Project BMW E30 318iS - HVAC is for the Weak September 09 2013

The air conditioning failed on our E30 318iS, so instead of repairing it, we decided to delete it and shed a few pounds in the process. HVAC was created for the weak anyways. In its place, we mounted an aluminum panel. This panel will close out the hole left in the dash from the removal of the HVAC panel and provide easy mounting for switches and gauges. 

BMW E30 HVAC panel removed.

We cut some aluminum L-angle into short pieces, drilled holes through them, and put speed nuts on them. We used factory mounting holes and fasteners that attached the HVAC panel so we wouldn't have to drill any new holes.

Plexiglass template.

We used a piece of polycarbonate to create a template for the aluminum panel. We trimmed the polycarbonate to size and marked where the holes should be. This is a trick I picked up from working in the aerospace industry.

Aluminium panel.

I transferred the polycarbonate pattern onto aluminum and mounted it. I cut a rectangular hole for mounting the hazard switch using a drill, a saw and a file (in that order).

Toggle switches installed in aluminum panel.

I added momentary toggle switches for the windows. Now, the cabin has a racecar look to it, and there is space to mount all sorts of other gauges and switches. Since then, we have taken out the vents directly above the aluminum panel and installed an aluminum panel to house gauges. However, that is for another post. If you dig E30's be sure to check out our E30 shirts in our store.

HVAC delete panel that covers the hole in the firewall. Before and after.

If you've removed your A/C, you will have a large opening under the dash that lets outside air into the cabin. After getting our feet blasted with cold air, we built a panel that blocks off this opening. You can find them in our store here.