How-To: Dash Removal
10-15-2006, 11:20 AM
Dodge Forum Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2005
Vehicle: 1997 Avenger ES
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
How-To: Dash Removal
For those of you who find a need to remove your dash. Some swap out the gray one for an Eclipse or Avenger black dash, some just feel the need to do it, lol. Here's a step by step removal by a member from another site, Bad Venge, some of you may know him, some may not. Regardless, he took the time to type it out and he gets the credit for it, but it would be a shame to leave it on the other site
Enjoy and remember, you are responsible for your actions. DF, myself, or Bad Venge will not take responsibility for any mishaps or anything else that goes wrong. Another thing to remember, our cars are old and the dash has seen many ultraviolet rays, so be careful and take your time.
To take out the dash you first need to disconnect the battery, then turn the ignition key to on and leave it for 30 minutes or so. This will drain the power to the airbags. I would suggest taking out both seats, which is just two 1/2" bolts on each side in the back, and two 1/2" nuts on each side in the front. And unplug the harness under the driver's seat.
To get started you have to remove everything you see from the interior.
1) Remove the center console
a) Pop out the trim panel around the radio
b) Pop out the top of the console and unplug the wires to the
c) Remove the center console by unscrewing the two visable screws,
one on each side of the rear of the console, then the two screws which are under where
the cup holder would be. Then two screws right above where the radio would be. And
disconnect the wires for the rear courtesy light. Then it will pull out
2) Now take out the side panels of the console. They are connected by
two plugs on each side, pop them out and take out the screws behind them. Then they will pull out.
3) Take off the lower dash on the driver's side. Pop out the caps up
by the steering column and there are 10 mm bolts behind them, take those out as well as
the ones at the bottom. Also you have to disconnect the hood release mechanism. Lift
the handle and take out the two screws that you see, then slide the wire out of it's
lock, then disconnect it from release by pulling it up perpendicular to handle and sliding out.
4) Remove the glove box. There is a stopper on each side of the
interior of the glove box, it just looks like a black square. Pop those out and the gloxe
box will fall to the floor, revealing two screws, take those out and the glove box will come
5) Take out the passenger side lower dash, one screw and one 10 mm
bolt at the bottom, take those out and it'll pop out.
6) Pop out the side vents that you see when you open the doors.
7) Use a screw driver and pop out the littlw panel where cruise
control and power mirrors are, then disconnect wires behind them and pull it out. Take off the trim peices on the steering column. There are three screws that you can get to from the bottom, then pull the adjustment handle down, then give a little tug and the top and bottom will separate, then pull them out.
9) Take out the gauge cluster. There are two screws at the top of the
trim ring, take those out then tug at the bottom of the trim ring and it will snap out, then
pull out the trim ring. Then you will see 4 screws one at each corner of the cluster itself.
Take those out and the cluster will pull out.
10) Pop off the panel around the center vents with a screw driver,
then disconnect the harnesses behind the buttons, and disconnect the metal lever on the
right side of the vents, use a screw driver to pry it off.
11) Take out your stereo
12) Take out the 4 screws around the HVAC controls.
13) Take out the tweeters or the cover to where the tweeters would be.
14) Take out the passenger side airbag, if you look up at where the glove box would be, under the dash, there are 2 10 mm bolts, and 4 screws. Take out the screws that are on the outsides, and leave the ones in the center. Then the 10 mm bolts, now pull the airbag out, and follow the wires back and disconnect the harness.
15) Take out the steering wheel, remove the 4 10 mm bolts you can get to from behind the steering wheel, then pull out the airbag and disconnect the harnesses. Remove the center 17 mm nut, then use a steering wheel puller and remove the wheel.
Now you are ready to take the dash out.
You must find all screws and nuts holding the dash in, and take them
out. You will see one bolt on each side of where the radio would be, 4 bolts
and 2 screws behind where the glove box would be. One bolt in each of the tweeter
holes, 2 bolts where the cluster would be. Take them all out. Now there is a large group of wires that run along the back of the dash, they include the brightness ****, the instrument panel, and the glove box light. The easiest solution is to follow the wires along their path. They start at a harness above the fuse box, then I believe there are 3 harnesses between the fise box and the brightness ****, disconenect them all, then there it breaks down to two harnesses in the main jack down behind where the radio would be. I think it was the two farthest to the left, unplug those and now the dash should be ready to come out. Get someone to help u and tug from both sides, it should pop out.
To reinstall the dash just use these notes, and do it in reverse and use your common sense.
I in no way am advertising for amatures to do this, the dash is in intricate system and should not be touched by anybody but the experienced. I take no responsibility for problems that you may incur or cause. Good luck, and let us all know
how it comes out.
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