6.11.1 - Instrument Panel Removal ( ,
October 20, 2001
Removing the Instrument Panel is a simple task. Do not be intimidated by the electronics or the fact that you are "pulling something out of the dash" as it is truly easy. The following is a step-by-step method for removing and replacing the Instrument Panel.
Step #1 - Disconnect the negative battery cable. Always ensure that this action is performed as there are continuously hot circuits in the area of the driver's footwell and Instrument Panel.
Step #2 - Remove the driver's footwell upholstery panel. There are typically four or five No.2 Phillips head sheet metal screws and two fir-tree type push-pin type connectors holding the upholstery panel to the frame.
Step #3 - Remove the driver's footwell sheet metal panel. Again, there are typically four No. 2 Phillips head sheet metal screws securing this panel to the frame.
Step #4 - Remove the "passive restraint module" (or other electrical components) from the left side of the steering column. This action is to provide additional working clearance when removing the Instrument Panel from the dash. The passive restraint module (or other components) is typically mounted with one or two No.2 Phillips head machine screws. There is no need to electrically disconnect these devices, just drop them from their mounts and position out of the way.
Step #5 - Release the Instrument Panel two multi-pin electrical connectors on the backside. Lying on your back within the driver's footwell, locate the rear of the Instrument Panel (crème colored plastic device approximately 15" in width). Connector "A" is the smaller of the two and is located on the right side (based on your current positioning). Squeeze the small release tabs in the center of the connector while pulling outward. The connector will release without significant effort. Connector "B" is the larger of the two and is located on the left side (based on your current positioning). Squeeze the small release tabs in the center of the connector while pulling outward. Again, the connector should release with minimal effort.
Step #6 - Remove the Instrument Panel mounting screws. The Instrument Panel is secured using four No. 2 Phillips head machine screws. Again, while lying on your back within the driver's footwell, locate the two screws on each side of the lower Instrument Panel. At the bottom front corners of the Panel, locate a single machine screw on the black frame. The second machine screw for each corner is located within the Speed Control / Trip Computer or Lighting Control Pods. An access hole to allow removal of these fasteners is provided in each Pod. Disconnecting or removing the Pod is not required. With the four fasteners removed, the Instrument Panel is ready for removal.
Step #7 - Dislodge the Instrument Panel from the dash. While lying on your back within the driver's footwell, use your hands to apply force on the rear side of the Instrument Panel attempting to push it towards the steering wheel. It will dislodge without tremendous effort as its just a simple press-fit.
Step #8 - Re-position the Steering Wheel and Remove the Instrument Panel. Release the steering wheel positioning level and pull the steering wheel outward as far as possible. It is not necessary to remove the steering wheel to facilitate Instrument Panel removal. With the Instrument Panel dislodged from the previous step, guide it outward and sideways for complete removal. The Instrument Panel should now be within your arms.
In this case, re-installation is honestly the reverse of removal. Just ensure the Instrument Panel is properly re-fit in the dash prior to installing fasteners. The Instrument Panel dash pad has locator tabs at the front corners, which mate with slots on the lower dash frame. Significant effort is not required to re-install the Instrument Panel into the dash.