How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Fiberglass, body panels, valences. Also interior pieces like seats, dashes, etc
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Lames
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How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Lames » Wed May 06, 2009 8:56 pm

This is a how to on taking your old dash out and putting in a new fresh crack-free unit. Here are a list of tools you will need, and I hope enough pictures to help you on your way. With a little bit of advice and luck it should be no problem at all!

Tools needed:
-10mm socket
-10mm deep socket
-8mm deep socket
-some extensions for your 10mm sockets (3 inch extension, 12 inch extension and an elbow)
-rachets to work 10mm and 8mm sockets
-wire cutters
-zip ties
-little phillips head screw driver
-little flat head screw driver
-reg philips head screw driver
-stubby flat head screw driver
-flash light
-patience (lots of it) This job for the first time will take you a good while. A couple hours or more.

-----------------------(*INSERT PICTURE OF ALL THE TOOLS NEEDED*)-----------------------

=================================================================
============================DASH SWAP============================
=======================================================By: Lames==

Cracks suck! Nuff said.

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A crackfree dash is a awesome sight.

TOPSIDE:
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BOTTOM SIDE:
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One of the first things you need to start removing is the trim around your E-Brake and gear shiftknob/gear selector. I have an auto so, what I had to do was pull the cover off, it just lifts right out. It hinges from the right so pull from the middle out. Under that plate you will find a black plastic nut it's a 10mm. Undo the the nut and place it somewhere safe.
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Next you can remove the front ashtray, there are two screws on the backside, which will need your phillips head screwdriver to remove, the ashtray should just pull out. Take your cig lighter wires off along with the little light.
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If you follow the cover that goes under the dash along each side there will be a plastic screw. Looks like a black plastic flathead screw, the head is about the size of a nickel. turn that so the line is horizontal and just pull it out. If it is in the vertical position it is set to stay in there.
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============================STEERING WHEEL============================
To take out the steering wheel you'll need your 22mm size socket and a rachet extension to get the bolt off. Start by popping your BMW emblem off with a little flathead screwdriver. (Should just fall off.) Once the emblem is out of the way you must get at the bolt, your steering wheel should be locked so it should come off easy. Now you must have your keys with you, once the bolt is off you will notice the wheel does not want to come off. There is a lock on the backside of the wheel to make it not locked simply put your key in and turn your car on, the lock will unlock and you can take your wheel off with ease. Then turn your car off again, and now your wheel is off!
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============================Cluster============================
To remove the cluster there are two knobs on the back side of the plate right under the cluster. If you reach up under the dash you should feel them they are about as round as a dime and about 1/4 inch thick, turn them untill they fall off. There are only two of them. The plastic surrond that goes around the cluster is screwed in by four little screws. Two screws can be found at the top and another two can be found at the bottom two corners. There are another set of screws in the middle of the cluster. Take them all out and the cluster should now be loose.

Move the cluster forward, and the bottom should fall out a little bit, tilt the top forward and it should come out pretty easy. There are two lights that fit into the back of your cluster, remove each light. There are also three large conectors that go into the back of your cluster. A white one, a green one and a blue one. There is a black clip on the back of each conector, pull the clip up some and the conector should now be able to be pulled out. Pull each conector out and the cluster should now be free.

Side Note:
When putting the cluster back in since you had to cut the zip ties that hold it up you will need to hold them up high when you guide it back in. If you don't the cluster will hit the wires and not go all the way back in.

(*INSERT CLUSTER PICTURES*)

============================Head Light Controls============================
To the left of your steering wheel you have a light switch that turn on your lights and all that fun stuff. That is held on to your dash by two bolts, You can only access them from the behind the dash. They are size 10mm, the one closest to the door is a bit hard to get to, but I was able to get it after so long and then loosen the rest by hand. After that you'll have to wiggle the light switch assembly on out.
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============================HVAC Panel============================
Now remove your radio with your radio pullers, and unhook it from the backside. To remove the HVAC panel/climate control panel, there are 4 screws that hold it into place. Along with a bunch of wires that connect on the back side and some clips. To get to the screws you will need to remove the buttons on the top, there are two little screws that hold it into place up there. They are both angled out so they are pretty easy to get to, just use your little screwdriver and all will be cool. There are another two screws that hold the bottom of the panel in you'll be able to get them from going up from under the dash portion that hangs the lowest. The panel should be able to be pulled out now.
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On the backside you'll see a mess of wires and a bunch of cables. Keep your wires in order, you'll need to remember which ones go where. There will be four clips that hold the back of the actual HVAC controls. Three on the arms that move the center area for the high, middle and low vent controls. One more will control the actual temp. Mark which one goes to which one to make it easy when putting back together. There are little metal clips that clip onto the plastic which helps hold the cables into place. Watch where those cables shoot out too. I used a pair of needle nose pliers to help take the temp one off while useing a little force with the small flathead screw driver to pop it out, unhooked the little wire cable loop around the knob and it was free. I used the small flathead to take off the clips of the three area control ones, they came off very easy. Look at how they are held on, just so you know how to clip it back on later. Remove the wire loops from the little tabs and that is all, you're free!

============================\\\\WARNING////============================
If you swap your defrost for your hazard button that fit into the top of the panel, and put the wrong button on the wrong set of wires your turn signals will NOT work. You will get no blinking turn signal lights on the corners of your car, your cluster will show no turn signals and you will get a loud buzzing sound that comes from your cluster. If you do just swap them back and all will be good. (Ask me how I know, lol :) )


Also the little wiring harness and tabs they connect to are old so watch out, they will break! I had a corner on mine break but it really didn't matter much it wasn't used for anything, but still I got lucky you might not!
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============================Glove Box============================
To remove the glove box it is pretty easy, there are a set of phillips head screws that line the top of the glove box area when you drop the glove box. Remove each screw. The two gold ones in the middle go to the bracket that holds onto the computer box. The one far to the left goes onto the little panel that hides everything that is behind the HVAC panel area. This little cover plate has a little turn tab in the far back you can see it in a picture down below, It is kind of ard to turn so use the pliers to help you get a good grip on it. The other two hold the upper cover which also contains the glovebox light. There are two turn tabs on this cover as well, one on the far left near the side of the car and the other more to the middle of the car. Turn each and it should just fall off. Also remove the little charger thing that is on the left side of the dash. Push it down while pushing in the two side tabs. There are two straps that need to be taken off too. Two wasy to do that. One by pushing the little pin out, where it conects to the glove box tray, or by turning the part that is attached to the dash. with a 90 degree turn it should fall down and is easy to remove. There are three nuts that attach to the back of the glove box, they work on a hinge. Use a 10mm socket to get these off, they are up front on the firewall. After that your glove box should come out with a pull to you.

If you notice I just pushed the little pins out in my pictures. I thought it was the easiest way to go.
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This is the little turn tab on the cover that is to the left, it's kind of hard to see but it is up top and hidden.
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============================Dash Bolts============================
REF:
Yellow is the two tabs that hold the HVAC into place
Blue arrow points to the two bolts you can't see in the picture but are found on the passenger side wall.
Pink is the two bolts found on the driverside wall.
Green is the single bolt found under the cluster.
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All these bolts used a 10mm socket, haveing rachet extensions helps a great deal.

These bolts are found on the driver side, on the cars outer wall. You can see them through the hole for the light controls.
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This bolt is attached to the dash right under the cluster.
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These bolts are found on the passenger side they are were the glove box was to the right of the computer on that side of the dash.
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============================Dash Coming Out============================

To get the dash out is a bit tricky. If you leave your A-Pillars in like I did, watch them at all times,... you will still probally mess them up,... like I did. So you should take them off. You need to pull the dash to you, it will come only so far though. Next you have to mess with the passenger side to come out first, so its a game of pulling the passenger side out and pushing the driver side back in some. After the passenger side is clear it will make it easy for the dash to pop up and out.
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If you leave your A-Pillars in,... WATCH THEM! Your dash will put marks into them, cut them and or break them! The dash getting in and out is a tight squeeze, so the dash will rub on the A-Pillars.
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Slowly working it out.
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GRATZ, DASH OUT!
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I took some pictures of this big mess just to show what crazy stuff goes on under your dash, there are a handful of little zip-ties you will need to cut to release the wires which are attached to your dash. Re-zip tie them back up when you are ready to make it nice and clean back under there again.
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Dont forget to swap your VIN plate:
There are just two plastic rivet looking things that hold the VIN plate down, just take the little flathead screw driver and pry the plate up. Most likely you'll break the little tabs and that will be all. Put the plate on the other dash with what ever you have to put it on with, I used to small screws I had in my tool box to mount it on with.
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*dash in*
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This is what it looked like right after I got my dash put in, before I bolted it down. When you're bolting it down, push the dash into place as you bolt it up to give it a more snug fit. Look all around before you're done and see if you're happy with how it looks, if not re-adjust now.
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This is the little tear a made in my A-Pillar during the whole deal. It's not too bad, but I'll have to go get a new A-Pillar because of it. Untill then I get to see it every day, just because I wanted to save a bit of time with my install!
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That's all, just bolt it up how you un-bolted it all up and it should be good. Check it when ever you bolt something up that it is to your liking so you are the happiest with your final product. Good luck, and I hope you like the new look,... crackless. :)
Last edited by Lames on Thu May 07, 2009 4:01 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: How to: Dash Swap

Postby Yoshi » Wed May 06, 2009 9:02 pm

I remember diong mine. I barely put it back together tho. Race cars and laziness ftw!
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Re: How to: Dash Swap

Postby EqualizedCustoms » Wed May 06, 2009 9:03 pm

i did this to mine already but i forgot to switch the VIN. now i gotta tear it back out.
2000 Chevy Blazer 4wd - Tow Pig
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Lames » Wed May 06, 2009 9:06 pm

Nah all you gotta do is pull the vin off with a screwdriver, they are just two plastic tabs, mine broke when I was trying to take it off. If you get some small screws you could do that with out haveing to take your dash off.

I tried to do this the best I could, pfft lazy race dash! :)

So what do you guys think so far?
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Yoshi » Wed May 06, 2009 9:12 pm

not bad. keep it up! i love the pics.
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby EqualizedCustoms » Wed May 06, 2009 9:21 pm

the pics help a lot. good work. i did mine myself without any.
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Lames » Wed May 06, 2009 9:59 pm

lol I love pictures when I'm trying to do stuff, I wasn't able to find a whole lot on it, so I figure if I can help out one guy that had to go through it. :)
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby EqualizedCustoms » Wed May 06, 2009 10:06 pm

thats what the forum is all about. good work. and i learn from pictures, i cant read everything and understand it unless i have pic or hands on.
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby ten2doyle102 » Wed May 06, 2009 10:55 pm

Very nice write-up bud! That dash looks nice!! :)
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby M20_fever » Thu May 07, 2009 2:48 am

great job so far, finish it out and you got your sticky!
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Lames » Thu May 07, 2009 3:57 am

Welp that's all, I gotta spell check it, I wrote it up kind of fast. Also I have to add some pictures of taking the cluster out and the tools I used. But ya,... Pretty much that's all.
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby M20_fever » Thu May 07, 2009 6:15 am

very detailed write up Lames, sticky!
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Lames » Thu May 07, 2009 2:02 pm

woot woot!
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Court M3 » Thu May 07, 2009 2:45 pm

Man this would have been a big help when I did mine around 8 yrs ago. NO patience for the write up portion though.
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Re: How to: Dash Swap (/w lots of photos)

Postby Lames » Thu May 07, 2009 3:56 pm

I hope to finish it all up over this next weekend with the rest of the photos. I'm glad you guys like it. :)

Next time I do a dash swap I hope to take some better pictures. My car was also kinda apart when I started it, so it leaves out a little, like taking out the center piece that goes around the E-brake. And to why I have to re-do the cluster part. But I plan on going back through my cluster any way some time soon just so I can replace the bulbs in the back.
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