July 14, 2011

removing the dash pad

It is very rare to find a 99 or 900 from the 70s or even the 80s without shrunken, wrinkled dash pad syndrome. Removing the dash pad is a bit involved, with the vents creating the biggest puzzle. The Haynes manual only suggests that you ‘prise’ them up. But there are two orientation posts and two press in lips diagonal from each other that allow the vents to snap in the dash. The vents are not identical, but are mirrors of each other.

You’ll need to remove the pad above the glove box (which includes the entire glovebox), the pad above the instrument cluster and the coin holder. The dash pad is held on to the metal dash with a large amount of rubber contact cement. I used a scraper to pull up the dash. A heat gun (or a hot day) would probably help. Be careful not to drive the scraper into your windshield seal.

I think most people assume the vents can be rotated and they try to force them and end up breaking them. Once I found the lips I very carefully pushed one side of the vent from under the dash pad with a scraper. Once I had one side up and the two orientation posts clear, I rotated the vent around so I could get the other lip clear. Other than that, removing the dash pad went well.

Clean up is a bit tedious, but you can roll up the remaining contact cement by hand which is faster and safer than scraping it or trying to dissolve it.

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