Im in the process of writing a tech document. I had never done anything like that before, man, so I think anyone can do it. You just need the courage to cut up your car. ;)
I've attached an image of the final install into my car.
havent had a chance to get pics up yet, but here is an excerpt fro mthe document...
Moving the A/C Controls:
This had to be the most frustrating and difficult aspect of the interior modifications. First I removed the ashtray – it is not hard once the A/C control box is removed. The A/C unit is enclosed in a box, and would not fit in the ash tray area. Hmm. So let’s remove it from the box. Now it consists of a faceplate with a ribbon cable to a circuit board containing the rear connections. Going to be tight, but I think it will go.
Next, build the faceplate that will replace the ashtray and holt the A/C controls. This was insanely difficult for me. I am no master at car modifications or stereo installations so what I did was cut out a square piece of cardboard and shaped it bit by bit as it slowly took on the form that would fit in the ash try position. Finally I got it fairly suitable and then used that as a template for cutting out the ABS plastic version. The plastic version was not perfect so I added bondo to the edges, sanded, etc to fix the defects in the shape.
Don’t forget you have to cut out the rectangle in this plastic piece to accommodate the A/C controls. This is where I lost my cool several times. The cut out is so tight near the bottom corners that there is barely 1/8 an inch left to the faceplate. While putting the finishing touches on the faceplate (ie. sanding) I broke it. After cussing a massive string of expletives (I had worked all evening to get this far) I went to work on a second faceplate. I broke that one too. I nearly exploded. Sat down with a beer and told myself I would do another one tomorrow.
A week later I had the third faceplate done, but I had a slight crack where all the others had broken. I was getting no love from above. It did not matter anyhow. I primed and painted the faceplate and then epoxied the faceplate to the A/C front panel. FINALLY.
Wait – “How does the faceplate stay secure in the ashtray position?” you ask. I used a series of plastic tabs glued on the bottom of the unit so that it would hook into holes I had drilled into the console. Then one more tab on the top (one that was not too tight so that I could remove the unit with a little force). The circuit board containing the plug wiring is simply laid in the back behind the face.