Photo 1/22 | New Wheel And Gauges | 2011 Chevy Silverado Easy Interior Upgrades
Photo 2/22 | Old Gauges | 1. Boring, ugly, stock or however you want to describe it, the Silverado LS' gauge cluster was pathetic. Because it was the work truck model, the cluster only came with four gauges. Thankfully, US Speedo will replace the entire cluster for better looks and more engine vital signs.
Photo 3/22 | Removing Upper Dash Panel | 2. After using a Torx T10 bit to remove the two screws retaining the upper dash panel, the panel was lifted up and out and set aside.
Photo 4/22 | Removing Plastic Dash Panel | 3. A simple tug of the front plastic dash panel was all that was needed to gain access to the gauge cluster.
Photo 5/22 | Removing Trim Bezel | 4. We used a 7mm socket to remove the two screws retaining the trim bezel and then pulled it free.
Photo 6/22 | Removing Gauge Cluster | 5. The actual gauge cluster is held in place by four more 7mm screws. The wiring harness was unplugged from the backside and then the cluster was removed.
Photo 7/22 | Old And New Gauges | 6. Side by side, there really is no comparison. The US Speedo stainless steel series gauges with blue needles looks killer ($449.99 for the complete cluster with upgraded LED lighting), and with us replacing the entire cluster, we now get to view oil pressure and voltage. The truck wiring harness is compatible with the new gauges, which meant it was a literal plug-and-play installation.
Photo 8/22 | Old And New Bezel | 7. We didn't feel right upgrading the gauge cluster and keeping the old bezel (and we needed a new six-gauge bezel), so we purchased a new silver bezel with chrome rings from the local GM dealer.
Photo 9/22 | Placing New Gauges | 8. After snapping in the wiring connector, the cluster slid into place and was secured using the factory screws.
Photo 10/22 | Placing New Bezel | 9. It was now time to install the new six-gauge bezel using the factory hardware.
Photo 11/22 | New Installed Gauges | 10. With the rest of the dash plastics back in place, the gauges looked awesome and perfectly matched the brushed finish on the wheels and grille.
Photo 12/22 | Gauges Lit | 11. Once the lights came on, the gauge provided some much-needed custom appeal to the interior. The colors were vibrant without being too bright. Backlit blue numbers were appropriate for a truck named Blue Bomber.
Photo 13/22 | Old Steering Wheel | 12. With the gauges handled, we switched our focus to the factory vinyl steering wheel. Not only was the wheel not real leather, it was also extremely thin and felt incredibly cheap in your hands.
Photo 14/22 | Unplugging Terminals | 13. To start the install, we unplugged both terminals on the battery and let the truck sit for 15 minutes. To be extra safe, we also removed the airbag fuse. Using a small 3mm Allen wrench, we slid the wrench into the back of the wheel to disengage the side locks. By simply depressing the locks, the airbag can be gently pulled free.
Photo 15/22 | Removing Connectors | 14. On the backside of the airbag, there are two large wire connectors (pink and white) you must remove by depressing the tabs and pulling straight out. The blue wire connector for the horn was also carefully removed at the base of the wheel.
Photo 16/22 | Removing Steering Wheel Retaining Nut | 15. Using a large 1/2-inch ratchet and 21mm socket, the factory steering wheel retaining nut was loosened and removed.
Photo 17/22 | Removing Wheel | 16. For the GM steering wheels, this thin-profile steering wheel puller from Craftsman worked best and fit right into the wheel's baseplate holes. A couple turns of the puller later, and our wheel was freed.
Photo 18/22 | Removing Airbag Mounting | 17. A Torx T35 bit was used to remove the airbag-mounting bracket from the factory wheel.
Photo 19/22 | Transfering Panel | 18. We then transferred the black plastic trim panel from the old wheel onto the Grant wheel and used the T35 socket to install the airbag bracket onto the new Grant wheel.
Photo 20/22 | Old And New Wheel | 19. In this side-by-side photo, you can see the nice brushed silver finish on the Grant wheel, as well as the real leather cover and perfectly placed handgrips. Note that the factory airbag was just resting in position for the photo, it was not snapped into place yet.
Photo 21/22 | Reconnecting Connectors | 20. With the steering straight, the large retaining nut was secured and each of the wires connected to the back of the airbag and horn. We then reconnected the battery and checked for any warning lights on the dash. The new steering wheel not only looked sportier, but the real leather covering added elegance to the interior.
Photo 22/22 | New Wheel And Gauges | In less than two hours, our base- model Silverado's interior looked more upscale and sporty thanks to a new US Speedo gauge cluster and Grant steering wheel.