ATI Center Dash Pod Modification and Installation

If you are looking to install gauges into your 2008+ WRX/STi, there are a few choices available depending on the style and placement of where you want to put them. There is the 90’s Fast and Furious style A-Pillar location,  the sleek hidden SMY solution, the rear view mirror location, passenger airbag location, center vent location and lastly the top center of the dash.

For my installation, I wanted a centralized location and a simple viewing area. For this, I waited for the ATI center gauge pod. It took a long 3+ years to develop and finally after the wait, I purchased the pod and hoped that it would be worth money. Well, my first impression was not very good and I immediately tried to think of ways to modify the pod to fit better.

Here is the fitment right out of the box.

Out of box

The first step into making this a nicer fitting pod will be to remove the rubber cover that they placed on top of the plastic pod. Just peel it off.

peeling rubber off

Once you peel off the rubber, you will be left with a plastic pod housing and a coating of rubberized glue. You’ll need to strip this off too.

Rubber removed

To strip off the rubberized glue I used a wire wheel on an electric drill. I was careful not to cut too deeply into the plastic, just enough to strip the glue off. You will make some marks and that’s okay, just try not to go crazy…

stripping rubber glue

After I stripped off the coating, I used regular 120 grit sand paper to smooth out the marks from the wire wheel. After it was sanded, I went for another test fit. You will see that there are gaps around the whole pod, not good. To fix this, I used a heat gun and  got the plastic hot enough to be re-molded in certain spots. Basically I just bent the edges to meet with the dash. I was a simple fix and once the plastic cooled off, it was hard as a rock again.

test fitment

After the re-molding, I used body filler to take out any casting imperfections and prepared it for Alcantara wrapping and mounting.

body filler to smooth out

What I wanted to do is mount this onto the dash so it was as solid as possible. I needed to make studs that will go through the pod and dash. To do this, I tapped the existing mounting hole with a 10-32 tap and screwed 10-32 bolts from the top down.

tapping mounting holes

Now that I had studs to mount the pod, I used the studs to mark holes that will be drilled in the dash for them to go through. Using a drill, I drilled the dash.

Drilling the dash to mount

Here you can see the studs and how they stick through the cluster. Then the pod was wrapped in Black Alcantara.

Ready for Alcantara

Once the Alcantara was done, the pod was ready to be mounded and wired with your 60mm gauges, all done!

Finished installation