How to R&R
Tools needed:-Light source
- Phillips screwdrivers (a power screwdriver or drill with
Phillips bit makes this much, much easier and quicker)-A really
long (24 inch) Phillips screwdriver comes in very handy but is
not absolutely necessary
- Flat-tip screwdriver
- A magnetic screwdriver comes in handy; so does a magnetic
- -Remove A-panel trim (two screws)
- --Remove kick panels (two screws; pry it gently away starting
at the bottom)
- --Pry out switches -- start at the bottom edge -- for fog
lights/rear defroster/washer... disconnect harnesses. Note that
they are each specific; you can't hook them up wrong.
- --Pry out instrument panel dimmer switch; disconnect harness
- --Pry out wiper speed controller
- --Remove upper (one screw) and lower (three screws) panels
covering steering wheel
- --Remove turn signal switch and light/wiper switch (two screws
each) (this is key to removing dash easily; otherwise you have
to lower the steering column, which is tough.--Remove lower left
dash ; disconnect left front speaker.--Remove the panel surrounding
the instrument cluster (4 screws)
- --Remove the instrument cluster (4 screws); make sure you
don't instead remove the screws that secure the clear plastic
gauge cover (just ask me why I know this)--Gently pull the instrument
cluster toward you; reach behind it from the gearshift side and
remove the vacuum line to the boost gauge; you might have to
twist the vacuum line to and fro to loosen it first; it will
- Remove the speedometer cable by pressig on the rectanguar
tab and pulling straight off.
- Disconnect harness and remove gauge cluster. (This is a good
time to replace any blown instrument illumination bulbs; see
the article for how to do this) (It is also a good time to replace
the original boost gauge vacuum line and to remove the screw
in the back of the boost gauge vacuum connection.
- --Remove 3 screws securing the sliding heater controls; push
the control panel back inside the dash (this will be tough to
do)(if your control panel light doesn't work this is an excellent
time to replace it)-Remove single screw securing warning light/clock
- Remove warning light panel. --Remove clock (4 screws); disconnect
- Remove single screw holding in the car-outline panel... pull
it out and disconnect the wiring harness
- --Remove several (4?) screws along the edge where the bottom
dash meets the top dash; they're difficult to see but look for
them. I think there were two on the left of the steering column
and two on the right.--Open glove compartment; remove two screws
in upper surface that secure the glove compartment/lower right
dash to top dash; you'll need a short
- Phillips-head screwdriver for this.--Unscrew five large screws
securing top dash (3 along the windshield, one each on lower
sides near kick panels. You might have to pry the lower right
dash panel back (toward rear seat) to reach the screw on that
side. Note that the 3 screws along the windshield have special
washers.--Remove the compartment/tray above the glove compartment...
pry gently along the top and bottom with the flat-tip screwdriver
until you can squeeze top and bottom together and simply slide
it out. This is tough too, but necessary.--Reach inside the dash
and disconnect the vents (one on each side of the dash, two to
the defroster vents, one large one to the center vent); they
simply pull off.--The dash should now be loose. Pry it gently
away from the lower dashes and by lifting it and rotating slightly
to clear the steering column, it should slide out the passenger
door. Someone to help you makes this operation a lot easier but
you can do it yourself.
To install a new dash:
Simply reverse the procedure. Be very careful when maneuvering
the new dash into place; the edges can be brittle and might snap.
Take care to hook up the vents, hook up all the electrical connections.
Keeping which screw goes in which hole is a bit difficult but
not impossible. (Tip: If you removed your new dash from a clunker,
take all the screws with you. If you should lose one when taking
the dash out of your car, this makes looking for it a moot point.
Just use a spare.) Get everything lined up and all the connections
at least pulled into position before starting doing all the screws
securing the dash.
This whole procedure took me 90 minutes, but it was the second
time I've done it (I've removed three dashes from Merkurs and
replaced two). A more realistic time for your first attempt might
be 2 to 2.5 hours. Good luck.