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Old 10-23-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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Dash defrost vent grill broken

Anyone ever have this happen to them? The plastic grating that is attached to the crash pad for the defroster vent is all busted in my Jeep. Has anyone replaced this with some kind of wire mesh? If so any recommendations? I've gone to Lowe's and Home Depot in search of some wire/metal mesh but the best I can come up with is window screen which seems too soft. I've also heard of using gutter screening but the holes seem too small and airflow restricting

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Old 10-23-2010, 07:37 PM   #2
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Can you find the part at a junk yard? How about decorative cut metal sheeting?

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Old 10-25-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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Few wranglers in junkers in these parts Could you elaborate on the decorative cut metal sheeting? Something like this:

Shop Steelworks Aluminum Deco Sheet 24 x 36 Cloverleaf MF at Lowes.com

I've visited my nearby Lowe's and Homedepot and their selection was lacking. However their online store seems to have a much better selection! Thanks for guiding me to look online haha
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:39 PM   #4
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If you look for the right gutter screen then it should not have to small of holes. I used some for a mesh type grill in my Eclipse.

Something like this


Comes on a roll back near the guttering/ chimney stacks area
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:44 PM   #5
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Why not just order a new one from the dealer?
It won't be necessarily cheap, but it will be quick, easy and not look like something that you've jimmy rigged.

$39.95 on Ebay

Search: "Jeep wrangler defrost trim"
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikalCarbine View Post
Few wranglers in junkers in these parts Could you elaborate on the decorative cut metal sheeting? Something like this:

Shop Steelworks Aluminum Deco Sheet 24 x 36 Cloverleaf MF at Lowes.com

I've visited my nearby Lowe's and Homedepot and their selection was lacking. However their online store seems to have a much better selection! Thanks for guiding me to look online haha

To me that gutter screen looks like a better bet, though your link is what I was picturing in my mind.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Trying to avoid spending big money to fix this, Ill look into an OEM replacement. I couldn't seem to find it on any mopar parts websites. I like the gutter mesh idea, I'm wondering if a huge roll like that will be worth buying though ..
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
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Ending up grabbing this 12x24 mesh sheet today for $10

Shop Steelworks Weldable Expanded Sheet 1/2 x 12 x 24 18 Gauge at Lowes.com

Going to measure, cut it up and install this week. I'm going to install it then debate if I want to paint it or not. Will post pictures for anyone else who may have this problem in the future
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:40 PM   #9
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That should do the trick nicely. Good luck.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:17 AM   #10
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$40 is big money,
when it's the interior of your vehicle,
you'll have to jimmy rig it
it's going to bend and look like the devil
and it's going to forever be there staring you in the face???

Ok then. I guess I just don't get it.

Paint it first. You'll be glad you did.
How do you intend to fasten it to the dash insert?

Then there is the whole condensation/rust issue.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate View Post
$40 is big money,
when it's the interior of your vehicle,
you'll have to jimmy rig it
it's going to bend and look like the devil
and it's going to forever be there staring you in the face???

Ok then. I guess I just don't get it.

Paint it first. You'll be glad you did.
How do you intend to fasten it to the dash insert?

Then there is the whole condensation/rust issue.
At this point I'd rather spend the money on the CB setup I've been looking into. The vent already looks like crap the way it is so anything will be an improvement. Ill paint it to avoid rust - great idea. I have a good general idea of how I will be doing this. Ill post pictures of the process. When all is said and done if it looks like crap I'll scrap it and how OEM, Im chancing $10 and a little time lost compared to $65 for a nonfunctional accessory, IMO its worth the risk
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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Please don't think that I'm be condescending, because I'm not trying to be at all.

I just want to give you a quote from my dad.
"If you can't afford to do something right the first time, how will you afford to do it over again?"

Meaning, do it right the first time, don't waste your money trying to cut corners.

I do wish you the best of luck though, I hope it comes out fantastic and I have to eat my words!
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:40 PM   #13
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Been really busy this week but I was able to put an hour or so into here and there and I finished it up today. I took pictures through the whole process, most of them came out really bad due to the poor lighting in my basement. You'll get the idea though. Overall it took some time but I like how it came out. Here's a little write up incase anyone stumbles upon this in the future and wishes to try it

I started by pulling the dash vent out by simply prying it upwards with a flathead screwdriver. There are several metal tabs that hold it in place. Here are a few of them

Here is the broken vent

The steel mesh to replace the vent

Before starting this I had a general idea of how I wanted to conquer this from observing the vent while it was still attached to the dash. Once I had it out I noticed things were a little different then I expected underneath. On the bottom side there was a piece of plastic to help guide the airflow through the vent. This was attached by several melted tabs you can see below. My plan was to break the tabs and remove this plastic piece, cut out the broken vent, place the metal mesh down and epoxy the plastic guide over the metal mesh back onto its original tabs.

I got the plastic piece out and cut out the broken plastic with a straight edge razor. I also cleaned up the remains a little with the razor after this. I seem to have really bad luck with straight razors and knick myself at least twice a year. Even though I was being careful I somehow managed to cut through one of my cuticle areas pretty deep haha

Using the most sophisticated tools possible (wicked ghetto large wire cutters that I stole from my dad and are probably older than I am LOL) I started to cut an estimated size of the metal mesh out. Once I had the general size I started cutting it down until I had a very nice fit. A dremel would have made short, extremely clean work of this. I knew that I wouldn't be seeing the bottom side of this so I could be as sloppy as I wanted to. Sadly enough my dremel's insides exploded on me once day while I was working on my previous car Here is a little sneak peak of what it'll look like along with my bandaged finger haha


Per Kane's suggestion I decided to paint it to prevent rust. I think it looks decent not being painted but I'd rather not have rust a year down the road. I primed and painted it with some semi flat black I had lying around

Time to secure it back in with some epoxy and RTV gasket
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:41 PM   #14
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I spot glued the mesh in and slowly glued the plastic guide back in and then used RTV gasket to seal all of the holes between the plastic guide and its new mesh to prevent any stray airflow back into the dash. Here's a sneak peak while it was drying before putting the plastic guide back in

And the final product! Here is the underside, very sloppy I know

Top, pretty clean

Installed, oh yeahh



Not too bad for $10 with some time (2-4 hours) and some spare supplies. If I didn't have epoxy, RTV and primer/paint lying around I would have to say it wouldn't have really been worth it though.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:43 PM   #15
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Thay will look fine despite the previous doubter's posts
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:01 PM   #16
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I completely agree with Kate's terminology, that's why I haven't 2" BB lifted or went with a cheap crappy lift. I've been saving for months now and constantly researching on the right path to take because I want to do it right the first time and not have to waste money and buy another lift down the road. However I felt that I could fix this cheap and cleanly. I know I wouldn't want some ghetto rigged setup on my dash either
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Old 10-31-2010, 04:59 PM   #17
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Nice job. Looks good to me.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:04 PM   #18
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Ya done good kid.

It turned out looking surprisingly much better than I thought it would. I had visualized rivets or screws of some kind used through the upper trim piece to attach it because on mine, there isn't an air collector attached beneath like that.
I believe that it may just be your saving grace because it will (hopefully) support the mesh all the way around the opening.

I really enjoyed reading your write up and I'm glad that it went well for you. You have a great sense of humor! Sorry to hear that you sliced your finger though, that bites.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:08 PM   #19
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That came out pretty good looking! Nice Job!
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate View Post
Why not just order a new one from the dealer?
It won't be necessarily cheap, but it will be quick, easy and not look like something that you've jimmy rigged.

$39.95 on Ebay

Search: "Jeep wrangler defrost trim"
Found a part number for the 2003-2006:
5EU50ZJ3AF (for the medium khaki interior)
5EU50XDVAF (for the dark slate gray interior)
I almost spit up my coffee when I saw the price on Morris 4X4 $97.99 and $104.99 respectively!!!

Instrument Panel Components for 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ | Morris 4x4 Center
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:50 PM   #21
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Haha ya, the reason I did this fix instead

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