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-> part 29 Continued
February 20-21, 1999 pulling the dash...the rest of the story
With the top dash metal off I can see what the heck I am doing and the instrument panel is revealed. The main thing holding it in is some wires so I take them off and label them. Then just lift the instruments out. I'll take them apart later.
Here are a bunch of photos of the dash
Finally, all that is left is wire. I tried to sort it out but i'ts pretty hopeless. I'll try and put it in a large plastic bag and keep it out of the way. I do not want to get paint on it because sooner or later I WILL put it back together although it is hard to believe at this moment.
The last thing to take off is what started all this mess, the fresh air grill just between the windshield wipers. This is the only truly stupid design I have seen on this car. The grill is three parts, two sides and a center rib. Each has two cap screws that must be reached from inside the engine compartment once the heater box is removed. I would have no idea how this could be done with the engine in the car! Even as stripped down as mine is I had to twist, contort, cuss, and use 53 ujoints on my 1/4 inch socket set before I could get it off. Normally I can see how things are assembled after I get things apart but for the life of me I cannot imagine how the heck they assembled this thing. I really think they forgot to design it and just brute forced it in.
In 58 they changed to a different format, I think it was friction clips that can be 'pried' out. I assure you that when these go back in it will be with a different fastner approach!
I said earlier that once I got it out I would think about how I should have taken it out. I definitely did it the hard way. This is the what I SHOULD have done:
1 - Pull the glove box door and inner box
2 - Pull the radio
3 - Pull the defroster vents
4 - Pull the heater distribution box
5 - Pull the dash pad back by the windshield and unscrew the metal dash pad from the windshield frame. There is a screw about every 8 inches. Obviously you need to have the glass inner trim off. Having the windshield out is a help but probably not required
6 - Pull the brake pedal if you can. You will need all the room you can get.
7 - Pull the trim on the sides by the door. This has several screws in obscure places.
8 - Pull the two bolts that hold the lower brace to the kick panel bracket. This brace runs the length of the dash along the bottom and has several bolts which need holding on the back before they come off. I'm not sure you have take the brace out separately or as part of the dash assembly.
9 - Disconnect the ebrake and shift cables
10- The dash should now move a little. Pull it out as much as you can and start to disconnect the wires which are holding it in. Be sure you lable them and make notes so you can get it back together.
11- Repeat step 10 until the dash comes out. The metal dash is screwed to the instrument cluster by several flathead screws under the pad. The pad will not come off intact and I have no idea how the dash can be pulled without destroying the pad. I also do not know where you can get a new pad. My friend ray made his own on his 57 and it came out pretty good. He just used naugahyde and streched it slowly while he applied contact cement. I will get more infomation from him when it is my turn. I am NOT looking forward to it.
12- Take LOTS of notes, label everything. Put all the pieces in a single place. You will be amazed at the number of parts you will take off the car during a major restoration. I strongly suggest you get a couple of boxes of various size zip lock bags. They are perfect of putting screws in and you can label them with a permanent market. You WILL forget what you did and where you put things!
That's about all I can say. I'm glad it's out.
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