For this build we took the modern VW Beetle and updated with all the exciting new options available in car audio that we never offered from the factory.
Our client for this build approached many other audio specialists, but was unable to find anyone else to give them what they wanted. The standard radio opening only allows for what is known as a Single-DIN radio. These are the more common aftermarket sized radios, known for their 2″ by 7″ face plate. In recent years, the Double-DIN radio has become very popular by the OEM and aftermarket segments, with a 4×7″ face that allows for an LCD screen for navigation and advanced audio controls.
Above you can see the stock dash bezel of the Beetle. The dashes of these car were originally covered in a soft paint material that scratches very easily, and eventually becomes a tar-like layer that everything sticks to. You can see that the normal radio size is very similar to the 2×7″ opening, with extended rounded corners.
First the radio and dash bezel need to be removed from the car, and stripped. Here the soft paint coating has been removed with lacquer thinner and a lot of sanding. The plastic has been thoroughly scuffed and cleaned of any oils, silicone or cleaners.
The dash bezel was cut evenly along the bottom of the factory radio opening. The aftermarket radio is wrapped in tape to prevent damage during the molding process. The A/C controls mount to a plastic housing that is permanently attached to the dash frame. This housing was removed from the dash frame with a Dremel tool and reattached 2″ lower to allow the needed room for the radio. The radio is attached to the dash bezel by drilling holes in the support bracket of the bezel. At this point, all of the components are secured in their final location, and it is time to fill in the gap.
The gaps between the two halves are filled with pieces of ABS plastic that have been scuffed and chemically treated to bond to the existing plastic and the body filler that will finish the job. This is the final test fit after the plastic has been smoothed, and further smoothed out using premium body filler. The next step is to paint or cover the dash and reinstall all the components.