Dashboard rebuild (autumn 1998 - prior to the reshell)

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Dash board removal tips.

 

SAFETY FIRST: DISCONNECT THE BATTERY. 

There cables behind the dash that are always live - the lights, cig. lighter, horn etc.  

 

My objective was simple - to repaint the dash.

 

This is actually quiet simple, however my advice is that the removal of the dash comes after quite a lot of other work. ( instrument, heater & choke cable electrics, glove box, and centre console removal)  One thing that I would say is that once you have the dash out there are quite a few things that are easy to do and well worth while. I would recommend that you replace the bump strip above the dash, the speedo/revcounter cowl, the vinyl cover and therefore all the screen rubbers that are between the body and the screen frame. 

The reason I would recommend this is that once the dash is out access to the screen fixing bolts is excellent and makes refitting with the uncompressed rubbers very straight forward. Trying to do this after having painted and refitted the dash is a real pig because your newly painted dash obstructs the top bolt hindering access and a good fit. Also there is a good chance that you may damage the dash and spoil your paintwork. Once the dash is in and all shinny and new, the rest will look very tatty by comparison.  

So where are the fixings? If you look in a parts book you will see that there are 3 bolts in the body, LHS, centre & RHS, that fit to the dash with nuts. Additionally there are 2 bolts above the dimmer behind the dash. I  addition to these there are tie brackets on the bottom of the dash fixing it to the cross bar. Also you will need to loosen the steering column as the dash & column are fixed to the body under the speedo/counter cluster. Here's a picture, mine's the top left design - number 1.

 

dash image

There is nothing very technically difficult except replacing the screen/body seal into the lower frame bar. I found using a blunt screwdriver best to work it into the frame. I used Evostic- black mastic as the sealant between the body and the rubber seal; messy so have lots of rags at hand. It seals excellently. Depending on the state of the screen, this is also a good time to replace the glass as well. Use a professional for that  

I would probably recommend that you paint the dash you take out as it will fit back, I have heard that some replacement/refurbished dashes are not often a good fit and may require bending to fit and therefore you run the risk of damaging the paint.  

I did the job over 2 weekends once I had all the parts to hand.

Remove the steering wheel as it just gets in the way.

 

Label all electrical cables removed to prevent frustration on re-assembly.

    Top tip - Do as much other work as you can while it is out -  access is great.

I was very pleased with my result and having a good looking dash really sets off the car.

 

Here's the finished result.