Installing an HUD

(I thought
I’d post a message about installing a HUD into a 1997 Corvette. I just
went through this process, and thought it might be helpful for others
contemplating the same upgrade)
First, you will need a HUD
projector, and a HUD-enabled instrument cluster. You can get these items
from a 1999 or newer Corvette. It will be easiest if you purchase a HUD
and Cluster as one unit, as you will then be sure to have the proper
connecting cables. There are other articles that describe the dash
removal process, so I won’t duplicate that info here.



There
is really no rewiring to do; it is all plug-and-play. The HUD plugs only
into the cluster (it has to be a HUD-enabled cluster), so there is no
additional wiring at all; plug the HUD into the cluster, and the cluster
plugs into the standard wiring harness, and that’s it. Also, the HUD
controls plug right into the cluster, so no additional wiring there
either. Since you are using a newer cluster in a 1997, you may need to
unplug the Airbag warning bulb from its socket, and plug it back into the
old socket.
Obviously,
my 1997 didn’t have the special HUD windshield, but I thought the display
was very readable anyway.
The hardest part of the install is
drilling the three holes needed to mount the HUD projector, and cutting
the hole in the dashpad. You will need a Dremel tool with a right-angle
attachment to drill the HUD mounting holes, since the mounting points are
close to the base of the windshield, and there isn’t a lot of room up
there.

I
used two rubber expansion nuts, size #10-32×5/8″ from Home Depot for the
front two mounting points, and a simple sheet metal screw and clip nut in
the lower mount point (although a small nut and bolt would work here as
well).

There
are two holes to drill in a plastic molding up near the windshield base,
and one to drill in a rib in the magnesium dash support. Mark the hole
positions by placing the HUD projector in place, and use a felt tip marker
to mark the hole positions.


In
the forward two holes, start with a small drill bit in the
Dremel/right-angle tool, and then use a cone-shaped grinding bit to
enlarge the holes enough to take the rubber expanding nuts. Be careful,
the material is soft and enlarges very easily. If you make the holes too
big, the rubber expanding nuts won’t work.
Insert the expansion
nuts into the two forward holes, drop the HUD projector into place, and
fasten. You will probably need a right-angle screwdriver to tighten the
forward two screws, since it is close to the windshield base, and there
isn’t a lot of vertical work space. Install the new instrument cluster,
and plug the HUD cable into the top of the cluster.

Install
the dashpad with the HUD hole and bezel (or cut your existing pad and fit
with a bezel), reinstall the remaining dash parts, and you’re
finished.
The interesting part was that even back in 1997, they
seem to have designed the Corvette for the HUD. It fits like it was made
to go there, and the dashpad has indentations where the hole needs to be
cut for the display.
(PS> The only step I didn’t go over is
synching the odo on the new cluster to your existing mileage, but that’s
an issue anytime you change out the instrument cluster in any vehicle. I
didn’t go that far in the process, but some have said that the dealer can
do it, while others have said that the cluster has to be sent in. Sounds
solvable either way.)