Question about 2006 Saab 9-7X
Hi, I want to replace the plastic trim around the instrument cluster and radio/vents with a leather covered unit. How to I remove the plastic dash? Is it attached with screws/c;lips, or does it just pull off??
Thanks so much for any help!
What you need:
1. rivet gun
2. 5/32" x 1/4" long aluminum rivets (11)
3. 1/8" x 1/2" aluminum rivets (2)
4. Drill w/ 1/8", 5/32" bits
5. small phillips and flathead screwdrivers, large flat head screwdriver
6. wrenches, 8mm, 10mm (sockets and boxend - your car has 'em in the toolkit) 22mm (socket, 7/8" works ok), straight driver handle and ratchet handle.
7. 3M trim adhesive, recommended for sticking some of the insulation to the new dash.
8. box of ziplock sandwich bags
9. indelible marker
10. vinyl treatment (recommend Meguiars #40)
11. Window cleaner.
12. Assorted towels/rags
13. did I mention pilsner from Munchen?
Here is what my dash looked liked. These are the typical places for cracks. The instrument cluster crack can allow your cluster to squeak against the dash, very annoying. You can fix this temporarily by removing the cluster and rubbing some vaseline around the edge. Why do they all crack? As far as I know, UV weakens and makes the vinyl coating brittle. The cracks can actually occur as a result of core expansion. For instance, If your dash is cold, and you crank the heat, the core will expand some, and the brittle skin cracks. The key is use a sunshade and keep the dash coated with a non-silicon UV inhibitor.
Ok, let's go. If you want to do it right, place everything small in individual ziplock bags and label them. If you do this, you will have exactly the right number of screws etc. when you reassemble. If you don't do it, good luck. I put all removed parts in my trunk, safe from marrauding children animals wives,
1. Remove the steering wheel. Pry up the center emblem and use a 22mm or 7/8" socket to remove the nut. Wheel pulls straight out.
2. Remove instrument cluster, 2 small screws at top of cluster, then use flathead to pry it out of dash. Carefully unplug all wires from the back. the large connectors have black clips that must be pryed upward with a small screwdriver before the connectors will come out. The picture below shows some of the larger connectors, you can see the clip on the white one. There is also a small black plastic "door" the pulls out from back of cluster and allows removal of 3 smaller connectors. You'll see what I mean. Be careful not to scratch the window on the cluster while doing all this.
3. Remove the OBC/hazard panel and the left vent. These are held on with 2 screws each, visible after cluster removed. The vent just pulls straight out. You will need to unplug the wires from the OBC and the hazard/defroster switches. Recommend labelling all connectors to make it easier later. If your OBC is dim, now you can replace the light bulbs in the back
4. Detach driver's under-dash panel. Several screws. You can just undo all the top and side screws, and let the panel swing downward without completely removing it. Here is what it'll look like at this point
5. Remove the glovebox. It's attached at hinge w/ three 8mm bolts. These screw into flat little rectangles of metal that act as nuts. They are loose, so don't lose 'em. Remove the vinyl "curtain", just slips off of back of glovebox, held on to metal bar above with two plastic rivets. Pop the pins out of the two front straps. Push the flashlight charger socket down through its mount, remove two metal clips from wire, and the box will be free. Remove screws/bolt that hold latch assembly to the dash. Remove the plastic panel to the left of the dash (2 screws).
6. Remove A-pillar trim panels. You really don't need to loosen the headliner to do this. The pillar panels only stick about 1/2" behind the liner, so you can bend them in the middle and pull it out. You also need to remove the portion of the door seals that covers the pillar trim. It just pulls off. Pull the pillar panels straight up and out of the dash. There are foam inserts near the windshield which also come out. Note that the panels fit between the dash and a metal clip. This is the top of the actual bracket that bolts the dash to the car.
7. You are now ready to free the dash. But first, you may want to look and commit to memory how the dash is lined up in your car relative to the doors etc., as you have some abilty to adjust the new dash's position when mounting . Remove the bolt on either side of the center console, and the associated spring-nuts. Remove the bolt from the bracket above the steering column. Unlatch the center airbox. You will see a clip on each side similar to that on the air filter box under your hood. Most of the ventilation ductwork comes out with the dash. Now look for the bracket on each side of the car, held onto the body with two 10mm bolts. Remove them, and the dash is free. Getting it out is another matter. Also note that there is a metal springclip at the front of the dash just left of center that just pops out without any extra effort.
8. Get it out. Here is what it'll look like at this point: The towels are there to protect the leather center console from the 2 metal clips on dash. Also note I removed the center vent, this is not necessary yet and was mostly an accident. I have raised the dash up, and this is where I got stuck
The problem is that the dash hits the windshield, and there are two ventialtion ducts, attached to the dash, that protrude downward and won't easily clear a metal cross bar which is welded into the car (and has tons of wiring tied to it). No windshield, no problem. After contemplating calling the autoglass boys, I got in there with the big flathead screwdriver. If you pry the ducts upward from below, they will pop over the metal bar, and you are home free. BE CAREFUL! The plastic ducts are attached to the dash by 8 small screws which are not removable while the dash is in the car. The plastic ducts will break at the screws if torqued too much. Don't try to yank it out by the dash itself, the ducts will snap. Get outside the car on your knees, and shove one arm between the dash and the "shelf" on the firewall. Use your forearm to lever the dash up from below. At the same time, use the other arm to pry the duct with the screwdriver. Be patient, a helper is a plus. Here I am relieved that I don't have to have the windshield yanked
You can see the two rectangular ducts that get caught on the metal bar. Up to this point, it should take 2-3 hours. Less with a helper.
You can see the black rectangle near the center windshield, which is where the spring-clip fits in.
Spread a large dropcloth or several towels out as a smooth place to tranfer stuff from old dash to new. Have a(nother) beer.
Posted on Jun 17, 2008
Tips for a great answer:
Fig. Fig. 8: Instrument panel retaining screw locations on 1994-95 Accords
Fig. Fig. 9: The instrument cluster is retained by four screws
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