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Discussion Starter #1
On my 2014 3 I've removed the silver bezel from the two side vents in order to wrap them matte red for vinyl but for the life of me I can't seem to release the center vent. I tried to follow the service manual and got to the point where I got the 3 metal clips off of the "decorative panel" (piano black). Have you guys taken out the center vent and have any tips? I did not go any further than the 3 metal clips connecting the panel to the dash in fear of breaking the center vent plastic clips. Thanks!
 

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Page 6675 on the Mazda Manual, I have taken it twice already and the entire trick at least for me is the following:

1- Put protective tape as per the manual in the shaded areas
2- Place your prying tool in the upper middle center area of the A/C vents and pull outwards very gently , this will release the upper clips and you will have enough room to pull with your hands the A/C vents with the decorative panel.

Good luck! And remember use protective tape to avoid any visible scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Page 6675 on the Mazda Manual, I have taken it twice already and the entire trick at least for me is the following:

1- Put protective tape as per the manual in the shaded areas
2- Place your prying tool in the upper middle center area of the A/C vents and pull outwards very gently , this will release the upper clips and you will have enough room to pull with your hands the A/C vents with the decorative panel.

Good luck! And remember use protective tape to avoid any visible scratches.
Now you're talking about in between the vent and the leatherette above it right? And what about in the service manual it shows the decorative panel having a ton of clips on the bottom left? Will those just kind of pop out when I pull the top part of the vent out with my hands?

Edit: I know it's a lot to ask, but can you show me a few pics describing how you get it off in a different way than the service manual says? The way they are showing it done seems like unless you have the specialty tool to pry it (the EXACT one) than you will damage the interior trim pieces.
 

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Will those just kind of pop out when I pull the top part of the vent out with my hands?
Yes, it's not about the use of force but rather being very cautious, having patience and applying a very meticulous "prying" technique on the trim. Once you pop out the upper clips of the A/C vents the bottom clips pop as well (in my experience) , then I just pull with my hand the entire A/C vents and the decorative trim.

Sadly I don't have any pics from when I took the piece out but you definitely need to have some sort of prying tool in order to make the removal easier or even possible.

*Please don't try using any flat screwdriver or any sort of unconventional prying tools as you might end up scratching the center plastic trim, go to any hardware store and buy yourself some good prying tools for 5$-10$.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, it's not about the use of force but rather being very cautious, having patience and applying a very meticulous "prying" technique on the trim. Once you pop out the upper clips of the A/C vents the bottom clips pop as well (in my experience) , then I just pull with my hand the entire A/C vents and the decorative trim.

Sadly I don't have any pics from when I took the piece out but you definitely need to have some sort of prying tool in order to make the removal easier or even possible.

*Please don't try using any flat screwdriver or any sort of unconventional prying tools as you might end up scratching the center plastic trim, go to any hardware store and buy yourself some good prying tools for 5$-10$.
Hey man! Thanks, I finally got it out!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update: Well after getting it out and disassembling most of it, I got to the bezel and snapped it in half. I don't believe the bezel was designed to come out like it was on the side vents. Now I'm off across the valley to a salvage yard to shell out $75 for a new center ventilator assembly. Much better than the $240 that Mazda was quoting. An expensive lesson to learn, and I definitely wont be trying that again.
 

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An expensive lesson to learn, and I definitely wont be trying that again.
That's how we learn, don't be hard on yourself, if it makes you feel any better I fuc%$# up an entire headlight assembly when trying to upgrade the xenon bulbs, ended up paying 1685$ for a new unit...Next time if you are unsure of your skills get a professional to get the job done.
 
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