Sep 12, 2012 // Turbo Essentials //
Lo-Tek Pillar Mount
The Lo-Tek pillar mount is a
decent piece from the factory, but it needs
some work to make it look a little better and handle 60 mm gauges. It's
normally bored for 52 mm gauges from the factory. I've heard that Lo-Tek
will bore it for 60s before they ship it if you ask, but I'm not sure if
that's the case or not. Even if it comes with 60 mm bores, it'll need some
additional work prior to installation.
So, if you have the standard
unit, you have to enlarge the openings to fit
60 mm gauges. In order to fit 60s in, you'll need to position the side of
the gauges pretty close to the edges of the pods nearest the steering wheel.
So keep that in mind when you start enlarging the opening. You can do it
with a Dremel tool and a cutting burr (something in the range of 1/8″ to ¼”
diameter works well for me), but be careful that you don't let it get away
from you and bugger the finish. The best method I've found is to grind the
opening, test-fit the gauge, then grind some more, etc. If you
get the opening a little too large, you can wrap the gauge with a round or
two of black electrical tape to make it fit snugly. You want the gauge to
fit snugly so that it stays put.
You also need to grind the mount at a couple places near the top in order to
make it fit the A-Pillar properly. Remove the factory trim and put the
Lo-Tek in place and you'll see where the trimming needs to be done to make
it lay down like it ought to. A Dremel tool with a cutting burr works well
for this too. BTW, remove the little clip at the top of the A-pillar after
you remove the factory trim — it's not needed with the Lo-Tek. I think it
might contact the Lo-Tek mount and hold it off the pillar, but I'm not
Test-position the mount and figure out just where to position it in order to
meet the dash at the bottom while still reaching the headliner trim on the
top. The mount is barely long enough to cover everything at both the top
and the bottom.
The original retainers that hold the factory pillar trim aren't large enough
to enable them to grip the A-pillar holes strongly enough to hold the pillar
mount and two gauges secure
ly. Take the original retainers and go to your
local NAPA/whatever store and find some that are slightly longer and larger
but generally shaped so that they will fit into the holes in the A-Pillar.
Place the retainers in their respective holes in the A-pillar, then put some
putty or caulk or something similar in the very centers of the retainers.
Position the pillar mount in place and press it against the retainers. Some
of the putty will transfer from the retainer onto the pillar mount. Drill
small holes at the points where the putty transfered off onto the pillar
mount. Using some decent-looking black screws, attach the retainers to the
pillar mount. Then simply snap the pillar mount into place on the car's
If you want the pod to match the Supra interior you'll have to paint it.
Otherwise it's way too shiny. (They may make a different finish, but I
wasn't aware of one.) Wipe it down with a solvent to remove any residual
mold release from the surface of the mount prior to spraying it. 3M
Adhesive Remover Citrus Base will work very well, but most any solvent
should do. For paint, use Rustoleum #7776 Flat Black aerosol paint. The
paint number is on the bottom of the can. You should be able to find this
paint at Home Depot, Lowes, or other hardware stores. Be sure to use good
technique when painting (spray a light coat, let it dry to the touch, then
repeat a couple times until you have uniform coverage).
After doing all the grinding and drilling and mounting the retainers, clean
and spray the mount and put it in the sun to cure. After the mount has fully
cured — ideally, for several hours in the sun — wash your hands with a
non-moisturizing soap to remove excess skin oils, then rub the mount down
with your dry hands to knock down the powdery-looking flat paint finish.
The result will be a finish that looks almost identical to the black plastic
in the Supra. If you don't do the rub-down the finish will be a little too
flat-looking and will mar easily — wherever you touch it or bump it against
another hard object you'll cause a relatively shiny spot.
If you do it all correctly the Lo-Tek mount fits nicely and looks pretty
much factory. If you just throw the mount on as it comes from Lo-Tek, it
doesn't look too good.
Feel free to E-mail me with any