Dash replacement

Discussion in 'OEM and Custom Interiors' started by 96-1500, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. 96-1500

    96-1500 Bluenoser

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    Hey guys,

    Dunno if there's been a thread on this or not, but I thought I might go over a few tips and pictures from how I removed and installed the dash in my 96 K2500. This applies to all 95+ trucks, 97+ will be a little different with the airbag (or airbag delete), but the same idea.

    I hated my ugly blue dash (to each their own, but mine was really bad, and weathered), I wanted the nice factory grey colour. I spent a long time washing stuff before I installed it, but overall the swap took me around 3 hours, but I work very slow and was taking pictures (I like to take my time, makes it easier to get everything back together right.)

    Dash2_zpsc080cd99.jpg

    First, pull your upper dash bezel off. This is straightforward, it clips into place around the edge and on my truck there are only two wiring connectors (headlight switch and cargo light).

    Next, pull the lower dash trim (or whatever it's called) off. There are four 7mm bolts holding it into place, and it kind of clips on, too. You have to remove your parking brake release first, it clips into place. Get the handle off and then twist to pull the cable back out of the way of the dash.
    _DSC4003_zpsd4c9241c.jpg
    Here it is removed, all gross:
    _DSC4008_zps2f1d2409.jpg

    Remove your cupholder. There is a screw type thing on the bottom that you turn and remove, then pull the cupholder out.
    _DSC4009_zpsd82c8590.jpg

    Remove your glovebox. Pry the tabs in on each side (the tabs that stop it from falling out). It will then lift out of the way. Remove the vents, they just clip in there.
    _DSC4029_zps594e4ba2.jpg

    Next, remove the two metal pieces from around the bottom of the column. The lower plate is held on by four 10mm bolts:
    _DSC4015_zps2e23e395.jpg

    Remove the upper plate, held on by two 7mm bolts:
    _DSC4021_zps7491e909.jpg

    Pull your stereo, CD delete pocket (or CD player, if equipped) and HVAC controls. These are easy, they just clip into place and unplug. Be careful with the HVAC controls, mine were quite brittle and I broke a tab. There is a bolt holding one of the plugs on at the back that I believe is 5.5mm which I didn't have, a 7/32nd fit fine.
    Pull your gauges. Four 7mm, and it just pulls out. Be careful, they are fragile.

    Remove the cigarette lighter/ashtray assy. Four clips, again, be careful with these. Just pry them out with a pocket screwdriver:
    _DSC4030_zpsc6b99c0e.jpg
    Unplug everything and set it aside:
    _DSC4032_zps69fcc564.jpg

    Undo the 7mm fastener holding the fusepanel in, and kind of pry it out and behind the dash.
    _DSC4028_zps6bbba611.jpg

    This is what you should be looking at now, with the easy stuff out of the way:
    _DSC4034_zps2b2b3ca5.jpg

    Now, there are four rivets here that need to come off. Use your method of choice, I beat them off with a screwdriver and hammer. You can reinstall however you want, I decided to leave them out, I figure there's plenty of support around without them. Use your own judgement:
    _DSC4017_zps0fefd992.jpg

    Next, loosen these two 15mm fasteners for the bottom part of the column. Do not remove them, just loosen:
    _DSC4024_zps9d2c30d0.jpg

    Remove these two 15mm fasteners at the top part of the column, and let it hang out of the way. You may wish to remove the column completely, in hindsight I might have done it that way to give more wiggle room. Your choice.
    _DSC4023_zps804d5682.jpg

    Remove the three 7mm bolts on the top of the dash (easily seen around the windshield vents, I didn't get a picture)

    This is a bracket that stays in place, but is held in place by those column bolts discussed earlier. You will need to make sure it fits into place in reinstallation:
    _DSC4027_zps23fff4be.jpg

    Remove the three (if memory serves correctly) 7mm along the bottom of the dash. I didn't get a picture but you should be able to find them easily.

    Remove (if you haven't already) your kickpanels, and undo the two 13mm fasteners here. One by each door: _DSC4035_zps247b1c7a.jpg

    Now, you should be able to kind of pivot the dash ahead. This is one reason for unbolting the steering column. Removing it completely would make life easier.
    _DSC4036_zps6e0ce0f8.jpg

    Now, I'm not sure the proper way of doing this, but on each side of the dash (or each end, by the doors) are three rivets holding the plastic dash to a metal bracket. I bashed these off the same way I did the other rivets, but be careful, it would be easy to crack the dash here. Again, I did not reinstall these, do so if you please:
    _DSC4037_zps3acf52da.jpg

    Now, with the dash pivoted ahead, there are three 7mm that you need to get to from behind the dash. Hold your tongue just right and cuss a lot. This is to separate the heater ducting (plastic) from the dash, as the dash wires are all inside and wound around it.
    Here is one, behind where your HVAC controls would be:
    _DSC4041_zpsd0b7a43c.jpg

    Here is another, just to the right of the bottom part of that air vent:
    _DSC4038_zpscda990d7.jpg

    And this is where the last one resides (dash already removed, you can also clearly see those rivets I was referring to)
    _DSC4044_zpsc6dde5b6.jpg

    Now, your back venting stuff should be separate from your dash. Start removing the wiring. There is nothing really to say here, it's all fairly simple and just clips into place. Work slow, and remember how it routes. Pulling the plug for the gauges is a little tricky. It clips into place, you pull it out and then push it back through the dash at an angle. Remember which way it goes (up/down).

    Then, after your wiring is removed/pulled through all the holes and crevices, you should be able to pull the whole works up and out of there. To say this is easy would be a stretch. Be careful with the wiring, and be sure that you haven't missed a screw or clip or something somewhere (I had to try four or five times to get it out.

    Here you can clearly see the ducting. I took it out and cleaned it up before I put it back together.

    _DSC4043_zps7c820c9a.jpg
    _DSC4042_zps5718467e.jpg

    Now, get your new dash
    _DSC3997_zps38b755d0.jpg
    _DSC4002_zps33c33707.jpg
    Clean it, paint it, whatever you want to do with it, and re-assembly is, obviously, the reverse of dis-assembly. Get your wiring routed around the ducting and bolt your ducting back to the new dash (remember those three 7mm on the backside?), and kind of jiggle and wiggle to get 'er back together. Patience is key. It will go. Get it back in, finger tighten everything before you run it all down. It's not that difficult once you understand how everything goes together. The wiring isn't hard, you just need to be very careful and route everything correctly.

    Stand back and admire your work. I am missing some grey pieces, but I'll get them when I do the rest of the interior swap:
    _DSC4047_zpsae168e1b.jpg

    I'm sure there's lots I forgot, and if there's something I did wrong, feel free to enlighten. It's a big job, but once you get into it, it isn't bad.

    A couple points:

    Disconnect your negative battery cable first. Duh.
    Keep your bolts organized. There are several different lengths.


    I hope this may help somebody at some point down the road. This is how I did it, it worked for me. I broke off (intentionally) some of the wiring clips and used zip ties when I put it back together. There isn't really much for wires, and it's pretty easy to get them back to where they came from. Surprisingly simple.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
    GMTMark, rags77, gstubbz and 7 others like this.
  2. jonnyukon

    jonnyukon I'm Awesome

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    Freaking awesome write up! This is on my list of things to do also.. Man U just made my project just that much easier!
    Thank you!
     
    Bob L likes this.
  3. Half Assed

    Half Assed WINNERS NEVER LIFT

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    Great write up bro.
     
  4. JollyGreen

    JollyGreen Metalworking Madman

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    Nice. I'm sure this will make life easier for people.
     
  5. Vortec Lover

    Vortec Lover Behold the Beast

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    I already have this interior, but rep anyways! :waytogo:

    great write up man, I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who will reference this. Heck, when I do my LED's, I'll probably be fishing through here, haha
     
  6. lester622

    lester622 I'm Awesome

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    I find its alot easier if you pull the wiring out with the dash, just un bolt the 2 bolts on the firewall that hole the fusebox in and everything comes out in one piece, easier to swap the harness when its out the truck on the ground then in the truck
     
    Bob L likes this.
  7. monstar_est87

    monstar_est87 I'm Awesome

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    Dang u beat me 2 it... Its stickied...
     
  8. 96-1500

    96-1500 Bluenoser

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    Thanks for the compliments. I can always take more pictures if necessary. In fact, I might go to my parts truck and snap some wiring pics, if anyone is interested.

    That's a good point, maybe next time I'll do it that way. This has me thinking I should go to my other truck and see how that works. It really isn't that bad getting the wiring back in there, once it's unclipped (which, admittedly, is a annoying to do with the dash in the truck), but once it is the whole harness just kind of swings out to the driver's side where you can work at it.

    Honestly the biggest thing I still think I would do different is pulling the column. You have to drop it anyways, so half the work is already done. It's fighting you the whole time.

    I should also note that if you're planning on doing any other interior work and are thinking of pulling the seats, now would be the time. Working with the seats removed would also make life way easier. When I pulled the dash in my extended cab parts truck, the seats and column where already removed and it was a breeze pulling the dash. In that case, the wiring was stupid easy to get to, as I had room to work.

    ...?
     
  9. Sumbitch

    Sumbitch I'm Awesome

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    Very nice write up! Definitely gonna come back to this whenever I decide to take everything out for a cleaning and when I install my foot-well LEDs.

    I learned how to tear apart the bottom half of the dash doing trial-n-error at a junk yard. Why break your own stuff? lol. Now I have this nifty tool to look back on!
     
  10. monstar_est87

    monstar_est87 I'm Awesome

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    I was planning on doing a dash removal thread but u beat me to it... U did a great job at it... I vote this thread to be stickied...
     

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