interested in the whole 3D printing thing. I've been wanting to get into designing some stuff with a CAD program and have it printed out on Shapeways for a while now, just haven't gotten around to it.


[Linked Image]
Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
tuner4life #756256 January 27th 2020 11:39 pm
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From the best I can tell from looking at various dash examples, once they switched to the style your van has, that sort of waterfall center piece, they stayed the same in the center AC vent area to 95. A challenge you face is it looks like the vents are not in plane with the mounting area of the lower stereo so the layout you want will require some custom pieces for sure and some careful cutting of the existing pieces. Are the hoses to the vents flexible? I’ve never worked on them before.


1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
tuner4life #756257 January 27th 2020 11:51 pm
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That is also a such a sharp looking cockpit. I forget how much work and detail there is in there, this would be a cool touch. Can’t wait to see what you come up with


1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
Deathorvictory #756258 January 28th 2020 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by Deathorvictory
Are the hoses to the vents flexible? I’ve never worked on them before.


I've got mine apart, the hose is a molded plastic formed to fit, to the cover on the Doghouse. Upper dash vents not sure. I don't think that will stop him. LOL.

Jason, Whatever part numbers you would like me to look up in my 85 to 90 G van parts catalog that would help you out for reference, I am at your service.

Love yer Show!
Bill

Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
tuner4life #756262 January 28th 2020 11:27 am
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Thank you all! I've had mine apart a couple times over the last couple years, and would like to avoid doing it again until I'm ready to install a finished part. There are 2x G-vans in the yard local to me, but they are a 1992 and a 1995, and both have a 1.5 din stereo. I am hoping that it won't be an issue for this project, guess I'll see when I get it out. I am planning on making the whole insert as 1 part, so hopefully it won't matter (I would cut out the entire vent/radio section and this would replace the whole section). I am hoping to grab one of the dashes maybe this weekend if the weather holds out.

As for the ducting, I do remember that it is a formed plastic duct supplying air to the center vents and it was pretty low profile. I am thinking that, depending on the space constraints, I may be able to cut the OEM ducting back, and 3d print some adapters that would attach to the original ducting profile, those would adapt to a flexible type of hose between the original duct and the new part.

The other thing I just realized (Thanks Wedgy for bringing it up), is that the newer vans do have some sort of duct going into the lower doghouse cover. My 1985 van was a cargo van and does not have whatever that ducting is. Is that tied into the ducting for the center vents? From the pictures I can find, the lower vents are pretty low, I would think they would tie into the floor ducting? Maybe someone with a such-equipped van can confirm this for me? If those are in fact tied into the upper/center vents, that may be an issue for this fitting *all* models.. It looks like both of my potential donor junk yard dashes have this lower doghouse ducting, so worst case I can look when I get to the junkyard.

We'll see. Step one is to get a mock-up dash to play with.

Last edited by tuner4life; January 28th 2020 11:29 am.

[Linked Image]
Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
tuner4life #756347 January 30th 2020 4:20 am
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I just did a similar 2DIN conversion in my 76 G10... I don’t have a model with the center vets but the boss was still there. I cut out the plane that the stereo sits in along with the plane of the vents (they sit at different depths). It left a large but clean square opening that I filled by sandwiching a piece of 1/4” plexiglass and 14ga sheet metal with epoxy glue. The piece was glued in using the two part JB Weld epoxy glue. Great stuff. Dries like hard plastic and can be sanded and shaped. Then I measured and cut out my 2DIN port.

I know it’s not the same result you are looking for but maybe it will help with some ideas for mock up and planning.

Last edited by Vanereal_Disease; January 30th 2020 4:21 am.
Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
Vanereal_Disease #756362 January 30th 2020 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by Vanereal_Disease
I just did a similar 2DIN conversion in my 76 G10... I don’t have a model with the center vets but the boss was still there. I cut out the plane that the stereo sits in along with the plane of the vents (they sit at different depths). It left a large but clean square opening that I filled by sandwiching a piece of 1/4” plexiglass and 14ga sheet metal with epoxy glue. The piece was glued in using the two part JB Weld epoxy glue. Great stuff. Dries like hard plastic and can be sanded and shaped. Then I measured and cut out my 2DIN port.

I know it’s not the same result you are looking for but maybe it will help with some ideas for mock up and planning.



Thanks for the info! Do you have a picture of it finished?


[Linked Image]
Re: 3rd Gen GM Double DIN Dash Project - HVAC Ducting questions
tuner4life #756506 February 03rd 2020 11:23 am
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Alright! I forgot to grab a picture, but I did grab a decent condition dash from the junk yard over the weekend! It is from a 1994, which did have a 1.5 DIN stereo originally, and also had the little vents/ducting in the lower doghouse cover as well as I found small vents on the far outer ends of the dashboard. Good news is that from what I can tell, all of the additional ducting in the newer models is tied to the 'floor' ducting, and doesn't appear to affect the upper dash vents or ducting. I guess time will tell..

There is definitely some significant ducting directly behind the upper vents. I'm still pondering how to handle that but I think that will be the biggest speedbump. I'm going to get better pictures of the specifics tonight.


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