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Discussion Starter #1
Just came across this as I was getting ready to replace my tattered original dash with a much better later one. The outboard vents are very nearly identical, but have slight differences, and I thought it might be worth documenting it. I've never seen it mentioned before. (I don't know if this applies to any S3s.) It's just a picayune little thing, but it might make a difference to somebody someday. (Shhh, don't tell the concours judges!)

In the first photo you'll see the most obvious difference is in the handle. The original '71 handle on the right is metal with a flattened round knob on the end. It's clipped to a separate square metal shaft that goes through a metal cam that the spring attaches to and on into the duct and through the flap to the top side where it's held in place with an E-clip. The later handle is plastic, and I believe it's all one piece, handle, cam, and round shaft. Instead of an E-clip there's a push nut on the other side. The cams are noted with the blue arrows. The thing that made me realize there were differences in the first place was when I was trying to fit my older vents into the newer dash and it wouldn't go in properly. It turns out the later vents have a notch, noted with the red arrow, that the earlier vents don't have. The hole in the dash has a tab that the notch fits to, preventing the duct from rotating. (That's a big problem, right?) So for me to fit the older vents to the newer dash, I'm going to have to either grind down the tab, or file a notch into the vent body. Yeah, I could put the newer vents in instead, but now that I know there's a difference, the plastic handles would bother me. The old-style metal handles fit the look of the '71 better.

Other than the differences I noted, I think the rest of the vent is identical.
 

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On my '74 Spider

I have the round handle with indents. My build date is 5/74 and I believe the dash and vents to be original. So the plastic handle vent is from an even later model.

For what it is worth, if it were me, I'd file in notches in the correct vents and install. So I'm with you (picayune or not).

jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I found a date on the back of the newer dash; it's from March of '81. It's really amazing how little changed in ten years.
 

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First things first ...

How do you get those vents out in the first place? On my '74 Series 2 (Euro) Spider the "vanes" rotate and seem to be held in by a strip of spring steel but I can't figure out how to remove the whole assembly - or indeed, even the vanes!

Cheers

David G.
 

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@ Farace:

FWIW, if you look close there might be sinistra and destra marked on them too.
Sinistra is left, a destra is right.

I know the defrost ducts are marked that way anyway, though they truly are a left/right pattern item and it may be present on your ducts to give relationship to the mount notches or something.

Just reachin' and thought I'd toss that out there...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There is a ring around the vent behind the dash that locks the vent in place. A quarter turn should free it, and then it's a matter of wiggling and repositioning the lever to get the vent assembly out through the dash hole.

As for getting the vanes out, IIRC there is a small machine screw that goes from behind that metal strip through the strip and into the center of the vane piece. It's really only accessible with the vent out of the dash. Well, you could probably remove and replace it with the part in place, but it doesn't make any sense as the whole thing is easier and would take less time with the vent removed. Once the small machine screw is removed, the metal strip is free to fall through the slots in the side of the vent tube.

How do you get those vents out in the first place? On my '74 Series 2 (Euro) Spider the "vanes" rotate and seem to be held in by a strip of spring steel but I can't figure out how to remove the whole assembly - or indeed, even the vanes!

Cheers

David G.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't remember them being marked; I think it's a case of the parts being the same, but there being a side-specific way of assembling them so they operate the opposite way. I'll check later and correct myself if I remembered incorrectly.

@ Farace:

FWIW, if you look close there might be sinistra and destra marked on them too.
Sinistra is left, a destra is right.

I know the defrost ducts are marked that way anyway, though they truly are a left/right pattern item and it may be present on your ducts to give relationship to the mount notches or something.

Just reachin' and thought I'd toss that out there...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Had my spares in my hand tonight and it looks like the only difference between the two sides is how the flap is oriented on the shaft.

Also figured out it would be damned near impossible to disassemble the vent in situ; there's a press washer holding the shaft in place at the top and it's highly improbable it could be easily reached, removed and replaced with the vents in the dash. It would be harder than just taking the vents out anyway.
 
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