Pulling the dash

Discussion in 'OEM and Custom Interiors' started by koolbreeze, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. koolbreeze

    koolbreeze Newbie

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    I've got to pull the dash on my '95 K1500 in order to replace a leaking evaporator core. I'm not looking forward to this project at all, mainly because the dash is already cracked in 1 place, as is the bezel, so I'm afraid it's going to break all to pieces when I try to get out. I've seen videos/instructions for pulling them 2 different ways. One way is completely disassemble the dash, pull the controls and leave the wiring harness. The other way leaves the dash intact for the most part and you remove the harness with the dash by pushing it through the firewall. Which way do you think is easier on me and the dash?

    I was testing the HVAC controls this afternoon and I can hear a click in the temp/blend actuator, so I'm thinking I should replace it also. But I'm curious if I should replace the other doors and actuators while it's out, or is there anything else I should replace while the dash is out? It looks like the heater core is easy enough to get to without removing the dash, so I may wait until it goes bad.
     
  2. east302

    east302 I'm Awesome

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    I did mine by leaving the harness in the dash, which for your purposes may be easier since you aren’t actually swapping the dash. Here’s the write-up I did on mine.

    https://www.gmt400.com/threads/dash-removal-and-replacement.38536/

    But...You may be able to just rotate it down (without actually removing it all the way) to access the evaporator core.

    If it’s already cracked, just rotating it would probably be less stress on it. It can flex a bit if you’re taking it out of the vehicle, and that may leave you with a bigger mess than when you started.

    It wouldn’t hurt to replace the three air door actuators while you’re there, or at least the recirculate and temperature door motors. The actual air door seals are probably weak by now, along with the foam, so you could always keep going and open up the box and replace those. You know how it goes. Good luck.
     
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  3. koolbreeze

    koolbreeze Newbie

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    Thanks for the excellent write up! Do you know which years the dash will work in my '95? I've found a couple '96s locally at salvage yards that I'm going to look at before I pull mine. If they are in good shape, I'll grab one of them. The only crack on mine at the moment is about 2" long on the top left side, just behind where the bezel attaches. I thought I might try to repair it once it's out, but I'm not sure what to glue it with.
     
  4. east302

    east302 I'm Awesome

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    Any up to 2000 of this body style would fit, but a 96 would be a match for not having the passenger airbag. The air duct work was different for those with the passenger airbag as well.

    I know the 95 was an oddball year and want to say there may be something with the instrument cluster plug that is specific to that year but am not sure. That and maybe the ashtray, but that’s probably not a huge deal.

    Richard @someotherguy may be able to chime in with more info on the differences between a 95 and 96, if any.

    If you do swap it out, there’s a clip on the dash bezel to the right of the driver vent. That clip spreads apart the dash when it snaps in, probably causing that crack that most people see there. Flatten the clip or remove it so it doesn’t damage a replacement dash.
     
  5. Blue Turd

    Blue Turd I'm Awesome

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    I have a 95, and have pulled the dash at least 3 or more times tracking down wiring issues and for custom projects. My favorite guide for reference is located here at http://www.gmt400.com/threads/dash-replacement.17137/.

    I have never pulled the dash with the wiring, its in my opinion much easier to leave the wiring and HVAC pipes behind. I also never have removed the steering wheel for dash removal either, but it would be helpful at the last step when you take the whole plastic dash out (dropping the column is needed though). The worst part of the dash removal is removing the rivets on the sides of the dash near the kick panels. There isn't room for a drill down there, so you have to resort to a chisel. Maybe with the time and skill you could do it without breaking the plastic, but I pretty much broke it on both sides. Have had no issues without it. The top 3 bolts of the dash are also very delicate, so be careful during the reassembly, as you can crack them. Even if you do, its not a problem as you can fix/upgrade it with the "L" bracket mod. I decided to add those while I was in there.

    Iv pulled the dash enough times I have it down to a science, and can do it in under 2 hours now if I needed to pull it again. Your first time I'd set out all day. As for direct replacements, any 95-1999 GMT dash will work, but only the 95 and 96 are direct replacements due to the single airbag (as mentioned in above post). 97+ have dual airbags.

    Also heater core is an easy replacement without pulling the dash. It can be accessed from under the blower motor by only removing a couple of screws. I have done this as well. I have not had to replace the evaporator in the truck, so I am not quite sure what needs to be removed to get to that.

    If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask. Iv seen every inch of this interior...

    Good luck!
     
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  6. someotherguy

    someotherguy I'm Awesome

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    Or switch to the 1997-up dash and put the 2500/3500 airbag delete cubby hole there; very cool. Just don't forget to get the black plastic air ducting to go with it because it's shaped different from the 1995-1996 dash.

    Richard
     
  7. tahoe.mkIII

    tahoe.mkIII Newbie

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    IMG_3867.JPG IMG_3872.JPG IMG_3892.JPG IMG_3946.JPG Did this very job a week or two ago. Installed a new, not cracked dash(techincally its older, from a 99 Tahoe) when I had to replace the evaporator in the 00 sierra. Have done it a few times, not too bad.take your time, a screw gun with an extension and a 7mm will get 90% of the dash apart/down real quick.
    Make sure to get the dash rattle stop clips for the install. They work well and are very worth the $10-15.

    Also, why do the headlight switch knobs seem to be made out of silly putty?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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  8. koolbreeze

    koolbreeze Newbie

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    Thanks for the info guys. I'm going to check out some of the local salvage dashes this week before I pull mine. I don't drive the truck every day, so I can take my time on it.

    Where can I find them?
     
  9. koolbreeze

    koolbreeze Newbie

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    I wasn't aware I had to deal with any rivots, thanks. I'll check that link out.
     
  10. Blue Turd

    Blue Turd I'm Awesome

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    Are we talking about the top dash brackets? The 10-15$ dollar kit is nice (from LMC truck), but I used some small L brackets from the hardware store (2$). Not as pretty but very functional.

    Heres a video I found describing what I sort of did:

    Not sure how damaged your dash is, but my dash mounting points were broken exactly like this video shows.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018

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