Dashboard Removal Guide

I finally decided that I need to install my NRAuto white gauge faces so I bit the bullet and decided to take a stab at removing the dash for the complete gauge install; center gauge pods as well as the main gauge cluster. I originally attempted to follow Keith Johnson's instructions for the center gauge removal but I found that I was unable to get my hands behind the center gauge console to remove the center gauges. So, I took some pics and have some notes to help those of you that feel adventurous! I must say that this task requires a good amount of determination and patience. However, I was surprised to find that the removal was not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. This guide is really only a partial removal guide as I did not completely remove the dash from the car - only enough to get at the center gauge cluster for removal.

As you proceed thru the instructions I highly recommend labeling and separating the screws and bolts you remove to help you in re-assembly. Fortunately, I didn't end up with any extra parts when I was finished! I have tried to make these instructions as complete as can be but there are a few pics missing - none of the important ones though!

Click each of the images for a larger picture.

Before I begin with the instructions, let me scare you with some pictures of what you're in for.....

Here are some brief instructions:

1. Remove the main gauge cluster.

  1. Remove the main gauge cluster bezel by carefully prying it off at the locations noted in the picture. It is connected only with retaining clips located at the inside of the widest points on the bezel.
  2. Remove the 4 screws for the main gauge cluster - note the 4 screw locations. After removing the screws, the gauge cluster can be pulled out. It plugs into the cluster harness so be careful when removing. In this pic I have already removed the main gauge cluster.

2. Remove the glove box.

  1. Open the glove box and remove the 4 screws near the front of the top panel inside the glovebox - 2 for the latch and 2 near the corners.
  2. Pull the top down enough to remove the 4 screws behind the glove box (red and blue circles below).
  3. Remove the 2 bolts at the bottom corners of the pivot point for the glove box (yellow circles below).

    The yellow circles denote the bolt locations for the bottom of the glove box. Remove these.
    The red circles denote the 2 screws that remove the bottom of the glove box. Remove these.
    The blue circles denote the 2 screws that hold the upper dash to the lower interior. Remove these.

3. Remove the center vent.

  1. Carefully pop out the 2 center vents. They are held in only by the nubs at each side.
  2. Now the center vent must be removed. There are 2 metal retaining clips (noted in blue) inside the vent on the bottom of each vent side. Pry these up and carefully pull the vent towards you.
  3. Disconnect the hazard harness from the vent housing.

4. Remove the passenger-side air bag (note that I DID NOT disconnect the air bag from its wiring harness and was unsure about doing so). BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL handling the passenger-side air bag just to be safe. Removing the air bag makes it MUCH easier to get behind the center gauges. Perform this step AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  1. Remove the screws holding the bottom of the air bag harness in place. These can be found above the glove box's location.
  2. WITHOUT disconnecting the air bag harness, gently place the air bag out of your way on the floor.

5. Remove the driver-side lower dash or knee panel.

  1. Gently remove the power mirror control to the left of the steering column.
  2. Gently remove the rear wiper/active exhaust control to the right of the steering column.
  3. Remove the bolts behind them.
  4. Remove the 2 bolts near the floor on the knee panel.

6. Remove the lower center console (note this must be loosened to move the upper portion of the dash).

  1. Remove the panels on either side of the lower console. There is also one next to the parking brake which will need to be moved.
  2. Note the screws at the locations below (I think I have them all listed).

7. Remove the upper main dashboard. The goal here is to just get the center gauges out of the dash so do as much "removing" as necessary.

  1. Remove each dash speaker and the bolts behind them (see pic)
  2. Remove the bolts behind the airbag
  3. Remove the bolts behind the main cluster panel
  4. There may be some wiring harnesses to disconnect on the right inside of the main dash to the right of the glove box location.

8. Remove the center gauges.

  1. Now our "access" hole where the passenger-side airbag used to be comes into play. Take a peek inside as you will most likely need to move the plastic vent just below and behind the center gauges. It is difficult to get your hand in there and use a screwdriver w/o moving the vent. See the pics below - note the rear of the gauges (1) and the harness that connects to it (2). Disconnect the harness. I disconnected the red circled screw and left the other side. Moved the vent just enough out of the way to get in there to remove the screws for the center gauges.
  2. Remove the 2 screws in the bottom front of the center gauges. Look in thru the center vent hole to see them.
  3. Remove the screws in the top of the gauge pod. These are located in the rear of the gauge pod. Sorry, they were the best I could get with the camera inside the dash. The gauge pod will now "swing" back with a gentle nudge on the bottom of the front.
  4. Now you will need to remove the 2 brackets holding the gauge pod in place. This is because it is very difficult to replace gauge pod with the brackets in place. The yellow circles denote the place where the screws from the vent go in. The yellow arrows denote the screws that hold the brackets in place. The red arrow shows the bracket (first pic).

Notes about gauge face replacement.

  1. When replacing the gauge faces, make sure you remove the old faces as the NRAuto replacements are meant to be replacements and not overlays.
  2. Be careful when removing the needles.
  3. Make sure to place a piece of paper under the needle removing tool when recalibrating needles so as not to mark the new gauge faces.

Here are some pics with the new gauge faces on. Note that in the first pic I was unable to pull the trip odometer reset arm and I couldn't get the gauge face to go over the arm because the top of the arm was larger than the hole in the gauge face. So, I decided to take some diagonal pliers and snip from the hole to the edge (circled in red) and slide the gauge face over the arm. The snip can hardly be seen.

Recalibration of Needles

Before you begin changing the faces and removing the needles, make sure to somehow mark where each gauge needle is so that it can be placed back in the same location. Fortunately, I have a Apexi AVCR that has RPM and speed (in km/h) and was able to use it to recalibrate the main gauge cluster needles. The gas gauge was fine - NRAuto recommends doing this with a full tank of gas.

I left the main gauge cluster cover off until the needles were calibrated. The center gauge cluster should be rechecked prior to replacing it in the dash. So, plug it back in to its harness and start the car. Make sure all gauges appear to be in their normal operating ranges. Recalibrate the needles if necessary.

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