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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i had to replace my dash this weekend. so i figured i would post a how to. i know some of you maybe antimidated for some reason or another. so heres the low down. There are 9 bolts holding it in. 5 across the windshield 2 in either side and 2 holding the steering column up. As a professional mechanic and having experience in a dodge dealer it only took me a couple hours. So for those iof you that have never done this before its alot easier than it looks. it will probably take the better part of your day.So heres the tools you will need. i have substitued some for power tools.

needle nose pliers
90* needle nose pliers(optional)
regular pliers
wire cutters
8 mm socket
10mm socket
13mm socket
ratchet (1/4 in or 3/8 drive it doesnt matter)
12 in extension
#15 torx bit minimum 3 1/2 in shaft
#35 torx bit
#2 philips head screw stick and
#2 philips head short screw stick


first disconnect the batterries then start removing the rocker trim and a-pillar trim.


in these pics pay particular attension to where my thumb and finger are, there are holding tabs in these places. the easiest way to remove them is to place your thumb like the photo and do the same with your right hand, and pull with your fingers and roll it towards the outside of the vehicle. do the same to the passenger side if not equiped with the oh $!#$ handle otherwise use a 35 torx bit. Next remove the knee bolster under the steering wheel, the abs module cover, and the black trim ring around the radio and cluster.
there are 5 screws in the knee bolster , abs module has two screws and needs a sharp tug to remove. the trim ring just pulls off after you remove the ash trey and the cup holder, you may need to work it gently around the steering column. remove the radio 10mm bolts and 10mm ground attatched to the back of the head unit.(factory unit) remove the head light switch and the o/d off button cluster.

there is a cross bar that is circled i forgot to take a pic. remove this bar. also remove the obdII plug. remove the parking brake release. one screw and slide it toward the passenger side. remove the trim around the steering column. first unscrew the tilt lever. if it is hard to turn ,at the end of the knob you can get some assistance with a 1/4 inch wrench.now this is why the #15 torx bit has to be long. there are recessed holes for two of the three screws in the trim pieces. now remove the inner trim this time only one screw is recessed. carefully slide the shifter trim out of the covers. you'll need to remember how to reinstall later. now there is a cord leading from the instument cluster to the steeering column. it is the selector cord. to remove this pull the wire and unloop it from the tab. slide your finger in the bracketand unlatch the bracket. i have it removed for a better view. unplug and remove all the connectors on the steering wheel,i.e... multi function ,clock spring etc... the air bag plug in is behind the brake release.

now remove the screws holding in the cluster and remove it. you may need to put it in drive 1 or 2 to get the gear shifter itself out of the way so be sure to set the parking bake and chock the wheels. remove the screws holding the climate control. unscrew and gently remove vacum lines. unplug the two harnesses. now push in the red tab and lift straight up.


no i didnt put the wire nut in the radio harness. i replaced it with solder and heat shrink tube.
now seperate the bulkhead connector with the 10mm and unplug all the connectors surrounding it. remove the brake switch. ease over to the abs module and remove it. also 10 mm


now remove the two bolt holding the steering column up. let it lay where it is. if the truck is 5 speed put it in 4th gear or in my case 4x4 had to put it in 4 low or both if both. go ove to passenger side and remove the rocker and a-pillar trim. losen the 13mm bolt on both sides of the dash. open the glove box and unplug the two plugs through the access hole. remove the three bolt on the passenger side under the windshield at the top of the dash. go to the drivers side and losenthe 13mm bolt at the kick panel. get some help from some one and remove the other two bolts on the top. lean the dash forward and check for any wires left pugged in. now ease the vacum harness from the opsite side and the temp control cable also. remove dash completely from truck. lay on its face next to your replaced ment (new or used) if it is used you will need to remove the harness and replace it with your own. use the long needle nose to slide under the harness retainers.also makes it easier to remove the glove box light connectors. leave it laying flat once all the retainers are loose. unscrew the fuse block and jiggle it to remove.reinstall your electrical harness. and follow these procedures in revers to reinstall.



turn this cracked up junk

into this
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Look for the next installment coming soon!!! the dash i replaced is cracked again. so i will be doing a custom fiberglass dash from the original. simple but a whole lot better than any replacement!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
ok once the dash is out place it on a sturdy surface to work off of. and remove the dash cap.


i used a 55gallon drum with wood to stablize. at that point i taped the cracks to help them from from getting worse.
[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/827/img20110524144510.jpg/]


once the cap is off and the cracks are where they can be repaired, this is where i learned the hard way. you want to get 2 part epoxy. glue these cracks together. i made the mistake of not glueing them thinking the fiber glass would hold it. the answer is not at all.
so once the glue cures (anywhere from 30 minute to a couple hours depending on brand) reinforce the dash with the fiber glass. note the glass will shrink once installed and heat gets it so be sure to leave enough overlap on the edges. rrrrrrrt let me back up on second. any part that you will be covering with the fiberglass you will need to scuff it up with and aggressive sand paper for mechanical adhesion. like so[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/813/img20110524172725.jpg/]

i used 80 grit on a d/a sander. now lay out your glass pieces. it would be advisable to useone piece if possible of weaved cloth. the end result is much more desirable.. i used what i had.
edit....go to the local fabric shop and get some fleece it is polyester.. so is the resin. little to no shrinkage once every thig is cured. [URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/29/img20110525122152n.jpg/]

the main thing i was trying to acomplish is a repair. but there are many differerent was to do this... once your cloth is where you want it mix your resin and brush it on to the cloth until it is soaked through.
[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/847/img20110525124514.jpg/]

now in the center part i used the mat and it does not smooth out easy....once dried you can work it with a sander, i used 180 grit. use what you know. once you have it shaped out nice and smooth add the plastic body filler(bondo). the filler is for one thing and one thing only. to get it level and smooth. you will want very thin coat about 1/8". remember the straighter you hold the putty knife up the thiner it will be applied. you may need to sand and reapply more coats to get desired results. now when sanding bondo i prefer to block sand it once its level. i do this by hand. word of advise. the harder it is to sand the more attension you need to give it. like the tray areas.
[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/18/img20110526165244.jpg/]
the dark spots are the high spots in the glass.

once you have sanded and sanded .......AND sanded every thing is where you like it, its smooth. blow it off with air and wipe it down with clean cloth spray it with primer. first a dust coat. about three coats is what i did guess what i blocked it some more gradually working down to about 400 grit. this may take several attampt to get desired suface. once your satisfied with the surface clean the surface for paint. weather or not you using a gun or rattle can up to this point all procedures are pretty much the same. clean clean clean with solvent and then i use a tack cloth. for paint i used the paint shop from duplicolor. they have basic colors but you can mix the to create your own hue's. i went with black and silver to my likings not a specific formula. then trimmed to match the truck.
[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/59/img20110527180922.jpg/]


Uploaded with ImageShack.us


[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/810/img20110527180953.jpg/]
follow the instructions on what ever materials you use.
 
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