The joy of dashboard removal

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Kimmo
Posts: 2285
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:40 am
Location: Footscray

The joy of dashboard removal

Post by Kimmo » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:40 pm

I've done this shit like half a dozen times now, so I figured this time I'd take pics and do a little tutorial...

First, remove the wheel (bad luck if you don't have the Turbo interior or an easily removable aftermarket wheel)...
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Also the steering column cover and indicator and wiper stalks.
See that funny little hole just to the left of the top of the steering column adjustment lever? Above that, pointing up, is the single screw that retains the dashboard cowl. After you remove that and pop the switches out of the sides and unplug them, the cowl just unclips as you pull it out.

Removing the gauge cluster can be a bit of a pain...
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There are five plugs to remove; three on the left and two on the right...

But first, you've gotta unclip the speedo cable.
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After you've removed the three screws holding it in place, give the gauge cluster a bit of a yank to pull a bit more cable through the firewall, so you can get your fingers at the retention clip.
When you refit the guage cluster, your speedo cable might be noisy, so you'll need to carefully pull a bit of cable back through the firewall... you don't wanna pull the damn thing right off the back of the speedo again, so just do a quarter inch at a time or so before testing it.

Here's the back of the gauge cluster to give you an idea of what it's like...
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Imagine it facing the other way with about three inches of space to unclip the speedo cable... once that's undone, you'll get a bit more room to unclip the wires, but maybe not much...

Now to remove some other bits, like this chunk of the console.
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Two screws each side, top and bottom.

This D-shaped bit of fascia comes off easy.
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A screw each side under the top. The + connection on the ciggie lighter unscrews.

Remove the screw on each side of the ventilation controls.
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Remove the knobs too - not because you have to, but cause you'll prolly send em flying when you pull the dash out.

Bonnet release.
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Remember to pop it up through the hole.

There are eight large symmetrically-arranged screws holding the dash on.
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The lower outside ones are here.

Lower inside spot:
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The upper outside ones are hiding behind the side window vents.
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Unclip like so.

These little covers are pretty neat...
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Just press the upper part forwards to pop em out. Leave the upper middle screws in for now.

Now for the really annoying bit. This out-of-sequence shot shows the problem:
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This length of ducting goes between the steering column and its brace, fucken... and it's a total arse to refit.

In here lurks a right bastard.
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You're gonna curse this little prick before you're done...
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And you thought getting that screw out was tough...
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You're gonna go fucken nuts trying to get it back in.
Joy.

You can remove the last two screws now, or try and do this last bit by feel, which isn't too hard...
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There are three plugs for the dash loom, above the fusebox.

The clip on the first one is in front (towards you).
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The second plug is clipped on the back (towards the firewall).
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Same with the third.
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Remember to unpug the aerial from your stereo too.

Dashless.
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The white stuff is that draught-sealing strip for doorways, the original foam's long perished.
It would have been good if I'd remembered to replace my rego sticker while the dash was out : /

Phew.
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That sunroof's a handy thing...
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Replacement is basically this procedure reversed, with the aforementioned hassles regarding that total utter bastard length of ducting.

User avatar
Kimmo
Posts: 2285
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:40 am
Location: Footscray

Post by Kimmo » Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:41 pm

Not so bad getting it out... getting the fucker back in is the major pain in the arse.
I'm getting pretty good at it by now...

Wrestling the damn thing into place is always gonna be a hassle, even when you're familiar with it...
Do it with the dash hanging by the two upper central screws, so you can pull it out at the bottom. After jamming the cµnt roughly into place (you can use plenty of force, cause the plastic's lasted well, and returns to its original shape nicely), lie down on the sill and get your head in the footwell so you can see the triangular end of the ducting it clips onto.
Now jiggle that fucking bit of duct between the steering column and its brace until it finally seats over the other duct.

Now for the hard part. Sit back up and reach behind the end of the dash and buggerise around for at least five minutes until you've managed to get the upper end of the duct over the vent shroud.
Getting from here...
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...to here...
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...usually ain't much fun.

And here's the really maddening bit. Thankfully, good ole Kimmo's gone and figured out the easiest way for ya ; )
Now that the duct is in place and that little bracket is hard up against its screw post, keep your right hand where it is, and pass it a philips head.
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Win.

Now you need a magnet on a stick or some such. Blu-tack will do in a pinch, but you risk dropping the screw, which will shit you hard.
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By using the magnet and a counter-sunk screw, I was able to poke it in on a nice angle. A fair bit of dexterity and caution later, and you should be able to have that bastard screw started.

And that's pretty much it; it's pretty easy to figure out how to completely disassemble the dash aside from a couple of tricky bits...

There's a cover on the front of the clock that's held on with four clips; it should pop out easily enough, exposing the two screws that retain the clock.

The two center vents are retained by a white clip between them; you need to press a little screwdriver or something through the hole on the right, and then it'll slide back. The side vents are retained by a screw between them and the very edge of the dash. It's possible to remove and replace the vents without having the dash out, but you'll most likely damage them and the white clip.

The crash pad is retained by three screws along its upper edge (you'll need to remove the ventilation ducting for access) and a number of twisted steel tabs along the bottom. If you want to remove it without damaging it, you'll have to be pretty careful... it's a thin bit of steel with foam moulded onto it, covered by very brittle vinyl, so careful not to bend or poke it...

And be bloody careful of the crash pad while hauling the dash around; it's quite easy to damage, especially when you're putting the dash back in.
Last edited by Kimmo on Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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