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Thread: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

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    Default DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    DIY Defi Style Gauge Pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    There has been a few guys out there that have done this before. Some sell them from 250-600$ range. I didnít want to spend more than 200$ on a pod so I decided to give it a go.

    Disclaimer:
    I have no body work experience, and I have never done this before. Itís an attempt, and this will dictate how difficult it is for general DIYers.

    Material Required:
    Stock piece (center air vents) Bought used for 40$
    Subaru Impreza 01-06 60mm Gauge Pod Holder DEFI Ebay 94$ shipped
    Bondo Kit 15$
    Sand Paper
    ABS Plastic Tubing ends 2$ each

    Tools:

    Dremel
    Paper
    Pencil
    Eye Protection


    Step 1
    Draw on a piece of paper the bottom shape of the defi style gauge. I drew the outside line of the Pod.

    Step 2
    Put masking tape over the center vent piece.

    Step 3
    Tape the paper cutout onto the center dash piece to the desired location. I decided to opt for a small angle towards the driver (LHD) as if I kept it straight I was getting a slight shadow on the left most gauge. Each side (left and right) had about 1 inch from the edge. The front is about ? from the vent and the back is about ? from the edge.

    Step 4
    I added 1 cm line inside the shape from step 1. This is to leave a surface to apply the gauge pod to the center piece.

    Step 5
    Using a exacto knife, I cut out the new shape into the masking tape. Then pealed the inside to see my shape.

    Step 6
    Using the Dremel and a cutting bit, I cut the shape out. At this point there is no turning back. Double check your angle if you aren't sure.

    Step 7
    Test fit the pod to make sure it sits as wanted.
    NOTE: After first test fit I noticed that the podís bottom border is not very straight and bring the front up by 2cm. So I decided to cut the front and 3/4 of the side so the front piece dips freely and the back piece can still be mounted to the back.

    Step 8.1
    Using 3M double sided tape on the back corners, put the pod in place. Make sure it doesn't move side to side anymore.

    Step 8.2
    The pod is meant for 60mm gauges and my gauges are actually 52mm. In order to make them fit I took small pieces of abs tubing ends that has a 2 inch internal diameter. Then sand it down on the inside to fit the 52mm gauges. This piece was perfect as it fits tightly in the gauge 60mm holes.

    Step 9
    Time to fill the cracks to make both pieces blend together. The key here is to apply numerous small coats. Also make sure to follow the instructions on your bondo kit for the best mixture.

    Step 10
    Sand down to a smooth surface. If you have bondo holes, there is a special filler you can get to get that proper finish.

    Step 11
    Paint it. I prefer using vinyl to wrap parts but in this case it would be too much trouble. Bomber paint will have to do.

    Images: (in order)





    tubing to convert 60mm to 52 mm



    Sanded down to smooth feeling:



    Primer:


    Painted with Flat Black

    Status:
    I am now partially finished, it's not 100% perfect yet and I am not satisfied with the paint job. Might sand it down and repaint it again, we will see...

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    Sr Member stevenma188's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    Looks really good Matt! I thought you were selling your MS3 though.
    CURRENT: 2008 Subaru Impreza STI | 1986 BMW 325 5.0L V8 Swap | 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 | 2004 Ford F-350 | 1993 Toyota 4Runner | 2003 BMW 325i | 1991 BMW 325i
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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenma188 View Post
    Looks really good Matt! I thought you were selling your MS3 though.
    I am still selling, gauge pod included

    I have a boost gauge and AFR gauge collecting dust, figure I may as well put them in.

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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    Ah ic.

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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    Pure sex!

    great DIY!

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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    Looks good Matt !!!
    FYI, there was a guy that did the same thing as you and found out later that the pod started to crack and separate from the center console.
    This was due that the bondo does not have good adhesive properties to join ABS together.
    IIRC, He ended up redoing it and using plasti bond.

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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    interesting... I decided to wet sand some more, the pod is not abs but fiberglass so we will see how good it holds, so far it's been solid as Ive been putting it in and out all the time.

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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    Quote Originally Posted by yearoftherat View Post
    Looks good Matt !!!
    FYI, there was a guy that did the same thing as you and found out later that the pod started to crack and separate from the center console.
    This was due that the bondo does not have good adhesive properties to join ABS together.
    IIRC, He ended up redoing it and using plasti bond.

    JB Weld that mofo.
    a little more difficult to work with - but sandable and paintable like bondo

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    Default Re: DIY Defi style gauge pod for Mazda 3/Mazdaspeed 3 Gen 1

    Does someone have pictures that are still availabe?

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