How to disassemble the dashboard area? Factory under dash AC unit is in place...

Paint, body preparation and modification, interior work and electrical
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shaddai
Posts: 30
Joined: 05 Sep 2019 13:50
Location: NorCal

How to disassemble the dashboard area? Factory under dash AC unit is in place...

Post by shaddai » 29 Oct 2019 16:05

I've searched (but obviously not good enough) and I can't seem to find any graphical representations of how to remove the dashboard and/or parts of it. My speedometer doesn't work, and I'd like to get that fixed (although it could be anything, cable, 280zx transmission, etc), the dash pad itself is cracked worse than California's fault zones, and I'd like to get at the inside of the door hinges so I can take them all the way off and replace the hinge pin/bushings. I have the factory under dash AC unit, which seems to get in the way of some screws I think I might need to remove...?

Yeah... that's a lot of things... and WELL past my capabilities, but I am learning!

Pic for reference.
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yenpit
Posts: 1433
Joined: 07 Jul 2006 20:14
Location: Denver Colorado

Re: How to disassemble the dashboard area? Factory under dash AC unit is in place...

Post by yenpit » 29 Oct 2019 16:53

It's just tedious, cuz lots of screws! I'm assuming you want to pull the dash face panels off..........or do you want to pull the whole dash assembly? Whole dash assembly is straight forward, but a lot of work! Don't pull unless necessary!

Disconnect the battery.

Remove h/l & wiper KNOBS. Pull switches out (on), grab shaft with needle nose pliers to hold, PUSH IN & twist the knob to remove. The actual switches stay in place.

Dash cluster PANEL is all screws, no bolts. One straight up above speedo, one above dummy light cluster, two on end cap by door, three or four across bottom edge of panel. Hmmmmm if you can't see the screws across bottom edge, you will have to drop the AC assembly......again, tedious, lots of screws & brackets, keep track of it all! Are you running the AC? If no interest in AC, take GREAT CARE to remove the very fragile plastic assembly, worth easily $250-350 as complete assembly. The interior AC assembly/components are all that are really important cuz all parts under hood are basically universal fit AC components put together in the USA as a KIT for the dealership to install.....was NOT a factory option, was a dealership option! As you pull the plastic panel out towards you, pull the turnsignal bulb sockets out.....they "pop" out with a firm tug. When reassembling, don't forget to plug the turnsignal bulb sockets back in as you re-install the plastic panel!

Glovebox PANEL is similar to the dash cluster panel........open glovebox door, the whole glovebox comes out with the door. There are two or three screws straight IN on the radio panel side, two on the end cap, four or five across the bottom edge. Might be a few more screws somewhere.......

Radio PANEL looks UN-cut for a later DIN stereo, so be careful cuz that is hard to find! Pretty sure there are two screws UP at the top, two or three screws per side, then a hidden screw behind the ashtray. Pull ashtray out........there is a finger "wire clip" that you push down on to pull ashtray out, hidden screw holds a flat metal bracket in place.

Dash CLUSTER has four screws holding it to the metal dash frame. You will need to get up under dash to unscrew the speedo cable first, as many times there is little slack in the cable to pull out & unscrew! As you pull the cluster out, reach behind, unplug the big round plug.

With all of the plastic PANELS off, you can remove the top dash pad. Remove the metal 2pc panel between dash pad & windshield........five or six screws in at a slight angle, one hidden under the first metal panel. There are six or 8 small studs sticking straight down from the dash pad.....should be 8mm hex nuts. The moulded plastic DashCaps are cheap & look good.............but you will need to grind the big cracks down level to fit it properly. If you have the mulla, buy the NEW reproduction dash pad from vintagedash(es).com..........I can't find the web address!! You can look up Hung Vu on Facebook.....I think he is one of the business owners!

FYI you do NOT need to pull the dash assembly out to get to the door hinge bolts!! Remove & just hang down the hood release handle from the drivers side, then three or four screws hold that black pressboard interior panel. Same screws on the passenger side, don't think you need to remove any parts. TRACE the position of ALL of the door hinge BOLTS/WASHERS with a marker, so you reassemble in the exact same spot, otherwise you will need to realign the doors!! OR you can squirt a blast of black paint in the cavities where the bolts are BEFORE removing the bolts to mark exactly where they go. Have a buddy there to hold the door up as you remove the bolts & have him handle the door once bolts are removed!

Be careful to NOT overtighten all these dash screws when reassembling, cuz the plastic mounting holes WILL break on ya!!

I think that covers it......at least to get you started! Let me know if you need any more help! Good luck with the project!

TJ
1972 521 flat bed
1972 510 4dr parts car
1974 620 parts truck
1980 720 parts truck
1965 Mustang GT Coupe
2009 Toyota Matrix S AWD

LOTS of 510 parts!

yenpit
Posts: 1433
Joined: 07 Jul 2006 20:14
Location: Denver Colorado

Re: How to disassemble the dashboard area? Factory under dash AC unit is in place...

Post by yenpit » 29 Oct 2019 16:54

PS the heater control panel stays on the dash frame......no need to remove unless you need to repair a control cable or a rod!!
1972 521 flat bed
1972 510 4dr parts car
1974 620 parts truck
1980 720 parts truck
1965 Mustang GT Coupe
2009 Toyota Matrix S AWD

LOTS of 510 parts!

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