Dashboard Removal

A major project, but worth it if you have a poor dash (I did) and lots of work to do behind it. In my case, I wanted to get to the heater, make some adjustments in the steering column and replace some brake lines. Once behind the dash, there are other things you’ll want to tackle, as this is a job most people don’t want to do twice: replace vacuum lines, install new firewall seals and remove the old, crumbly soundproofing. These photos follow the steps outlined in the shop manual.

Seats removed
The first step is disconnecting the battery. I sometimes skip this, but with this project there will be a lot of bare wires flopping around, so I pulled the negative terminal. After that, remove the seats, including the bottom part of the rear seats.
Remove steering Wheel
The instructions don’t call for removing the steering wheel, but I don’t know how you can get away not doing it.
Remove Console Trim
Next, remove the trim at the base of the center console.
Remove Passenger Side Lower Dash Trim
…and the lower trim panel on the passenger side. Parts of this are stapled on. In retrospect, this may be fine to leave in place:
Remove Left Radio Access Panel
The left radio access panel comes off (Mine is riveted to the trim panel supporting the ignition switch. The manual says it’s screwed together. Maybe some are.)
Remove Right Radio Access Panel
Then the right radio access comes off too.
Prepare to Remove Center Console
The center console comes out, so you need to remove the knobs from the radio, heater and rear vent switch:
Remove Center Console Trim Panel
I started labeling items when the console trim panel came out. There will be a lot of loose wires and vacuum tubes at the end, and I won’t remember exactly where they go in a week.
Disconnect Radio and Heater from the Console
Both the radio and the heater controls need to be free from the center console.
Remove Center Console
Things start to look a little barren when the center console is removed. I was not the first to do this for this car.
Remove Clock Pod and Front Speaker
The clock pod (more labeling) and the front speaker are removed.
Remove Cowl
The cowl is not hard to remove, just a couple of screws (and try not to scratch the paintwork). Not as dirty under there as I would have imagined.
Hardened Sealer on the Bolts
The bolts I needed to get to were under some kind of hardened sealant. No mention of this stuff in the manual; I chipped it off with a screwdriver and a hammer.
Remove Swing-Away Support
Two bolts at both ends of the dash need to be removed. On the driver’s side, there’s a support for the swing away mechanism that’s in the way as well.

The last two bolts are up at the brake support, behind the steering column. The dash will be loose. As I pulled it off, I disconnected the defroster vent tubing and the wiring. I am planning to pull and paint the steering column–if you are not, you’ll want to protect it. It’s easy to drop the dash on it and scrape the paint.

Remove Dashboard
The dash is heavy, but comes out easily once disconnected. Lots of work to do behind it.


9 thoughts on “Dashboard Removal”

    1. The seats come out easily–just four nuts underneath. I have manual seats, so they are relatively light. If you have power seats, I believe it is still just four nuts underneath, but you’ll need to disconnect the wires to the motor.

  1. do you have a picture of the plugs where steering column plugs plug in to eachother, my secratary lost the pictures really could use you help

    1. No, you should not have to remove the chrome on the exterior around the windshield. In my case, removing the dash resulted in a leak at the windshield (requiring removal and reinstalling, which I had done professionally). That leak, though, was probably due to a poor job by the folks that had previously installed a replacement windshield.

  2. Your picture of the support for the swing away mechanism really helped. I could not remember how that double ended bar went.

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