In this day and age, it seems like there are two types of Camaro owners. Those owners who opted to outfit their Camaro with a Heads Up Display (HUD) from the factory or those of us who didn’t and always wished they did. There’s just something about checking your speed, gas gauge, and tachometer without having to look down that makes driving a new Camaro quite enjoyable and, once you’ve experienced that luxury, it’s quite difficult to go back. Unfortunately, not every fifth-gen Camaro shipped from the factory with a HUD and if you’re in the market for a used 2010, or you’re an original owner who didn’t have the option available at the time of purchase, you might think you are out of luck. But fear not fans of the futuristic windshield gauge concept, Heads Up can be yours and it can even be installed in your own driveway with a couple of factory parts and a weekend worth of work, if you’re willing to put in the effort. That said, we should mention up front that this can be quite a daunting task if you’re easily intimidated by making a mess in your new Camaro and it certainly isn’t a modification for the faint of heart. You’re going to have to dig in deep and, at some point, wonder if you’ve made a major mistake.
But, truth be told, we’re quite certain you can handle this install if you’re capable of turning a screwdriver, working a ratchet (in both directions), and unclipping clips. If you’re willing to work slow, take care of your interior pieces, and breathe deep, you can knock this project out in a weekend and be cruising the boulevard with a slick Heads Up Display by midnight. Regarding the parts, that’s the easy part, as you can order almost everything you need from the professional staff at Scoggin Dickey Parts Center without any hassle at all. On the base level, you will need a HUD unit (PN 92205982), switch (PN 92224604), and a bezel (PN 22758784). To make everything work, HUD swappers will also need a wiring harness, which you can make yourself with a couple of GM connectors (PN 19115655, 92225478), or you can order one online that comes ready to rock and roll, which is what we chose to do. Last but not least, you’ll need to decide on how to mount the HUD, either in your factory dash pad or in an updated HUD specific dash unit. Installing it in your existing dash requires cutting, while replacing it with a pre-cut OEM unit only requires money. Either way can work, it’s just up to the end user to decide how they want to handle it. Oh, and then there is the windshield debate. Factory HUD equipped Camaro’s come with a special windshield that features a specially coated and prepared section for maximum visibility and clarity while using the Heads Up Display. If you’re converting, you need to swap windshields for maximum performance but without that swap, your factory glass will perform well (lets call it 85-percent). Glass and an install is expensive though, so that’s a call you’re going to have to make for yourself. Full coverage insurance with free windshield replacement from a rogue rock chip anyone?
Of course, there is also the option to farm out all of this work to a qualified mechanic, and that’s exactly what we chose to do for our Camaro Now install. AntiVenom EFI in Seffner, FL was an easy choice, and Greg Lovell was quick to get us a list of parts to order from Scoggin Dickey Parts Center and a donor vehicle for the swap. To best match a DIY effort, we chose to forgo the usual comforts of his high-tech shop, choosing instead to tackle the install in his personal garage, using simple hand tools and no lift, just as a typical enthusiast would do. Five hours later, we were rolling in style with a brand new HUD!
1. Installing a Heads Up Display unit in a 2010 or non-optioned ’11-12 Camaro isn’t a particularly difficult task, but it is rather intimidating and tedious. At one point, you’re going to be looking at something like this and probably wondering if it will ever go back together correctly. If you take your time, do your research, and stay patient it will all go back together just fine… trust us.
2. Of course, it didn’t hurt that we had Greg Lovell of AntiVenom in Seffner, Florida working with us on this project, as he is a master fifth-gen Camaro technician capable of handling big projects without even breaking a sweat. As you can see, the first step here was to remove the stock seats (2 bolts) and the center console, which is held in place by two rear screws, two side screws, and two clips.
3. The center console slides out of the way easily, although several wiring connecters will need to be unclipped as you pull the console upwards. The upper shifter assembly and boot must also be removed, to allow room for the console to slide backwards.
4-5. The factory radio and HVAC control panel attaches to the dash with two 10mm bolts (bottom) and then simply unclips from the radio unit. With the panel removed, four 10mm bolts secure the radio in place, which must be slid forward to gain access to the rear wiring harness, which must be unclipped prior to pulling the radio all the way out.
6. It would be impossible to remove the dash with the factory steering wheel in place, which makes it the next item that must be removed. Two spring clips hold the airbag in place, which simply pop inwards with some slight pressure from a long, flat head screw driver. This can be a little difficult to get at first, so make sure you take your time.
7. Greg and his crew at AntiVenom have worked on almost every type of GM (and other brand) vehicle ever produced and none of them have a steering wheel that is as simple to remove and reinstall as the fifth-gen Camaro. A T50 Torx bolt is all the holds the wheel in place and once removed the wheel simply slides off of the column. That’s right, no need for a bulky or awkward steering wheel puller, just unbolt and go!
8. Even the two control stalks simply slide out of the column, again using a little pressure from a screwdriver to release them from the column. Believe it or not, this part of the removal process is even easier than it looks, which says a lot about the engineering team behind the fifth-gen Camaro.
9. Stepping back, it’s easy to see just how much has to be removed from the Camaro’s interior to access the dash pad. So far, Greg has pulled the center console, radio panel and unit, the steering wheel, control stalks, instrument cluster, lighting control panel, glove box door and both air outlet ducts. Hanging below the glove box area is one of two modules that must be unbolted from the dash in order to gain access for removal.
10. Twelve fasteners hold the dash to the Camaro chassis and all of them (obviously) must be removed prior to yanking the dash out of the vehicle. The top-most-center attachment point can be a little tricky to reach, but Greg was able to handle it with a swivel socket and some finagling. Most of the other bolts are simple to locate and remove, just make sure you get them all before pulling too hard! (Photo courtesy of GM)
11. And just like that (3 hours later) the dash is ready for removal! It should be noted that the dash itself has several clips that connect it to the chassis as well as two friction points, which hold it in place. You will have to pull with some force (up and back) to free the dash from the chassis. Don’t be afraid to put some effort behind it! That said, don’t pull too hard either or you will probably break something…
12-13. To cut or not to cut, that is the question. Installing the HUD requires cutting a large hole in the frontal portion of the dash (so the HUD can shine onto the windshield) and such a cut isn’t for everyone. Greg, an avid car collector, chose to keep the stock dash in mint condition and opted to install a 2011 HUD specific dash (with the cutout already completed at the factory) instead. Scoggin Dickey Parts Center hooked us up with everything we needed for the swap, including the new dash (PN 20966085), which made for a quick, easy, and OEM conversion.
14-15. If you do choose to cut your stock dash – which is perfectly acceptable – you will be happy to know it is already setup to accept the HUD unit. On the left is the factory 2010 dash, while the right shows the 2011 cutout. If you do keep the stock unit, we recommend ordering a nut and bolt kit (PN 11609465, 11610157), which Scoggin Dickey Parts Center can also provide.
16. Bolting the HUD (PN 92205982) to the 2011 dash is a super simple process and only requires 5 bolts. A new dash will include the nuts while a stock 2010 unit will need the nuts and bolts we previously mentioned. As far as the Heads Up Display unit itself goes, it simply requires one harness and that’s that… simple as can be.
17. Here is a look at the harness, which we ordered from Gen4DIY.com, a site we found on the popular Camaro5 forums. Built by an enthusiast, the simple harness grabs power from the factory 4-pack gauge cluster and powers up the HUD and switch panel to make everything work.
18. Scoggin Dickey Parts Center also included the correct HUD switch (PN 92224604), which simply clicks into place on the 2011+ dash. Again, if you choose to modify your stock dash, you will have to cut out this area, as the factory ’10 dash ships as a smooth unit here.
19. Installation of the new dash with the HUD installed is just the opposite of the removal, although it goes much quicker on the way back in than it does on the way out. If you end up with extra screws or bolts, you’re doing it wrong, so make sure you get everything back in the way it came out.
20. After several hours worth of work, Greg powered up the fifth-gen Camaro and reveled in the glory that is the Heads Up Display. Just as you would expect, everything worked perfectly and the HUD looked fantastic. Both road and track driving should be a little more enjoyable with the HUD and we’re no longer going to have 2011-model envy! If you’ve always wanted this option, take comfort in knowing it can be yours with a solid days worth of work and a little bit of sweat equity.